The International Association of Research in Income and Wealth was founded in September 1947, in conjunction with a meeting of the International Statistical Institute.
Its organizers were individuals who were actively engaged in national income accounting research or who, in their official or academic positions, had been instrumental in developing the important techniques in national income and national budgeting that had been implemented in a number of countries during World War II and the immediate postwar period.
The Association convened its first general conference in 1949, and thereafter general conferences have been held biennially, except in 1991 when the Association changed its conference schedule to even years. There have, in addition, been 24 regional and special conferences.
The general, regional and special conferences through 1965 produced published volumes of proceedings. Since 1966, the IARIW has published a quarterly journal, The Review of Income and Wealth.