Andrew G Haldane: Climbing the public engagement ladder

Speech by Mr Andrew G Haldane, Executive Director and Chief Economist of the Bank of England, at the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA), London, 6 March 2018.

The views expressed in this speech are those of the speaker and not the view of the BIS.

Central bank speech  | 
23 March 2018

I am delighted to be here to discuss the final report from the RSA Citizens' Economic Council on "Building a Public Culture of Economics".  This is the culmination of a two-year project, working with around 250 citizens and a number of organisations from across the country, including the Bank of England.  I would like to congratulate Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of the RSA, and Reema Patel, Kayshani Gibbon and Tony Greenham from the RSA as leaders of the project, for their terrific work in pulling this together.  It is an impressive, progressive and ambitious agenda for the economy and for economic policymakers like me.

Of course, citizens do already have a crucial stake in the economy.  As economists we often divide the world into neat institutional packages - companies, governments, trade unions, charities.  While useful organisationally, these names are no more veils, part legal, part social.  Behind the veil lies the ultimate owner - citizens, whether as workers, customers, shareholders, stakeholders or voters.  Institutions are executive gatekeepers of these citizen democracies.  Ultimately, it is citizens to whom policymakers, economic and otherwise, are accountable.  Those of us in the policy game need never to lose sight of that.