Economic Policy Studies

The U.S. and World Economies

Part of AEI’s core mission is the preservation and promotion of free market economies–in the United States and around the world. AEI’s top-notch economic policy team consists of leading thinkers from government, academia, and the private sector including Kevin HassettR. Glenn HubbardDesmond LachmanAdam Lerrick, and John Makin. These scholars study the national budget, monetary policy, and international markets and provide commentary on matters like the financial crisis, the national budget deficit, and economic stimulus plans. Mr. Makin writes the monthly Economic Outlook, which addresses topics such as market volatility, budget deficits, international monetary policy, and the role of the Federal Reserve. Mr. Lachman is studying the current unraveling of the euro and its implications for the global economy. Mr. Hassett is leading a project that examines the impact of various policies–tax, entitlement, and regulatory–on U.S. business decisions and how to optimize U.S. competitiveness.

Health Care

AEI’s Health Policy Studies Program has been a leader in the debates on health care policy, promoting free market alternatives to the federal government’s massive new role in the sector. Joseph Antos, Scott GottliebRobert Helms, and Thomas Miller are 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 explaining the significance and impact of the problems facing our system, and offering alternative, pro-market solutions to our nation’s health care crisis that will promote high quality, efficiency, and greater consumer involvement. Taking an international perspective, AEI’s program devotes attention to global health issues like counterfeit medicines and the role of international institutions such as the World Health Organization. Roger Bate recently completed a book on how to improve drug quality in developing countries, incorporating his empirical research on counterfeiting, drug testing, procurement and local production failure, and drug tariffs.

Tax and Entitlement Reform

AEI’s program on tax and entitlement reform includes the work of Andrew BiggsAlex BrillKevin HassettR. Glenn HubbardAparna MathurBill Thomas, and Alan Viard. This program places particular emphasis on research about income distribution, transition costs, marginal tax rates, and corporate taxation. Also studied are topics like dynamic scoring and the effects of taxation on investment, savings, and entrepreneurial activity. Mr. Biggs’s current work includes evaluating the benefits of Social Security reforms and assessing the shortfalls in state public pension funds, and he is leading a project that seeks to connect entitlements to imbalances in the broader financial system. He addresses a number of wide-ranging issues in AEI’s Retirement Policy Outlook series. Mr. Viard is engaged in several projects to promote fundamental tax reform, including a book project with well-known tax expert Robert Carroll to consider the merits and feasibility of a progressive consumption tax.

Financial Markets

Directed by Alex Pollock and Peter Wallison, and including the work of Paul AtkinsCharles Calomiris, and Ed Pinto, AEI’s Financial Markets Program covers banking, insurance and securities regulation, accounting reform, corporate governance, the housing credit market, and consumer finance. These scholars have a robust, expert body of work on the recent financial turmoil, including a history of its developments. Messrs. Pinto, Pollock, and Wallison (best known for his prescient warnings about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac), published a widely-acclaimed policy blueprint for housing finance market reform. Mr. Wallison and Bill Thomas served on the congressional Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission and published separate dissenting views to the commission’s report about the true causes of the financial crisis.

International Trade and Finance

AEI’s Program on International Economics includes the work of Claude Barfield and Desmond Lachman. Their research is concerned with international economic bodies, the impact of globalization on developing countries, free trade agreements, and the reform of international financial institutions. The program publishes AEI’sInternational Economic Outlook, which addresses timely issues in this area.

Energy and Environment Studies

AEI’s Energy and Environment Studies Program, led by Steven Hayward, with contributions from environmental scientist and resident scholar Kenneth Green, emphasizes the need to design environmental policies that protect not only nature but also democratic institutions and human liberty. The program covers a wide range of research areas with an eye toward promoting policies that minimize cost and maximize abundance of energy, while also addressing environmental degradation, health hazards, and national security concerns. Mr. Hayward’s annual report, The Index of Leading Environmental Indicators, was recently converted to the online interactive site, Almanac of Environmental TrendsChristopher DeMuth, Mr. Green, and Mr. Hayward are examining “geoengineering” options to address global climate change. Roger Scruton is researching environmental protection from a cultural and philosophical perspective for a forthcoming book.

Research Highlights


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