The Hamilton Project Blog

The Hamilton Project blog highlights the latest research, press coverage, and events from The Hamilton Project.


Comments by Morris Kleiner on “Occupational Licensing: A Framework for Policymakers”

August 14, 2015 • Morris M. KleinerEmployment & Wages

Editor’s Note: The views expressed in this blog post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect that of The Hamilton Project. 
Morris Kleiner is a recent author of a Hamilton Project policy proposal on reforming occupational licensing polices. 

In July 2015 the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Economic Policy, the Council of Economic Advisers, and the U.S. Department of Labor issued an impressive and extremely well documented report entitled "Occupational Licensing: A Framework for Policymakers."  The report explores whether this form of regulation improves the quality of service in a way that makes it worth a higher price for consumers and a higher wage for those who have the licenses. 

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Financial Well-Being in Retirement: How Prepared Are We?

June 19, 2015 • The Hamilton Project • Economic Security, Health Care

Individual economic security is a cornerstone of our nation’s long-term prosperity, and financial well-being in retirement is a key component of this goal. However, rising life expectancy, combined with the risk of health shocks that will require spending huge sums of money on long-term services and supports, makes retirement planning a daunting challenge. Many Americans rightly worry that they will not have enough money to live comfortably in retirement. Furthermore, our nation’s population is getting older: the share of the U.S. population over the age of 65 was 8.1 percent in 1950 and is projected to more than double, reaching 20.9 percent by 2050. Combined with rising health-care costs for seniors, these trends put increasing pressure on Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. To call attention to this particular set of economic challenges, The Hamilton Project will release a new set of economic facts on this topic and will host a public forum featuring two new proposals to improve financial well-being for retiring Americans.

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What Increasing Education Will and Will Not Do for Earnings and Earnings Inequality: A Response to the WCEG’s Steinbaum and Schmitt

June 17, 2015 • Brad Hershbein, Melissa S. Kearney, Lawrence H. SummersEducation

In an essay posted on the Hamilton Project website in March, we empirically simulated what would happen to the distribution of earnings if one out of ten men aged 25–64 who did not have a bachelor’s degree were to instantly obtain one—a very large increase in college attainment. Our essay made the point that this extraordinary boost in college attainment would do very little to change the overall level of income inequality, but it would significantly reduce inequality in the bottom half of the earnings distribution, largely by pulling up the earnings of those near the 25th percentile. The bottom line was that increasing educational attainment is an effective approach for improving the economic security of those with low wages, but nobody should think it is the right policy lever if the goal is to address the rise in overall inequality, which is largely being driven by increases at the top. 

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Racing Ahead or Falling Behind? Six Economic Facts About Transportation Infrastructure in the United States

May 7, 2015 • The Hamilton Project • Infrastructure

By Melissa S. Kearney, Brad Hershbein, & Greg Nantz
Download the full document in PDF.

A founding principle of The Hamilton Project’s economic strategy is that long-term prosperity is best achieved by fostering economic growth and broad participation in that growth. This strategy includes an essential role for effective government to make much-needed public investments. This month The Hamilton Project is focusing on the need for public investments in our nation’s transportation infrastructure with the release of a new discussion paper by Roger Altman of Evercore, Aaron Klein of the Bipartisan Policy Center, and Alan B. Krueger of Princeton University, entitled "Financing U.S. Transportation Infrastructure in the 21st Century". As part of this focus, we offer this primer document, “Racing Ahead or Falling Behind? Six Facts about Transportation Infrastructure in the United States.” While each part of the nation’s infrastructure is vital—from the electrical grid that powers our cities to the water systems that deliver clean drinking water around the country—these facts focus on the state of investment in transportation-related infrastructure. 

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Investing in the Future of California’s Water Sector

April 21, 2015 • Newsha Ajami, Barton “Buzz” ThompsonEnergy & Environment, Infrastructure, Technology & Innovation

Editor’s Note: The views expressed in this blog post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect that of The Hamilton Project. 
Newsha K. Ajami and Barton H. Thompson are recent authors of a Hamilton Project Discussion Paper on water infrastructure and innovation in the United States. 

Four years into a severe drought, California has just suffered one of the driest winters on record. Many of California’s reservoirs are less than half full, and the natural reservoir that we rely on for summer water, the Sierra Nevada snowpack, is at a historic low. 

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