New Janeway Institute to transform economic research


Based within the Faculty of Economics at the University of Cambridge, the new Weslie and William Janeway Institute for Economics launches on Tuesday 19th October 2021.

Disseminating research at the frontier of economics is just one of the roles of the new institute, which aims to help shape young minds and transform economic research.

The Janeway Institute will be primarily funded by Weslie and William Janeway. William Janeway is an alumnus of the PhD programme at Cambridge and has played an active role in the Faculty over the last decade.

The new Institute is set to focus on inequality, climate change, epidemics, gender, the digital economy, the impact of automation and machine learning, according to Janeway. “There is great research being done for example in behavioral economics, network economics and the influence of peer pressure,” he says.

“Macroeconomics and the polices that are developed have an impact on everyone’s day to day lives. The new Institute will ensure that theory is never decoupled in an abstract way from the real world.”

Overseeing the launch of the new Institute is Professor Vasco Carvalho, a Professor of Macroeconomics in the Faculty of Economics, and a Fellow of Jesus College.

Carvalho says the new institute will have three core missions: to produce frontier work in economics, to shape young minds by investing in the next generation of economists, and to act as a hub, bringing together researchers both in economics, and across the sciences. That hub will host hundreds of visitors over the years, and many conferences.

“Effectively, the Janeway Institute will take the place of Cambridge-INET,” says Carvalho. The aims and objectives of the new Institute will be similar, but it will benefit from being funded by an endowment rather than a grant. “A grant must deliver on what was promised at the beginning of the grant, which constrains research directions.”

Janeway was delighted to be involved in the evolution of the Institute, and largely fund it. “It struck my wife and me that it was an extremely high priority to perpetuate the work of INET at Cambridge," he says.

"It is also an extraordinarily exciting time to be an economist, and to be part of the reconstruction of a discipline which in recent decades I feel had reached such an abstract level of theory - particularly at the macro level - it had ‘decoupled itself’ from what is really going on in the markets, and the ‘real world’."

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