Announcement: Research Grants up to $250,000 in Economics and Related Fields

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This post sponsored by INET

Research Grants up to $250,000 in Economics and Related Fields
Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET)
In Association with the Center for International Governance Innovation (CIGI)

INET and CIGI hope to accelerate and advance new and important thinking on economic issues. We are actively soliciting proposals ranging in value from $25,000 – $250,000 for our 2013 grant round. Grants will be awarded primarily to individuals or teams affiliated with academic institutions, think tanks, and other centers of vital research worldwide, but independent scholars are also welcome to apply. We support interdisciplinary work, and historians and researchers in other fields of social science are welcome to apply, though their proposals must have a strong economic component.

We welcome submissions on any topic researchers believe is important but would particularly like to encourage explorations on the range of topics outlined here:

The process of applying is simple.

Grant proposals are due by June 13th, 2013, and should be no longer than four pages in length, plus a one-page summary. A research jury will review first-stage applications, and invitations will be issued to those applicants with the most promising proposals to submit more detailed applications for the second stage by early August 2013. Grants will be awarded by early November 2013.

For More Information
Click Here

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  1. Susan the other

    I’d like to submit a proposal to study the feasibility of citizen bankers. Since it would necessarily be a very broad topic and difficult to narrow down, every citizen being somewhat unique, the research would have to be open ended and so the funding would also have to be ongoing.

    1. Susan the other

      But wait! I just read about Yasunizing the world. So I’d like to amend my previous idea thusly: I want to write a proposal to establish the value of the entire planet and all the creatures on it – in terms of dollars will be OK – and then study the feasibility of alloting to each and every one of us a share of this “capital” which automatically enfranchises the entire biome of planet Earth without any banksters being involved. From there I’d like to study the feasibility of citizen bankers as guardians of the planet who find clean and resourceful ways to live when money is no object. I would like to term this concept “pure economics.”

    2. JGordon

      That is a wonderful idea. Since bankers are allowed to create money by extending credit (which is always and universally good for the economy), if private citizens are allowed to create money via the same process a million times better for the economy. No project would ever remain sadly undone due to lack of funding again and everyone would be fully employed in meaningful pursuits such as.

      And with each private citizen her own currency issuer, I’m sure that MMT’s magnificence will be patently obvious to everyone, and all the other, bogus, economic theories can finally be laid to rest. Money for nothing and chicks for free; that’s the foundation of MMT.

      Oh by the way, the primary function of economics is already that of converting the natural mineral and ecological wealth of the planet into fiat currency units, so I think that second idea you had is already in practice. Unfortunately though in practice its implementation seems much better at raping and pillaging the environment than in protecting it.

      1. Susan the other

        But I’m actually serious JGordon. Far more serious than Alan Greenspan ever was.

  2. craazyman

    You can’t even rent and office and hire a hot secretary for $250,000. What about catering the board meetings? And the T&E account for travel and conferences?

    C’mon guys. Loosen it up a bit and make it $750,000 and we can do some business.

    If you hire academics and nuggin-heads All yuz is gonna do is throw the same old clothes in the washing machine and clean ’em up a bit with a few new equations. bwaaaak. round and round and round.

    OK, I’ll deal for $250,000 if you’re a hard negotiator. But no less than $200,00 and certainly no less than $150,000. Everybody has a walking-away number and that’s mine.

    Do you wanna know what money is and why it is and what that means? Let’s talk.

    Yours truly,
    Profeser Delerious T. Tremens, NFL, GED
    University of Magonia
    director, institute for contemporary analysis

    1. H. Alexander Ivey


      Loved your proposal but isn’t your title: director of comtemptuous analysis?

      just askin’….

  3. William Neil

    Well, my proposal would be for a multi-year contract for a multi-volume work elaborating in greater detail (three volumes at least) of my already long essay “The Costs of Creative Destruction: Wendell Berry vs. Gene Sperling.”

    I maintain the costs have been very high, and very extensive to many portions of past and present society. A narrow summary of my thesis can be found in my review of Charles Murray’s “Coming Apart.” Mr. Murray maintains that the working class’s troubles today stem from a lack of good character, the type of good character that our nation’s founders had – and that members of the meritocracy upper-middle class currently display. To do this Mr. Murray must ignore or re-write huge portions of psychological, sociological and historical knowledge, indeed, deny their relevance, for example, to the suffering blue collar (formerly blue collar) residents of “Fishtown” in Philadelphia. I argue, among many other things, that the very nature of change, especially technological change under modern capitalism undermined many institutions – such as the Catholic Church in the 1970’s – the very institution given such emphasis in Murray’s own account of working class troubles in Fishtown. If a big and powerful institution like the Catholic Church couldn’t cope with capitalisms pace of change, why would he expect de-industrialized workers to?

    Because the “costs of creative destruction” extend across so many boundaries and have never been systematically documented (for example, driving southern tenant farmers to northern and Midwestern urban areas after cotton harvesting was mechanized) or hidden under other categories, one can appreciate the scope – and size of funding necessary for me to complete this task. Let’s get started right away; send those checks, and thank you very much.

    1. William Neil

      Funders and readers:

      I did not intend to be coy here, a sample of my proposal can already be found under the title “Who ‘Done’It? Who Did in the White Working Class?’ They Did it to themselves, According to Charles Murray.”

      Ordinarily, I am a shy and reclusive writer, but the tooth and claw nature of contemporary capitalism has forced me to become a shameless self-promoter – refutation in itself of Murray’s claim of the endurance and immutability of “good character” under life’s vagaries. So let me tell you that I gave Murray’s book just “one star” under a well known online book review system, which I will not name or link to for fear of running afoul of Yves list of banned online practices. This, was unfortunately before I saw a portion of Mr. Murray’s alleged full biography – which actually, I believe was carried on this very site here – concerning the nature – alleged of course – of his employment in Vietnam. Oh well, things like that should not influence a reviewer of decent and immutable character, should it?

      So funders and NC readers, here’s just a brief sample of my current and future work, from the opening paragraph of my review of “Coming Apart”:

      “This readers, is one gigantic fairy tale, and if the book does not sell well, I’ll personally recommend Murray as an advisor to Colonial Williamsburg or Disneyland – and Mr. Murray – you of course will be ‘free to choose’ which one fits you the best.”

      I hope that clears up any doubts as the rigor of my research methods and diplomatic statements as to “finding.”

      Look forward to those checks.

      1. Klassy!

        Did you write something about this in an Amazon review? It was interesting. I know all about Gene Sperling now and know that I must inwardly blanch when I read his name.

          1. Klassy!

            Oh duh. It was the review of Coming Apart. As you stated in your comment. Would it please you if a not so bright person said “great review!”?

          2. William Neil


            My apologies for not responding last night, thank you very much, glad you enjoyed the review. I got a kick out of the comments and feedback I got – this was the first time I reviewed and attacked two conservative books (the other being Amity Shlaes “The Forgotten Man”) , a process which really seems to get the Right worked up. I especially loved the comments that I seemed “full of myself” and even “a bit angry.” From the Right – tweaking someone over a bit of anger? !! Love it.

  4. Jack Parsons

    I wish to propose a study of the assertion that, if half of the population is below average, and while a consumer economy depends in large part on the lower half buying shit, and if they have no money the economy goes south, it is nonetheless wise to have the income pyramid become narrower and narrower, funnelling money to those who simply don’t spend that much of their incomes.

    Small unmarked bills, please. And well-washed if you know what I mean.

    1. William Neil


      Apparently, if you are a good enough electronic coder and de-coder, they’re available at ATMs throughout the land. Better than Free Silver.

  5. impermanence

    It has been known for thousands of years that there is no free lunch, so let’s save the research money and the trouble and all agree that we must get rid of the virulent ‘something for nothing’ culture that has infected the enitre globe, from the wealthiest parasites in trans-national corporations, to those who believe they can go without working for a living.

    The Truth is ALWAYS simple. The more complex anything gets, the more bullshit it contains.

    1. William Neil

      Right. So that would be, in American historical terms, back to the Age of Jackson, 1820’s -1840’s. There’s a new fine book out about that age, with several major historical revisions – and a suitably ironic, double intended title: “What Hath God Wrought.”

    1. William Neil


      Don’t let us distract you; keep your eyes on the prize, the one grand new econometric equation that will please the economics profession, all shades of the policy spectrum in Washington by including all variables and pointing towards infinite leverage on a vanishing base of collateral. It will have to win Krugman’s approval first, of course, so get to it.

      1. Walter Map

        It’s not about some equation – it’s about the assumptions, interpretations, and usages, things that can be skewed.

        Too long economics has been whore to dishonest financial interests. Articles here on NC have said it; Nobel ‘economists’ have almost openly admitted it, and publicly. To economists it’s just a fact of life that financiers have quite deliberately manipulated and coerced the science and profession of economics, just as they have politics. Fiance guys are control freaks. It’s what they do.

        And they forced economics forced into prostitution. Time to see what can be done about adopting an honest line, one that may not so conveniently serve the greed of the rapacious.

        This attitude might dismay my benefactors, so needless to say I won’t be mentioning any of this in my grant proposal.

  6. allcoppedout

    I do research bidding as part of my living. Anyone above mind if I cut and paste? I’ll remove any wit in case I have to match with EU funds. With the Germans running the show they ain’t strong on humour.

    1. William Neil

      I suppose if you wanted to win higher German approval for a research proposal, you could elaborate on the “Effects of Global Warming on future Work Habits,” you know, following the popular train of thought in Deutschland about economic habits in warmer climates. Or something along those lines.

  7. cwaltz

    What? They aren’t going to tell us what conclusion they want us to reach……now where’s the fun in that? Although since they’re offering a quarter of a million I’m gonna guess that the crew they’re looking to recruit is similar to Jackoff and Can’t figure out Excel.

  8. Hugh

    Economics is a sham discipline filled with charlatans. Its sole and only purpose is to give intellectual cover to and to propagandize for looting by the rich and the elites. So I have to think that this call for “new and important thinking on economic issues” is also a sham. I mean if I were serious about actual new thinking on economic issues, the last place I would go would be the citadels of that charlatanism, universities and think tanks. Yet this is precisely what this announcement proposes:

    “Grants will be awarded primarily to individuals or teams affiliated with academic institutions, think tanks, and other centers of vital research worldwide, but independent scholars are also welcome to apply.”

    Independent researchers (and I would like to think of Yves, myself, and others here in that category), the only group that actually produces new thinking on economic issues, is relegated to an afterthought. But of course, I do not think what I mean by independent researcher and what they mean by it are the same. I think they mean academics who aren’t currently employed by a university or think tank but are otherwise in that mold. I say this because grant writing is such a peculiarly academic selection mechanism.

    So we have this closed mindset using an academic approach to recruit essentially academics for “new thinking”, the very thing that they have conclusively shown themselves to be incapable of.

    It’s a sham. If they had been serious, the people at INET and CIGI could have taken a look at what new and independent thinking is already occurring, at sites like this one, for example. They could have said we like what you are doing and would like to support it. They could actually have talked to people, explored ideas, but to do that, they would have to think differently than they do, and that is, of course, the whole problem. They are pursuing old ways and expecting new results, from people who are much like them, and as along as those results aren’t much different from what has gone on before. It’s the perfect self-licking ice cream cone, or, if you are less charitable like me, a sham

    1. skippy

      Reminds me of the one or two Mfg facility’s (for all manner of things) and they spit out a catalog every year, to branded names (marketing – advertising LLC mobs). The branded names select which items they want to stick a logo on, price determines who gets what – gets to claim they Mfg’ed it (clever Monkeys).

      Yet at the end of the day its just a couple of base Mfg’ers that adjust color or add – subtract features with little relevance to base cost.

      Economics is just a – logo – comp for predatory financial mobs~

      skippy… the best part is… at the end of the day… many of the so called – competitors – are actually… just different hives of the same Global Financial Umbrella Group[s… one ring to rule them all thingy…

      1. William Neil

        Skippy and all:

        I hate to see so many fine efforts go to waste here, this day and evening. So I thought I would make a final stab at what we are all trying to say and following the flow of economics over the past fifty years or so. So hear it goes:

        Aren’t we all after that grand, comprehensive econometric equation (with due respect to Lord Skidelsky) , where mathematics and its military like discipline harness our too long suppressed animal spirits, hedge funds pawing the ground like so many restrained chariots; that’s what we’re after in these grants, the golden fleece dangling before our eyes, where when we get the constants and variables correct, we’ll recognize what we’ve got, something to put old Merriweather and LTCM to shame…it will send the GDP soaring on a great arc into the formerly starry filled nighttime sky, where it will finally meet the equally proud curve of the tracks of Hawthorne’s Celestial Railroad, and we can all disembark at that profound but gloomy author’s intended final destination for we mortals here on earth. And to all a good night.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      Actually, I was at a very small NYC book party hosted by a friend a couple of years ago. He is sufficiently well connected that Paul Volcker dropped by for a drink and Ned Phelps (Nobel Prize winner) was there too. I knew another Columbia economist there, she of a decidedly neoliberal bent, and they were both really upset about the grants that INET was giving, it was apparently enticing at least some promising young economists away from their fold.

      Look, the reform may not be as radical as you’d like, but anything that rattles neoliberal cages is a good starting point.

    3. Nathan Tankus

      many people Involved in this site have a connection to INET. Tom Ferguson for example works there and so does Marshall Auerback. Many heterodox economists get grants from them to do good research (full disclosure: my research assistantship pay comes out of an INET grant as does my visiting researcher position at the fields institute). INET is by no means perfect and has made mistakes. It will also continue making mistakes. However, it’s having an actual positive impact on the field which can’t be said about much in economcics right now.

    4. ChrisPacific

      Economics is a sham discipline filled with charlatans. Its sole and only purpose is to give intellectual cover to and to propagandize for looting by the rich and the elites.

      Careful. Writing off the entire science of economics like this is tantamount to claiming that the financial workings of society are unknowable and impossible to model. The fact that the economics establishment we currently have is doing such a poor job is not an indication that the task is hopeless. On the contrary, it’s hugely important for society as a whole, and the fact that we’re failing so badly at it is one of the great shames of the modern era.

      I also don’t believe that writing off academia is the answer. If it was we would see the same issues across all other disciplines, not just economics. We don’t. In fact a large part of the problem is that economists have been allowed to operate without the level of rigor that the other economic disciplines are subject to. If economists were required to validate their theories against reality and throw out or modify any that didn’t measure up, like physicists do, the discipline would be much more resistant to corruption from outside influences.

  9. Skeptic

    My proposal would be for Criminologists to determine how many serious Business Criminals are now operating in the United States. Then also to calculate how many criminal underlings they have.

    A related item would be whether US Business now uses software and other automated tools to determine which are the best crimes to commit that are not likely to be prosecuted. Legal Risk Analysis, if you will. Another item would be: how do they communicate quickly and efficiently if all communications are tapped and recorded?

    Another calculation would be how many regulators/Prosecutors/Cops would be needed to go after these privileged perps.

    I think such a study would show how daunting a task honest, ethical people face in ridding themselves of what is now a dominant Corporate Criminal Culture. If you do not know the extent of a problem, you will be hard pressed to deal with it properly.

    (I remember reading about UBS activities in the US wherein their employees had false credit cards, identities, used different hotels in order to be more clandestine, etc. Classic techniques, by the way, of a terrorist organization! That case alone cries out for investigation as to the level of criminality embedded in UBS alone.)

  10. Ms G

    Part I of my economic proposal has 4 points:

    (1) job with living wage guarantee
    (2) Signle Payer health care
    (3) US Post Office bank accounts for people who earn the kind of money that gets taxed for FICA and income tax: no fees and savings account with guaranteed 4.5% interest (quarterly).
    (4) Prohibition of financial speculation of any type on penalty of life in prison making things that are useful for working households to be sold at cost ($0.00). Imprisoned speculators have all assets seized and placed in the US Post Office Bank to be distributed as dividends to all accounts held at the US Post Office Bank.

    Part II of my economic proposal is forthcoming.

    I don’t even want the $250K. I simply request that the granting foundation publish my proposal and buy prime-time slots on all mainstream media (print, web and television) for 12 months to present this plan.

    Thank you for your kind consideration.

    Ms. G

    1. Ms G

      Actually, Part I has 7 points. The other 3 are:

      (5) Guarantee affordable housing — decent, nice, not run or financed by investors or slumlords

      (6) Abolition of existing consumer debt and a prohibition on any business that requires incurring debt as a condition of participation/purchase — that includes education.

      (Part II will address economic proposals regarding US foreign policy.)

      1. Ms G


        (7) Free, quality education at all levels and in all areas, including crafts and trades, for anyone who wants it.

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