Basic Organization Information
CENTER FOR ECONOMIC AND POLICY RESEARCH
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V Social Science Research Institutes
V05 Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis
R Civil Rights, Social Action, Advocacy
R05 Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis
Q International, Foreign Affairs, and National Security
Q05 Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis
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CEPR functions as an economic "truth squad" and a media watchdog, conducting professional research and analysis, as well as public and media education. The professional research is oriented towards filling important gaps in the understanding of particular economic and social problems, or the impact of specific policies. The public education portion of CEPR's mission is to present the findings of professional research, both by CEPR and others, in a manner that allows broad segments of the public to know exactly what is at stake in major policy debates. An informed public should be able to choose policies that lead to an improving quality of life, both for people within the United States, and around the world. The goal of CEPR is ensure that the citizenry has the information and analysis that allows it to act effectively in the public interest.
Dean Baker is the author of "The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive," "Taking Economics Seriously, False Profits: Recovering from the Bubble Economy," "Plunder and Blunder: The Rise and Fall of the Bubble Economy," "The United States Since 1980," "The Conservative Nanny State: How the Wealthy Use the Government to Stay Rich and Get Richer," "Social Security: The Phony Crisis" (with Mark Weisbrot), and "The Benefits of Full Employment" (with Jared Bernstein). He was the editor of "Getting Prices Right: The Debate Over the Consumer Price Index," which was a winner of a Choice Book Award as one of the outstanding academic books of the year. He appears frequently on TV and radio programs, including CNN, CBS News, PBS NewsHour, and National Public Radio. His blog, Beat the Press, features commentary on economic reporting. He received his B.A. from Swarthmore College and his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Michigan.
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Research, Analysis and Education
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CEPR conducts research, analysis and public education on both domestic and international economic and policy issues. Our domestic program focuses on macroeconomic issues (such as Social Security, Medicaid, the federal budget and taxes, the Gross Domestic Product, trends in labor markets), as well as the economic well-being of families (including access to child care, health insurance and quality jobs). Our international program focuses on trade policy, international economic development and democracy, especially in Latin America.
Program Long-Term Success:
CEPR is again number one in terms of media citations per budget dollar for the third consecutive year (according to FAIR).
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Impact Summary from the Nonprofit
Accomplishments in 2012: 1) Led by CEPR Co-director Mark Weisbrot, CEPR has been out in front calling for the United Nations to take responsibility for bringing cholera to Haiti over two years ago, writing numerous op-eds, papers and blog posts on the issue over the course of the past several years. The U.N. finally announced a plan to deal with the crisis; 2) CEPR dispelled the myth that the so-called “fiscal cliff” would cause the economy to collapse; 3) CEPR released a report titled "The Chained CPI: A Painful Cut in SocialSecurity Benefits and a Stealth Tax Hike." The paper, by Nicole Woo and CEPR Domestic Communications Director Alan Barber, points out that switching to the Chained CPI would result in cuts to already modest Social Security benefits. The brief also notes that the Chained CPI is likely not an accurate measure of the inflation rate seen by seniors; 4) CEPR Senior Economist Eileen Appelbaum has written extensively on the role of private equity in the U.S. economy. CEPR released a primer on private equity in February 2012. Written by Eileen Appelbaum and Rosemary Batt of Cornell University, the brief pulls from a widely-cited body of research to examine the role of private equity in the economy. The paper was mentioned in the New York Times’ Economix blog as well as by Matt Yglesias in Slate. Appelbaum also wrote a piece on private equity buyouts that appeared in the Roosevelt Institute’s blog, "The Next New Deal," as well as several posts for the CEPR blog; 5) CEPR has continued to write extensively on how most public-sector pension funds are doing well despite Washington Post op-eds and a National Public Radio piece that raised concerns about future unfunded liabilities of these public-sector pension funds; 6) CEPR's work in support of a financial transactions tax is showing some promise: Senator Harkin (D-IA) and Representative Peter DeFazio introduced proposal in Congress -- formally introduced on February 28, 2013 -- that would subject financial trades to a 0.03 percent tax. Moreover, on December 29, 2012, a New York Times editorial argued for the need for tax reform and suggested the Treasury Department should implement a financial transaction tax “to ensure that the financial sector, whose profits have substantially outpaced those of non-financial corporations, pay a fair share;" 7) CEPR began a new blog, "The Americas Blog," that highlights news from Latin America that is not usually seen in this hemisphere; 8) The financial crisis in Europe had a significant impact on CEPR’s international work, and CEPR’s views on the crisis have influenced the debate. Mark Weisbrot was an early critic of austerity measuresfor eurozone countries such as Greece, and he has emerged as a leading expert on the crisis; 9) A new issue brief by CEPR Co-director Dean Baker assesses the cause of U.S. unemployment. The brief, “The Problem with Structural Unemployment in the U.S.,” provides evidence that a lack of demand caused by the collapse of the housing bubble is at the root the unemployment crisis, not a mismatch between the skills of the unemployed and the types of jobs available as some have argued. The brief was mentioned several times in a piece in the Washington Post’s "Think Tanked" blog; 10) Dean Baker was named Truthdig.com's "Truthdigger of the Week" on December 15, 2012; 11) CEPR’s paper “Reduced Work Hours as a Means of Slowing Climate Change,” by Economist David Rosnick finds that significant reductions in carbon emissions are possible through reducing work hours, and could help to reduce climate change. The study finds that 8 - 22 percent of every degree of warming through 2100 would be cut by an annual 0.5 percent reduction in work hours;12) CEPR has been called a “rather effective David” when compared with other think tanks in Washington, and a recent listing of the top 50 bears this out. CEPR ranked 16 out of 50 in the Linktank Blog’s recently-published list of the most popular D.C. think tanks. CEPR is especially proud of this ranking when you compare our budget with those of the other contenders. CEPR has consistently ranked first in media hits per budget dollar of all major think tanks, based on an analysis of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting’s think tank media citation rankings and organizational budgets. CEPR also consistently ranked first in web hits per budget dollar. Goals for 2013: 1) CEPR will continue to counter arguments that Social Security adds to the deficit; 2) CEPR will assess the role of technological change and job polarization in wage inequality trends. CEPR is skeptical of the view that technology is responsible for rising wage inequality, and will argue instead that specific policies -- such as a declining value of the minimum wage, trade deals that hurt workers here and abroad, and tolerance of high unemployment -- are the real culprits; 3) CEPR will release a paper that examines Ecuador’s financial and regulatory reforms during the past five years. “Ecuador’s New Deal: Reforming and Regulating the Financial Sector,” to be written by CEPR Co-director Mark Weisbrot, Research Associate Jake Johnston, and Research Assistant Stephan Lefebvre, finds that the financial reforms carried out by the Rafael Correa administration are in large part responsible for the economic success Ecuador has experienced over the past several years; 4) CEPR will continue to look for areas where its research on economic inequality, financial reform and worker-friendly labor market policies will have an impact.