David Leonhardt: Podesta Starting a Think Tank on Inequality <– Our First Piece of Press for WCEG
And here is our first piece of press for WCEG:
David Leonhardt: Podesta Starting a Think Tank on Inequality:
John Podesta, a longtime adviser to Bill and Hillary Clinton and President Obama, is starting a research center in Washington to investigate the causes and effects of growing economic inequality…. The center will be called the Washington Center for Equitable Growth and be housed at the Center for American Progress, a left-leaning advocacy and research group that Mr. Podesta founded 10 years ago. Heather Boushey, an economist at the Center for American Progress, will become executive director…. The center will write grants to support academic research focusing on three broad questions: What is causing the rise in inequality over the last few decades in the United States and in other rich countries? What are the societal effects of higher inequality? And what policies might reduce inequality? Inequality has soared over the last three decades, with the share of annual income flowing to the top 1 percent of earners having risen to 22.5 percent, from 9.2 percent in 1973….
Mr. Podesta, who will be the center’s chairman, said he wanted to set it up as a separate group so that its findings could remain separate from the policies advocated by the Center for American Progress. To have credibility, the new group will need to follow the data wherever it leads…. Ms. Boushey noted that some of the apparent causes of rising inequality, such as the decline in marriage rates, were more frequent subjects of discussion on the political right than left…. By funding research on inequality, as well as social mobility, Ms. Boushey said she hoped that the center would encourage more of the country’s top young economists to make the subject a focus of their research….
The center ultimately plans to award a few million dollars in research grants a year, Mr. Podesta said. Initial funding will come from the Sandler Foundation. The center will also seek to become a clearinghouse that connects policy makers with the most rigorous research on inequality and economic growth. “There’s very little communication between the academic world and the policy-making world,” added Mr. Podesta….
Mr. DeLong[‘s]… blog for the new group will be called Equitablog: The Conversation About Economic Growth With Equity That Washington Should Be Having.