Non-profit

Union for Radical Political Economics

Journal cover of Review of Radical Political Economics (link)
Website:

urpe.org/

Location:

AMHERST, MA

Tax ID:

13-2983845

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2015):

Revenue: $155,111
Expenses: $164,493
Assets: $204,526

The Union for Radical Political Economics (URPE) is an autonomous collective of activists and academics who use radical-left political economic analysis to analyze social and political problems with the goal of replacing capitalism. [1]

It publishes the radical-left political-economic journal Review of Radical Political Economics, which publishes writings in “Marxian economics, post-Keynesian economics, Sraffian economics, feminist economics, environmental, and radical institutional economics.” [2]

In 2019, URPE had 458 members. While URPE’s membership is international, the organization is based in Amherst, Massachusetts. [3]

History

URPE was founded in 1968 at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. A group of students and faculty from the University of Michigan invited students and faculty from Harvard and Radcliffe College to a meeting to discuss creating an organization to develop and promote radical-left visions of political economy. They expressed hope that an organization would provide radical academics with a support structure to encourage their work after graduation. After the turbulent 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, the members of URPE agreed to begin meeting in person alongside the annual American Economics Association meetings. [4]

In 1969, URPE created a journal for “innovative research in non-orthodox economics,” the Review of Radical Political Economics, which remains in publication covering a wide variety of topics, including “Marxian economics, post-Keynesian economics, Sraffian economics, feminist economics, environmental, and radical institutional economics.” [5]

In the 1970s, the URPE began to struggle with internal problems, with one member saying that the URPE was turning into “a sectarian battleground.” Claiming that women’s voices were being shut out by the white men who dominated the organization, the URPE formed the Women’s Caucus. A Gay, Lesbian and Bi-Sexual Caucus formed in the early 1980s, and a Third World Caucus formed in the late 1980s. Factions arose between leadership and members, with some claiming there were “levels of stardom among our faculty members, and a system in which it is always the same clique that gets exposure in the bourgeois media.” While around 150 people had attended the 1975 annual meeting, fewer than 90 people attended the 1976 meeting. In 1977, seeking to revive enthusiasm for the organization, the URPE launched the Economics Education Project to solicit articles for publication. The URPE also revised membership rules and costs, and formally incorporated as a non-profit organization. [6] [7]

The URPE acknowledges that it peaked in significance in the 1970s, and that “the importance of URPE in the political economy debate among academics” declined in the 1980s and 1990s as interest in “Marxian economics and radical economics” declined and other journals and organizations arose. [8]

Activities

Union for Radical Political Economics’ primary activities are annual conferences and meetings, and its various publications, including the Review of Radical Political Economics, a quarterly URPE Newsletter, and occasional books. [9]

The Review of Radical Political Economics journal has modest reach and impact. According to the IDEAS/RePEc Aggregate Rankings for Journals, the RRPE ranks 810th among Economics journals. [10]

The URPE awards an annual Dissertation Fellowship with $6,500 of financial support for the Fellow. [11]

URPE members frequently sign letters in support of labor-union-aligned left-of-center economic policies like minimum wage increases. [12]

Leadership

Union for Radical Political Economics is led by a steering committee, with two people on paid staff. The Steering Committee is composed of 12 members who serve rotating three-year terms. [13]

The national office organizational coordinator is Steve Theberge. Apart from his work with URPE, Theberge’s primary training and occupation is as a stoneware potter, for which he spent years living and training in Zen Buddhist monasteries in Japan and the United States. [14]

The Review of Radical Political Economics Editor is Enid Arvidson, an economics Ph.D. and academic staff member at the University of Texas at Arlington. [15]

Financials

In 2018, the Union for Radical Political Economics had $159,811 in revenue, generated almost entirely from membership, subscription, and event attendance fees. While URPE solicits donations, it reported only $955 in donations in 2018. [16]

References

  1. [1] Union for Radical Political Economics, About Us. Accessed September 15, 2020. https://urpe.org/about-us/ ^
  2. Union for Radical Public Economics, About The Journal. Accessed September 16, 2020. https://urpe.org/the-journal/about/ ^
  3. Union for Radical Political Economics, Contact. Accessed September 17, 2020.
    https://urpe.org/contact/ ^
  4. Wachtel, Howard, “Remarks at Union for Radical Political Economics 40th Anniversary,” The Transnational Institute, August 01, 2008. Accessed September 16, 2020. https://www.tni.org/es/node/10754 ^
  5. Union for Radical Public Economics, About The Journal. Accessed September 16, 2020.
    https://urpe.org/the-journal/about/ ^
  6. Mata, Tiago, “Radical Economics as Journalism: The Origins of Dollars & Sense,” Review of Radical Political Economics, 2018. Accessed September 16, 2020. http://www.dollarsandsense.org/Mata(2018).pdf
    ^
  7. Union for Radical Political Economics, History and Nature of URPE. Accessed September 16, 2020.
    https://urpe.org/about-us/history/ ^
  8. [1] Union for Radical Political Economics, History and Nature of URPE. Accessed September 16, 2020. https://urpe.org/about-us/history/ ^
  9. Union for Radical Political Economics, History. Accessed September 16, 2020.
    https://urpe.org/about-us/history/ ^
  10. IDEAS, IDEAS/RePEc Aggregate Rankings for Journals. Accessed September 17, 2020. https://ideas.repec.org/top/top.journals.all.html ^
  11. Union for Radical Political Economics, Dissertation Scholarship. Accessed September 17, 2020. https://urpe.org/about-us/dissertation-fellowship/ ^
  12. Employment Policies Institute. “About Those 600 Economists Who Support a $10.10 Minimum Wage.” MinimumWage.com, February 27, 2014. https://www.minimumwage.com/2014/02/about-those-600-economists-who-support-a-10-10-minimum-wage/. ^
  13. [1] Union for Radical Political Economics, 2019 Annual Report. Accessed September 17, 2020.
    https://urpe.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/2019-Annual-Report.pdf ^
  14. [1] Steve Theberge, About. Accessed September 17, 2020. http://www.stevetheberge.com/about ^
  15. [1] University of Texas at Arlington, Dr. Enid Arvidson profile. Accessed September 17, 2020. https://mentis.uta.edu/explore/profile/enid-arvidson ^
  16. [1] Guidestar, Union for Radical Political Economics, 2018 990. Accessed September 17, 2020. https://pdf.guidestar.org/PDF_Images/2018/132/983/2018-132983845-17135058-Z.pdf?_ga=2.155095800.1712109153.1600271905-1301400723.1599680740 ^
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: March 1, 1980

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2015 Dec Form 990EZ $155,111 $164,493 $204,526 $734 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990EZ $145,477 $150,183 $213,908 $734 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990EZ $150,494 $138,530 $218,614 $734 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990EZ $156,701 $141,117 $206,650 $734 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990EZ $140,899 $134,070 $191,066 $734 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Union for Radical Political Economics

    418 N PLEASANT ST
    AMHERST, MA 01002-1735