EAEPE originates from a meeting at a conference in Grim's Dyke, London, on 29 June 1988. The main purpose in forming the association was to promote evolutionary, dynamic and realistic approaches to economic theory and policy. Instead of the over-formalistic and often empty theorising of orthodox economics, the aim was to bring together the ideas of a number of theorists and theoretical traditions, and to help to develop a more realistic and adequate approach to theory and policy (see our Theoretical Perspectives).
The formal founding meeting of the association was at its first Annual Conference in Keswick, Cumbria, UK on 19-22 September 1989. The EAEPE Constitution was adopted, leading to the election of a Steering Committee, which later changed into the EAEPE Council. The association published the first issue of its twice-yearly Newsletter in January 1989.
In November 1990 the association formed a charity, the Foundation for European Economic Development (FEED). This is formally registered under the Charities Act (England and Wales) and provides financial assistance for the EAEPE conference and other EAEPE projects.
In 1991 EAEPE adopted a Scientific Development Plan for the Association, in order to designate a number of priority Research Areas and appoints Research Area Coordinators who play a central role in EAEPE.
In collaboration with Edward Elgar Publishing, EAEPE has produced a series of conference volumes and of volumes on specific topics, some of which have received very positive reviews in leading academic journals.
EAEPE sponsors the Journal of Institutional Economics (JOIE). The first issue was published in 2005. JOIE is devoted to the study of the nature, role and evolution of institutions in the economy, including firms, states, markets, money, households and other vital institutions and organizations. EAEPE members get this journal for free.
The association runs three prizes: the EAEPE-Kapp Prize (formerly known as the K. William Kapp Prize and the EAEPE Prize), the EAEPE-Myrdal Prize(formerly known as the Gunnar Myrdal Prize) and the EAEPE-Simon Young Scholar Prize (formerly known as the Herbert Simon Yound Scholar Prize).
With a membership of over 500, EAEPE is now the foremost European association for heterodox economists broadly defined, and is the second-largest association for economists in Europe.