Levy Economics Institute of Bard College

Levy Economics Institute of Bard College Founded in 1986, the Levy Economics Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, public policy research organization. The Institute also offers a MS degree with Bard College.

Founded in 1986 through the generous support of Bard College trustee Leon Levy, The Levy Institute is independent of any political or other affiliation, and encourages diversity of opinion in the examination of economic policy issues while striving to transform ideological arguments into informed debate. The Levy Institute, together with Bard College also started an innovative two year MS program in Economic Theory and Policy which draws on the expertise of an extensive network of scholars at the Levy Institute. During the two-year M.S. program, students are required to participate in a graduate research practicum carried out by Levy Institute scholars and faculty. To stimulate discussion of economic issues, the Levy Institute disseminates its findings through publications, conferences, workshops, seminars, congressional testimony, and other activities to an international audience of public officials, private sector executives, academics, and the general public. The ultimate purpose of all of the Levy Institute's research and activities is to serve the wider policymaking community in the United States and the rest of the world by enabling scholars and leaders in business, labor, and government to work together on problems of common interest.

Congratulations to the Class of 2020!
05/01/2020

Congratulations to the Class of 2020!

The final M.S. thesis presentations just wrapped up. An amazing group of brilliant economist analyzing relevant topics attuned to the real world. Congratulations class of 2020! #classof2020 #bardianandproud #levygraduateprograms #levyeconomicsinstitute

Announcing "The Legacy of Wynne Godley," a virtual conference of the Levy Institute and Universita' degli Studi di Cassi...
04/28/2020

Announcing "The Legacy of Wynne Godley," a virtual conference of the Levy Institute and Universita' degli Studi di Cassino e del Lazio Meridionale, to be held on Wednesday, May 13.

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For more information, please visit the event page at: http://www.levyinstitute.org/news/godley-conference-2020

With pundits and policymakers giving new attention to Modern Money Theory (MMT) in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic,...
04/24/2020
The Myth of “Helicopter Money” | by Yeva Nersisyan & L. Randall Wray - Project Syndicate

With pundits and policymakers giving new attention to Modern Money Theory (MMT) in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, Yeva Nersisyan and Senior Scholar L. Randall Wray attempt to clarify some common misconceptions in an April 20th op-ed for Project Syndicate, noting that “what MMT actually prescribes has nothing to do with sending ‘cash’ to people or banks […] jobs, not cash, is MMT’s answer to economic downturns.”

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Read their full opinion here: https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/modern-monetary-theory-is-not-helicopter-money-by-yeva-nersisyan-and-l-randall-wray-2020-04

Since the United States adopted a $2.1 trillion rescue package to complement unprecedented action by the US Federal Reserve in response to the COVID-19 crisis, the media have been amplifying popular misconceptions about Modern Monetary Theory. So, what does MMT actually say about financing governmen...

Stressing that Modern Money Theory “is not a prescription, but merely a description of what actually happens,” and the c...
04/17/2020
Coronavirus has destroyed the myth of the deficit | Yeva Nersisyan and L Randall Wray

Stressing that Modern Money Theory “is not a prescription, but merely a description of what actually happens,” and the current crisis “has clearly demonstrated what should have been obvious already: provisioning society … is not a financial issue,” Yeva Nersisyan and L. Randall Wray’s April 17th Guardian op-ed suggests we can mobilize our resources in a manner similar to our response to World War II with the hope that “the coronavirus crisis will not be as destructive as the Great Depression, but if there is one thing it should destroy, it’s the myth of the deficit.”

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Read their full opinion at: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/apr/17/coronavirus-deficit-american-economy

No, federal government spending doesn’t have to be ‘paid for’. The crisis shows providing for our society is not a financial issue

04/16/2020

Quoting Senior Scholar L. Randall Wray, Research Associate Stephanie Kelton, and frequent Minsky Conference speaker, former PIMCO Chief Economist Paul McCulley, who asserts that "it's an epic moment in terms of breaking down the orthodoxy of church-and-state separation of the fiscal and monetary authority," The New York Times' Matt Phillips says MMT illustrates how we can replace "a few months of American economic activity with a flood of government money."

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Read more at: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/15/business/coronavirus-stimulus-money.html

In Public Policy Brief No. 149, "Pandemic of Inequality," Luiza Nassif-Pires, Laura de Lima Xavier, Thomas Masterson, Mi...
04/15/2020

In Public Policy Brief No. 149, "Pandemic of Inequality," Luiza Nassif-Pires, Laura de Lima Xavier, Thomas Masterson, Michalis Nikiforos, and Fernando Rios-Avila demonstrate that the COVID-19 crisis is likely to widen the US’s already-worrisome levels of inequality, arguing that our policy response must be responsive to these unequally shared burdens—and that a failure to mitigate the regressive impact of the crisis will not only be unjust, it will prolong the pandemic and undermine ensuing economic recovery efforts.

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Read the full text on our website at: http://www.levyinstitute.org/publications/pandemic-of-inequality

Levy Institute Graduate Programs in Economic Theory and Policy
04/14/2020
Levy Institute Graduate Programs in Economic Theory and Policy

Levy Institute Graduate Programs in Economic Theory and Policy

Alex Williams, M.S. candidate was featured in Bloomebrg's How to Stop the Fiscal Emergency Facing the U.S. Podcast.

"With the U.S. economy going into a deep slump, the Federal government has attempted to counteract the pain by increasing spending. But for cities and states, it’s virtually impossible for them to run counter-cyclical fiscal policy. Furthermore, the crisis is draining local coffers due to public health expenditure and the collapse of tax revenue. This has already led to the start of a state and local austerity wave (spending cuts, layoffs, etc.) that could take years to reverse".

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/audio/2020-04-12/how-to-stop-the-fiscal-emergency-facing-the-u-s-podcast

04/13/2020
Economist: Why we need a federal jobs guarantee NOW

With unemployment predicted to reach unprecedented levels in the coming months, Research Scholar Pavlina Tcherneva tells the hosts of Hill TV’s “Rising” that since we all bear the social costs of unemployment, we must spare no effort to save jobs.

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Listen to her full interview with Krystal Ball and Saagar Enjeti here.

Pavlina Tcherneva, Associate Professor of Economics at Bard College, and upcoming author, gives insight on policies Denmark and the U.K. have mobilized to pr...

As the pandemic continues to spread around the globe, Research Scholar Pavlina R. Tcherneva joins Elmira Bayrasli on Pro...
04/07/2020
Will COVID-19 Make Modern Monetary Theory Mainstream? | by Pavlina R. Tcherneva & Elmira Bayrasli

As the pandemic continues to spread around the globe, Research Scholar Pavlina R. Tcherneva joins Elmira Bayrasli on Project Syndicate’s “Opinion Has It” to answer the question: Will COVID-19 Make Modern Monetary Theory Mainstream?

Listen to the entire podcast on their website: https://www.project-syndicate.org/podcasts/will-covid-19-make-modern-monetary-theory-mainstream

From the ashes of the Great Depression, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt pushed through a raft of labor and social reforms that remade the American state and economy. We need FDR’s brand of “bold experimentation” to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

In an April 4th post for The Multiplier Effect, Yeva Nersisyan and Senior Scholar L. Randall Wray outline Modern Monetar...
04/06/2020
What MMT Is, and Why We Should Not Wait for the Next Crisis to Live Up to Our Means

In an April 4th post for The Multiplier Effect, Yeva Nersisyan and Senior Scholar L. Randall Wray outline Modern Monetary Theory’s (MMT) main principles, emphasizing that because “sovereign governments face resource constraints, not financial constraints […] the most important lesson we must learn from this crisis is that the ability of the government to run deficits is not limited to times of crisis.”

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http://multiplier-effect.org/what-mmt-is-and-why-we-should-not-wait-for-the-next-crisis-to-live-up-to-our-means/#more-14574

by Yeva Nersisyan and L. Randall Wray As MMT has been thrust into the spotlight, misrepresentations and misunderstanding have followed. MMT supposedly calls for cranking up the printing press, enga…

Policy Note 2020/2 by Alexander Williams, an MS candidate in the Levy Graduate Programs in Economic Theory and Policy, o...
04/03/2020
Stabilizing State and Local Budgets through the Pandemic and Beyond | Levy Economics Institute

Policy Note 2020/2 by Alexander Williams, an MS candidate in the Levy Graduate Programs in Economic Theory and Policy, outlines a proposal for an intragovernmental automatic stabilizer program that would provide a backstop for state and local finances—both during the pandemic and beyond.

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Read the full note on our website at: http://www.levyinstitute.org/publications/stabilizing-state-and-local-budgets-through-the-pandemic-and-beyond

This Levy Institute Policy Note by Graduate Candidate Alexander Williams outlines a proposal for an intragovernmental automatic stabilizer program that would provide a backstop for state and local finances—both during the pandemic and beyond. Without this program, states will be severely constrain...

A new blog post by Research Fellow Luiza Nassif Pires discusses her forthcoming Public Policy Brief, coauthored with Lau...
04/02/2020
Multiplier Effect

A new blog post by Research Fellow Luiza Nassif Pires discusses her forthcoming Public Policy Brief, coauthored with Laura de Lima Xavier and Institute Scholars Thomas Masterson, Michalis Nikiforos, and Fernando Rios-Avila, addressing evidence that COVID-19’s impacts in terms of inequality in healthcare costs, as well as total economic costs, are likely to be greater among poor neighborhoods and majority-minority communities.

Read the full post on our website at: http://multiplier-effect.org/

As the coronavirus pandemic rages on, the US Congress appropriated a whopping $2 trillion budget to tackle it (about 10% of GDP). The focus was on expanded unemployment benefits and cash assistance to families, as well as grants and loans to small firms and large corporations in hopes that they will...

Follow the Institute’s “Multiplier Effect” blog for our scholars’ latest takes on COVID-19’s economic and social consequ...
03/30/2020

Follow the Institute’s “Multiplier Effect” blog for our scholars’ latest takes on COVID-19’s economic and social consequences. Recent posts discuss unemployment and inequality, the increase in domestic violence in households under quarantine, and the economic impacts of nationalizing payrolls.

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http://multiplier-effect.org/

A new Policy Note by Research Scholar Michalis Nikiforos explains that we cannot fully understand the economic implicati...
03/24/2020

A new Policy Note by Research Scholar Michalis Nikiforos explains that we cannot fully understand the economic implications of the novel coronavirus without reference to two Minskyan processes at play in the US economy—the growing divergence of stock market prices from output prices, and the increasing fragility in corporate balance sheets—asserting that Minsky’s emphasis on the potentially cumulative and circular causation between current flows and outstanding stocks is crucial to fully appreciating the pandemic’s economic consequences.

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Read the full note on the Institute’s website: http://www.levyinstitute.org/publications/when-two-minskyan-processes-meet-a-large-shock-the-economic-implications-of-the-pandemic

Institute scholars are working hard to bring you the latest on COVID-19's economic ramifications. A recent One-Pager by ...
03/23/2020
The Economic Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic | Levy Economics Institute

Institute scholars are working hard to bring you the latest on COVID-19's economic ramifications. A recent One-Pager by Yeva Nersisyan and L. Randall Wray identifies ways to tackle the crisis head-on while also mitigating the economic uncertainties facing households and their communities.

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http://www.levyinstitute.org/publications/the-economic-response-to-the-coronavirus-pandemic

The Levy Economics Institute of Bard College is a non-profit, nonpartisan, public policy think tank

Because “a viral epidemic, unfortunately, does not just sicken families; it also sickens the economy, and ours is quite ...
03/05/2020
Don’t look to the Fed for help on the coronavirus — Congress has the money and power

Because “a viral epidemic, unfortunately, does not just sicken families; it also sickens the economy, and ours is quite vulnerable already,” an interest rate cut may not be enough to spur investment and growth as the US formulates its coronavirus response. In an op-ed for MarketWatch, Research Scholar Pavlina R. Tcherneva calls instead for an “aggressive public-health-services mobilization and an economic stabilization package. And that’s the job of Congress, not the Fed.”

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Read more at: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/dont-look-to-the-fed-for-help-on-the-coronavirus-congress-has-the-money-and-power-2020-03-05

As the coronavirus barrels toward the U.S., all eyes are on the Federal Reserve. On Tuesday it delivered a 50 basis point rate cut, as other central banks...

Exciting news from our Graduate Programs in Economic Theory and Policy!
02/17/2020

Exciting news from our Graduate Programs in Economic Theory and Policy!

The Levy Graduate Programs are pleased to announce the new Minsky Scholarship, named for distinguished scholar Hyman P. Minsky. Every applicant to the M.S. or the M.A. program is eligible! Learn more here: https://www.bard.edu/levygrad/admission/financialaid/

A new Public Policy Brief by Yeva Nersisyan and Senior Scholar L. Randall Wray asks: Can We Afford the Green New Deal? A...
01/31/2020

A new Public Policy Brief by Yeva Nersisyan and Senior Scholar L. Randall Wray asks: Can We Afford the Green New Deal? Arguing there are no meaningful financial barriers to taking action, they focus on the question of whether sufficient real resources—workers, plant and equipment, raw materials—can be marshalled for its implementation. Modeling their approach to the one taken by John Maynard Keynes in his book “How to Pay for the War” (1940), they suggest that if the Green New Deal’s real resource needs can be met, the program can be enacted without raising inflation or taxes.

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Read the full report on the Institute's website at: http://www.levyinstitute.org/publications/can-we-afford-the-green-new-deal

Levy Institute Graduate Programs in Economic Theory and Policy
01/29/2020

Levy Institute Graduate Programs in Economic Theory and Policy

International students and scholars are an important part of the Levy Graduate Programs community. We are proud to announce that the M.A. is now accepting applications from international students! #youarewelcomehere #levyinstitute #levyeconomicsinstitute #levyeconomics #bardcollege #bardgraduateprograms #bardianandproud @ Levy Economics Institute of Bard College

This issue of the Summary features L. Randall Wray’s written testimony submitted for a November 20, 2019 hearing before ...
01/29/2020

This issue of the Summary features L. Randall Wray’s written testimony submitted for a November 20, 2019 hearing before the US House of Representatives’ Budget Committee, explaining why federal deficits have (and should) become the norm in the context of the US economy, while advocating for stronger automatic fiscal stabilizers.

Other papers examine state and local government debt through the lens of Modern Money Theory; investigate the Keynesian view that the chief determinants of government bond yields are the decisions of monetary policymakers; look at consumption and time poverty in Ghana and Tanzania; analyze the macroeconomic impacts of violence against women and girls in Ghana; review the evolution of the international monetary and financial architecture against the background Keynes’s original Bretton Woods plan; argue that the faulty assumptions of a particular strand of mainstream theory played a key role in rendering economic systems more fragile; reflect on the future of fiscal federalism in India; and examine local government debt growth in China—tying it to increased concerns of a Chinese Minsky moment.

Read the full issue on our website at: http://www.levyinstitute.org/publications/summary-winter-2020

In their newest Strategic Analysis, Institute President Dimitri B. Papadimitriou and Research Scholars Michalis Nikiforo...
01/24/2020

In their newest Strategic Analysis, Institute President Dimitri B. Papadimitriou and Research Scholars Michalis Nikiforos and Gennaro Zezza examine the US economy’s prospects for 2020–23 and the risks that lie ahead. Using baseline projections generated by the Institute’s stock-flow consistent model, they estimate that the pace of the US recovery will slacken somewhat, with a growth rate averaging 1.5 percent over the next several years.

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Read the full report on the Institute’s website: http://www.levyinstitute.org/publications/prospects-and-challenges-for-the-us-economy-2020-and-beyond

This month, the Bloomberg book club is focusing on two books, Distinguished Scholar Hyman Minsky’s “John Maynard Keynes”...
01/17/2020

This month, the Bloomberg book club is focusing on two books, Distinguished Scholar Hyman Minsky’s “John Maynard Keynes” and “The Cost of Capitalism" by friend of Minsky and the Institute, Robert Barbera.

Barbera will be featured a podcast at 11am on Thursday, January 23 (accessible on Bloomberg terminals) to offer his thoughts on the two works.

Learn more about Minsky and his work at the Institute’s website http://www.levyinstitute.org/scholars/hyman-minsky

Institute Research Scholar Thomas Masterson is the winner of The Journal of Economic Issues’ 2019 Editor’s Prize for his...
01/02/2020

Institute Research Scholar Thomas Masterson is the winner of The Journal of Economic Issues’ 2019 Editor’s Prize for his article, “The Great Recession and Racial Inequality: Evidence from Measures of Economic Wellbeing,” coauthored with Senior Scholar Ajit Zacharias, Research Scholar Fernando Rios-Avila, and Research Associate Edward N. Wolff. Find the full article in JEI Volume LIII, Number 4 (December 2019) and find more work from Dr. Masterson on the Institute's website.

http://www.levyinstitute.org/scholars/thomas-masterson

Suggesting that “the drastic change in economic thought over the past decade” was captured in Institute Senior Scholar L...
12/24/2019
America Turns From Tea Party to MMT in a Decade

Suggesting that “the drastic change in economic thought over the past decade” was captured in Institute Senior Scholar L. Randall Wray’s contention before the House Budget Committee that “we do not have to repay the debt—what we have to do is make the interest payments,” Bloomberg’s Brian Chappatta discusses the recent shift in thinking toward MMT.

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/america-turns-tea-party-mmt-110051366.html

(Bloomberg Opinion) -- The date: Aug. 5, 2011. This columnist had just celebrated his 22nd birthday. Those in the Obama administration were far less cheerful: S&P Global Ratings announced it would downgrade America’s credit rating for the first time ever, even though lawmakers had finally agreed t...

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