Who We Are

R Street Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, public policy research organization. Our mission is to engage in policy research and outreach to promote free markets and limited, effective government.

In addition to our D.C. headquarters, we have offices in Georgia, Texas, Ohio, California and Massachusetts.

We work extensively on both state and national policy, and focus on issues that other groups tend to neglect. Our specialty is tackling issues that are complex, but don’t necessarily grab major headlines. These are the areas where we think we can have a real impact.

We believe free markets work better than the alternatives. We also recognize that the legislative process calls for practical responses to current problems. To that end, our motto is “Free markets. Real solutions.”

We also differ from other groups in our dedication to building broad coalitions and working with a wide array of groups who share specific policy goals. This makes us uniquely capable of building support for pragmatic, free-market proposals that can earn bipartisan consensus.

Our Vision

The R Street Institute stands for free markets, limited, effective government and pragmatic solutions to difficult problems. We envision:

  • A free society, where public policy begins with freedom as its initial premise and governments exist primarily as guardians of inherent, inalienable rights.
  • An inclusive society that provides a place, a voice, and equal opportunity for all.
  • A just society that holds everyone accountable to the same laws.

Our Values

The following values are the principles that guide how R Street fulfills its mission and operates. Our organization believes in these values and we live them:

Always be better

We want to achieve preeminence in every area where we work. We encourage a bias for action, innovation, creativity, and courage in everything that we do. We measure ourselves by the quality, credibility and impact we achieve as a result.

Different is good. 

We believe that great minds think differently and building broad coalitions has made us who we are. Making progress on policy requires that we operate outside of the echo chamber and take non-traditional approaches to policy making. We apply this same principle to the way we operate and how we build our teams: with a focus on diversity and inclusion. We are all unique but belong to the same team.

Serious(ly)

We’re serious about our work, but don’t take ourselves too seriously. We believe in the intellectual rigor, free inquiry and honesty, that is required to achieve our mission, but having fun doing it is equally as important.

Act with Integrity

We strive to cultivate trust and transparency at all levels, between ourselves as individuals and as an organization, with our stakeholders, and in our work. We believe these to be interdependent values: in order to have confidence in the integrity of what we do and how we do it, we must demonstrate respect and openness in our actions.

How to label us

R Street is a free-market think tank with a pragmatic approach to public policy challenges. We draw inspiration from such thinkers as Milton Friedman, Friedrich Hayek, Ronald H. Coase, James M. Buchanan and Arthur C. Pigou.

We favor consumer choice; low, flat taxes; regulation that is transparent and applied equitably and systems that rely on price signals rather than central planning. Thus, it is fair to say we are on the political right. At the same time, we recognize that public goods, natural monopolies and externalities are real concerns that governments must address. We also understand that life in a democratic society sometimes means reaching a compromise that doesn’t necessarily represent a first, best solution.

We offer research and analysis that advance the goals of a more market-oriented society and an effective, efficient government, with the full realization that progress on the ground tends to be made one inch at a time. In other words, we look for free-market victories on the margin.

Funding

For information about R Street’s funding and expenditures, please click here.