SMU and the George W. Bush Presidential Center launched the Bush Institute-SMU Economic Growth Initiative in June 2018. The new Initiative represents an exciting new partnership between SMU’s Department of Economics and the Bush Institute, the public policy arm of the Bush Center. The mission of the Initiative is to advance policy ideas to promote economic growth and opportunity in this country and around the world. The Initiative combines the Bush Institute’s pre-existing Economic Growth Initiative with the economic policy work of scholars in SMU’s Department of Economics and other parts of the University.

From the point of view of SMU, the new partnership will advance the University’s strategic goal of building a stronger policy voice on pressing issues of our time at the local, national, and global levels, as well as the effort by the Department of Economics to showcase the work of SMU economists and further the research mission of what is already one of the most productive economics research programs in the country.

The partnership will also advance the Bush Institute’s goal of broadening and deepening its policy work, widening the range of issues the Bush institute addresses and bringing additional intellectual depth to its work through close collaboration with a leading research university. The Bush Institute’s economic policy team is already a recognized national voice on international trade and immigration policy. The new partnership strengthens these programs and advances the Bush Institute’s plans to address a number of domestic economic policy issues as well.

The Initiative is already off to a very productive start. Visiting Fellows have included Professors Mary Lovely, David Weil and Kyle Bagwell whose expertise spans U.S.-China economic relations, the sweeping impacts of technological change on the U.S. economy and the role that multilateral trade institutions play in mediating international trade conflicts. And, non-academic guests have included Robert Zoellick, former Deputy Secretary of State and World Bank President, and Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former head of the Congressional Budget Office and chief economic advisor to John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign.

The Initiative has featured the work of SMU economists Klaus Desmet and James Lake in Bush Center publications and looks forward to a long tradition of collaboration that combines policy and academic expertise of the Bush Institute and the SMU Department of Economics while advancing policies that promote economic growth and opportunity both in the US and around the world.