Social Science Research Institutes

Economic Policy Institute

  • Washington, DC
  • http://www.epi.org/

Mission Statement

The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank created in 1986 to bring the concerns of regular working families to economic policy debates. By providing the intellectual support for good policy, EPI seeks to create an economy that works for all Americans, where:
• Hard-working low-wage employees make enough to attain a modest but adequate living.
• Workers, who are increasing their productivity, get their fair share of economic growth.
• The middle class is strong and healthy.
• Every worker has a good job, with a living wage, affordable health care, and a secure retirement.
• People invest in their education, their skills, and their families, knowing that if they work hard those investments will pay off, not get sidelined by policies stacked against them.
• The government maintains full employment and invests in the public infrastructure—from roads to technology to education—that creates jobs and keeps America moving forward.

Main Programs

  1. Research
Service Areas

Self-reported

National

Although our work is focused on the United States, we serve and work with people and organizations around the world that are grappling with the same challenges: boosting job growth, growing stagnating wages for the middle class, ensuring equality of opportunity, and promoting fair trade.

ruling year

1985

President

Self-reported

Dr. Lawrence Mishel

Vice President

Self-reported

Mr. Ross Eisenbrey

Keywords

Self-reported

economic policy, economics, economic research, wages, education, living standards, globalization, trade, labor policy, women, workers

Notes from the Nonprofit

We have up to date information on our website www.epi.org.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2014, 2013 and 2012.
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EIN

52-1368964

 Number

1614364853

Also Known As

EPI

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis (V05)

Economics (as a Social Science) (V22)

Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis (B05)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

Been a leading source of information on income inequality and, especially, wage trends since the mid-1980s through publication of the State of Working America (every even year since 1988) and a multitude of other publications. EPI has been the go-to source for information on the stagnation of workers’ wage and their family’s incomes and was the source of the now commonplace insight that wage and compensation growth has lagged behind productivity growth. • EPI shaped the conversation about jobs during the Great Recession and aftermath by: pointing to the jobs gap (how many jobs needed to not only recover those that have been lost but the number needed to return to December 2007 unemployment); identifying the ratio of unemployed to job openings (first published by EPI in the early 2000s but now a widely used measure of how difficult it is to find a job); and providing estimates of when we will reach full employment (many years out) based on current job growth. EPI highlighted the ‘deficit in public investment’ since the early 1990s, demonstrating that the continued failure to invest will weaken economic growth.EPI has recently updated the data in its Family Budget Calculator, which calculates the real cost of living—how much is required for a modest but adequate standard of living—by family type in every local area of the nation (more than 600 metropolitan statistical areas). The applicability and immediacy of the family budget calculator has made it a trusted data source

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Research

EPI produces reports, articles, infographics, and other resources that help policymakers, opinion leaders, advocates, journalists, and the public understand the bread-and-butter issues affecting ordinary Americans. Metrics created by EPI are widely used to assess how well the economy is working for Americans, whether it’s EPI’s “missing workers” estimate revealing growth in the number of potential workers who, due to weak job opportunities, are neither employed nor actively seeking a job; or EPI’s “productivity/wage gap” showing how ordinary workers are improving their productivity—yet are not reaping any of the benefits, as the economic rewards increasingly concentrate at the top of the income ladder. By identifying economic trends and tracking them to their policy causes, we provide a roadmap for returning to an America where hard-working low-wage employees earn enough to make a living, the middle class is strong and healthy, and workers who help our economy grow share in its benefits. We measure program success by the extent to which our critical findings influence current debates. The impact section of this nonprofit profile outlines the many ways we have shifted public thinking and shaped public policy.

Category

Economics

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

None

None

Budget

$4,612,990.00

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    The Economic Policy Institute was founded to ensure that discussions about economic policy focus on the needs of low- and middle-income workers and their families.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    EPI conducts research and analysis on the economic status of working Americans and their families and proposes policies to protect and improve their economic well-being. EPI’s data and analysis are relied on by local, state, and national policymakers; print and online media outlets; and broad networks of local, state, and national organizations working on a wide range of issues.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    Our team includes the best minds in economics and other disciplines. Our broad network of researchers and scholars has made EPI the authoritative source on the economic well-being of working Americans. EPI’s staff includes nine Ph.D.-level economists, and a number of other experts with advanced degrees in Sociology, Public Policy, and Law. Our staff also includes ten policy analysts and research assistants, and a full communications and outreach staff.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    EPI has made major contributions to the national dialogue on economic issues by offering irrefutable facts that describe living standards and other trends and by proposing real-world policy solutions that are widely discussed. For example, EPI has:
    Been a leading source of information on income inequality and, especially, wage trends since the mid-1980s through publication of the State of Working America (every even year since 1988) and a multitude of other publications. EPI has been the go-to source for information on the stagnation of workers’ wage and their family’s incomes and was the source of the now commonplace insight that wage and compensation growth has lagged behind productivity growth. President Obama in his December 2013 speech on inequality, for instance, referenced two key facts from EPI: “Whereas in the past, the average CEO made about 20 to 30 times the income of the average worker, today’s CEO now makes 273 times more. And meanwhile, a family in the top 1 percent has a net worth 288 times higher than the typical family, which is a record for this country.”
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    EPI shaped the conversation about jobs during the Great Recession and aftermath by: pointing to the jobs gap (how many jobs needed to not only recover those that have been lost but the number needed to return to December 2007 unemployment); identifying the ratio of unemployed to job openings (first published by EPI in the early 2000s but now a widely used measure of how difficult it is to find a job); and providing estimates of when we will reach full employment (many years out) based on current job growth.
    EPI highlighted the ‘deficit in public investment’ since the early 1990s, demonstrating that the continued failure to invest will weaken economic growth.
    EPI has also been able to shape the national conversation through some key policy proposals, including:

    Jobs (and stimulus) proposals at the start of the great recession in January 2008 and continuing throughout the 2009-13 period.
    Campaigns to increase wages and improve labor standards have heated up across the nation, in part fueled by increased public and policymaker attention to income inequality and wage stagnation. By providing accessible and timely data on issues such as the minimum wage, overtime pay, sick leave, and unemployment insurance—to name a few—EPI is playing a critical supporting role in these campaigns.
    EPI will continue to strengthen the efforts of activists and policymakers and give journalists the data they need to tell a more comprehensive story about the economy and its impacts on low- and middle-income families through efforts such as research on Increasing wages and creating and updating the Family Budget Calculator– A crucial tool for grassroots activists.
Service Areas

Self-reported

National

Although our work is focused on the United States, we serve and work with people and organizations around the world that are grappling with the same challenges: boosting job growth, growing stagnating wages for the middle class, ensuring equality of opportunity, and promoting fair trade.

Social Media

Blog

External Reviews

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

ECONOMIC POLICY INSTITUTE
Fiscal year: Jan 01-Dec 31
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Economic Policy Institute

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2014, 2013 and 2012
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
Need the ability to download nonprofit data and more advanced search options? Consider a Premium or Pro Search subscription.

President

Dr. Lawrence Mishel

Vice President

Mr. Ross Eisenbrey

BIO

Lawrence Mishel came to the Economic Policy Institute in 1987. As EPI's first research director, then as vice president, and now president, he has played a significant role in building EPI's research capabilities and reputation. He has researched, written, and spoken widely on the economy and economic policy as it affects middle- and low-income families. He is principal author of a major research volume, The State of Working America (published every even-numbered year since 1988) which provides a comprehensive overview of the U.S. labor market and living standards. A nationally recognized economist, Mishel is frequently called on to testify and provide economic briefings to members of Congress and appears regularly as a commentator on the economy in print and broadcast media. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Wisconsin.

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Richard L. Trumka

AFL-CIO

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


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CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


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ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?