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Steven Fazzari of Washington University Receives Grant from the Institute for New Economic Thinking


The Institute will fund Professor Fazzariís project to develop an original model of Keynesian demand-led growth in developed economies and activities to communicate basic principles of Keynesian macroeconomics to a wide audience

New York, NY, November 05, 2010 --(PR.com)-- 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 Steven Fazzari to receive a project grant through the Institute’s Inaugural Grant Program. Fazzari is professor of Economics and Associate Director of the Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government, and Public Policy at Washington University in St. Louis.

The grant will support Fazzari’s research on how spending decisions by households, firms and governments can affect growth in developed economies. Fazzari will also use support from INET to better communicate Keynesian macroeconomic insights to a broad and diverse audience. 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.

Current discourse about macroeconomics in the press and among policymakers suffers from a poor understanding of Keynesian theory and the evidence that supports it. To address this gap, the project will include the development of a new, internet-based resource designed as a reference for non-specialists who want to improve their understanding of Keynesian principles. In addition, Professor Fazzari plans to use INET’s funding to develop new insights about the sources of economic growth. His initial work shows how short-run demand instability creates economic booms and busts. But the model also explains how institutional features of the modern economics, including financial markets and the structure of government tax and spending programs, can contain short-run instability and turn economic cycles.

“We have lots of people now who are advocating budget austerity in the aftermath of the crisis, and somewhat disappointingly many of them come from the financial sector that is responsible for the crisis and the budget deficits that ensued. Those budget hawks are not looking at the way out of sovereign debt crisis that must emerge from growth, dynamism, and retooling of our society’s productive apparatus,” commented Dr. Robert Johnson, executive director of INET. “Fazzari’s grant at Washington University in St. Louis, looks to be very promising in that regard.”

Professor Fazzari’s research explores two main areas: the financial determinants of firm behavior and the foundations of Keynesian macroeconomics. Fazzari’s published work has received thousands of citations. His research and commentary on public policy has been highlighted in many media outlets. Fazzari’s teaching awards include the Missouri Governor’s award for university teaching, the Emerson Award for teaching excellence, and Washington University's distinguished faculty award. Fazzari served in many senior university leadership roles, including six years as chair of Economics. In 2008, Fazzari became Associate Director the Weidenbaum Center, an independent unit that supports social science research and public outreach programs.

“We live in difficult times, and the conditions needed for a robust economic recovery are far from clear,” Fazzari said. “The research I am pursuing has the chance to give us a new understanding of where economic growth comes from and how policy can be most effective in turning things around at times like these. I deeply appreciate INET’s support for this work which will allow this work to proceed much more quickly and help me disseminate insights to a broad audience beyond the ivory towers of academics.”

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 http://www.ineteconomics.org/

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