Founded in 1983, the Claremont Institute of Economic Policy Studies encourages research on domestic and international economic policy issues. It is directed by Thomas D. Willett, Horton Professor of Economics, and helps coordinate research by students and faculty from CGU and the other Claremont Colleges, as well as a group of research associates.

In addition to carrying out specific research projects, the institute frequently organizes seminars and workshops, as well as sessions at the meetings of professional associations on various aspects of political economy and economic policy. It runs the Claremont Workshop on International Money and Financial Economics.

The institute has developed an international reputation for producing high-quality, policy-oriented research and has been a leader in promoting cooperative work between economists and political scientists.

As part of the Division of Politics and Economics in the School of Social Science, Policy and Evaluation at CGU, the institute helps promote close cooperation between CGU students and faculty and facilitates student mentoring, especially by helping students develop their skills in undertaking research and presenting results effectively. The institute is particularly proud of the record of its students in publishing their research, often jointly with faculty.

While the focus of the institute is on the applied analysis of economic and financial issues, the institute strongly believes that such analysis must rest on firm theoretical foundations. It also believes that no one theory or methodological approach is best for all situations. The nature of the particular problem being investigated helps to dictate the best approach. As a consequence of this philosophy, its work draws both on conventional assumptions of rational agents and on more recent developments in behavioral economics and finance. This is afforded by the strength of CGU’s faculty in behavioral economics and neuroeconomics.

Our approach recognizes important aspects of political economy and institutional design in formulating policy. In addition to using econometric techniques to analyze large data sets that have frequently been assembled by the institute, the institute also values carefully crafted case studies that add depth, nuances and richness to large sample analyses. This also allows emphasis to be placed on the important roles that different mental models or views of the world have on policy formulation, and especially on contemporary debates about the design of economic policy. Through its research, the institute seeks to have an impact on economic policy at both the national and international levels.

Current and recent research projects include:

  • Currency areas and exchange rate regimes
  • Political and economic determinants of the global financial crisis and the euro crisis
  • International capital flow surges and reversals and currency crises
  • International financial markets, credit booms and banking crises
  • International financial markets, credit booms and banking crises
  • Financial markets and exchange rate regimes as sources of discipline on economic policies
  • Financing economic development
  • Macroeconomic policies and international interdependence
  • International financial contagion
  • Market efficiency vs. behavioral finance hypotheses as ways of explaining the behavior of financial markets
  • Political economy of economic growth
  • China in the global economy
  • Inflation, deflation, and economic growth