Economic Policy Studies

AEI’s team is made up of leading economists and analysts from a variety of backgrounds. Collectively, our department studies all areas of economic policy. Leading the team are Director of Economic Policy Studies Kevin A. Hassett and Deputy Director Michael R. Strain.

Publication series

  • AEI Economic Policy Working Paper Series: The AEI Economic Policy Working Paper Series is intended to make developing academic works available in preliminary form for comments and suggestions.
  • AEI Economic Perspectives: This is a policy paper series published by the Economic Policy Studies department of the American Enterprise Institute. Papers in the series analyze public policy, examine current economic conditions, present insights within and across economics subject areas, and feature original research.

Centers and divisions

The Economic Policy Studies department is also divided into a number of subdepartments, centers, and programs, which are organized by issue area:

General economics

AEI’s general economics division studies all areas of economic policy, including:

  • Labor markets: AEI labor economists are researching ways to increase participation in the labor force and analyzing issues such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), minimum wages, and economic inequality.
  • Tax reform: This program places particular emphasis on income distribution, transition costs, marginal tax rates, and corporate taxation. Economists also study topics such as consumption taxes; dynamic scoring; and the effects of taxation on investment, savings, and entrepreneurial activity.
  • International trade and finance: Research is concerned with international trends and crises, the impact of globalization on developing countries, free trade agreements, and the reform of international financial institutions.
  • Energy and environment policy: AEI’s Energy and Environment Studies Program emphasizes the need to design environmental policies that protect not only nature but also democratic institutions and human liberty.

Financial services

  • General financial services: This division studies financial markets and policies. Scholars weigh in on banking, the Federal Reserve, insurance and securities regulation, the Dodd-Frank Act, accounting reform, corporate governance, the housing credit market, and consumer finance.
  • International Center on Housing Risk (ICHR): ICHR seeks to improve the operation of housing markets, mortgage lending practices, borrower decisions, and housing policy by providing an unprecedented set of tools for measuring housing and mortgage risk. These tools include the National Mortgage Risk Index (NMRI), which measures risk in the US housing market based on a nearly complete dataset of government-guaranteed home purchase loans, and the First-Time Buyer Mortgage Share Index (FBMSI).

Health and entitlement policy

  • Health policy: AEI’s Health Policy Studies is providing leading ideas on the financing and regulation of health care, coverage for the uninsured, the role of the FDA, Medicare reform, and the effects of price controls on pharmaceutical R&D. They are offering alternative, pro-market solutions to our nation’s health care crisis that will promote high quality, efficiency, and greater consumer involvement.
  • Entitlement policy: This program analyzes current entitlement policies and proposes reforms. Economists study the benefits of pension reforms and comment on the state of the “retirement crisis.” They are also researching possible reforms to Social Security and analyzing whether the program is at risk of eventual insolvency.

Poverty Studies

AEI’s Poverty Studies program is breaking new ground in researching free enterprise solutions for alleviating poverty. Economists research topics such as employment opportunities for low-income Americans, homelessness, and food stamps.

Center for Internet, Communications, and Technology Policy (CICT)

  • CICT: The center was created in 2013 to advance policies that encourage innovation, competition, liberty, and growth, creating a positive agenda centered on human freedom. The center focuses on five main policy areas: communications regulation and broadband, intellectual property, privacy, cybersecurity, and competition in high-tech industries.
  • Tech Policy Daily: CICT publishes a regular blog, aimed at informing the tech policy community about the issues of the day. Tech Policy Daily also sends out a daily email newsletter.

Open Source Policy Center (OSPC)

AEI’s Open Source Policy Center (OSPC) is making policy analysis more transparent, trustworthy, and collaborative by harnessing open-source methods to build cutting-edge economic models. The open-source models are completely transparent and freely available to researchers across the country, and an easy-to-use online interface will allow students, policymakers, journalists, and citizens to interact with the models and learn for themselves about the effects of policies.

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