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The political economy of development
This academic site promotes excellence in teaching and researching economics and development, and the advancing of describing, understanding, explaining and theorizing.
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On planning for development:  economic inequality
"Wherever there is great property, there is great inequality. For one very rich man there must be at least five hundred poor, and the affluence of the few supposes the indigence of the many". (Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and  Causes of the Wealth of Nations, (Book 5, Ch. 1, Part II p.580)
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The Economic Policy Institute, a nonprofit Washington D.C. think tank, was created in 1986 to broaden the discussion about economic policy to include the interests of low- and middle-income workers. Today, with global competition expanding, wage inequality rising, and the methods and nature of work changing in fundamental ways, it is as crucial as ever that people who work for a living have a voice in the economic discourse. 

EPI was the first — and remains the premier — organization to focus on the economic condition of low- and middle-income Americans and their families. Its careful research on the status of American workers has become the gold standard in that field. Its encyclopedic State of Working America, issued every two years since 1988, is stocked in university libraries around the world. EPI researchers, who often testify to Congress and are widely cited in the media, first brought to light the disconnect between pay and productivity that marked the U.S. economy in the 1990s and is now widely recognized as a cause of growing inequality.

EPI's staff includes eight Ph.D.-level researchers, a half dozen policy analysts and research assistants, and a full communications and outreach staff. EPI also works closely with a national network of prominent scholars. The institute conducts original research according to strict standards of objectivity, and couples its findings with outreach and popular education. Its work spans a wide range of economic issues, such as trends in wages, incomes, and prices; health care; education; retirement security; state-level economic development strategies; trade and global finance; comparative international economic performance; the health of manufacturing and other key sectors; global competitiveness and energy development. Its research is varied, but a common thread runs through it: EPI examines issues through a "living standards" lens by analyzing the impact of policies and initiatives on the American public.

From its findings, EPI publishes books, studies, issue briefs, popular education materials, and other publications; sponsors conferences and seminars; briefs policy makers at all levels of government; provides technical support to national, state, and local activists and community organizations; testifies before national, state, and local legislatures; and provides information and background to the print and electronic media. Over the course of a year, EPI is called upon hundreds of times to inform policy debates, citizens' group meetings, and educational forums. Moreover, EPI is typically cited more than 3,000 times a year in the print media alone, and its staff is seen or heard by approximately 85 million television and radio viewers and listeners.

EPI has always demanded a high standard of quality in its research because of its desire to be a credible participant in public debates and a reliable source of information and analysis for policy makers, the press, community activists, academics, corporate leaders, labor union officials, and the general public. Its methods for ensuring that its research methodologies and outcomes are exemplary include the use of highly qualified researchers and multiple reviews by outside experts, including those who are known for disagreeing with EPI's values. In-house researchers maintain their standing in the academic community by publishing findings in prestigious peer-reviewed academic journals, like the American Economic Review and the New England Journal of Medicine.

Its founders include Jeff Faux, EPI's first president; economist Barry Bluestone of Northeastern University; Robert Kuttner, columnist for Business Week and Newsweek and editor of The American Prospect; Ray Marshall, former U.S. secretary of labor and professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas-Austin; Robert Reich, former U.S. secretary of labor and professor at UC Berkeley; and economist Lester Thurow of the MIT Sloan School of Management.

EPI is a 501(c)(3) corporation. In 2005 through 2007, a majority of its funding (about 53%) was in the form of foundation grants, while another 29% came from labor unions. EPI also receives support from individuals, corporations, and other organizations

Related themes:
- Inequality/social exclusion
- Poverty - Informal sector
- Microfinance - Aid - PRSP
- U.S. economic inequality,  poverty, social exclusion and corruption
- Economic inequality, poverty, and social exclusion in Latin America
- Economic Inequality, Poverty, Social Exclusion and Corruption in China

On Development
Human Development
Sustainable Development
Education for Sustainable Development
Climate Change

On Development Economics
The Future of Development Economics
The New Economy in Development
The Need to Rethink Development Economics
Development Economics
Economic Literacy
Basic knowledge on economics

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- The Neo-liberal State
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- The future of development

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Back to Global Economic Prospects for Develeping Countries

--World Investment Reports
---(the complete series)

--World Investment Reports
---(selected statistics)

-- Planning for Development
UNCTAD areas of work:
Globalization and Development
Development of Africa
Least Developed Countries
Landlocked Developing Countries
Small Island Developing States
International Trade and

Services Infrastructure
Investment, Technology and
Enterprise Development

The following databases on-line are available:
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ICT Statistics
Millennium Indicators

Digital Library:
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World Energy Statistics - Time Series

Economic inequality

Other related themes:
- Aid
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- Dependency theory
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- Urbanization

- Complete list of development themes