The archives of the old Bank of Finland research institute 1919–1 971

 

The origins of the Bank of Finland’s economic research may be traced back to March 1919, when the Parliamentary Supervisory Board appointed Kaarlo J. Kalliala to the new post of Statistical Researcher at the Bank. From these humble beginnings was born the Statistics Department, which from 1925 was led by A. E. Tudeer. In 1930, the Bank’s research activities were augmented by the new Conjunctural Research Department under the leadership of Bruno Suviranta. During the war years, the work of both departments increased and they were moved into premises purchased by the Bank at Kirkkokatu 14 [14 Church Street], not far from the head office of the Bank. At the start of 1944 the two departments were combined to form the Bank of Finland Institute for Economic Research. This was set the task of preparing reports to illuminate the work of the Bank of Finland and general economic developments in Finland as well as to conduct economic research and carry out any other tasks allocated to it by the Board of the Bank.

A fourth task that emerged later was the training of economists. A large proportion of Finnish economists at the time were to spend a shorter or longer period researching within the Institute. 14 doctoral dissertations were completed with the Bank of Finland publication series B . Other, shorter publications, or publications aimed at a more general readership were produced in publication series A , C and D . The Institute for Economic Research was also responsible for the Bank of Finland Monthly Bulletin . A. E. Tudeer served as the first head of the Institute (1944–1955). He was followed by Reino Rossi (1955–1 957), Heikki Valvanne (1957–1966), Timo Helelä (1966–1 968) and Lauri Korpelainen (1968–1971). At its height, in 1968, the Institute had a staff of 48.

The Bank of Finland Institute for Economic Research was wound up in 1971 due to an organisational restructuring of the Bank. In the new organisation, the former Institute’s work was divided between the Economics Department and the Research Department. The Bank of Finland’s research work continued vigorously both in these departments and in many other departments established in the years to come.

The archives of the old Institute for Economic Research take up approximately 14 metres of shelving. The material embraces administrative papers, correspondence and original statistical and research materials. In addition, most of the administrative material has been digitised. This material provides a picture of the Institute’s aims, its activities under emergency conditions, its everyday operations and even festive occasions.

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