Origin and Governance

The Institute was established in 1995 by Prof. Louis Galambos (Department of History) and Prof. Steve Hanke (Department of Environmental Health and Engineering and Department of Economics). It is an interdivisional (Arts and Sciences and Engineering) Institute that reports directly to the University’s Provost. Prof. Angus Burgin has since joined the Institute as an integral member of the leadership. The Institute now operates under the stewardship of the co-directors: Profs. Galambos, Hanke, and Burgin.


The primary purpose of the Institute is to facilitate high-quality research and publishing. The research areas covered by Institute Fellows include applied economics and finance, business history and public health. The Institute also fosters contributions from students at Johns Hopkins University who conduct research on pertinent issues.


The Institute’s strategy is to use leverage to accomplish its primary purpose. Accordingly, the Institute has always operated with a very small annual basic budget. This covers the salaries for research assistants, editors and general administration (all part-time). In addition, travel expenses and honoraria for speakers at the Institute’s seminars are covered with this basic budget. Profs. Galambos, Hanke, and Burgin contribute their efforts during the academic year at no cost to the Institute. Funding for Fellows, conferences and specific research projects is obtained on a case-by-case basis and is not part of the Institute’s annual basic budget.

Johns Hopkins University

The Institute is part of the renowned academic community at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, which is home to 5,000 undergraduate and 1,800 graduate students and 600 faculty members. It has the world’s leading medical schools, hospitals, and school of public health. In addition, Johns Hopkins is, and always has been, a research-oriented university. It granted the first Ph.D. degrees awarded in the United States and for the 39th consecutive year has the largest research budget, by far, of any university in the nation. In 2017, this budget was $2.562 billion.