As with many organizations, pandemic shutdowns required SCEPA to pivot online to engage with our collaborators, the public, fellow academic scholars, policymakers and experts, nonprofit advocates, foundations, and fellow thought leaders. Through these convenings and conversations, we found that the economic consequences of the pandemic motivated both experts and impacted individuals to probe further into the connections between today’s economic challenges and the steps needed to pave a better path forward.
SCEPA hosts regular workshops dedicated to the “Political Economy of Aging.” These small convenings are organized by our academic fellows and focus on sharing new research from expert scholars. The events build leadership and community among The New School’s young scholars, academics, and policy experts working on the front lines of policy change. In 2021, SCEPA welcomed the following scholars:
- Dr. Courtney Coile, from Wellesley College, to present her work on the effects of COVID-19 on retirement behavior;
- Dr. Leora Friedberg, of the University of Virginia, to present her work on mandatory retirement savings
- Dr. Joelle Abramowitz, from the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research Survey Research Center to present her work on the effects of paid family leave on older adults;
- and Dr. Richard W. Johnson from the Urban Institute, who presented his research with Dr. Melissa Favreault on the impact of disability, health, and marital status shocks later in life.
At another convening aimed at building leadership and community, Research Associates Aida Farmand and Owen Davis organized a two-part series of sessions at the Labor and Employment Relations Association conference. The sessions focused on older workers' experiences in labor market, with research exploring job loss patterns amongst older workers, age discrimination, involuntary retirement, and the impacts of Covid-19. Participants included David Neumark (University of California, Irvine), Richard Johnson (Urban Institute), Joelle Abramovitz (University of Michigan), and Gal Wettstein (Boston College, Center for Retirement Research).
In November, SCEPA’s project on the Economics of Climate Change, led by New School economist Willi Semmler and supported by the Thyssen Foundation, organized the conference, Climate Change & Macroeconomics: New Perspectives on Climate Economics. The event presented new research from NSSR graduate students and alumni that laid out new ideas for climate policy, including green bonds, greener financial portfolios, comparative studies of climate justice across countries, the carbon wealth tax, and even cryptocurrency. It featured a presentation by Princeton Professor Markus Brunnermeieron on his new book, The Resilient Society, investigating how societies bounce back from shocks.
SCEPA’s 25th anniversary celebration also moved online. Since its inception, SCEPA has served as a leader in providing progressive economic research that challenges mainstream economic doctrines that have created economic inequities and insecurities. In honor of our 25 years, we shared the stories of our history, team, and supporters—past and present—and the impact of SCEPA's research in academia and public policy. The anniversary celebration culminated in an event featuring top heterodox economists discussing how to provide an alternative to neoclassical mainstream economics, both in the academy and in policy. The conversation focused on SCEPA’s research on the “Future of Heterodox Economics” with the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Speakers included Stephanie Kelton, Deirdre McCloskey, Mark Setterfield, and Anwar Shaikh.