Author

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Benjamin H. Harris

Policy Director, The Hamilton Project

Benjamin H. Harris is the Policy Director of The Hamilton Project; a Fellow in Economic Studies at Brookings; and Deputy Director of the Retirement Security Project at Brookings. His primary areas of focus are tax, budget, and retirement security. Harris has published a variety of papers and policy briefs related to topics in public finance and is regularly cited in media reports related to fiscal policy. Previously, he was a Senior Research Associate with the Urban Institute and the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center. Prior to joining the Urban Institute, Harris worked at the White House as a Senior Economist with the Council of Economic Advisers, where he specialized in fiscal policy and retirement security. He has also served as a Research Economist at the Brookings Institution and as a Senior Economist with the Budget Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives. Harris has also taught as an adjunct professor at the policy schools at the University of Maryland and Georgetown University. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from The George Washington University, in addition to a master's degree in economics from Cornell University and a master's degree in Quantitative Methods from Columbia University. He earned his BA in economics at Tufts University. In 2000, Harris was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to Namibia.


Related to Benjamin H. Harris

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Fighting Poverty Needs to be a National Policy Priority

The Hamilton Project Blog • June 13, 2014

A new Hamilton Project blog post provides an overview of the poverty crisis facing America, and the implications of poverty for America’s economic and social well-being. Editors Melissa S. Kearney and Benjamin H. Harris also preview the forthcoming volume, Policies to Address Poverty in America, in which 14 policy proposals confront specific challenges of poverty. 

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Policies to Address Poverty in America, Introduction

Papers • June 2014 • Melissa S. Kearney, Benjamin H. Harris, Karen L. Anderson

The introduction to The Hamilton Project’s new volume, Policies to Address Poverty in America, presents an overview of America’s poverty crisis, and makes the case for why poverty belongs on the national policy agenda. The introduction also  frames the 14 policy proposals that are part of the volume, and the particular aspects of poverty they address. The proposals fall into four general categories: promoting early childhood development, supporting disadvantaged youth, building skills, and improving safety net and work support. 

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State-by-State “Jobs Gap”

June 6, 2014 • Charts

Every month, The Hamilton Project tracks the “jobs gap,” which is the number of jobs that need to be created in order to return to pre-recession employment levels while still absorbing the workers entering the labor force each month. Here, the Project compares changes in employment levels since the onset of the Great Recession across states.

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The Economic and Social Effects of Crime and Mass Incarceration in the United States

Events • May 1, 2014 • Washington, DC

On May 1st, The Hamilton Project at Brookings will host a forum and release three new papers focusing on crime and incarceration in the United States. Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin will deliver opening remarks, and Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) will join the forum to discuss the Smarter Sentencing Act of 2014, which was recently passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee with bi-partisan support.

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Ten Economic Facts about Crime and Incarceration in the United States

Papers • May 2014 • Melissa S. Kearney, Benjamin H. Harris, Karen L. Anderson

This Hamilton Project policy memo provides ten economic facts highlighting recent trends in crime and incarceration in the United States. Specifically, it explores the characteristics of criminal offenders and victims;  the historically unprecedented level of incarceration in the United States; and  evidence on both the fiscal and social implications of current policy on taxpayers and those imprisoned.

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The Unequal Burden of Crime and Incarceration on America’s Poor

Papers • April 2014 • Melissa S. Kearney, Benjamin H. Harris, Karen L. Anderson

Previewing a forthcoming event and paper series, The Hamilton Project highlights the disproportionate burden of crime and incarceration on America’s poor. For too many Americans, that means living in a community in which opportunities are limited, and fear of violence has shaped daily lives and altered childhoods.

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Wireless Spectrum and the Future of Technology Innovation

Events • March 24, 2014 • Washington, DC

On March 24th, The Hamilton Project hosted a forum addressing key challenges with the allocation and regulation of wireless spectrum. The event featured keynote remarks by FCC Chairman Thomas Wheeler.

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Unleashing the Economic Promise of Wireless Spectrum

The Hamilton Project Blog • March 17, 2014

In a new policy memo, The Hamilton Project highlights four policy challenges hampering the economic potential of wireless spectrum and opportunities to address these challenges through innovative, evidence-driven approaches to reform.

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The Economic Promise of Wireless Spectrum

Papers • March 2014 • Melissa S. Kearney, Benjamin H. Harris, Karen L. Anderson

In a new policy memo, The Hamilton Project highlights four policy challenges hampering the economic potential of wireless spectrum and opportunities to address these challenges through innovative, evidence-driven approaches to reform.

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The “Ripple Effect” of a Minimum Wage Increase on American Workers

Papers • January 2014 • Melissa S. Kearney, Benjamin H. Harris, Karen L. Anderson

In this month’s Hamilton Project employment analysis, we consider the “ripple effects” of a minimum wage increase on near-minimum wage workers, finding that a minimum wage increase could benefit up to 35 million workers.

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The Importance of Unemployment Insurance for American Families & the Economy: Take 2

Papers • December 2013 • Melissa S. Kearney, Benjamin H. Harris, Karen L. Anderson

In the absence of congressional action to extend unemployment insurance, 1.3 million Americans will immediately lose their benefits on December 28th. In this month’s employment analysis, The Hamilton Project reexamines unemployment insurance and highlights evidence suggesting that extended benefits provide a sizable boost for workers and the economy.

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A Dozen Facts about America’s Struggling Lower-Middle Class

Papers • December 2013 • Melissa S. Kearney, Benjamin H. Harris, Karen L. Anderson

These economic facts focus on two key challenges facing lower-middle-class families: food insecurity and the low return to work for families who lose tax and transfer benefits as their earnings increase.

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Hunger and the Important Role of SNAP as an American Safety Net

Papers • November 2013 • Melissa S. Kearney, Benjamin H. Harris, Karen L. Anderson

In this month’s economic analysis, The Hamilton Project focuses on two critical issues related to SNAP: (1) the widespread existence of both food insecurity and obesity among low-income children in the United States, and (2) the role of SNAP in fighting poverty during times of weak labor markets. SNAP participation rises and falls in lockstep with the unemployment rate, highlighting SNAP’s role as a safety-net program that bolsters family resources when employment and wages are low.

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Higher Education Today: Innovative Approaches for College Financing

Papers • October 2013 • Melissa S. Kearney, Benjamin H. Harris, Karen L. Anderson

For many Americans, the high cost of higher education provides a substantial barrier to college entry and ultimate completion. In this economic analysis, The Hamilton Project provides a snapshot of today’s higher education student, illustrating how the current generation of students are older and more financially independent than in the past, and highlights three forthcoming Hamilton Project papers that address the complicated landscape of higher education financing through innovative policy proposals.

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Real Specifics: 15 Ways to Rethink the Federal Budget—Part II: Addressing Entitlements, Taxation and Revenues—Panel 3: New Sources of Revenue and Efficiency

February 28, 2013 • Video

Senior Research Associate at The Urban Institute Benjamin H. Harris; Fellow and Policy Director of Economic Studies at The Brookings Institution Adele Morris; Assistant Vice President and Senior Economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas Pia Orrenius; Professor of International Economics at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy Phillip Swagel; and Associate Principal at McKinsey & Company Tyler Duvall participate in a roundtable discussion on new sources of revenue and efficiency moderated by Senior Fellow and Director of The Hamilton Project at The Brookings Institution Michael Greenstone.

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Creating an American Value-Added Tax

Papers • February 2013 • Melissa S. Kearney, Benjamin H. Harris, Karen L. Anderson

Creating a value-added tax (VAT) in the United States could raise revenue in a manner that does not distort saving and investment choices. William Gale and Ben Harris consider how a VAT could be designedto help address the nation’s fiscal challenges.

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A periodic newsletter of events, policy briefs, and working papers from The Hamilton Project.