The 2008 recession and the global surge in populism have highlighted deep divisions between Main Street and Wall Street.  How do we create a growing economy and rebuild elements of shared and sustainable prosperity for our societies?  Our programs look at policy ideas and research from across Harvard on a broad set of economic considerations, including macroeconomic factors, economic inequality, financial stability, health care delivery, sustainability science, education and more.


GrowthPolicy is a hub for research on the role of policy in achieving shared and sustainable economic growth. Its focuses on four key questions: How do we best promote economic growth? Where will jobs of the future likely emerge?  What should we do about economic inequality? How do we prevent the next financial crisis?  Leading faculty contributors include Lawrence H. Summers, Jeffrey Frankel, Carmen Reinhart, and many others.

Technology, Innovation and Regulation

Recent technological innovations are bringing immeasurable improvements to the lives of billions around the globe, but they can also have destructive powers that threaten to overwhelm us. This nascent program is focused on examining the linkage between new technology and the companies who provide those innovations, and the government that may facilitate those developments but must also oversee these technological developments to further the public interest.  The intent is to facilitate the development of new technologies aligned with public purpose and benefit. Faculty leadership: John Haigh.

Sustainability Science Program

This program harnesses the University's strengths to promote the design of institutions, policies, and practices that support sustainable development. It addresses the challenge of sustainable development by advancing scientific understanding of human-environment systems; improving linkages between research and policy communities; and building capacity for linking knowledge with action to promote sustainability. Directed by William Clark.

Harvard Kennedy School Healthcare Policy Program

This program brings together students, executives and policymakers with scholars from across Harvard to generate research and debate on frontier issues in healthcare delivery and regulation in the United States. Directed by Amitabh Chandra.

Education Policy Program

This program capitalizes on major ideas and ‘best principles’ from both business and government to enhance education innovations and performance in the United States. Directed by Richard Light.

Program on Science, Technology and Society

This program is dedicated to enhancing the quality of research, education, and public debate on the role of science and technology in contemporary societies. Through integrated, cross-disciplinary initiatives in research, teaching, training, and public outreach the Program seeks to develop foundational, policy-relevant insights into the nature of science and technology, and the ways in which they both influence and are influenced by society, politics, and culture. Directed by Sheila Jasanoff.

Financial Sector Program

This program focuses on the development of financial institutions, their products and delivery systems, the markets in which they function and the regulatory regimes under which they operate. Directed by Jay Rosengard.

Public Impact Analytics Science Lab (PIAS-Lab)

This program is devoted to advancing and applying the science of analytics for solving societal problems that can have public impact. The mission of the lab is to improve societal outcomes by developing, integrating, and using appropriate analytical tools in Operations Research, Machine Learning and Big Data, Decision Making, Statistics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and related fields. Directed by Soroush Saghafian.

Additional resources

Report of the Commission on Inclusive Prosperity. Lawrence Summers and Ed Balls, Center for American Progress, 2015