The Irish Economic Association was founded in 1986. Up to then, and on an informal basis, the Irish Association of University Teachers of Economics (IAUTE) organised an annual economics conference at Ballymascanlon, Co. Louth. Many economists were of the opinion that a more broadly-based and formally organised body was needed to serve as a professional association for Irish economists. At its 1986 meeting the IAUTE was dissolved and draft statutes were approved for the new body. The aims of the new association were described in the initial invitations to potential members as “contributing to the development and application of economics in Ireland, improving communication between economists in Ireland and sponsoring co-operation between the Irish and the international economics community”.
The Association has continued to organise annual conferences, which have grown significantly, especially in terms of the number and scope of papers presented. It has also organised a number of one-off conferences on special themes. The Association publishes a Newsletter each January and September. As the body representing professional economists, the Association is a member of the International Economic Association, and has been involved in the development of support for economic research, initially through the RIA Social Sciences Research Council.
Individual membership of the IEA may be obtained by returning the membership request form (here) to the Secretary at the address shown on the form.