Greetings from the Executive Director
Steven M. Sheffrin
Welcome to the Murphy Institute. As the Executive Director, I am pleased to lead a vibrant organization that contributes so greatly to the intellectual life of Tulane and, more broadly to the advancement of the study of political economy in all its dimensions.
The Murphy Institute consists of three overlapping programs that reinforce each other.
1. An undergraduate major in Political Economy. One of Tulane’s most popular interdisciplinary majors, its students engage in serious study of economics, politics, and philosophy. They study with some of Tulane’s finest professors who are all dedicated to the goals of a broad, interdisciplinary education that examines social problems from a variety of dimensions.
2. The Center for Ethics and Public Affairs. The Center is devoted to the social and ethical dimensions of public affairs with an emphasis on the scholarly discussion of ethics and moral and political philosophy across a wide range of disciplines, intellectual perspectives, and schools. Each year, the Center hosts three or more Faculty Fellows, who spend the year in residence and interact with Tulane faculty and visitors. The Center also cultivates a rich intellectual environment for the community through a series of very popular faculty seminars and lectures.
3. The Center for Public Policy Research. The Murphy Institute created the Center for Public Policy Research to complement the Institute’s two other existing programs. The Center aims to establish programs that balance academic research with applied policy work. Currently the Center has four policy-focused programs in the areas of Regulation, Health Policy, Education, and Public Finance, which are united by their focus on research, teaching, and outreach to both the Tulane community and beyond. In addition, we have created seed grants for new faculty reseach, are hosting lectures on public policy and have created working groups on important public policy issues.
These three parts of the Murphy Institute – an undergraduate interdisciplinary social science major, a Center to reflect on the moral and ethical bases of social systems, and programs to encourage the rigorous analysis of public policy- make the Murphy Institute a one-of-a-kind intellectual center, not just for Tulane but for the nation. No other institution in the country provides an undergraduate education focused on political and economic dynamics, fosters ethical reflection on social values, and also promotes research and outreach on public policy.
Please take the time to peruse our website to understand the full dimensions of our programs. And feel free to contact me or anyone else in these pages to learn more about the activities of the Murphy Institute.
— Steven M. Sheffrin
Professor of Economics, Director of the Murphy Institute