The New School


New York City

Bernard Schwartz is vice chairman of the board of Trustees and has established and sponsors a number of programs and events at The New School, a progressive university located in Greenwich Village.

Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis and
Chair in Economics and Policy

The Center is the economic policy research arm of The New School for Social Research Department of Economics. The activities of the Schwartz Center focus on three issues: economic growth, employment, and inequality. Its focus is on the U.S. economy, but always with an awareness of the global context of U.S. economic developments.

The Schwartz Center is led by Irene and Bernard L. Schwartz Professor of Economics and Policy Analysis Teresa Ghilarducci, who joined The New School after 25 years as a professor of economics at the University of Notre Dame and 10 years as director of the Higgins Labor Research Center at the university.

In 2015, thanks to the generosity of Bernard Schwartz, SCEPA launched the Retirement Equity Lab (ReLab) to address America's growing retirement crisis. Focusing on research, collaboration and outreach, the center has already made its mark in advancing a comprehensive and effective policy solution to ensure working Americans can retire.

Bernard and Irene Schwartz Commons at The New School.

The Schwartz Commons open in 2014 in The New School's new University Center, the academic anchor at the heart of the university's Greenwich Village campus. Located on the second floor of the University Center overlooking 14th Street, the Schwartz Commons is The New School's largest dining facility and a key gathering space for the university community.

Bernard and Irene Schwartz Merit Scholarships

These scholarships are awarded annually to incoming freshman students who are in good academic standing and demonstrate financial need. The scholarship is awarded to students for four years provided they maintain academic excellence throughout their tenure at the New School's Eugene Lang College.

January 10, 2016

Dr. Teresa Ghilarducci is the Bernard L. and Irene Schwartz professor of economics at The New School as well as the Director of the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis (SCEPA) and The New School’s Retirement Equity Lab (ReLab). Diane Rehm of NPR interviewed Dr. Ghilarducci about her new book “How to Retire With Enough Money and How to Know What Enough Is.”
Listen To The Interview

January 2, 2016

New York Times issues op-ed “A Smarter Plan to Make Retirement Savings Last” co-authored by Teresa Ghilarducci and Hamilton E. James.
Read More

2015 SCEPA Retirement Equity Lab Highlights


ReLab inaugurated a monthly report on older workers' experience in the labor market, the "Unemployment Report for Workers Over 55." The narrative is shared with retirement reporters and stakeholders in the policy community to unearth the real consequences of proposals, especially during the GOP presidential primary, of cutting Social Security by raising the retirement age.


ReLab issued a report that was the first to quantify the real effect of the retirement crisis - poverty. The report, “Are U.S. Workers Ready for Retirement?” identifies the share of people whose projected income in retirement will be below poverty across states. This message of downward mobility is important both to individuals whose retirement institutions are failing them and policy makers who will inherit the impact of increasing poverty on both social welfare and municipal budgets. The research was featured in Forbes, Time, Financial Buzz, Employee Benefit News, and Plan Sponsor.


ReLab's research received a prominent placement in the top-ranked Journal of Pension Economics and Finance. "Earnings Experience and Its Impact on 401(K) Contribution: The Roles of Earnings Shocks, Spousal Behavior and Behavior and Pension Plan Details," by SCEPA economists Teresa Ghilarducci and Joelle Saad-Lessler, counters the allure of "nudge economics," which points the finger at individual behavior as the cause for the lack of retirement savings, by documenting the wholesale failures of the current system's design.


SCEPA was invited by the Democratic Policy Committee to brief Senate staff on the causes and consequences of the retirement crisis. Teresa Ghilarducci presented six research reports by SCEPA's team of economists to a packed house on Capitol Hill. The research documents the problems in the current system (poor plan design, ineffective tax breaks, inadequate savings, and downward mobility,) and our proposed solution (GRAs and refundable tax credits).


SCEPA joined with the Center for American Progress to hold a conference in Washington, DC, with policy experts and thought leaders on the need to reform tax breaks for retirement savings. These tax breaks are both ineffective and inefficient and fuel the expense of both state and federal tax dollars to incentive savings for those who don't need it. The conference was live-streamed and featured joint research papers documenting the failure of these tax expenditures and recommending necessary policy reforms.


Teresa Ghilarducci joined with Blackstone President Hamilton (Tony) James to issue a policy proposal calling for the creation of a mandatory retirement savings program as the only viable option to save older Americans from downward mobility in retirement. The significant alliance between an academic and a business leader, featured in the New York Times as both a news article and oped, supports the need for a bold, comprehensive plan, rather than incremental proposals.