The Center for Economic and Policy Research: Fighting for a Just Economy

The Center for Economic and Policy Research fights for economic justice in the US and abroad, offering progressive policy solutions that protect the most vulnerable and upend inequality. CEPR’s original research centers social and racial equity to create economic power for the people.

We are grateful to all CREDO members for your support in December 2020! CREDO funding enabled us to focus our efforts on fighting for a just recovery from the Covid 19 pandemic, both here and abroad. Here’s a sample of the work CREDO members helped us achieve in the last few months because of their support:

CEPR has taken a lead in promoting the lifting of patents and copyrights to allow mass production of effective vaccines around the globe. Co-founder and senior economist Dean Baker coauthored a New York Times op-ed making the case for supporting a waiver to the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement at the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Since then, Dean has written many more op-eds and blog posts pushing for a TRIPS waiver and for the sharing of propriety information on vaccine development so that countries around the world are able to manufacture their own vaccines. His post proposing an international vaccine summit stimulated a lot of discussion. CEPR Senior Research Fellow Jayati Ghosh has also been a leading international voice on this topic. A member of the World Health Organization’s Council on the Economics of Health for All, she has co-written a report and numerous op-eds with Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz and others, in addition to other writings, presentations, and events. Dean, Jayati, and other CEPR experts have done numerous interviews on Intellectual Property and vaccines since the start of the year.

CEPR has also continued to lead an international effort for a major allocation of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) from the International Monetary Fund. SDRs are an internal currency of the IMF, but can be exchanged for hard currency by countries in need. SDRs provide one of the most efficient and quickest ways to get much-needed funds to countries facing economic hardship. In January, CEPR helped to organize a letter signed by dozens of groups representing tens of millions of people urging President Biden to support issuing two trillion in SDRs.

 In February, CEPR was at the center of successful efforts to have new legislation introduced in both houses of Congress backing an issuance of trillions in SDRs. In June, CEPR released a fact-check analysis responding to some Republican lawmakers’ misleading and erroneous claims about SDRs.

 Following news of international consensus around an issuance this summer of $650 billion worth of SDRs, CEPR issued multiple press releases pushing for a greater disbursement. Since the pandemic began, CEPR has engaged with journalists to encourage more coverage of this important global topic, and this has led to feature articles in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other outlets.

Moreover, CEPR has written extensively on the economic impact of the pandemic here in the U.S. We released an issue brief looking at food and housing insecurity as a result of the pandemic, finding that thirty-five percent of Black and Hispanic households reported housing insecurity compared to 14 percent of white households. We also looked at the impact on working-class mothers. Since the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States, women have disproportionately borne the brunt of the pandemic’s economic devastation. We documented the hard time that young people are having finding a job.  And we found that pandemic relief checks did in fact help stimulate the economy.

CEPR relies on donations from individuals and foundations to support our work – we take no corporate or government funding. The grant from CREDO was instrumental in allowing us to address the economic fallout from the pandemic in addition to all of our other research, analysis and publications. As the world struggles to recover from the devastation caused by the pandemic CEPR will continue to fight for an economy that works for everyone, not just the rich and powerful.