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Associations & Organizations
Council of State Governments
A region-based forum that fosters the exchange of insights and ideas to help state officials shape public policy.
National League of Cities
The National League of Cities (NLC) is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. Find links to research and publications under Topics.
National Academy of Public Administration
NAPA is an independent, nonpartisan organization chartered by Congress to assist federal, state, and local governments improve their effectiveness, efficiency, and accountability. The site includes information about current projects, publications such as Academy studies, and discussion forums.
Other names for think tanks include policy institutes or research institutes.
A think tank may have an ideological perspective or may be nonpartisan. It's useful to review the About Us section of the think tank's website and look for other views about the think tank in order to place their work in context and better evaluate the authority and credibility of their work.
Note that many think tanks don't take institutional positions on topics but their researchers, scholars, or fellows may take individual, personal positions on policy and other issues, so being aware of the backgrounds of a policy report's author(s) is also helpful.
Resources for identifying or evaluating think tanks include
Examples of think tanks include
American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
The web site for this nonpartisan think tank includes commentary and analysis from AEI scholars, speeches and testimony before Congressional committees, excerpts from recent AEI conferences, and essay-length abstracts of AEI books. Articles are also arranged by research areas.
"A public policy research organization — a think tank — dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets and peace. Its scholars and analysts conduct independent, nonpartisan research on a wide range of policy issues."
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
Identifies itself as a nonpartisan research and policy institute. See topics under Research for links to reports, blogs, and interactive maps.
National Bureau of Economic Research
Founded in 1920, the National Bureau of Economic Research is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization dedicated to promoting a greater understanding of how the economy works. Members of the bureau are top scholars in their field. The NBER data page is a great resource for those who wish to find useful economic datasets for download.
NBER Working Papers
Primary method for the distribution of research carried out by the National Bureau of Economic Research, a private, nonprofit, non-partisan research organization dedicated to promoting a greater understanding of how the economy works
The Urban Institute
"The Urban Institute gathers data, conducts research, evaluates programs, offers technical assistance overseas, and educates Americans on social and economic issues — to foster sound public policy and effective government."
Economic Policy Institute
Nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank that focuses on economic issues. A highlight of its web page is the DataZone, which includes 50 tables which track historical trends in labor markets and living standards. You can also find economic indicators, issue guides, economic snapshots, and viewpoints.