The Peterson Institute for International Economics is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan research institution devoted to the study of international economic policy. Since 1981 the Institute has provided timely and objective analysis of, and concrete solutions to, a wide range of international economic problems. It is one of the very few think tanks that are widely regarded as "nonpartisan" by the press and "neutral" by the US Congress. Its research staff has been cited by the quality media more than that of any other such institution. It was voted "best think tank in the world" in 2008 by the first global survey of over 5,000 such institutions and again in 2011 by the British magazine Prospect, whose selections are called "the Oscars of the think tank world" by the BBC.
The Institute, attempts to anticipate emerging issues and to be ready with practical ideas, presented in user-friendly formats, to inform and shape public debate. Its audience includes government officials and legislators, business and labor leaders, management and staff at international organizations, university-based scholars and their students, other research institutions and nongovernmental organizations, the media, and the public at large. It addresses these groups globally from its base in Washington, DC.
The Institute’s staff of about 50 includes 20 senior researchers, all distinguished for their combination of research productivity and policy experience. The Institute’s agenda emphasizes global macroeconomic policy, international finance and exchange rates, trade and investment, energy and the environment, and area studies of key economic regions. Institute staff and research cover all key regions—especially Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East, as well as the United States itself and with special reference to China, India, Korea, and Russia.
Current priority is attached to the global financial and economic crisis and especially its European component; debt and recovery; the growing role of China in the world economy; the economic dimensions of the Arab Spring; globalization and its political controversies; global imbalances and exchange rates; national and international financial regulations; export competitiveness; reform of the international economic and financial architecture; sovereign wealth funds; and trade negotiations at the multilateral, regional, and bilateral levels.
Institute studies have helped provide the intellectual foundation for many of the major international policy initiatives of the past three decades: reforms of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), including those initiated by the G-20 in 2009–10; adoption of international banking standards and broader financial regulatory reforms; the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum and Trans-Pacific Partnership; the restoration and then extension of trade promotion authority in the United States; the development of the World Trade Organization; the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and other US free trade agreements (including with Korea notably); initiation and implementation of the Strategic and Economic Dialogue between the United States and China; a series of United States–Japan negotiations; reform of sanctions policy; liberalization of US export controls and export credits, and specific trade issues such as permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) for China in 2000 and Russia in 2012, import protection for steel, and Buy American legislation in 2009.
Other influential analyses have addressed economic reform in Europe, Japan, the former communist countries, and Latin America (including what became known as the Washington Consensus), the social impact of globalization and policy responses to it, outsourcing, corruption, foreign direct investment both into and out of the United States, global warming and international environmental policy, measures of currency manipulation and of equilibrium exchange rates, and the sources and growth of services trade.
The Institute celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2006 and adopted its new name at that time, having previously been the Institute for International Economics. In 2001 it moved into its new building, which received an Award of Excellence for Extraordinary Achievement in Architecture by the American Institute of Architects and a Best Architecture in Washington Award by the Washington Business Journal. It celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2006 and adopted its new name at that time, having previously been the Institute for International Economics. A more extensive description of the Institute can be found in The Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics at Twenty-Five [pdf].