Timely research on big issues

In a nutshell: The Laura and John Arnold Foundation’s core objective is to address our nation’s most pressing and persistent challenges using evidence-based, multidisciplinary approaches. This goal was a perfect match for the work of the University of Minnesota’s Heller-Hurwicz Economic Institute, an interdisciplinary center that researches new tools of economic theory and translates them into policies that address global challenges.

Investment: The Arnold Foundation awarded the Heller-Hurwicz Economic Institute a $473,500 grant over two years to study pension design and translate the findings into relevant policy implications.

What the partnership will accomplish: Heller-Hurwicz faculty will conduct academic research on how to structure a saving-for-retirement system that increases the welfare of current and future generations. Next, the institute will convene academic conferences of leading economists to advance the economic underpinnings of pension policy design. A senior fellow, housed at the U’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs, will serve as an important link between economists and policymakers, translating academic findings into policy implications.

Why it matters: A potential global pension crisis is on the horizon, making this a crucial time to build a new foundation for pension system design using the tools of quantitative economic analysis. “In many places, it’s not too late to make changes to fix the problems,” says Josh McGee, executive vice president of results-driven government at the Arnold Foundation. “However, if governments continue to kick the can down the road, the situation could escalate to a full-scale crisis.”

Learn more about the Heller-Hurwicz Economic Institute’s pension initiative.

For more information on how to partner with the University of Minnesota, contact Adam Fischer at afischer@umn.edu or 612-624-8374.


Photo: Kurt Winkelmann, senior fellow, Heller-Hurwicz Economic Institute

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