Title: The American Institute for Economic Research, 1954-2000
Prominent Dates: 1959-1968
Arrangement: I. Economic Educational Bulletin, and; II. Research Reports and Other Publications
Colonel Edward C. Harwood (1900-1980) established the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) in the winter of 1933-1934 to “further scientific advance in the general field of economics by application of the scientific to specific economic problems.” Harwood designed the AIER to function as an independent educational organization wherein AIER faculty, rather than a Board of Trustees, exercised full control over the institute. Additionally, the AIER charter prohibits the organization or its staff from earning any profits from the work of the institute or its members. Profits from the sale publications and membership fees provide the financial base of the AIER.
The work of the AIER progressed slowly at first due to the financial challenges posed by the Great Depression and the obligations of World War Two. Activity picked up in the post-war years. In 1955, the AIER began a program to recruit young people to pursue careers in the social sciences and provide them with financial aid and “educational guidance” throughout college and graduate school. In 1962, the AIER opened a 10,000 square foot research library. By 1968, the AIER was able to provide hosing to its staff members, graduate students, and Fellows.
Beginning in the 1960s, the AIER established and formed partnerships with related organizations. These included the Progress Foundation based in Switzerland, the Behavioral Research Council for Scientific Inquiry into the Problems of Men in Society (BRC), and the American Investment Services, Inc. (AIS). Today, the AIER runs several education programs to help individuals “understand economic concepts” and “apply them to their most important daily decisions.” These programs include summer and visiting research fellowships and an internship program for college students.
The First Quarter Century and Plans for the Future (Great Barrington: 1959)
“AIER After 50 Years: Our History and Plans for the Future” (December 1983)
“Education.” AIER website: https://www.aier.org/education (accessed June 6, 2017)