The Institute for New Economic Thinking takes a broad view of economic research and supports it in many ways: through its main grant program, through working groups it organizes, and via conferences, panels, and other smaller gatherings of scholars across the globe.

Institute scholars normally publish their work in journals and books. While many – but far from all – of this work appears in working papers sponsored by the Institute and other leading research forums, the Institute also attempts to make its research results accessible to a wider public on its website. Below is a sampling of interviews featuring Institute scholars explaining the significance of their research in non-technical terms.

Does Financialization Contribute to Growing Income Inequality?

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The financialization of the US economy and rising income inequalities are two of the most profound economic developments of the last fifty years. In this project we ask if the financialization of the US economy has contributed to rising income inequality.  We propose to answer this question with complementary analyses at the individual, firm and industry levels.  We focus on three components of the earnings distribution: employment earnings distributions, executive compensation, and capital/labor shares of value added. For firms we also examine the consequences of financialization for global and domestic employment and for domestic employment separately for various occupational groups.

Rising Inequality as a Structural Cause of the Financial and Economic Crisis

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The financial crisis that began in summer 2007 has turned into the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Its causes are usually sought in the malfunctioning of the financial sector. Non-financial factors often receive less attention. One of the major socio-economic changes of recent decades has been a dramatic shift in income distribution. The project investigates whether rising inequality has contributed to the macroeconomic imbalances that erupted in the present crisis. This is done based on a Kaleckian macroeconomic model. This project suggests that the present crisis should be understood as an outcome of the interaction of the process of financial deregulation with the effects of the polarization of income distribution. Read more

The Significance of Inequality

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Economics and political philosophy are both concerned with questions of distributive justice, and both disciplines have made significant breakthroughs in understanding problems of inequality. Nevertheless, each discipline pays scant attention to the insights of the other. This project will show what economists can learn from political philosophers in thinking about economic inequality while also investigating the philosophical significance of recent empirical work on inequality, within economics and elsewhere. Each discipline can be significantly enriched by the insights of the other in understanding the significance of inequality.

Economic Inequality and Sustainable Transportation Policy

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This project will examine how the spatial pattern of inequality in U.S. cities shapes the provision of public transit and – more broadly – the prospects for a more equitable and sustainable transportation policy. This mixed-methods project uses Census data for 1970-2007 linked to a national transit database, as well as documentary information on public debates over transit, and asks: (1) does the return of affluent residents to central cities promote investment in transit? (2) does economic segregation exclude low-income residents from the benefits of these new investments? and (3) does co-location of affluent and low-income residents lead to cross-class coalitions for transit?

The Measurement and Assessment of Inequalities on a World Scale

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This project will extend the work of the University of Texas Inequality Project, permitting new data development and research in two technical and at least three substantive areas. The technical projects are: (1) updating the core global inequality data-sets from 2000 through the Great Financial Crisis; (2) GIS mapping of changing inequalities using global and national data.  The substantive projects include: (1) assessment of the effects of financial crisis on inequality;  (2)  inequality and demographic factors, including health, life expectancy and fertility; and (3) a comparative assessment of social, political and financial factors that reduce and increase inequality.

Innovation Systems: Positive and Normative Perspectives

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This project will study the innovation system both from a positive and a normative perspective. From a positive perspective it will investigate what the consequences and the drivers are of the striking differences in the cross-sectoral patterns of investment in R&D that exist between the U.S. and Germany. In particular, it will explore how they may affect job creation, the trade balance, and inequality. From a normative perspective, the project will explore the economic foundations of public R&D organizations. Read more

Azim Premji Summer School

Azim Premji University and the Institute for New Economic Thinking ran their first Advanced Graduate Workshop in Indian Development from July 9-15, 2012. The workshop was open to advanced Ph.D. social science students in any Indian university and explored critical debates in Indian economic development. The workshop was devoted to identifying the complex interactions that have influenced India’s trajectory of development and to conceive of development strategies that might be successful in promoting equitable growth, building workforce capabilities, and reducing poverty. Read more

FT Names INET Co-founder Janeway's Book One of the Best of 2012

As the year comes to a close, the Financial Times released its annual list of the Best Books of the year. And right at the top was INET co-founder William H. Janeway's new book Doing Capitalism in the Innovation Economy, which the FT named one of the the best economics books of 2012.  Read more

Robert and Edward Skidelsky -The Good Life & Noneconomic Innovation 2/3

In the second part of this three-part INET "From the Director's Chair" interview, INET Executive Director Robert Johnson talks with Robert Skidelsky and his son Edward Skidelsky about their book, How Much is Enough? Money and the Good Life. Read more

Robert and Edward Skidelsky - Reimagining the Good Life 3/3

In the third part of this three-part INET "From the Director's Chair" interview, INET Executive Director Robert Johnson talks with Robert Skidelsky and his son Edward Skidelsky about their book, How Much is Enough? Money and the Good Life. Inequality is now rampant all over the world, particularly in the U.S., and they suggest that this was a development Keynes had not foreseen when he famously forecast that the need for growth would be finished by the end of the 20th century. Read more