The Urban Institute is a Washington D.C.-based think tank that carries out economic and social policy research to "open minds, shape decisions, and offer solutions". The institute receives funding from government contracts, foundations and private donors. The Urban Institute measures policy effects, compares options, shows which stakeholders get the most and least, tests conventional wisdom, reveals trends, and makes costs, benefits, and risks explicit. The Urban Institute has been referred to as "independent" and as "liberal". In 2020, the Urban Institute co-hosted the second annual Sadie T.M. Alexander Conference for Economics and Related Fields with The Sadie Collective in Washington D.C.