The IEA was set up in 1950 by UNESCO, in consultation with prominent economists, notably Joseph Schumpeter, in the 1940s. Its aim was to promote economic research and scientific policymaking. It has had a phenomenal history, with past presidents that include Paul Samuelson, Kenneth Arrow, Amartya Sen, Robert Solow, Joseph Stiglitz and János Kornai. It has organized roundtables and seminars in various parts of the world, with special effort to reach out to developing countries, which are often excluded from global conversations, and it has produced a series of outstanding books and papers. The IEA’s once-in-three-years World Congress has drawn economists and economic policymakers, students and young scholars from all corners of the world, to speak, debate and confer. The last World Congress was in Mexico City, Mexico (2017). We hope the IEA has been a source of inspiration for better economic policy and a better world.

To celebrate this rich history and also to record it systematically before it gets lost, we wish tocommission a short history of IEA—between 50,000 and 75,000 words. We would then publish it either as a slim book or pamphlet, and make it widely available. We expect this to be not just a record but a book that people would read for pleasure.

The writer is expected to have background in economics and history, and strong writing skills. Much of the work will involve searching the web and libraries for material related to IEA, reading some of the past roundtables published by the IEA, and interviewing past office bearers.

The selected writer will be paid a lump-sum of US $15,000. We will also have a small research budget, up to a maximum of $5,000, for expenses, including travel to the next World Congress in Bali, Indonesia, 3-7 July 2020, since this will enable the author to interview several individuals who have been associated with the IEA over the years.

We expect to commission this work in March 2020 and would like to receive the fully-completed draft by January 2021.

If you have an interest in this, please send your resume, a sample of your published writing (with details of where it was published), names and email addresses of two referees and a short cover letter explaining why you are interested in doing this. All this should be sent to Andrea Cavallo at

Deadline for applications: 31 December 2019.

For more details please visit the IEA website at