The 15th annual Think Tank Awards were held at the Institute of Directors. It has been an exceptional 12 months for policy specialists everywhere and has been characterised by some of the most profound policy challenges of recent times, including the Greek debt crisis, the rise of Islamic State and the continued economic weakness that is the legacy of the financial crisis. These issues were among those confronted by think tanks over the last year, and the entries submitted to our judges showed an impressive range of innovative analysis and policy suggestions on these and many other issues.
US think tanks
US Economic and Financial Award Peterson Institute
Bipartisan Policy Center
WINNER: Bipartisan Policy Center
The Peterson Institute for International Economics is well known for its work on debt and fiscal management. More recently it has worked on trade, helping to shape the debate on Washington on this and other international issues, and one judge stressed the effectiveness of the Peterson in these areas. Another comment was that “its work on labour market slack has been influential inside the Fed and other economic bodies.” Its work over the last year was described as “fascinating”. The think tank Reason, which focuses on local, not federal government policy making, was complimented for its work on pensions which was dubbed “hard-headed,” by one judge. Another judge praised its work on infrastructure. Though its association with the left wing of US politics can restrict the breadth of its appeal, judges commented that its work deserved wider recognition.
But this year’s winner was the Bipartisan Policy Center, a smaller think tank whose sharp focus on the question of financial regulation stood out for judges. The organisation “deserves huge credit for the way that it has defined its mission,” commented one judge, adding that “untangling the process of regulatory reform is a very difficult task since these processes are fiendishly complex.” The “veritable army” of well-funded industry lobbyists in Washington makes the Center’s work all the more important, said another, and the importance of its work, combined with the precision of its focus, judges agreed, made them worthy…