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Margaret Levenstein of the University of Michigan and Naomi Lamoreaux of Yale University to be Awarded a Grant from the Institute for New Economic Thinking

The Institute will fund Professor Levenstein and Professor Lamoreaux’s project to examine historically the long-term costs of macroeconomic instability in a major metropolitan area.

New York, NY, November 06, 2010 --( The Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET), launched with a $50 million pledge from George Soros to promote changes in economic theory and practice through research grants, Task Force groups, academic partnerships, and conferences, announced that it has selected Margaret Levenstein of the University of Michigan and Naomi Lamoreaux of Yale University to receive a project grant through the Institute’s Inaugural Grant Program. Levenstein and Lamoreaux will examine the long-term costs of macroeconomic instability in a major metropolitan area. The grant program, along with other INET initiatives, was created in direct response to arguably the worst economic crisis in world history, and has been designed to encourage and support new economic thinking. Starting in 2011, INET will conduct two grant cycles annually.

During the 1920s, Cleveland, Ohio, was the heart of a dynamic innovative economy—a center of cutting edge technological developments and a spawning ground for new high-tech enterprises. During the Great Depression, however, Cleveland’s position as an innovative center slipped both in absolute terms and relative to the Middle Atlantic region of the United States. Professors Levenstein and Lamoreaux plan to use INET’s funding to investigate the role played by this economic catastrophe, and the government policies that followed, in causing the region’s long-term economic decline.

“Levenstein and Lamoreaux’s view is that the products being built, underway and emerging in Cleveland depended not only on the ingenuity of people in that region and the manufacturing hubs in and around the Cleveland marketplace, but it also depended on federal policies and global policies,” commented Dr. Robert Johnson, executive director of INET. “In many respects, successful and outstanding firms as well as innovations were wiped out by the tide of economic slump. INET is looking forward to the product of this research to help us better understand the impacts of financial shocks to our nation’s current innovation centers such as Silicon Valley.”

Margaret Levenstein is Research Scientist and Adjunct Professor of Business Economics and Public Policy at the University of Michigan. She received her Ph.D. in economics from Yale University. Her current research falls in three areas: the role of local financial institutions in regional economic growth, international competition policy, and data confidentiality and privacy.

Naomi Lamoreaux is Professor of Economics and History at Yale. She received her Ph.D. in history from Johns Hopkins University. Her current research examines patenting and the market for technology, the public/private distinction in US history, and origins of the “rust belt.”

“Innovative regional economies, such as Cleveland’s in the early twentieth century or Silicon Valley’s today, have been lauded for a variety of attributes, most notably their tremendous technological dynamism. But because the networks on which they depend are likely to break apart under severe economic shocks, such economies may also be inherently less stable than those composed of large vertically integrated firms,” argue Margaret Levenstein, Research Scientist, University of Michigan, and Naomi Lamoreaux, Professor of Economics and History, Yale University. “The INET grant will allow us to analyze the effect of crisis of the 1930s on the Cleveland region and thus help us better understand what the current crisis might mean for Silicon Valley and other innovative regions today.”

INET’s Inaugural Grant Program has been designed to harness the new economic thinking we recognize as crucial to effecting change. The program was launched this summer and received more than 500 applications from around the world and has selected 31 initiatives to be awarded grants totaling $7 million. INET's Grant Program will continue with two similar grant cycles annually, the next one commencing in the spring of 2011.

For further details regarding INET’s Grant Program or additional projects and people to be awarded grants please visit the Institute’s website.

About the Institute for New Economic Thinking:
Launched in October 2009 with a $50 million commitment from George Soros and driven by the global financial crisis, the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET) is dedicated to empowering and supporting the next generation of economists and scholars in related fields through research grants, Task Force groups, academic partnerships, and conferences. INET embraces the professional responsibility to think beyond current paradigms. Ultimately, INET is committed to broadening and accelerating the development of innovative thinking that can lead to insights into and solutions for the great challenges of the 21st century and return economics to its core mission of guiding and protecting society. For more information please visit

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Institute for New Economic Thinking
Bill Fallon
212 925 6900

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