The Institute is committed to rigorous, intellectually open, and indepth study and discussion. It attempts to anticipate emerging issues and present ideas in useful, accessible formats, to inform and shape public debate. Its audience includes government officials and legislators, business and labor leaders, management and staff at international organizations, university-based scholars and their students, experts at other research institutions and nongovernmental organizations, the media, and the public at large.
Our staff of about 75 includes over 50 senior researchers, all distinguished for their combination of research expertise and policy experience. The Institute's agenda emphasizes international trade and investment, international finance and exchange rates, macroeconomic policy and crisis response, globalization and human welfare, and studies of key economic regions. Institute staff have unique expertise on the major economies with special reference to Brazil, China, the European Union, Japan, Korea, and the Middle East, as well as the United States itself and its neighbors Canada and Mexico.
The Institute was founded in 1981 as the Institute for International Economics. Its name was changed in 2006 in honor of its founding chairman, Peter G. Peterson, cofounder of The Blackstone Group and former Secretary of Commerce and Assistant to the President for International Economic Policy.
Current priorities include:
- improving macroeconomic policy after the global financial crisis, including fiscal rules and monetary tools;
- truth telling about the benefits of globalization and the costs of closed economies;
- the rebalancing of China's growth model and its impact on the world economy;
- globalization, inequality, and labor market adjustment;
- exchange rate interventions and reform of the international monetary system;
- regional trade agreements and multinational investment rule, notably the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA);
- sustainable growth models for Europe, Japan, and the United States;
- financial stability, including cost-benefit analysis of global regulation; and
- macroeconomic and trade aspects of decarbonization.
Our research has provided some of the intellectual foundations for many major international policy initiatives of the past four decades:
- reforms of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), initiated by the G-20 in 2009–10;
- creation of the TPP initiative and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum;
- quantitative easing and adapting monetary policy to a low interest rate world;
- reform of US sanctions policy;
- initiation and implementation of the Strategic and Economic Dialogue between the United States and China;
- the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and other US free trade agreements (notably with Korea);
- adoption of international banking standards and broader financial regulatory reforms;
- countercyclical fiscal policy and increased female labor force participation in Japan;
- increasingly realistic approaches to sovereign debt; and
- linking fiscal stimulus and structural reform in the euro area.
Other influential analyses have addressed:
- economic reform in the European Union, China, the former communist countries, and Latin America (including what became known as the Washington Consensus);
- foreign direct investment into and out of the United States;
- the sources, benefits, and growth of services trade;
- the impact on wages of trade liberalization;
- reconsidering the political economy of the "Resource Curse" and the "Middle Income Trap;"
- the links between gender, management, and diversity and corporate profitability; and
- measures of currency manipulation.
Our award-winning building (architects: Kohn Pedersen Fox, 2001 on think tank row) in Washington, DC, houses our accomplished team of 70 fellows, analysts, and professional staff. We sometimes partner with independent think tanks around the world to increase the scope of our research and outreach, but maintain our one home base for our team.
Institute events convene a diverse array of high-level specialists from government, business, NGOs, and the research community to engage in constructive dialogue. We create audiovisual materials, interactive graphics, and social media content to deepen the public’s understanding of the international economic issues discussed. We are the podium of choice for senior policymakers to announce and explain many international policy initiatives.
PIIE has been consistently awarded the highest possible rating by Charity Navigator in recognition of our commitment to transparency and open disclosure of funding.