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The Penn Institute for Economic Research (PIER) was established in 1993 to create an environment for research and teaching that will enhance the role of the University of Pennsylvania as one of the leading institutions in the world for the study of economics.

To accomplish this mission, PIER's main goals are to promote and support the efforts of faculty and students in advancing the science of economics, to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and research results within and outside of the Penn academic community, and to foster a better understanding of the importance of basic economic research in the formulation and assessment of public policy.

PIER administers seven research programs that correspond to the main fields of research of the economics community at Penn. These fields are econometrics, empirical microeconomics, financial economics, international economics, macroeconomics, microeconomic theory, and political economy. Each program is coordinated by a group of research fellows of the Institute who share overall responsibility for workshops, conferences, and other research activities. PIER co-sponsors workshops in the economics department and disseminates research findings to the academic community through a Working Paper Series. The Institute's working papers are also available through the PIER Abstracting Journal, an electronic publication of the Social Science Research Network.

PIER also provides the Martha and Jonathan Cohen Distinguished Visitors Program that brings in outstanding scholars in the various fields of economics. The goals of the program are to provide lectures to the Penn Economics community and enable students and faculty to meet individually with distinguished scholars throughout their visit.

PIER participates in Economics Day at Penn and provides the Lawrence R. Klein Prize for the best undergraduate research paper and the Maloof Family Dissertation Fellowship in Economics. The Institute also holds conferences at which research papers are presented and discussed; to facilitate interactions between Penn researchers and other scholars around the world.