Economists Dean Baker and Mark Weisbrot founded the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) in 1999 to bring serious economic analysis to the public, policymakers, the press, and the progressive community. Motivated by the belief that an informed public should be able to choose policies that lead to an improving quality of life, CEPR aims to present the most important economic debates in an accurate and understandable manner. Toward this end, CEPR conducts both professional research and public education. The professional research is oriented towards filling important gaps in the understanding of particular economic and social problems, or the impact of specific policies. The organization's public education efforts aim to present the findings of professional research, both by CEPR and others, in a manner that allows broad segments of the public to know what is at stake in major policy debates.
A 2013 grant from the Cultures of Resistance Network supported CEPR's work documenting the international community's role in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake.