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>  News Releases >   2006 >   March

Dartmouth professor named to the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee, which sets interest rates

Dartmouth College Office of Public Affairs • Press Release
Posted 03/22/06 • Susan Knapp (603) 646-3661

David Blanchflower
David Blanchflower, the Bruce V. Rauner Professor of Economics (Photo by Joseph Mehling '69)

David Blanchflower, the Bruce V. Rauner Professor of Economics at Dartmouth, has been appointed to the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, during his annual budget speech to Parliament on March 22, 2006. The MPC is the equivalent of the Federal Open Market Committee at the Federal Reserve Board in the U.S.

"This is a call to public service in the country where I was born that I simply could not ignore," says Blanchflower. "Setting interest rates is the ultimate job for any economist."

During his three-year appointment, which will begin on June 1, Blanchflower will split his time between Dartmouth and the Bank of England. He will work with the other eight members of the MPC to set the appropriate level of interest rates to meet the U.K. government's price stability and inflation objectives. This rate is used by the Bank of England in loans to financial institutions, which in turn impacts the range of interest rates set by commercial banks, building societies, and other institutions, as well as bond rates and exchange rates.

Blanchflower is one of four external, non-bank-affiliated members, who provide outside expertise and thinking. His research interests are in applied labor economics. He has published extensively on many aspects of wages and wage inflation, unemployment, and the labor market.

"This prestigious appointment recognizes Professor Blanchflower's many accomplishments in the field of economics," says Carol Folt, Dean of the Faculty at Dartmouth and a professor of biological sciences. "The MPC will benefit greatly from his expertise, as will the Dartmouth community, as he shares his experiences with the MPC with us over the next three years."

The MPC meets over two days every month to set the interest rate. At this meeting committee members study the latest data on the U.K. and world economies and listen to explanations of recent trends and analysis of relevant issues, which are then discussed. Each member of the MPC has an equal vote, and the monthly interest rate decision is announced on the second day of the meeting.

The minutes of each meeting are published two weeks after each interest rate decision. These provide a full account of the policy discussion, and they record the votes of the individual members of the MPC. Not only do members of the committee explain their work regularly to parliamentary committees, they also speak to people throughout the country, describing the MPC's policy decisions and thinking.

More information about the MPC is available at:

Information about Blanchflower's research is at:

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