ECI Overview

The Economics in Context Initiative (ECI) is focused on enhancing the learning of economics through a more inclusive and interdisciplinary approach. We believe that our understanding of the economy must be rooted in the social, environmental, historical, institutional and political contexts. We call economics that takes account of humanity’s social and physical environments “contextual economics.”

The ECI promotes human well-being as the central goal of economics. We reject the focus on GDP growth as the primary goal of economics, and advocate for economic analysis based on broader concepts of well-being, equity, and ecological sustainability. ECI researchers are working to contribute to our understanding of some of the key challenges of the twenty-first century including global climate change, economic inequality, the limits of market-based policies, financial instability, and gender and family issues.

We seek to improve economics education by providing a variety of learning materials including textbooks on principles of economics and environmental economics, free teaching modules, articles, and working papers.

Learn more about ECI's History


The ECI is a new institute that builds on the work of the Global Development And Environment Institute (GDAE) at Tufts University. While the ECI essentially replaces GDAE’s Theory and Education program, GDAE remains an active institute at Tufts.