CEPR: Through the Years

August 11, 2009

Dawn Lobell

Mark Weisbrot and Dean Baker founded the Center for Economic and Policy Research in 1999 with total budget of less than $120,000. 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. 

CEPR has been first to tackle a range of issues:

  • Starting in 1999, CEPR economists led the fight to oppose privatizing Social Security.

  • CEPR’s Dean Baker has been widely recognized as the first economist to correctly analyze both the stock market and housing bubbles that caused, respectively, the last two recessions

  • CEPR has led efforts to advocate for pro-worker policies at the Federal Reserve

  • CEPR has played an indispensable role in promoting accountability in foreign economic policy, including the most important institutions of global governance (the IMF and WTO)

  • CEPR has played a leading role in the public debate on the role of intellectual property, macroeconomic policy, and international commercial agreements on inequality and economic mobility

For multiple years running, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) identified CEPR as the most cost-effective think tank in the nation as measured by both media citations and web traffic, per dollar.

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.

– Journalist Mario Solis-Marich

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