Mainstream economics has demonstrated blind spots that have impaired its effectiveness and credibility—and failed society at large
Founded in the wake of the financial crisis in 2009, the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization devoted to developing and sharing the ideas that can repair our broken economy and create a more equal, prosperous, and just society.
To meet current and future challenges, we conduct and commission research, convene forums for exchanging ideas, develop curricula, and nurture a global community of young scholars.
What Is New Economic Thinking?
We have seen all too clearly how free market fundamentalism, fiscal austerity, financialization and corporate influence in politics have endangered economies, communities, and the planet as a whole.
What is the alternative?
We need a new vision of the economy that aims to serve society. Our approach is guided by a set of key principles:
- Economists and their ideas must be independent from powerful interests. Otherwise, economics is beholden to those at the very top and fails to serve all of society.
- Complexity and uncertainty are inherent in economic and financial systems. We must question theories based upon the flawed assumption that humans always behave rationally and predictably, and that markets always trend towards equilibrium.
- Inequality and distribution matter as much to the economy as growth and productivity.
- Heterodox models that pose alternatives to the neoclassical orthodoxy are essential to understanding the economy and promoting a vibrant intellectual pluralism.
- History matters. We must learn the lessons of past mistakes, and also draw on roads not taken historically to map a more equal and prosperous future.
- Diversity of race, gender, class, and other forms of identity enrich economic thought.
- An outdated economic structure is endangering our planet—but new approaches could save it. To uncover solutions, economists must first incorporate analyses of climate change, population growth, and stressed resources into their research.
- Multidisciplinary learning. A discipline in isolation develops harmful blind spots. We collaborate with scholars in other social sciences, the humanities, and the natural sciences to better understand our world.
Left to their own devices, academic, governmental, and corporate institutions will continue to cling to outmoded economic models, out of fear that new ideas would undermine their own financial advantage.
That’s why INET carefully incubates new economic thinking within the academy and beyond. We work to guide the field away from economic orthodoxy so that it can free itself of inertia and past failures. We then promote the new economic thinking we develop and support among influencers, policymakers, and the engaged public so that it can have real-world impact.
We work with the economics community to:
- Produce and fund innovative research.
- Develop curricula and educational resources for students.
- Support INET’s Young Scholars Initiative, a global network that is nurturing the next generation of new economic thinkers.
- Host conferences where leading and emerging economists, students, and other scholars exchange and develop new research and ideas.
We work with influencers and policymakers to:
- Amplify the work of our staff economists and grantees, ensuring that their findings and ideas can have real-world impact.
- Apply new economic thinking to policy questions, as with our Commission on Global Economic Transformation.
- Demystify economics for the engaged public through our blog and video content, social media channels, and events.