The Tobin Project is a catalyst for transformative research in the social sciences. The mission of the Tobin Project is to mobilize, motivate, and support a community of scholars across the social sciences and allied fields seeking to deepen our understanding of significant challenges facing the nation over the long term.

Founded in 2005, the Tobin Project is an independent, non-profit research organization motivated by the belief that rigorous scholarship on major, real-world problems can make a profound difference. Inspired by Professor James Tobin’s belief that scholars have a vital role to play in the public sphere, the Tobin Project has built an interdisciplinary network of over 700 leading scholars across almost 200 universities, from Nobel Laureates to the most promising graduate students, who are together working to generate pioneering research on pressing problems of the 21st century. The Tobin Project employs a successful model for how to identify inquiries with the greatest potential to improve society, how to engage a network of top scholars and policymakers around these questions, how to advance these new interdisciplinary research agendas, and how to disseminate compelling ideas with the potential to reshape academic research, public policy discussions, and overall public discourse.  

The Tobin Project is currently focused on four core research inquiries:  

Government & Markets: What are the conditions that distinguish success from failure in the governance and regulation of the economy? 

Institutions of Democracy: What factors and institutions - of government, business, civil society, and beyond - are most central to the functioning of American democracy? 

Economic Inequality: What are the consequences of the rise of income inequality in the U.S. – for the economy, society, and democracy? 

National SecurityHow can the U.S. sustainably advance its national security interests given fiscal constraints and shifts in the global distribution of power? 

Tobin Project mission »