On the hard choices think tanks must make

14 July 2010

Stephen Yeo (CEPR) and I published an article in the latest issue of The Broker (great magazine, btw).

We find that think tanks are facing at last three strategic choices. On one extreme, they can ‘go for broke’ and continue to invest in ever better in-house research capacity and outputs and hope that one day demand for quality will be back. On the other extreme they can go down the ‘user generated content’ route of many media outfits and rely on synthesising and aggregating the opinions and views of the interested general public. Somewhere in the middle, organisation structures like research networks or think nets might provide a way of maintaining research quality and reducing costs. In reality, it is quite likely that most seek to adopt aspects of more than one or all three of these.

Our conclusion is a little gloomy: we find that any possible strategy to deal with these challenges is ultimately dependent on the business model that think tanks adopt, that is, on their sources of funding.

You can read the full article here.