Social Science Research Institutes

Center for Economic and Policy Research

aka CEPR

Washington, DC


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.

Ruling Year



Dean Baker


Mark Weisbrot

Main Address

1611 Connecticut Ave NW Ste 400

Washington, DC 20009 USA


economy, policy, research, public education, Social Security, Medicaid, housing, trade, international, Latin America





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis (V05)

Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis (R05)

Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis (Q05)

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The mission of Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) is to promote democratic debate on the most important economic and social issues that affect people's lives. CEPR exists to provide data-driven, fact –based economic research and analysis to policymakers, the press and the public. CEPR presents complex economic policy concepts in an easy to understand format, so that everyone understands the implications of proposed policies. CEPR’s research strives to inform the debate so that the policies adopted are those that create the greatest opportunities for as many people as possible, not just a small group of elites. CEPR’s work focuses on policies aimed at reducing the growing economic inequality that has occurred over the past 30 years.

CEPR accomplishes that mission by conducting thorough research and economic analysis and publishing the results, which are then disseminated to the press as well as advocates and policymakers. CEPR promotes its work as widely as possible, and CEPR’s economists are recognized as experts on a wide range of economic issues. They write op-eds and appear on numerous radio and television programs to talk about CEPR’s work. In addition, CEPR’s outreach staff provide grassroot groups, advocates and policymakers with CEPR’s research, and work to educate as many people as possible on the implications of various policy options.

CEPR’s economists are well-recognized experts in the field and CEPR’s research is known for its accuracy and thoroughness. In addition, CEPR has developed an extensive communications strategy over the past 15 years. CEPR’s communications directors have established relationships with reporters and editorial boards of numerous media outlets to ensure that CEPR’s work has the widest reach possible. In addition, CEPR’s outreach team participates in numerous coalitions and working groups to ensure that CEPR’s research informs the debate. CEPR also educates policymakers so that its work informs policy decisions as much as possible.

CEPR tracks all forms of media coverage to ascertain whether its research is reaching the intended audiences. Just in the past year, CEPR has been mentioned in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, USA Today, US News and World Report, Bloomberg News, PBS, CNN, NPR and MSNBC, to name a few. CEPR’s impact on the media and influence on policy debates are comparable to institutions that are ten times its size. Based on an analysis of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting’s 2011 think tank media citation rankings and organizational budgets, CEPR was the most cost-effective think tank in 2011 for the fifth consecutive year. CEPR outpaced all other think tanks with 1.3 media citations per ten thousand budget dollars. CEPR was also number one in web traffic per budget dollar in 2011, getting more than twice the number of hits as its closest competitor.

CEPR is in a unique position to shape debate on crucial economic issues and to contribute to the development of policy alternatives. Probably no other U.S. organization is as successfully engaged in all these aspects of work – research, education, media, and outreach – on key economic issues. CEPR’s reach continues to grow. CEPR had almost 2,000,000 total visits to its site in 2013, far surpassing the previous year’s total. CEPR currently has also greatly increased its reach though the use of social media. CEPR has almost 16,000 “fans” on Facebook, and the Twitter audience for @ceprdc is over 11,000. Dean Baker's Twitter account, @deanbaker13, has over 18,600 followers, and Beat the Press has an additional 3,000. Many of CEPR’s followers on Twitter are reporters, and CEPR staff members regularly engage with them through our twitter feeds, providing an additional outlet for CEPR’s research and analysis.
CEPR’s credibility has grown mainly because it has consistently been ahead of other economists and analysts on key issues, most notably identifying the stock and housing market bubbles and warning of the consequences of their collapse. As early as 1997 Dean Baker showed arithmetically that stock prices were incompatible with the generally accepted range of projections for the growth of the economy or profits. He first wrote about the housing bubble in the summer of 2002, warning that the collapse of the bubble at that point would likely lead to a recession and severe stress on many major financial institutions.
Similarly, CEPR Co-Director Mark Weisbrot continues to gain prominence as an authority on international economics and Latin America. Folha de Sao Paulo, Brazil’s largest newspaper, has contracted with Weisbrot for a bi-weekly column, increasing Weisbrot’s influence in Latin America. Other Latin American publications, such as Argentine daily Página/12, also have published Spanish translations (done by CEPR staff) with increasing frequency, contributing to Weisbrot’s stature as one of the best known U.S. economists in Argentina and the region.

CEPR has accomplished all of this on a very small budget compared to other research institutions. One challenge has been fundraising. With additional sources of funding, there would be no limits to what CEPR could achieve.

External Reviews


Center for Economic and Policy Research

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

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Board Leadership Practices

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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?

Not Applicable


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

Not Applicable


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

Not Applicable


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

Not Applicable


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

Not Applicable