Research Programs

The independent and nonpartisan research conducted at the Levy Institute maintains a focus on issues central to achieving society's goals in an environment of changing domestic and global challenges. Research projects combine critical policy questions with the specific interests of our research staff.
The work of the Levy Institute is organized into seven primary research programs. Within each program, a variety of study areas are explored:

The State of the US and World Economies

This program's central focus is the use of Levy Institute macroeconomic models in generating strategic analyses of the US and world economies. The outcomes of alternative scenarios are projected and analyzed, with the results—published as Strategic Analysis reports—serving to help policymakers understand the implications of various policy options.

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Monetary Policy and Financial Structure

This program explores the structure of markets and institutions operating in the financial sector. Research builds on the work of the late Distinguished Scholar Hyman P. Minsky—notably, his financial instability hypothesis—and explores the institutional, regulatory, and market arrangements that contribute to financial instability. Research also examines policies—such as changes to the regulatory structure and the development of new types of institutions—necessary to contain instability.

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The Distribution of Income and Wealth

The persistent inequalities within nations and across nations raise several key issues that demand scholarship and innovative policies to aid in their resolution. Recognizing this, the Levy Institute has maintained, since its inception, an active research program on the distribution of earnings, income, and wealth. Research in this area includes studies on the economic well-being of the elderly, public and private pensions, well-being over the life course, the role of assets in economic well-being, and the determinants of the accumulation of wealth.

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Gender Equality and the Economy

The Levy Institute's Gender Equality and the Economy (GEE) program focuses on the ways in which economic processes and policies affect gender equality, and examines the influence of gender inequalities on economic outcomes. GEE’s goal is to stimulate reexamination of key economic concepts, models, and indicators—with a particular view to reformulating policy.

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Employment Policy and Labor Markets

This research area encompasses the Institute’s proposed full-employment, or job opportunity, program, as well as research into the effects of technology on earnings and trends in productivity; policies to promote full employment; and the effects of an increase in the minimum wage on hiring practices and earnings.

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Immigration, Ethnicity, and Social Structure

This program is led by Senior Scholar Joel Perlmann, who guides a research initiative, “Ethnicity and Economy in America—Past and Present,” that focuses on the processes by which immigrants and their descendants are assimilated into US economic life. The Levy Institute believes that this work will shed light on current policy issues related to immigration, such as international competitiveness, the labor market, income distribution, and poverty.

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