The Lowe Institute of Political Economy has three main goals. Our first goal is to provide students with opportunities to apply, in a supervised environment, their textbook knowledge of economics to complex problems in fields ranging from academic research to policy consulting to corporate development. Our second goal is to promote continuing education of faculty to renew their expertise and heighten their scholarly impact. Our third goal is to raise the profile of Claremont McKenna College.
The Institute has sponsored research on a variety of public policy issues including health care and tax reform to the regulation of trade, international finance, monetary policy, commerce and public utilities. In recent years, the Lowe Institute has broadened its coverage of economic topics to include economic history, financial economics, labor economics, industrial organization, environmental economics and the economics of conflict so that we can better match the research interests of students with faculty. Research methodologies typically combine conceptual approaches learned in the classroom with data analysis and econometric testing. Students working at the Institute learn STATA, a leading econometric software package used in the private and public sectors to analyze economic data. Research results are presented at conferences and workshops and published in professional journals, monographs and conference volumes. Research sponsored by the Institute has recently appeared in top economics journals including the Quarterly Journal of Economics, Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking, Journal of Economic History, and the Journal of International Money and Finance. Leading newspapers and public policy outlets including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and VOXEU, have discussed research sponsored by the Lowe Institute.
The Institute co-sponsors a public lecture series with the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum to bring distinguished scholars to CMC to discuss important public policy issues. Recent presentations include stock markets in developing countries, the US trade deficit, and the economics of immigration. The Lowe Institute also co-sponsors workshops and conferences covering a range of economic topics. The annual Southern California Conference in Applied Microeconomics, or SoCCAM, invites scholars in the region to present their latest academic research. The Institute also sponsors a Senior Thesis Writer’s Conference in the spring. Selected graduating seniors present their work to faculty and fellow undergraduates.
The Institute employs many students as research assistants each year who work under the supervision of faculty. This model allows researchers to solidify their understanding of economics and to apply economic theory to a variety of real-world problems. For example, students who participate in our Summer Research Program learn to forecast economic and financial variables. They apply basic forecasting models to predict future economic activity in the U.S. and Southern California. Each year, the Institute awards a small number of Baker-Lowe Scholarships. Scholars conduct independent research on a political economy topic of their choice and make presentations of their research findings at the spring meeting of the Institute’s Board of Governors. The Institute sponsors merit-based summer internships with awards up to $10,000 for individual students.