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The Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR) is a research organization committed to scholarship that helps address the real-world challenges facing governments and businesses in the United States and around the world. SIEPR’s goal is to raise living standards and improve the quality of life by making economic policy more effective at all levels. We do this by building enduring relationships between Stanford scholars and decisionmakers in business, technology, and government. Through SIEPR, Stanford faculty members have become advisors in policy areas ranging from health care and education to trade and financial regulation. Our reach is global. For example, SIEPR scholars have helped shape Medicare and Social Security, made the banking system more accessible to the rural poor in India, and designed innovative electronic markets on the Internet.

SIEPR Mission

SIEPR carries out research on critical economic policy issues in the United States and around the world. Our goal is to provide private and public sector leaders high-quality economic analysis that can guide their decisions and make policy more effective. We also seek to attract new generations of scholars to economic policy analysis and give Stanford junior faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates the highest standards of education, training, and support. 

George Shultz and Michael Boskin, Stanford economists with broad policymaking experience, helped start SIEPR in 1982. Stanford economists could be found in the Economics Department, the Graduate School of Business, the Hoover Institution, and many other parts of the Stanford community. The institute was conceived as a center that would draw economic thinkers from throughout the University and build connections with policymakers. From the beginning, SIEPR has been strictly nonpartisan, welcoming good ideas from all quarters.

Over the years, SIEPR has evolved and its mission has grown. Today, we house four centers and five specialized programs that span a range of policy areas. From our inception, we have had a focus on the core areas of fiscal policy, monetary policy, and regulation. We’ve also long taken advantage of our location in the heart of Silicon Valley to develop expertise in the innovation process and the social and economic effects of emerging technologies. As the world grapples with the challenges of climate change, sustainable development, and energy for the 21st Century, environmental policy and energy research have become key parts of our portfolio. Our Stanford Center for International Development has become a home for scholars studying the issues facing the rising nations of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. We also operate programs that bring economic analysis to the fields of health care and law. We often carry out our work jointly with other Stanford research organizations, such as the Precourt Institute for Energy and the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies.

We reach leaders in the public and private sector, as well as the wider public, through our active communications and events programs. SIEPR publishes research at a variety of technical levels. Our Policy Briefs explain complex issues in terms nontechnical readers can understand. Our full schedule of seminars, meetings, conferences, and conversations with experts are opportunities for scholars, decisionmakers, and SIEPR supporters to exchange ideas on the critical issues of our time.

SIEPR has always attracted established scholars with impressive records of accomplishment. But we see recruiting and training new generations of economic policy analysts as an essential part of our mission if SIEPR is to continue to thrive and remain relevant. SIEPR is an exhilarating place for young economists to work. It gives them invaluable opportunities to participate in fundamental research that informs policy decisions that make real differences in people’s lives. As we look to the future, we plan to put more emphasis on cultivating young faculty, postdoctoral researchers, and graduate students. In addition, we are greatly expanding our work with undergraduates by giving them opportunities to play important roles in SIEPR research projects.

SIEPR is not simply a research organization. It is a community in which Stanford faculty and students, visiting scholars, businesspeople, innovators, government and NGO officials, and donors all play vital parts. It is a place where ideas become action and the lessons of the real world infuse ideas.