- Acknowledging Bard's Origins
- History of Bard
- Learning at Bard
- Academic Calendar
- Division of the Arts
- Division of Languages and Literature
- Division of Science, Mathematics, and Computing
- Division of Social Studies
- Interdivisional Programs and Concentrations
- The Bard Conservatory of Music
- Bard Abroad
- Additional Study Opportunities and Affiliated Institutes
- Civic Engagement
- Open Society University Network
- Campus Life and Facilities
- Graduate Programs
- Educational Outreach
- Levy Economics Institute of Bard College
- Levy Economics Institute of Bard College
- The Bard Center
- Scholarships, Awards, and Prizes
- Honorary Degrees and Bard College Awards
- Boards and Administration of Bard College
- Bard College Contact Information
- Bard Campus Map and Travel Directions
Bard College Catalogue 2023-24
Levy Economics Institute of Bard College
In 1986, the Board of Trustees of Bard College established the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College as an autonomously governed part of the College. Housed at Blithewood, a historic mansion on the Bard campus, the Institute is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy research organization that encourages a diversity of opinion in the examination of economic issues. It was founded by financier and Bard life trustee Leon Levy (1925–2003) as a tribute to his father, the economist and business executive Jerome Levy (1882–1967). Leon Levy was a leading donor to the College whose philanthropy provided the means to promote programs associated with the study of economics and the humanities.
The Levy Institute disseminates information; facilitates interactions among academics, business leaders, and policy makers; and does public outreach. Its scholars have provided expert testimony to congressional committees and foreign governments on banking, finance, and employment structure, as well as media commentary based on policy options developed from Institute research. The Institute generates viable, effective public policy responses to economic issues that are central to achieving the fundamental societal goals of equity, full employment, a high living standard, and low inflation. Research is organized into the following program areas: the state of the US, European, and other economies; monetary policy and financial structure; the distribution of income and wealth; gender equality and the economy; employment policy and labor markets; and economic policy for the 21st century. A recently added area of research focuses on Modern Money Theory (MMT) and Policy. An international group of resident scholars and outside research associates pursues these areas of study.
The Institute’s various programs give undergraduates and graduate students the opportunity to meet the prominent figures who serve on its research staff and attend its conferences. Integrated activities of the Institute and Bard College include the Levy Economics Institute Prize, awarded annually to a graduating senior concentrating in economics; annual scholarships for students majoring in economics; and an endowed professorship, the Jerome Levy Professor of Economics, currently held by Dimitri B. Papadimitriou, president of the Levy Institute.
The Levy Economics Institute Graduate Programs in Economic Theory and Policy offer innovative one- and two-year degree programs that draw on the extensive research and policy expertise of Institute scholars and select Bard College faculty. The MA and MS programs emphasize empirical and theoretical aspects of policy analysis through specialization in one of the Institute’s research areas. The close ties between the curriculum and the Institute’s research agenda allow students to experience graduate education as an application of economic theory to policy formulation. A 3+2 dual-degree option allows undergraduates to earn both their BA and MS degrees in five years. A 4+1 option leads to BA and MA degrees.
The Institute also sponsors conferences and other events that bring leading policy makers, economists, and analysts to Bard. In May 2023, the 30th Annual Levy Economics Institute Conference was organized around the topics of climate change and fiscal/monetary policy, inflation, unemployment and job creation, and the US macroeconomic outlook. The virtual event featured speakers from academia, financial institutions, international organizations, think tanks, and the media, as well as Levy Institute scholars. Presenters included Daniel Alpert, Westwood Capital and Cornell Law School; Skanda Amarnath, Employ America; Yannis Dafermos, SOAS University of London; James K. Galbraith, Levy Institute and LBJ School of Public Affairs; Bruce Kasman, JPMorgan Chase; Michalis Nikiforos, Levy Institute and University of Geneva; Maria Nikolaidi, University of Greenwich; William Oman, International Monetary Fund, Monetary and Capital Markets; Dimitri B. Papadimitriou, Levy Institute; Torsten Slok, Apollo Global Management, Inc.; Pavlina Tcherneva, Levy Institute and Bard College/Open Society University Network (OSUN) Economic Democracy Initiative; Isabella M. Weber, University of Massachusetts Amherst; and L. Randall Wray, Levy Institute.
Other events include the Summer Seminar and the Economics Seminar Series, a series of workshops and lectures on topics such as gender-sensitive macroeconomic modeling, time use, and economic well-being. In 2022, the Summer Seminar, held in June on the Bard College campus, focused on the theory and policy of Modern Money Theory (MMT) and the work of Institute Distinguished Scholars Hyman Minsky and Wynne Godley. The weeklong seminar, geared toward graduate students, recent graduates, and those at the beginning of their professional or academic careers, addressed topics related to the history and theory of money, central bank and treasury operations, inequality and austerity, the job guarantee, MMT and developing economies, current debates over inflation, the Green New Deal, the stock-flow consistent approach to macroeconomic analysis and modeling, financial innovation and the financialization of the economy, cryptocurrency, and central bank digital currencies.
To facilitate students’ and researchers’ access to Hyman Minsky’s work, selected papers in the Minsky Archive, housed at Blithewood, are made available through the Bard Digital Commons (digitalcommons.bard.edu). The archive includes more than 500 digitized articles, speeches, class lectures, and notes by Minsky, along with a comprehensive guide to help researchers locate the material they would like to examine. As of April 2023, there have been more than 230,000 total downloads from the archive. Also housed at Blithewood, as of 2020, is the John Kenneth and Catherine Atwater Galbraith Library Collection. The Institute has converted an existing space into the Galbraith Reading Room and made the collection available to students and scholars.
The Institute is a cosponsor, with the Bard Economics Program and Economics Club, of the Economics Seminar Series, which is dedicated to furthering the exchange of economic ideas in the greater Bard community. The series is broad in focus, with guest lectures on topics including “The Many Faces of Poverty in the United States,” “What Economists Can Learn from Human Rights Law,” and “The Financial Regulation Conundrum: Why We Should Discriminate in Favor of Long-Term Finance.”
The Levy Institute’s outreach activities include its publications program, with more than 2,500 publications issued to date. In an effort to raise the level of public debate on a broad spectrum of economic issues, the Institute publishes research findings, conference proceedings, policy analyses, and other materials, all of which are available on at levyinstitute.org. In addition to a digital library, the website features information on the Institute’s research initiatives, scholars, and events, and averages 1.8 million hits and 1.5 million page views per month.
The Institute responded quickly to the COVID-19 crisis, issuing policy briefs and papers that addressed such concerns as widening economic inequality as a result of the pandemic, the impact on state and local budgets of the federal government’s failure to coordinate a national public health response, the vulnerability of US corporations in the face of a global slowdown, and ongoing job losses and mass unemployment. All Levy reporting on the pandemic can be found at levyinstitute.org/pubs/LevyNews/2020/covid-19.
Policy coordination and information exchange are critical to resolving the ongoing sovereign debt crisis in the eurozone. As part of this effort, the Levy Institute has posted Greek translations of selected publications addressing aspects of the crisis. The Institute has also designed an emergency employment program for Greece’s social economy sector and developed a stock-flow consistent model for simulating the Greek economy. The Levy Institute Model for Greece (LIMG) builds on Distinguished Scholar Wynne Godley’s work and is a flexible tool for the analysis of economic policy alternatives for the medium term. The LIMG is part of a broader effort to develop models for other eurozone countries that will reveal the effects of intracountry trade and financial flows. In addition to the US and Greek stock-flow models, a new model was recently constructed for Italy that follows and projects economic growth and employment outcomes of government policies.
As part of its work investigating public employment guarantees as a path toward inclusive development and pro-poor growth, the Levy Institute has developed estimates of time-adjusted income poverty for Argentina, Chile, Ghana, Mexico, South Korea, Tanzania, and Turkey to more accurately measure poverty in these countries and to formulate more effective policies for reducing poverty while promoting gender equity. The alternative Levy Institute Measure of Time and Income Poverty (LIMTIP) provides a true profile of poverty—its incidence, depth, and demographic characteristics—and highlights the connection between time constraints and poverty status.