Co-Directors Mark Weisbrot and Dean Baker founded the Center for Economic and Policy Research in 1999 with total budget of less than $120,000. After almost 12 years of hard work, CEPR's budget has increased and its influence has grown exponentially.
CEPR’s research was mentioned over 8,000 times in 2011, including a record-breaking 47 times in the New York Times. CEPR also expanded its reach through the use of social media. CEPR’s Facebook and Twitter pages have over 10,000 followers, a number that continues to grow by the day. In 2011, CEPR had a record 1.7 million hits to its website.
CEPR Rankings in FAIR's Cost Effectiveness Among Think Tanks Reports
From its humble beginnings, CEPR has grown in both size and stature. The reason? CEPR has developed a reputation for conducting timely, high quality, original, and independent research that successfully challenges conventional wisdom and identifies economic trends long before the economics profession has noted them.
For example, Dean Baker first warned of the housing bubble in the summer of 2002. While his views on the housing bubble were seen as alarmist and extreme for several years, they have repeatedly been proven right and have finally been recognized by the mainstream media as prescient warnings of the current economic crisis.
But don’t take our word for it…here’s what some others have to say about CEPR:
For years the Center for Economic and Policy Research has been at the forefront of anticipating and understanding the dominant economic trends in the US and world economy, and translating these trends into their political and social implications for working people. I have found CEPR's work utterly invaluable, and have used it in my research and my teaching. The writing is crystal clear and never sacrifices subtlety for clarity. Dean Baker and Mark Weisbrot are public intellectuals of the highest order. CEPR deserves our strong support.
–Robert W. McChesney, author of several books on media and politics, professor of communication at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, host of the weekly talk show, Media Matters, and cofounder of “Free Press”.
The Center for Economic and Policy Research is such an important institution. Over the past decade, your work has been critical and crucial to educating the public and policy makers about the most important issues of our time. Where information and research were desperately needed in our public debate, you filled that gap and you've built something very lasting and very powerful.
–Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT)
Set up in 1999 with a total budget smaller than some other thinktanks' entertainment funds, CEPR has been a professional thorn in the side of orthodoxy.
–The Guardian (UK)
CEPR is one of the most valuable resources we have to explain how economics works and how policies effect the lives of us all. Dean Baker is a genius, and CEPR is essential if we're to grow our democracy in America!
–Thom Hartmann, American radio host, former psychotherapist and entrepreneur, and political commentator.
The Center for Economic and Policy Research presents a useful challenge to consensus thinking. Mark Weisbrot enriches public policy debates with provocative ideas that are clearly stated. Best wishes for another 10 years.
–Warren Olney, Host, Executive Producer of radio talk show “To the Point”
When I want to understand future economic trends, one of my primary sources is Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, the economist most associated with calling the housing bubble years before everyone else.
–journalist David Dayen
The Center for Economic Policy Research is a vital and rare resource. The work that CEPR does is an essential and necessary component of the overall strategy to get America on the track of creating sustainable economic fairness.
–Mario Solis Marich, host of the “The Mario Solis Marich Show” on Progressive Talk Radio
CEPR: Ten Years of Getting it Right
In honor of our 10th Anniversary, CEPR hosted a two-hour live webcast. CEPR Co-Directors Dean Baker and Mark Weisbrot were on hand to answer questions from viewers, and Jane Hamsher of firedoglake was the special guest moderator. (See below for the webcast broken up into smaller, briefly annotated parts.)
Webcast by parts:
Part 1 (19:24)
The beginning of CEPR, Social Security, the stock bubble, initial expectations for CEPR, the media, IMF, OECD, Europe
Part 2 (14:59)
"Blame it on the people at the top," elites missing the housing bubble, CEPR's independence, state of the economics profession, right-wing think tanks, Newt Gingrich
Part 3 (13:25)
Auditing the Fed, central banks and independence, inflation
Part 4 (17:38)
Corporations and free speech, the foreclosure crisis, G20 and debt relief, China, economic stimulus, financial transactions tax, the economic crisis and Latin America
Part 5 (18:46)
Executive compensation, human rights violations after the coup in Honduras, Obama's complacency over Honduras, "too big to fail" banks
Part 6 (20:31)
Healthcare reform, the economics of war spending, the health of capitalism, the Great Recession and reform, political corruption, "the sanctity of contracts"
Part 7 (11:54
Budget deficits, "intergenerational equity," middle class jobs, the battles ahead, the next 10 years