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: Education

Blog Post Jul 18, 2017

How You Can Help Save Local Kids From Going Hungry This Summer

For many children, summer vacation evokes images of their favorite foods: backyard barbecues, fresh farmer’s market produce, s’mores by the campfire and frozen delights from the ice cream truck. However, for the 13 million children in America living in food-insecure households — homes lacking the adequate resources to purchase the food needed for an active, healthy lifestyle — summer vacation offers less relief than it does hunger and uncertainty. In this op-ed, Schanzenbach discusses ways each of us can help to make sure children don't go hungry this summer.

Blog Post Mar 24, 2017

The Economic and Policy Context for Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions—and primarily CO2 emissions—have meaningfully contributed to the warming the globe has experienced so far, and are expected to cause a damaging level of warming in coming decades. However, it remains uncertain whether policy makers around the world will be successful in responding to the threat of climate change. In this blog, the authors explore the role of the U.S. as a net carbon dioxide importer and evaluate how policy actions following the 2015 Paris Agreement are expected to mitigate growth in global GHG emissions.

Blog Post Mar 10, 2017

CNN Money: The Vital Role of Government Statistics

Blog Post Feb 9, 2017

No Free Lunch: The Pros and Cons of Public-Private Partnerships for Infrastructure Financing

The need to improve our nation’s infrastructure is an issue on which many policy makers, at all levels of government and across the political aisle, can agree. Regrettably, the consensus essentially begins and ends with the need to address our nation’s infrastructure. In response, an innovative concept for funding and financing infrastructure investment has gained traction in recent years: public-private partnerships. In this blog post, THP assesses the pros and cons of public-private partnerships. 

Blog Post Aug 18, 2016

Recent Developments in Federal Prison Policy

Today, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it will reduce, and eventually end, the use of federal private prisons. In a new Hamilton Project blog post, Diane Schanzenbach and Megan Mumford explore recent developments in federal private prisons. These issues will be further explored in a forthcoming series of papers that the Hamilton Project will release in October 2016, with a focus on: reducing high rates of incarceration; reducing recidivism; and facilitating the successful reintegration of formerly incarcerated individuals.

Blog Post Apr 21, 2016

Strengthening SNAP to Reduce Food Insecurity and Promote Economic Growth

The persistent and troubling problem of food insecurity impacts a wide range of Americans, including the struggling lower-middle class, and has far-reaching implications for Americans’ health and economic security. Fortunately, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) reduces food insecurity and very low food security, lifts millions of Americans out of poverty, and improves the health and financial well-being of program participants in the near- and long-term.

Policy Response Jan 13, 2016

Policy Response to the 2016 State of the Union Address

On January 12, 2016, President Barack Obama delivered his final State of the Union address. In his remarks, President Obama posed a series of questions for the nation, including how to expand opportunity in a changing economy, effectively leverage new technologies, and more.  In this policy response, The Hamilton Project highlights its policy proposals and research most relevant to the goals and ideas promoted in the speech.

Blog Post Dec 10, 2015

The Opportunities and Challenges for Workers in the Online Gig Economy

While forms of nontraditional and contingent work relationships such as subcontracted, temporary, part-time, and seasonal work are not new, the emergence of the online gig economy has increased policy interest in the issue of contingent work arrangements. To draw attention to this emerging issue, The Hamilton Project released a new framing paper on the economic opportunities and challenges of the online gig economy, and hosted a public forum featuring a new proposal by Seth Harris of Cornell University and Alan Krueger of Princeton University. 

Blog Post Aug 14, 2015

Morris Kleiner Comments on White House Report about Occupational Licensing

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." Recent Hamilton Project author Morris Kleiner comments on the positives and shortcomings of the report, and draws comparisons with his Hamilton Project policy proposal released in March.

Blog Post Jan 28, 2015

Nearly 30 Percent of Workers in the U.S. Need a License to Perform Their Job: It Is Time to Examine Occupational Licensing Practices

Nearly 30 percent of workers in the U.S. need a license to perform their job. It is important to realize that occupational licenses are not mere state-sponsored certificates to signal that workers have completed some level of training; occupational licensing laws forbid people from practicing in their occupation without meeting state requirements.

Policy Response Jan 21, 2015

Policy Response to the 2015 State of the Union Address

In his 2015 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama emphasized the need to restore the link between hard work and growing opportunity for every American: especially low- and middle-income citizens.  The Hamilton Project highlights policy proposals that are most relevant to the goals and ideas explicitly promoted in the speech and reflective of the current policy context. These proposals offer smart, actionable ways forward on each of the particular policy goals. 

Blog Post Jan 9, 2015

Promoting Educational Advancement and Skill Development through Community Colleges

In previously released work, The Hamilton Project has emphasized that individuals who obtain college-level education have notably higher earnings than those with lower levels of education. Accordingly, The Hamilton Project has commissioned a series of papers in recent years describing opportunities to strengthen community college programs and vocational training, presented in this blog post as an overview.

Blog Post Sep 23, 2014

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew Details Economic Costs of Climate Change at Hamilton Project Forum

"As an economic matter, the cost of inaction or delay is far greater than the cost of action" on climate change, said U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew in a forum hosted by The Hamilton Project yesterday. Secretary Lew was joined by former Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin, co-chair of the Council on Foreign Relations, and Michael Greenstone, The Milton Friedman Professor in Economics and Director of the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago, to explore the economics of climate change, and the potential costs of inaction to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Blog Post Sep 3, 2014

Economic Contributions of the U.S. Fishing Industry

A founding principle of The Hamilton Project’s economic strategy is that long-term prosperity is best achieved in a changing global economy by promoting sustainable, broadly shared economic growth. One important way to fulfill the goals of this strategy is to encourage the efficient use of our nation’s natural resources. This fall, The Hamilton Project will release new papers and host forums on this topic, with a specific focus on U.S. fisheries in September, and on America’s water crisis in October.

Blog Post Mar 27, 2014

New Tax Legislation Would Increase the Return to Work for Low-and Middle-Income Working Families

Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray introduced legislation that would provide tax relief for working families by establishing a deduction for two-earner families and expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for childless individuals.The proposed legislation closely follows the secondary earner deduction outlined in a Hamilton Project paper by Melissa Kearney and Lesley Turner.

Blog Post Mar 26, 2014

A New Approach to Making Work Pay

Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray introduced the "21st Century Worker Tax Cut Act" to establish a new deduction for married couples who are both employed and have young children, and to increase the earned income tax credit (EITC) for childless workers.The Act would implement the policies introduced by two Hamilton Project proposals designed to help “make work pay” by allowing low- and middle-income families keep more of what they earn.

Blog Post Mar 7, 2014

Closing the Jobs Gap - February 2014 Jobs Gap Update

As of the end of February 2014, our nation faces a jobs gap of 7.5 million jobs. This chart shows how the jobs gap has evolved since the start of the Great Recession in December 2007, and how long it will take to close under different assumptions for job growth. If the economy adds about 208,000 jobs per month, which was the average monthly rate for the best year of job creation in the 2000s, then it will take until September 2018 to close the jobs gap. Given a more optimistic rate of 321,000 jobs per month, which was the average monthly rate of the best year of job creation in the 1990s, the economy will reach pre-recession employment levels by September 2016.

Policy Response Jan 28, 2014

Policy Response to the 2014 State of the Union Address

In his 2014 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama spoke of a “breakthrough year for America” and foreshadowed a “year of action.” He focused on ways to expand opportunities for Americans by enhancing employment and education options for low-and middle-income citizens, developing more robust worker training programs, investing in America through infrastructure investments and energy innovation, the importance of making progress on immigration reform, and more. Since its launch in 2006, The Hamilton Project has released a range of targeted policy proposals that provide innovative, evidence-based approaches to addressing many of the policy priorities set forth in the Presidents address.

Policy Response Jan 13, 2014

Higher Education: Policy Proposals to Promote Access and Affordability


On January 16, President Obama hosted college and university presidents from around the country for a summit to discuss new approaches for promoting college access, with a focus on reaching low-income students. The Hamilton Project has produced significant work highlighting the importance of higher education for economic mobility, in addition to a series of papers by outside experts on improving college access and affordability. A menu of Hamilton Project work on this topic is included for easy reference.

Blog Post Sep 27, 2013

Don’t Call Retreat in the War on Hunger

This week in U.S. News and World Report, Patricia M. Anderson, Kristin F. Butcher, Hilary W. Hoynes, and Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach discussed food insecurity and the role of the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program in addressing the issue. The piece explores why food insecurity rates have been so high since the Great Recession, which can have long-term effects on health and economic well being. The authors argue that “we already have a program that has been shown to work at combating food insecurity and the consequences of inadequate nutrition” and suggest “these facts are worth contemplating as Congress resumes the fight about whether and how to fund it.” Later this year, The Hamilton Project will release a discussion paper by Whitmore Schanzenbach calling for a modernization of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.

Blog Post Sep 19, 2013

Delaware Seeks to Steer the Poor to Top Colleges

Yesterday, Delaware announced a new effort to steer low-income, high-achieving students to top schools, the New York Times’ David Leonhardt reports. Under the initiative, which is funded by the College Board, the state will send qualifying high school students a packet with information on selective schools, application fee waivers and other information. “In a recent experiment by Caroline M. Hoxby of Stanford and Sarah E. Turner of the University of Virginia, similar packets increased the number of students who applied to top colleges,” Leonhardt writes. In a recent Hamilton Project discussion paper, “Informing Students about Their College Options: A Proposal for Broadening the Expanding College Opportunities Project,” Hoxby and Turner build on previous research showing that most high-achieving, low-income students do not even apply to selective colleges and outline how a relatively low-cost informational intervention could impact students’ college application behavior. To read the full proposal, click here.

Blog Post Sep 16, 2013

Where Did 6 Million Missing Workers Go?

In a recent blog post on Yahoo! Finance’s “The Exchange,” Rick Newman discussed the Hamilton Project’s latest employment analysis, “The Lasting Effects of the Great Recession: Six Million Missing Workers and A New Economic Normal.” Examining data from the current labor market, the analysis finds that there are about six million fewer workers in the labor force today than the Bureau of Labor Statistics had projected in 2009. Newman outlines factors contributing to this trend, and questions “whether a slow-growing economy with fewer jobs is the new normal.” To read the full piece, click here.

Blog Post Sep 11, 2013

Want Upward Mobility? Get an Education – If You Can Afford It

In a recent article on social mobility in the U.S., Jennifer Wadsworth discussed data on the effects of a child’s family income from The Hamilton Project’s recent policy memo, “Thirteen Economic Facts About Social Mobility and the Role of Education.” Wadsworth highlighted a chart from the paper on the probability of a child’s future income level, given their parents’ income level, which suggests children born into low-income families are likely to stay at the low end of the income distribution when they grow up. “That inequality manifests itself in higher education, too. While graduate rates for wealthy students continues to climb, those for their low-income counterparts remain stagnant,” Wadsworth writes. To read the full piece, click here.

Blog Post Sep 9, 2013

The Great Stagnation of American Education

This weekend in The New York Times, Robert J. Gordon discussed the decline in education attainment and its potential economic effects. In his piece, he highlighted research that shows low-income students “often don’t apply to elite colleges and wind up at subpar ones, deeply in debt” by Caroline Hoxby. In a recent Hamilton Project discussion paper, “Informing Students about Their College Options: A Proposal for Broadening the Expanding College Opportunities Project,” Hoxby and Sarah Turner outline a strategy for improving college outcomes for high-achieving, low-income students. Building on previous research showing that most high-achieving, low-income students do not even apply to selective colleges, Hoxby and Turner propose expanding a recently piloted informational intervention called the Expanding College Opportunities (ECO) Project. To read the full piece, click here.

Blog Post Sep 5, 2013

A Bumpy Ride for Emerging Markets

In a recent column for Project Syndicate, Advisory Council Member Laura D’Andrea Tyson discussed why capital flows to emerging markets has slowed recently. She wrote that declining growth and “policy missteps,” combined with signs that the U.S. Federal Reserve will start tightening monetary policy have led to sell-offs in emerging markets, and notes that the trend is “a harsh reminder of an inconvenient truth: when the Fed tightens monetary policy to manage macroeconomic conditions in the US, there are large unintended spillover effects on capital flows to emerging markets.” To read the full piece, click here.

Blog Post Sep 3, 2013

Sequestration’s self-inflicted wounds

In a recent Washington Post op-ed, former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta discussed the “mounting evidence that the sequester is doing serious damage to our defense, our society and our economy.” He outlines how the cuts are affecting defense readiness and argues that lawmakers should avoid “political gridlock” and take action. Two recent Hamilton Project papers propose strategies to create greater efficiency in the U.S. defense budget while maintaining our national security: “National Defense in a Time of Change,” by retired four-star Admiral Gary Roughead and Kori Schake, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, and “Making Defense Affordable,” by Cindy Williams of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Williams proposes measures for sustaining a strong military while reducing future annual defense expenditures, mainly through addressing growing internal costs in the defense budget and reshaping military forces in a way that reduces future budgets while preserving strong and ready military capabilities. Roughead and Schake propose restructuring the force to improve the military’s ability to respond to modern challenges, making military procurement of assets more efficient and competitive, and creating benefits packages more in line with troops’ preferences.

Blog Post Aug 29, 2013

An Ivy League Education Can Be Surprisingly Cheap

This week in Business Insider, Mandi Woodruff discusses the difference between the sticker price of college and the net cost. She highlights findings from a recent Hamilton Project discussion paper, “Informing Students about Their College Options: A Proposal for Broadening the Expanding College Opportunities Project,” in which Caroline Hoxby and Sarah Turner present a strategy for improving college outcomes for high-achieving, low-income students.  Building on previous research showing that most high-achieving, low-income students do not even apply to selective colleges, Hoxby and Turner propose expanding a recently piloted informational intervention called the Expanding College Opportunities (ECO) Project. Woodruff notes that the paper found “that cultural or familial factors are not a primary driver of students’ behavior,” and instead that information is the key barrier to many low-income high achieving students applying to selective schools.

Blog Post Aug 28, 2013

The Declining Government Workforce

Today on “The Diane Rehm Show,” Hamilton Project Director Michael Greenstone discussed how the declining number of public-sector jobs is affecting the U.S. economy and American workers. During the show, Greenstone noted that the policy response after the Great Recession differed from those following previous recessions, and discussed how these choices are impacting all levels of government. To listen to the show, click here. In a recent Hamilton Project employment analysis, “Should The United States Have 2.2 Million More Jobs?”, the Project explores the trajectory of public-sector employment since the Great Recession. The findings show that if the policy response to this recession had been similar to the response after other recent recessions, the economy would have about 2.2 million more jobs today.

Blog Post Aug 26, 2013

How Technology Wrecks the Middle Class

In a recent New York Times opinion piece, David Autor and David Dorn discuss recent attention on the effects of technological change on employment. They write that computerization has polarized employment, “with job growth concentrated in both the highest- and lowest-paid occupations, while jobs in the middle have declined” and suggest that the shift is not reducing the quantity of jobs, but “degrading the quality of jobs for a significant subset of workers.” In a 2010 Hamilton Project discussion paper, “The Polarization of Job Opportunities in the U.S. Labor Market: Implications for Employment and Earnings,” Autor analyzes the U.S. labor market over the past three decades and finds employment polarization on the rise as job opportunities decline in middle-skill occupations, resulting in a sharp increase in wage inequality.

Blog Post Aug 22, 2013

College Costs: Rising, Yet Often Exaggerated

In a recent New York Times“Economix” story on a new report that found incomes are down since the recovery began, Catherine Rampell discusses findings from a Hamilton Project employment analysis. In “The Long-term Effects of the Great Recession for America’s Youth,” the Project examined how the Great Recession has impacted different age groups. Rampell highlights findings from the new report on how young people and those nearing retirement have been hit harder than other age groups, and cites findings from the Project’s analysis that indicate the average person who graduated around 2010 would be expected to experience an earnings loss of about $70,000 over the following decade.

Blog Post Aug 21, 2013

A smarter way to start high schoolers’ days

A recent Washington Post editorial discussed research on the benefits of pushing back start times for high school students. In a Hamilton Project discussion paper, “Organizing Schools to Improve Student Achievement: Start Times, Grade Configurations, and Teacher Assignments,” Brian A. Jacob and Jonah E. Rockoff propose three organizational reforms to increase student learning, including moving to later start times for middle and high school students. Jacob and Rockoff note that changes in circadian rhythm during adolescence are linked to reductions in student performance, stemming from increased absences and fatigue.

Blog Post Aug 20, 2013

More students than ever rely on federal college aid

Today in Politico, Libby Nelson reports on a new Department of Education report that finds the majority of undergraduates receive some form of federal financial aid and a large percentage of students are taking out loans. In a recent employment analysis, “Rising Student Debt Burdens: Factors Behind the Phenomenon,” The Hamilton Project examines possible explanations for the recent increases in student debt and default rates, including that the Great Recession may have left families with fewer resources, and the increase in enrollment in for-profit colleges.

Blog Post Aug 12, 2013

Starting college? Here’s how to graduate with a job.

In this week’s Washington Post Magazine cover story on finding a job after college, Jim Tankersley cites findings from The Hamilton Project’s discussion paper, "Using Data to Improve the Performance of Workforce Training." In the paper, Louis Jacobson of New Horizons Economic Research and Robert LaLonde of the University of Chicago propose a competition to increase the return on workforce training investments by developing the data and measures necessary to provide the information prospective trainees need, by presenting the information in user-friendly “report cards,” by providing help for prospective trainees to use the information effectively, and by creating incentives for states to implement permanent information systems once they prove cost-effective. Tankersley cites the paper to support his suggestion that community college enrollees may save money and maximize their future earnings by “asking pointed questions very early about what degree or certificate you plan to pursue; how likely it is that you’ll complete that degree, given your academic record; and what sort of job prospects await grads in that field.”

Blog Post Aug 6, 2013

Why the Economy Could… Pop!

In this week’s issue of Time, Advisory Council member Roger Altman discusses the nation’s positive economic outlook, which he says is “as strong as it has been in more than a decade.” Altman writes that “a combination of cyclical recovery forces and uniquely American strengths are revving up growth,” and outlines factors contributing to the nation’s economic comeback, including the housing market and growth in the oil-and-gas sector.

Blog Post Aug 5, 2013

Average Student Loan Debt Could Cost A Household $208,000 Over A Lifetime: Study

This weekend, the Huffington Post highlighted The Hamilton Project’s recent employment analysis “Rising Student Debt Burdens: Factors Behind the Phenomenon.” In the analysis, The Hamilton Project examines possible explanations for the recent increases in student debt and default rates. Huffington Post highlights findings from the analysis that indicate students who complete even “some college” earn an average of $100,000 more over their lifetime than their peers with a high school diploma. To read the full piece, click here.

Blog Post Jul 25, 2013

Why Are College Student Contributing Less Money for College? It Might Be the Internships

Today on Washington Monthly’s “College Guide” blog, Daniel Luzer discusses The Hamilton Project’s latest employment analysis, “Rising Student Debt Burdens: Factors Behind the Phenomenon.” In the analysis, the Project examines possible explanations for the recent increases in student debt and default rates. Luzer posits that one reason students may be contributing less for their education is that they are working in unpaid internships over the summer. “It used to be normal for college students to go home and work for the summer waiting tables or working on farms or serving as counselors at summer camps,” writes Luzer. He adds, “This is still, common, of course, but there are a lot more college students interning in the summer. And that means they’ve got less money to contribute to their education.” To read the full piece, click here.

Blog Post Jul 24, 2013

Family And Religion Play A Critical Role In Economic Mobility

Today in Business Insider, Mandi Woodruff discusses a new report, "The Economic Impacts of Tax Expenditures” in which researchers from Harvard University and the University of California-Berkeley compare upward mobility across different U.S. cities. She notes that the findings support data from many other reports, including The Hamilton Project’s latest policy memo “Thirteen Economic Facts about Social Mobility and the Role of Education,” which have emphasized the link between income inequality and social mobility. She notes that the policy memo drives “home the notion that access to education and a sound family structure also [gives] children the best shot at winding up better off than their parents.” To read the full story, click here.

Blog Post Jul 23, 2013

What does a Republican-friendly carbon tax look like?

A recent Responding to Climate Change blog post discusses The Hamilton Project's "The Many Benefits of a Carbon Tax," in which Adele Morris of the Brookings Institution proposes a carbon tax as a new source of revenue that could also help address climate change. The blog post quotes Morris who highlighted the budgetary benefits under her proposal, which would implement a tax of $16 per ton of CO2 and increase it by 4 percent plus inflation each year. She said, “As the tax goes up over time there could be additional revenue that could be used to reduce the budget deficit.” To read the full piece, click here.

Blog Post Jul 22, 2013

A Gang of 81 Surprises Washington

In his latest column in The Daily Beast, Advisory Council member Mark McKinnon discusses recent efforts by the bipartisan No Labels Problem Solvers coalition, comprised of 81 members of Congress. McKinnon outlines a legislative package recently announced by the group called Make Government Work!, which includes a measure to reduce duplicative government agencies and programs, and to lower energy waste in federal buildings. To read the full piece, click here.

Blog Post Jul 18, 2013

4 Ways You Can Prove Your Program Isn’t Waste

In a recent Government Executive article on federal initiatives to focus on evidence and evaluation in policymaking, John Kamensky cites The Hamilton Project’s recent discussion paper, “Building on Recent Advances in Evidence-Based Policymaking.” In the paper, Jeffrey Liebman of Harvard University discusses several government strategies have begun to emerge—at the federal, state, and local levels—that offer the potential of simultaneously making better use of taxpayer dollars and speeding up progress in addressing serious social problems and outlines five steps that policymakers can take to better inform their work with evidence. Kamensky quotes Liebman, who wrote in the paper: “The only way to make progress in this fiscal environment is to produce more value with each dollar that government spends. . . . We need to reallocate funds from less-effective programs to more-effective programs.” To read the full piece, click here.

Blog Post Jul 17, 2013

The Latest Statistics on Teen Sleep Needs

“Starting school later in the day for middle and high school students would likely increase student achievement, especially for disadvantaged teens, according to a 2011 study by the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution,” writes The Wall Street Journal’s Sue Shellenbarger in a recent Q&A for in the paper. Shellenbarger highlights The Hamilton Project discussion paper, “Organizing Schools to Improve Student Achievement: Start Times, Grade Configurations, and Teacher Assignments” in which, Brian A. Jacob and Jonah E. Rockoff suggest that implementing managerial reforms and making sure the “trains run on time” can substantially increase student learning at modest cost. Jacob and Rockoff propose three organizational reforms to improve student performance at moderate cost: 1) Starting school later in the day for middle and high school students; 2) Shifting from separate to elementary and middle schools to K-8; 3) allow teachers to teach the same grade level for multiple years or having teachers specializing in the subject where they appear most effective. To read the full paper, click here.

Blog Post Jul 16, 2013

The $6 Envelope That Gets Low-Income Kids Into College

Today in National Journal’s “The Next Economy,” Sophie Quinton highlights findings from The Hamilton Project’s recent discussion paper, “Informing Students about Their College Options: A Proposal for Broadening the Expanding College Opportunities Project.” In the paper, Caroline Hoxby of Stanford University and Sarah Turner of the University of Virginia present a strategy for improving college outcomes for high-achieving, low-income students.  Building on previous research showing that most high-achieving, low-income students do not even apply to selective colleges, Hoxby and Turner propose expanding a recently piloted informational intervention called the Expanding College Opportunities (ECO) Project. Quinton quotes Hoxby, who noted at The Hamilton Project’s recent forum on expanding college opportunity that, "It turns out that these interventions are just as effective or more effective than a lot of the in-person interventions that cost at least 100 times as much, and sometimes 300 or 400 times as much." To read the full piece, click here.

Blog Post Jul 10, 2013

The Economic Benefits of Fixing Our Broken Immigration System

Today, the White House released a report on the economic benefits of immigration reform. The report outlines how a Senate bill (S. 744) would strengthen the economy and boost the G.D.P.; foster innovation and encourage job growth; increase productivity and protect workers; and lower the federal deficit and strengthen Social Security. The report quotes Madeline Zavodny, co-author of The Hamilton Project’s “Overhauling the Temporary Work Visa System” who said, “Targeted changes to immigration policy geared toward admitting more highly educated immigrants and more temporary workers for specific sectors of the economy would help generate the growth, economic opportunity, and new jobs that America needs.” Her Hamilton Project proposal co-authored by Pia Orrenius and Giovanni Peri, presents a strategy to change the U.S. employment-based immigration system to make the system more efficient, increase the economic benefits of immigration and raise revenues by using market-based auctions to allocate visas. To read the full proposal, click here.

Blog Post Jul 8, 2013

A Better Investment

The American Association of Community Colleges recently highlighted findings from The Hamilton Project employment analysis ,”Is Starting College and Not Finishing Really That Bad” as part of their “DataPoints” series. In the employment analysis, the examines whether starting college is worth it for students who fail to complete a degree. The findings show that students who complete “some college” earn about $100,000 more throughout their lifetime than their peers with only a high school education, and the rate of return to their investment exceeds the historical return on practically any conventional investment, including stocks, bonds, and real estate. AACC notes that the return on investment for an associate degree is more than three times higher than these conventional investments. To read the full piece, click here.

Blog Post Jul 3, 2013

The War on Coal Is Good For the Economy..And Bad for Coal Miners And The Towns That Depend On Them

In a recent column in Forbes, Richard Green discusses a chart on the private and social costs of electricity generation by source from The Hamilton Project’s strategy paper, “A Strategy for America’s Energy Future: Illuminating Energy’s Full Costs.” In the paper, The Hamilton Project provides four principles for reforming America’s energy policies to help level the playing field for all energy sources — moving away from a system that favors energy sources with lower prices at the pump but higher costs to society through health impacts and our ongoing reliance on foreign oil. To read the full piece, click here.

Blog Post Jul 1, 2013

Here’s How To Get Smart, Poor Kids Into Top Colleges

In a recent story for ABCNews and Univision, Emily DuRuy writes that the “stakes are high for granting more poor students access to quality higher education” and highlights a recent Hamilton Project discussion paper, “Informing Students about Their College Options: A Proposal for Broadening the Expanding College Opportunities Project.” In the paper, Caroline Hoxby of Stanford University and Sarah Turner of the University of Virginia present a strategy for improving college outcomes for high-achieving, low-income students. Building on previous research showing that most high-achieving, low-income students do not even apply to selective colleges, Hoxby and Turner propose expanding a recently piloted informational intervention called the Expanding College Opportunities (ECO) Project. To read the full piece, click here.

Blog Post Jun 24, 2013

Is a college degree still worth it?

In a recent op-ed in the Dallas Morning News, Jeffrey Selingo cites data from The Hamilton Project employment analysis, “Where is the Best Place to Invest $102,000 — In Stocks, Bonds, or a College Degree?” In the analysis, The Project compares the value of a college degree to other investment options and finds higher education provides, by far, the greatest rate of return. Selingo highlights the finding that the “annual return on investment of a bachelor’s degree is 15 percent, compared with 6 percent for stocks and 1 percent for housing.” To read the full piece, click here.

Blog Post Jun 20, 2013

Can Government Play Moneyball?

In a recent article in The Atlantic, Advisory Council member Peter Orszag and co-author John Bridgeland argue for more evidence-driven budgetary decisions. They highlight findings from a paper released by The Hamilton Project and Results For America, “Building on Recent Advances in Evidence-Based Policymaking,” in which Jeffrey Liebman of Harvard University discusses several government strategies have begun to emerge—at the federal, state, and local levels—that offer the potential of simultaneously making better use of taxpayer dollars and speeding up progress in addressing serious social problems and outlines five steps that policymakers can take to better inform their work with evidence. He also proposes a grant competition that identifies and encourages innovation in ten social policy priority areas as well as federal support for state and local Pay for Success initiatives. Orszag and Bridgeland highlight Liebman’s finding that “spending a few hundred million dollars more a year on evaluations could save tens of billions of dollars by teaching us which programs work and generating lessons to improve programs that don’t.” To read the full piece, click here.

Blog Post Jun 18, 2013

Generation Dropout: Millennials Joining the Workforce Are Less Educated Than Retiring Boomers

Today in Quartz, Lauren Alix Brown cited The Hamilton Project’s jobs gap calculator in an article on a new study that found Americans entering the labor force have less education than those retiring from it. In the article, Brown discusses data from the calculator showing that ifthe economy adds about 208,000 jobs per month, which was the average monthly rate for the best year of job creation in the 2000s, then it will take until April 2020 to close the jobs gap. To read the full piece, click here.

Blog Post Jun 11, 2013

Going to college is worth it – even if you drop out

This week, Business Insider’s Laura Brothers and Wonkblog’s Dylan Matthews discussed The Hamilton Project’s latest employment analysis, “Is Starting College and Not Finishing Really That Bad?” In the analysis, the Project examines whether starting college is worth it for students who fail to complete a degree. The findings show that students who complete “some college” earn about $100,000 more throughout their lifetime than their peers with only a high school education. “Taking into account the cost of going to college for a certain period (1.83 years on average, for these students), the return on investment is significantly lower than that for bachelor’s degrees or professional degrees (a category which includes medical, law and dental degrees, but not PhDs or master’s degrees), but still higher than stocks, bonds, or any other conventional investment,” Matthews notes. To read the full Wonkblog story, click here. To read the full Business Insider story, click here.

Blog Post Jun 10, 2013

Study: Even for drop-outs, college pays

In a recent article, The Associated Press’ Justin Pope discusses The Hamilton Project’s latest employment analysis, “Is Starting College and Not Finishing Really That Bad?” In the analysis, the Project examines whether starting college is worth it for students who fail to complete a degree. The findings show that students who complete “some college” earn about $100,000 more throughout their lifetime than their peers with only a high school education, and the rate of return to their investment exceeds the historical return on practically any conventional investment, including stocks, bonds, and real estate. Pope quotes Hamilton Project Policy Director Adam Looney who discussing the analysis said, “It is vastly better to get a college degree… But I think the evidence says that fears of dropping out, that there are big downside risks to trying it and not finishing it, I think those are overblown.” To read the full piece, click here.

Blog Post Jun 5, 2013

U.S. steps up natural gas exports

In a recent CNNMoney article on natural gas exports, Steve Hargreaves cites findings from a Hamilton Project paper, “A Strategy for U.S. Natural Gas Exports.” In the paper, Michael Levi of the Council on Foreign Relations poses a framework for regulators to determine if exporting natural gas is in the public interest, arguing the upsides of exports outweigh the costs as long as the government acts to mitigate risk.Hargreaves quotes from the paper, highlighting Levi’s conclusion that “[DOE] should say yes, within prudent limits, and leverage U.S. exports for broader gain.” To read the full article, click here.

Blog Post May 29, 2013

America’s Rehearsals for Retirement

In her latest Project Syndicate column, Advisory Council member Laura D’Andrea Tyson discusses the nation’s retirement system. Tyson highlights policies that would make saving easier and more financially rewarding, including better-targeted tax incentives, matching government contributions and state-wide retirement plans. In a recent, Hamilton Project paper, “Better Ways to Promote Saving through the Tax System” Karen Dynan explores the design of government incentives for personal savings, outlining how reforms to these programs would improve saving and economic security for low-income households and reduce expensive and ineffective federal subsidies for high-income households.

Blog Post May 29, 2013

Upside of Low Employment Is Longer Life

In his latest column for Bloomberg View, Advisory Council member Peter Orszag discusses the link between the unemployment rate and life expectancy. He highlights estimates that indicate for each percentage-point the unemployment rate increases, the mortality rate falls by 0.3 percentage point. He writes that “the evidence suggests that a combination of forces contribute to the increase in life expectancy during times of higher unemployment: Motor vehicle deaths decline, people tend to avoid unhealthy behavior, air pollution is diminished, and nursing home staffing improves.” To read the full piece, click here.

Blog Post May 24, 2013

Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy Mark Mazur Cites a THP Proposal

Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy Mark Mazur cited a THP proposal in his testimony before the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations on "The Shifting of Profits Offshore by U.S. Multinational Corporations". Discussing the corporate profit shifting and its effects on tax revenues, he cited “Reforming Corporate Taxation in a Global Economy: A Proposal to Adopt Formulary Apportionment” and its estimates of how sales-based apportionment could reduce tax avoidance and raise revenues in the corporate tax system. To read the full testimony, click here.

Blog Post May 23, 2013

How To Close The Loopholes That Made Apple’s Tax-Dodging Completely Legal

In two stories on this week’s testimony by Apple CEO Tim Cook before the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Quartz’s Tim Fernholz and ThinkProgress’ Alan Pyke highlighted a paper released by The Hamilton Project and the Center for American Progress, “A Modern Corporate Tax”. In the paper, Alan Auerbach of the University of California, Berkeley, proposes two reforms to the U.S. corporate tax system: first, an immediate deduction for all investments that would replace the current system of depreciation allowances, and second, replacing the current approach to taxing foreign-source income with a system that ignores all transactions except those occurring exclusively in the United States. Pyke wrote that the proposal “would seem to balance both government and corporate interests.” For the ThinkProgress story, click here. For the Quartz story, click here.

Blog Post May 21, 2013

American Consumers’ Disposable Incomes Shrinking

In a recent article on Americans’ disposable income, the Epoch Times’ Heide Malhotra highlights data from The Hamilton Project’s “Better Ways to Promote Saving through the Tax System,” by Karen Dynan. In the proposal, Dynan examines the design of government incentives for personal savings, outlining how reforms to these programs would improve saving and economic security for low-income households and reduce expensive and ineffective federal subsidies for high-income households. Malhotra discusses findings from the paper that show the personal saving rate has declined dramatically over the past several decades. Americans saved about 4 percent of after-tax personal income in 2012, down from average saving rates of 5.5 percent in the 1990s, 8.6 percent in the 1980s, and 9.6 percent in the 1970s. To read the full piece, click here.

Blog Post May 20, 2013

A Marriage Mystery: Why Aren’t More Wives Outearning Their Husbands?

In a recent story for The Atlantic on why there are so few marriages where women earn more money than their husbands, Derek Thompson discusses data from the Hamilton Project’s “The Marriage Gap: The Impact of Economic and Technological Change on Marriage Rates.” In the employment analysis, The Hamilton Project examines the decline the marriages over the last 50 years, highlighting the correlation between income level and likelihood of marrying. Thompson discusses a chart from the employment analysis that shows “the bottom half of female earners have seen their marriage rates decline by 25 percentage points since 1970” and a chart that shows the correlation between declining marriage rates and declining male earnings. To read the full piece, click here.

Blog Post May 15, 2013

The Rising Tide Of Evidence-based Solutions

In a blog post for Markets for Good, America Achieves Managing Director Michele Jolin provides highlights from a recent forum hosted by America Achieves and The Hamilton Project on the importance of using evidence to drive effective policymaking. Jolin calls for continuing the “growing momentum” toward evidence-based solutions that is being driven by members of the media, lawmakers at various levels of government and other stakeholders. To read the full piece, click here.

Blog Post May 14, 2013

Should the United States have more jobs in recovery? What about Texas?

In a recent blog post for the Dallas Morning News’ “Biz Beat Blog”, Sheryl Jean highlights The Hamilton Project’s recent employment analysis, “Should the United States Have 2.2 Million More Jobs?” THP’s analysis explores government employment since the Great Recession and finds that, had the policy response been similar to that after other recent recessions, the economy would have about 2.2 million more jobs today. Jean discusses data from the Project’s jobs gap calculator, and highlights data on Texas’ jobs gap from THP’s state-by-state jobs gap chart. To read the full post, click here.

Blog Post May 8, 2013

Carbon tax is best option Congress has

A recent Washington Post editorial on tax reform suggests “a carbon tax is one of the best ideas in Washington almost no one in Congress will talk about.” The editorial highlights the Hamilton Project's "The Many Benefits of a Carbon Tax," in which Adele Morris of the Brookings Institution proposes a carbon tax as a new source of revenue that could also help address climate change.” The editorial notes Morris’ finding that even a modest carbon tax could help reduce the federal budget deficit by almost a trillion dollars over two decades. To read the full piece, click here.

Blog Post May 7, 2013

Austerity Has Cost The U.S. Economy 2.2 Million Jobs: Study

In a recent article in the Huffington Post, Mark Gongloff discusses findings from The Hamilton Project’s latest employment analysis, “Should the United States Have 2.2 Million More Jobs?” In the analysis, the Project explores the trajectory of public-sector employment since the Great Recession. The findings show that if the policy response to this recession had been similar to the response after other recent recessions, the economy would have about 2.2 million more jobs today. To read the full piece, click here.

Blog Post May 6, 2013

How Our Incredible Shrinking Government Raises Unemployment and Hurts the Recovery

Today in The Atlantic, Derek Thompson discusses findings from The Hamilton Project’s latest employment analysis, “Should the United States Have 2.2 Million More Jobs?” In the analysis, the Project explores the trajectory of public-sector employment since the Great Recession. The findings show that if the policy response to this recession had been similar to the response after other recent recessions, the economy would have about 2.2 million more jobs today. In his blog post, Thompson writes “it's intuitive that expansionary public spending (including on people) following a private sector meltdown are useful to help the economy catch up to trend-line growth. But rather than Washington leading the still-weak economy, the cart has led the horse, with the private sector adding roughly 2.2 million jobs over the past year while state, local, and federal governments have shed more than 90,000 jobs.” To read the full piece, click here.

Blog Post May 2, 2013

Everything you need to know about the Oregon Health Study

In today’s “Wonkbook,” Ezra Klein and Evan Soltas discuss the success of the Oregon Medicaid experiment, which they note is the first randomized-controlled trial on Medicaid coverage. For the experiment, Oregon held a lottery among low-income adults in 2008 to expand Medicaid coverage to 10,000 residents, and then compared this group with a similar group of adults without health coverage. Klein and Soltas write that the successful experiment was a “sad accident” because of its design and note that if more federal dollars were spent “to figure out which policies work and which don’t, we’d quickly amass a huge storehouse of evidence that could help us spend every other dollar in the budget more effectively.” Klein and Soltas highlight a recent Hamilton Project and Results for America proposal by Harvard Kennedy School’s Jeffrey Liebman, “,” which proposes reforming government funding practices to reward innovation and evidence. To read the full piece, click here.

Blog Post Apr 30, 2013

America’s Healthy Path to Fiscal Health

In her latest Project Syndicate column, Advisory Council member Laura D’Andrea Tyson questions why the growth in health-care spending has slowed down over the last five years. She discusses a variety of studies that suggest the slowdown will continue even after the economy recovers. She concludes that without a slowdown in health-care spending growth, “stabilizing the federal debt at a sustainable level will require deep cuts in spending on other priorities and increases in taxes on the middle class.” To read the full piece, click here.

Blog Post Apr 29, 2013

Geopolitical Consequences of U.S. Natural Gas Exports

In a recent testimony before a subcommittee of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Michael Levi of the Council on Foreign Relations discussed findings from his Hamilton Project proposal, “A Strategy for U.S. Natural Gas Exports.” In the paper, Levi poses a framework for regulators to determine if exporting natural gas is in the public interest, arguing the upsides of exports outweigh the costs as long as the government acts to mitigate risk. To read his full testimony, click here.

Blog Post Apr 24, 2013

U.S. Cities Need Private Spending on Public Works

In his latest Bloomberg View column, Advisory Council member Peter Orszag discusses how to design private-public partnerships for financing infrastructure in the U.S. He highlights a Hamilton Project paper “Public-Private Partnerships to Revamp U.S. Infrastructure” in which Eduardo Engel, Ronald Fischer, and Alexander Galetovic propose a series of best practices for state and local governments to follow when using public–private partnerships to provide infrastructure. The paper also was cited by Michael Deane, Executive Director of the National Association of Water Companies, in a blog post for the Huffington Post on the need for public-private partnerships for the nation’s water infrastructure.

Blog Post Apr 22, 2013

How Did the World’s Rich Get That Way? Luck

In a recent blog post in Bloomberg Businessweek’s “Small Change,” Charles Kenny discusses income inequality in the United States. He highlights data from a Hamilton paperin the Milken Institute Review focused on trends in earnings and job prospects in America during recent decades. Kenny notes a finding from the paper that median wages of average American men has fallen by $13,000 since 1969. To read the full piece, click here.

Blog Post Apr 11, 2013

Missing jobs create a hole in the lives of the unemployed

In a recent blog post in The Guardian, Helaine Olen highlights data from a Hamilton Project employment analysis “Unemployment and Earnings Losses: The Long-Term Impacts of The Great Recession on American Workers.” Olen discusses findings from the analysis on the earnings of Americans who lost their full-time jobs for economic reasons between October 2008 and April 2009 during the two years after their job loss. She notes that even those who found a new job earned an average of 17% less than they did in their previous positions. To read the full piece, click here.

Blog Post Apr 9, 2013

The Rise of Gay Marriage and the Decline of Straight Marriage: Where’s the Link?

In a recent article on gay marriage, The Atlantic’s Derek Thompson cites data on the wages of low-income men from The Hamilton Project's “The Marriage Gap: The Impact of Economic and Technological Change on Marriage Rates” . Thompson highlights a chart from THP that shows the change in earnings and the change in the share of men married by earnings percentile and notes that low-income men had the largest decline in marriage rates since the 1970s. To read the full piece, click here.

Blog Post Apr 4, 2013

Defense Secretary Hagel Quotes Hamilton Project’s “National Defense in a Time of Change”

In a speech yesterday at National Defense University, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel quoted from The Hamilton Project’s “National Defense in a Time of Change” by Adm. Gary Roughead (USN Ret.) and Kori Schake. In the paper, Roughead and Schake propose restructuring the force to improve the military’s ability to respond to modern challenges, making military procurement of assets more efficient and competitive, and creating benefits packages more in line with troops’ preferences. While discussing competing costs in the defense budget, Hagel said, "If these trends are not reversed, former Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead warned, ‘DOD could transform from an agency protecting the nation to an agency administering benefit programs capable of buying only limited quantities of irrelevant and overpriced equipment.’” To read the full speech, click here.

Blog Post Apr 2, 2013

Turning Back to Infrastructure

In a recent blog post for Occupational Health & Safety magazine, Jerry Law writes that many lawmakers and stakeholders “are calling for making major investments to repair America's roads and bridges.” He highlights a recent Hamilton Project paper, “Fix It First, Expand It Second, Reward It Third: A New Strategy for America’s Highways,” in which Matthew Kahn of the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability and David M. Levinson of the University of Minnesota proposed a reorganization of our national highway infrastructure priorities. To read the full piece, click here.

Blog Post Mar 29, 2013

Five ways to reform Social Security Disability Insurance

Today in the Washington Post’s “Wonkblog,” Dylan Matthews highlights two Hamilton Project proposals in a blog post on five ways to reform the disability insurance system. Matthews mentions “Supporting Work: A Proposal for Modernizing the U.S. Disability Insurance System,” in which David Autor and Mark Duggan discuss how the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program has failed to support the ongoing employment and economic self-sufficiency of workers with disabilities, leading to declining employment of Americans with disabilitiesand a rapid growth in program expenditures. Autor and Duggan offer a blueprint for refocusing the SSDI program toward assisting individuals with disabilities to remain employed. Matthews also highlights “An Evidence-Based Path to Disability Insurance Reform,” in which Jeffrey Liebman and Jack Smalligan propose a path to improve our disability insurance systemthrough demonstration projects and administrative changesthat could potentially increase employment and economic engagement among workers with disabilities--and provide more rapid and reliable resolution of disability insurance claims for those who cannot work. To read the full piece, click here.

Blog Post Mar 25, 2013

Trends with Benefits

The latest episode of This American Life, “Trends with Benefits,” and a series of stories this week on NPR’s “All Things Considered” focus on the growing number of Americans receiving federal disability payments and what the increase says about the U.S. economy. The programs feature commentary from David Autor and Mark Duggan who co-authored The Hamilton Project paper, “Supporting Work: A Proposal for Modernizing the U.S. Disability Insurance System.” The paper discusses how the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program has failed to support the ongoing employment and economic self-sufficiency of workers with disabilities, leading to rapid growth in program expenditures and declining employment of Americans with disabilities. Autor and Duggan’s proposal offers a blueprint for reversing this needless employment decline and stemming the dramatic growth of the SSDI program. To read the full proposal, click here.

Blog Post Mar 20, 2013

America’s Most Obvious Tax Reform Idea: Kill the Oil and Gas Subsidies

In a recent article in The Atlantic on oil and gas subsidies, Jordan Weissmann cites data from The Hamilton Project’s “Eliminating Fossil Fuel Subsidies” by Joseph Aldy, Assistant Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government. In the paper, Aldy proposes eliminating twelve subsidies to help level the playing field among fossil fuel producers relative to other businesses, and lead to potentially lower global fuel prices by providing the United States with increased leverage in negotiations over eliminating fossil fuel subsides in the developing world. Weissmann discusses forecasts from independent analysts included in Aldy’s paper that show eliminating the subsidies would have a limited effect on U.S. drilling activity. To read the full piece, click here.

Blog Post Mar 19, 2013

Solar player emerges as natural gas export’s unlikely champion

In a recent blog post on PV Tech’s “Editor’s Blog,” Felicity Carus discusses the debate surrounding natural gas exports. She highlights The Hamilton Project’s “A Strategy for U.S. Natural Gas Exports,” in which Michael Levi of the Council on Foreign Relations poses a framework for regulators to determine if exporting natural gas is in the public interest, arguing the upsides of exports outweigh the costs as long as the government acts to mitigate risk. To read the full piece, click here.

Blog Post Mar 14, 2013

The Democrats’ Exceedingly Timid Budget

In a “Moneybox” post comparing budget proposals released this week by House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan and Senate Democrats, Slate’s Matthew Yglesias discusses The Hamilton Project’s “15 Ways to Rethink the Federal Budget,” which includes pragmatic, evidenced-based proposals that would reduce the deficit and while also bringing broader economic benefits. Yglesias highlights two of the proposals: “The Many Benefits of a Carbon Tax,” by Adele Morris; and “Funding Transportation Infrastructure with User Fees ,” by Tyler Duvall and Jack Basso. To read the full piece, click here.

Blog Post Mar 13, 2013

Standard Tests Do Reveal Which Teachers Are Best

In his Bloomberg View column, Advisory Council member Peter Orszag discusses two new studies that suggest there are benefits to evaluating teachers using metrics such as students’ test scores. Orszag writes that these metrics should be improved, but “that shouldn’t keep us from using the ones we have now.” A 2006 Hamilton Project discussion paper, “Identifying Effective Teachers Using Performance on the Job,” outlines a program of federal support to help states measure the effectiveness of individual teachers. In the paper, Robert Gordon, Thomas J. Kane, and Douglas O. Staiger provide recommendations for improving teacher effectiveness, including the removal of barriers to entering the teaching profession and making it more difficult to grant tenure to those least effective on the job. To read the full paper, click here.

Blog Post Mar 11, 2013

Budget ideas that Democrats and Republicans might agree on

In a recent Washington Post column on federal budget negotiations, Ruth Marcus highlights several proposals from The Hamilton Project’s “15 Ways to Rethink the Federal Budget.” Marcus offers the proposals as “suggested reading” for policymakers and suggests that there are several ideas that could be appealing to both parties. Marcus features ““Transitioning to Bundled Payments in Medicare,” by Michael Chernew and Dana Goldman; “Restructuring Cost Sharing and Supplemental Insurance for Medicare,” by Jonathan Gruber; “Replacing the Home Mortgage Interest Deduction,” by Alan Viard; and “Better Ways to Promote Saving through the Tax System,” by Karen Dynan. To read the full piece, click here.

Blog Post Mar 5, 2013

Why has Congress left housing to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?

In the wake of the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s announcement on Monday that it will merge some operations for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, Wonkblog’s Neil Irwin in a blog post questions why there has not been legislative action for a broader overhaul of the U.S. housing finance system. Irwin discusses the government’s role in housing finance and notes that reform is necessary so taxpayers are not “on the hook for everyone who wants a place to live.” In a recent Hamilton Project paper, “Increasing the Role of the Private Sector in Housing Finance,” Phillip Swagel of the University of Maryland proposes reforms of the U.S. housing finance system to increase the role of private capital in funding housing, reduce taxpayer exposure to housing risk, sell off the government stakes in the mortgage finance firms of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and charge appropriate premiums for secondary insurance provided by the U.S. government on housing securities. Read the full proposal here.

Blog Post Mar 4, 2013

Breaking the logjam

A recent Washington Post editorial highlights the Hamilton Project's "The Many Benefits of a Carbon Tax," in which Adele Morris of the Brookings Institution proposes a carbon tax as a new source of revenue that could also help address climate change. She suggests that a carbon tax would reduce the buildup of greenhouse gasses, replace command-and-control regulations and expensive subsidies with transparent and powerful market-based incentives, and promote economic activity through reduced regulatory burden and lower marginal tax rates. The editorial argues that the plan should be politically attractive to both parties as it would "cut future deficits, slash taxes, eliminate wasteful government spending and reduce climate change." To read the full piece, click here.

Blog Post Feb 27, 2013

How to Not Cut Stupidly

Last night on MSNBC’s “The Last Word,” Ezra Klein highlighted his top five proposals from The Hamilton Project’s “15 Ways to Rethink the Federal Budget.” Klein featured “The Many Benefits of a Carbon Tax,” by Adele Morris; “Transitioning to Bundled Payments in Medicare,” by Michael Chernew and Dana Goldman; “Limiting Individual Income Tax Expenditures,” by Diane Lim, “Funding Transportation Infrastructure with User Fees ,” by Tyler Duvall and Jack Basso; and “Making Defense Affordable,” by Cindy Williams. For more information on all fifteen policy proposals, or to download all the proposals in a single volume, either in PDF format or as a free ebook, click here. For the video clip, click here.

Blog Post Feb 22, 2013

The deal to avoid a US fiscal crunch

In a recent op-ed in the Financial Times, Advisory Council member Roger Altman discussed the need to avoid sequestration and provides steps policymakers should take to reach a deal. To read the full piece, click here. Altman will moderate discussion on the current state of the budget with three former directors of the Congressional Budget Office during part two of THP’s budget series on Feb. 26. For more information on the event, click here.

Policy Response Feb 14, 2013

Policy Response to the 2013 State of the Union Address

In his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama outlined an ambitious second-term agenda focusing on policies to help strengthen America’s middle class through broad-based economic growth. Since its launch in 2006, The Hamilton Project has released a range of targeted policy proposals that provide innovative, evidence-based approaches to address many of the priorities set forth in this year’s address, which we offer as a resource to policymakers in response to specific ideas mentioned by the President this week.

Blog Post Feb 13, 2013

The Benefits of a ‘Fix it First’ Approach

In last night’s State of the Union address, President Obama proposed a “Fix-it-First” approach to investing in our nation’s ailing infrastructure. This approach recognizes the value of the well-traveled network of roads and bridges that make up our nation’s existing highway system, and prioritizes the maintenance and rehabilitation of our deteriorating system. In “Fix It First, Expand It Second, Reward It Third: A New Strategy for America’s Highways," a paper commissioned by The Hamilton Project at Brookings, authors Matthew Kahn and David Levinson argue that the repair, maintenance, rehabilitation, reconstruction, and enhancement of our existing roads and bridges is the best way to maximize the benefits of infrastructure spending. When first constructed decades ago, the interstate highway system led to economic gains by connecting people and businesses. The full benefits of that system has eroded as roads and bridges have deteriorated, contributing to congestion, longer travel times, increased wear and tear on vehicles, and even accidents. A fix-it-first approach would recoup the value we’re missing from using our current system inefficiently.

Blog Post Feb 13, 2013

The Economic Windfall of Immigration Reform

In an op ed for the Wall Street Journal, Giovanni Peri of UC Davis previews his new Hamilton Project proposal, “Overhauling the Temporary Work Visa System,” to move us toward an employment-based immigration system. Under the proposal, co-authored by Pia Orrenius of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank, and Madeline Zavodny at Agnes Scott College, market-based auctions would be used to allocate temporary permits for employers to hire immigrants. To read the full piece, click here. The proposal will be discussed at an upcoming Hamilton Project forum featuring a diverse group of experts from around the country who will discuss an additional dozen targeted policy proposals that will be released that day on reforming entitlement spending, tax reform, and how to create new sources of revenue and efficiency. For more information on the event, click here.

Blog Post Feb 11, 2013

US must do more than focus on deficit

In a recent opinion piece in the Financial Times, Advisory Council member Lawrence Summers calls for lawmakers to avoid focusing solely on deficit reduction and instead look for a “broader, growth-centered agenda” to help boost the U.S. economy. He discusses several steps that could help move toward this goal, such as spreading the budget cuts included in the sequester over time, and creating a year-end deadline to address certain aspects of corporate tax reform. To read the full piece, click here.

Blog Post Feb 5, 2013

Are Immigrants Taking Your Job? A Primer

In a blog post on the effects of immigration on American workers in the New York Times’ “Economix,” Catherine Rampell discusses findings in The Hamilton Project’s recent piece, “The Economics of Immigration” that indicate American-born workers could see wages increase by between 0.1% and 0.6% on average with a boost in immigrants. She also notes that The Project found immigrants generally complement native-born workers, as low-skill immigrants often fill jobs that U.S.-born workers do not want and high-skill immigrants fill vacancies for which there are not enough trained native-born candidates. To read the full piece, click here. Additional information on the economic impacts of immigration on the U.S. economy can be found in another Hamilton Project paper, “Ten Economic Facts about Immigration.”

Blog Post Feb 4, 2013

How Immigration Reform Could Help Fix Our Economy

In a recent post on Bill Moyers’ “What Matters Today” blog, John Light highlights The Hamilton Project’s “Ten Economic Facts About Immigration” and “The Economics of Immigration” to dispute the notion that immigrants drain the economy. Light discusses several graphs from The Project including charts on the education levels and monthly business formation rates of U.S. born and foreign born workers. He notes that immigrants have a positive effect on U.S. born workers by raising wages and lowering prices, and cites THP data on the complementary effects of immigrants. To read the full piece, click here.

Blog Post Feb 1, 2013

The Economics of Immigration

The New York Times’ David Brooks and Washington Post’s Ezra Klein in columns published today highlight findings from The Hamilton Project’s “Ten Economic Facts About Immigration”. In the Times, Brooks argues that immigration reform is the “best chance to increase America’s economic dynamism” and cites The Project’s finding that immigrants are 30% more likely to start a new business than U.S.-born citizens as evidence. In the Post, Klein highlights several Hamilton Project graphs, including one on the monthly business formation rates of immigrants and U.S.-born citizens and another that shows immigrants file patents at a higher rate that U.S.-born citizens. In addition to The Hamilton Project’s “Ten Economic Facts About Immigration,” Klein includes a Hamilton Project discussion paper, “Rationalizing U.S. Immigration Policy: Reforms for Simplicity, Fairness, and Economic Growth,” by economist Giovanni Peri of UC Davis as recommended reading. In his proposal, Peri offers an incremental, market-based approach to comprehensive reform. Peri proposes starting with market-based changes to employment-based visas to better link visas with labor-market demand.

Blog Post Jan 31, 2013

Immigration Reform Could Be A Boon To U.S.-Born Workers, Experts Say

In a recent Huffington Post article on immigration reform, Jillian Berman highlights data in a recent Hamilton Project piece on “The Economic Effects of Immigration” that show American-born workers could see wages increase by between 0.1% and 0.6% on average with a boost in immigrants. She also quotes Hamilton Project Director Michael Greenstone who notes that immigration “makes the pie larger” rather than producing negative effects on wages. To read the full piece, click here.

Blog Post Jan 30, 2013

Meeting America’s Growth Challenge

In Project Syndicate, Advisory Council member Laura D’Andrea Tyson writes that there is reason to expect the nation’s economic condition to see modest improvements this year, but notes several risk factors. Tyson writes that the two greatest risks would come from a failure to raise the debt ceiling and “an additional round of fiscal contraction that stymies economic growth.” She writes that lawmakers have been focused deficit reduction and making the debt to GDP ratio sustainable, when they should be focused on a plan for faster growth. Read the full piece here.

Blog Post Jan 29, 2013

Analysis: Immigration reform could boost U.S. economic growth

In a Reuters article on the economic effects of immigration, Edward Krudy highlights a forthcoming THP proposal by Giovanni Peri that would move us toward an employment-based immigration system to increase the economic benefits of immigration while also raising revenue by auctioning visas. To read the full piece, click here. The paper will be released on February 26th when The Hamilton Project will host a forum in Washington, DC featuring a diverse group of experts from around the country who will discuss an additional dozen targeted policy proposals that will be released that day on reforming entitlement spending, tax reform, and how to create new sources of revenue and efficiency. For more information on the event, click here.

Blog Post Jan 24, 2013

Odd Couple: Will Dow Chemical and Ed Markey’s Opposition to Natural Gas Exports Cripple America’s Energy Advantage?

The Department of Energy’s recent analysis that found exporting liquid natural gas would benefit the U.S. economy echoes findings in a Hamilton Project discussion paper by Michael Levi, according to Forbes’ Jon Entine. In the paper, “A Strategy for U.S. Natural Gas Exports,” Levi suggests that Department and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission should approve export applications to help promote U.S. trade and foreign policy agenda, arguing the upsides of exports outweigh the costs as long as the government acts to mitigate risk. Entine notes that the DOE report has been endorsed by many industry groups and represents a “rare instance in which liberals and conservatives as well as industry and thoughtful environmentalists mostly agree.” Read the full piece here.

Blog Post Jan 22, 2013

America’s deficits: The problem is more than fiscal

In a recent opinion piece in the Washington Post, Advisory Council member Lawrence Summers writes that reducing the federal budget deficit should be prioritized but it should not “take over economic policy.” Summers writes that focusing on the debt could cause lawmakers to pursue policy measures that only provide cosmetic improvements in deficit reduction and while ignoring investments in areas such as preventative medicine that could have high returns in the long run. Read the full piece here.

Blog Post Jan 22, 2013

Issues in Science and Technology Feature Hamilton Project Paper on “Staying in School”

The Winter issue of Issues in Science and Technology highlights a Hamilton Project discussion paper in which Philip Oreopoulos and Derek Messacar of the University of Toronto present a strategy for reducing the dropout rate that would raise the compulsory schooling age to 18, and also combines stricter and better-enforced school-attendance laws with programs that have been statistically proven to prevent disengagement among at-risk students.

Blog Post Jan 17, 2013

The Debt Ceiling Is Scarier Than the Fiscal Cliff

In a recent column in the Wall Street Journal, Advisory Council member Alan Blinder argues that the impact of hitting the federal debt ceiling at the end of February would have worse consequences than going over the fiscal cliff. He writes that if the parties fail to reach a compromise to raise the debt limit would cause spending to shrink by 6% of GDP, sending the nation into recession, and likely to a second ratings downgrade and higher borrowing costs for years to come. Read the full piece here.

Blog Post Jan 15, 2013

Deep Dive: Promises Kept

Today on MSNBC’s “The Daily Rundown,” Chuck Todd highlights Hamilton Project data in a segment on President Obama’s first term. Todd cites data from a recent Hamilton Project employment analysis, “A Record Decline in Government Jobs: Implications for the Economy and America’s Workforce,” on public-sector employment trends, in which The Project found nearly 212,000 teaching jobs were cut between 2009 and 2011. Watch the video clip here.

Blog Post Jan 14, 2013

100,000 cops

In the wake of the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, Daily Kos’ Jon Perr proposes adding another 100,000 members to the police force to make communities more secure and to help the economy. Perr cites data from a recent Hamilton Project employment analysis, “A Record Decline in Government Jobs: Implications for the Economy and America’s Workforce,” on public-sector employment trends. Parr highlights THP data on declining numbers of police department employees and emergency responders between 2011 and 2009. Read the full piece here.

Blog Post Jan 11, 2013

Why the Unemployment Rate is So High

Advisory Council member Laura D’Andrea Tyson cites a recent Hamilton Project piece in a recent blog post about the unemployment rate in the New York Times’ “Economix.” Tyson argues against the idea that the unemployment rate remains high because of a gap between the skill requirements of vacant jobs and those skilled possessed by unemployed Americans. Instead, she writes that the economic evidence suggests the high unemployment rate is due to weak demand. Read the full piece here.

Blog Post Jan 10, 2013

Guns are Killing the Republican Party

In his Daily Beast column, Advisory Council member Mark McKinnon discusses the GOP’s stance on gun control in the wake of the recent school shooting in Newtown, Conn. He questions why gun enthusiasts would oppose proposals by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and others for initiatives such as requiring background checks for firearm buyers and strengthening mental health checks. McKinnon writes that the GOP is looking backwards on issues such as immigration, gay rights and guns, and suggests that the party could be on a “path toward irrelevance” if it fails to release a plan in response to the Newtown shooting and other recent massacres. Read the full piece here.

Blog Post Jan 7, 2013

Exports of American Natural Gas May Fall Short of High Hopes

Clifford Krauss in a recent New York Times article reports on some challenges facing efforts to export American natural gas, and suggests that the global demand for unleashed shale gas could taper off. In a recent Hamilton Project discussion paper, “A Strategy for U.S. Natural Gas Exports,” Michael Levi suggests that Department and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission should approve export applications to help promote U.S. trade and foreign policy agenda, arguing the upsides of exports outweigh the costs as long as the government acts to mitigate risk. Read the full piece here.

Blog Post Jan 3, 2013

Obama’s Immigration Reform Push To Begin This Month

According to an Obama administration official, the President plans to push for immigration reform this month, the Huffington Post reports. White House aides said it is expected take about two months to draft bipartisan legislation, but according to the Huffington Post, it is unclear what kind of policies the administration will pursue. In a Hamilton Project discussion paper, "Rationalizing U.S. Immigration Policy: Reforms for Simplicity, Fairness, and Economic Growth," Giovanni Peri of UC Davis offers an incremental, market-based approach to comprehensive immigration reform. Peri proposes starting with market-based changes to employment-based visas to better link visas with labor market demand. Read the full piece here.

Blog Post Jan 2, 2013

2012: The Year in Graphs

The Washington Post’s Wonkblog highlights work from The Hamilton Project and selections by several Advisory Council members in its feature titled, “2012: The Year in Graphs.” The piece quotes Hamilton Project Director Michael Greenstone and highlights two graphs from The Project on costs associated with various sources of electricity generation and the change in family earnings of children. Wonkblog also quotes Advisory Council members Robert Greenstein, Peter Orszag and Alice Rivlin who weigh in on charts and graphs they felt best represented the year. To read the full piece, click here.

Blog Post Dec 26, 2012

Seeing the forest in the fiscal cliff: 3 ways tax policy must be reformed

In a Quartz opinion piece, Hamilton Project Director Michael Greenstone and Policy Director Adam Looney discuss three challenges facing lawmakers as they negotiate on the fiscal cliff and work to reform the tax code. Greenstone and Looney write that any successful plan will need to address the nation's daunting outlook for budget deficits, the increasingly competitive global economy, and rising income inequality. To read the full piece, click here.

Blog Post Dec 20, 2012

Inequality’s pernicious twin is our growing cultural divide

In a Reuters opinion piece on economic inequality, Don Peck highlights data from a paper by Hamilton Project Director Michael Greenstone and Policy Director Adam Looney, “Trends: Reduced Earnings for Men in America: Full Paper,” on some of the workforce challenges facing American men. Peck notes data that show earnings for men with only high school diplomas have fallen 25%, adjusted for inflation, since 1969. Read the full piece here.

Blog Post Dec 19, 2012

Job creation’s glum arithmetic

Today in the Washington Post’s “PostPartisan,” Robert Samuelson highlights a Hamilton Project analysis, “How Long Will It Take to Get to 6.5 Percent Unemployment,” which was released after the Fed’s recent announcement that interest rates will remain at historic lows until the unemployment rate falls below 6.5 percent. Samuelson discusses THP’s estimates of how many jobs would need to be created to lower the unemployment rate from 7.7 percent in November, to 6.5 percent.

Blog Post Dec 18, 2012

Jobs Gap Could Close In 2020: Report

Ideas Lab highlights The Hamilton Project’s jobs gap calculator, a interactive feature that allows you to calculate how long it will take to close the “jobs gap” under different scenarios of growth.The blog post also cites The Project’s state-by-state jobs gap chart, which allows users to see the number of jobs each state would have to add in order to bring its employment-to-population ratio to its pre-recession level. To read the full piece, click here.

Blog Post Dec 13, 2012

Prosperity Isn’t Free: The Fair Way Down the Fiscal Cliff

In a recent piece in Foreign Affairs, Advisory Council member Bob Greenstein outlines the key components of a sound plan to avoid the fiscal cliff. Greenstein argues that the fiscal cliff negotiations should focus both on protecting our economic recovery in the near term, while also promoting long-term growth, opportunity, and shared prosperity. He writes that though the U.S. needs to cut spending and increase revenues, lawmakers should do so responsibly and avoid hitting low-income working families with new taxes. To read the full piece, click here.

Blog Post Dec 11, 2012

Unemployment Benefits Hang on “Fiscal Cliff” Deal

In today’s Daily Ticker, Hamilton Project Policy Director Adam Looney discusses the impact of an unemployment insurance (UI) benefit extension on employment incentives, noting that extended benefits added only between 0.1 and 0.5 percentage point to the unemployment rate in 2011. Washington Post's Brad Plumer in an article today on jobless benefits highlighted a new Hamilton Project paper, "The Impact of Fiscal Cliff Negotiations on American Jobs," in which Looney and Hamilton Project Director Michael Greenstone discuss the benefits of UI in more detail.

Blog Post Dec 10, 2012

The GOP’s immigration jam

Although top Republicans support a comprehensive immigration reform deal, many rank and file lawmakers are skeptical, Politico’s Jim Vandehei and Mike Allen report. According to Politico, advisers to Sen. Marco Rubio, House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan and others are preparing a series of smaller immigration bills that could be passed over the next two years, while GOP leaders and the Obama administration are expected to push for one inclusive bill. In a Hamilton Project discussion paper, "Rationalizing U.S. Immigration Policy: Reforms for Simplicity, Fairness, and Economic Growth," Giovanni Peri of UC Davis offers an incremental, market-based approach to comprehensive immigration reform. Peri proposes starting with market-based changes to employment-based visas to better link visas with labor market demand. Read the full piece here.

Blog Post Dec 6, 2012

The No Good, Very Bad Outlook for the Working-Class American Man

In National Journal, Jonathan Rauch cites data from The Hamilton Project in an article on the effects of the economy on middle class Americans, particularly less-skilled men. Rauch writes that overall economic growth over the last few decades has not translated into higher wages for large segments of the population, which has led many Americans to leave the workforce. He quotes THP Policy Director Adam Looney as saying the departure of many of these less-skilled workers from the workforce will “place a huge strain on the social safety net in the coming decades." Rauch argues that both economic and cultural forces have impacted less-skilled workers’ ability to earn livable wages, and suggests that remedies to both areas should be pursued to reverse the trend. He cites THP data on the earnings of median male workers, the number of men participating in the workforce by education level, and the earnings and marital rates of men. Read the full piece here.

Blog Post Dec 6, 2012

U.S. Gas Exports Clear Hurdle

The WSJ reports today on a new Energy Information Administration study finding that natural gas exports could benefit the U.S. economy. In a recent Hamilton Project paper, Michael Levi proposes assessing the merits of allowing natural gas exports along six dimensions: macroeconomic (including output, jobs, and balance of trade), distributional, oil security, climate change, foreign and trade policy, and local environment. In doing so, he finds that the likely benefits of allowing exports outweigh the costs of constraining them, assuming the appropriate environmental protections are in place.

Blog Post Dec 5, 2012

Extending Unemployment Insurance — A Live Web Chat with Adam Looney

Negotiations on a compromise to avoid the fiscal cliff are underway, and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are also discussing whether or not to extend unemployment insurance for 12 million unemployed Americans before the benefits expire at year-end. On December 5, Hamilton Project Policy Director Adam Looney took your questions on extending unemployment insurance in a live web chat moderated by Vivyan Tran at POLITICO. To read a full transcript of the chat, click here.

Blog Post Dec 5, 2012

ADP: We gained 118,000 jobs in November. That’s really bad.

In Washington Post’s “Wonkblog,” Dylan Matthews discusses private forecaster ADP’s latest report on job growth and unemployment changes, which estimates that the economy gained 118,000 jobs last month.  Matthews cites data from The Hamilton Project’s jobs gap calculator—an interactive feature that allows you to calculate how long it will take to close the “jobs gap” under different scenarios of growth—which shows that at a rate of 118,000 jobs per month, the U.S. will not be back at pre-recession employment levels until after 2025. Read the full piece here.

Blog Post Dec 4, 2012

The Importance of UI Benefits for American Families and the Economy

Among the many spending cuts and tax increases legislated to take effect at the turn of the year, few policies have as direct an effect on those most affected by the recession than the expiration of extended unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. During the first week of January, roughly two million individuals will lose extended benefits with the expiration of legislation that temporarily increased the duration individuals can claim benefits. As lawmakers consider whether to extend these benefits, The Hamilton Project’s Michael Greenstone and Adam Looney explore the evidence on unemployment insurance. They find that while these benefits make up only $30 billion of the roughly $500 billion ‘fiscal cliff,’ they have a disproportionate effect on the lives of the unemployed and their families, as well as on the aggregate economy. To read the full piece, click here. Tomorrow, Hamilton Project Policy Director Adam Looney will answer questions about the costs and benefits of extending UI benefits during a live webchat moderated by POLITICO’s Vivyan Tran. For more information or to register for the webchat, click here.

Blog Post Dec 3, 2012

Winners and losers in the battle for immigrant talent

New data from the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development show that in Canada, Ireland, Israel, Luxembourg, and the United Kingdom have the highest share of immigrants with college-level degrees. In fact,higher degrees are substantially overrepresented among immigrants in these countries as compared to native-born people, Quartzreports. The data also show that more native-born U.S. residents have college-level degrees, compared with those who immigrate to the country. The Hamilton Project’s, “Ten Economic Facts About Immigration,” supports the findingthat the skill composition of U.S. immigrants differs from that of other nations. The Project found 35%of U.S. immigrantshave a high level of education(roughly equivalent to an associate’s degree or higher), compared with 46% in Canada. Read the full piece here.

Blog Post Nov 30, 2012

Immigration unity hits Hill reality

There are signs of progress on immigration reform among members of both parties, but disagreement remains on the size and scope of approach, Politico reports. Politico notes that some GOP lawmakers favor a piecemeal approach that would address popular issues first, while other members of the party and many Democrats are calling for a comprehensive plan. In a Hamilton Project discussion paper, "Rationalizing U.S. Immigration Policy: Reforms for Simplicity, Fairness, and Economic Growth," Giovanni Peri of UC Davis offers an incremental, market-based approach to immigration reform. Peri proposes starting with market-based changes to employment-based visas to better link visas with the labor market and ending with broad simplification in many areas of policy. Read the full piece here.

Blog Post Nov 29, 2012

If you want to solve the IT skills gap, fix the gender gap

In a Nextgov blog post, Dana Grinshpan describes a shortage of skilled cybersecurity professionals to fill positions aimed at combating security breaches in federal IT systems. She notes that one challenge to recruiting skilled workers for these vacancies is that the percentage of women who go into science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields continues to decline despite the increased demand for workers in these fields. The Hamilton Project’s “A Dozen Economic Facts About Innovation,” highlights this disparity and notes that American women are less likely to pursue advanced degrees and employment in STEM fields than men. Read the full piece here.

Blog Post Nov 28, 2012

Senators introduce GOP alternative to Dream Act

Immigration reform remains a hot topic of discussion among Democratic and Republican leaders in Congress, with three GOP lawmakers weighing into the debatetodaywith a new proposal, the Washington Post reports. The Hamilton Project’s “Ten Economic Facts About Immigration” provides useful evidence for policymakers as they consider proposals to improve the current U.S. immigration system. The paper explores some of the questions frequently raised around immigration in the United States and provides facts drawn from publicly available data sets and the academic literature. Read the full piece here.

Blog Post Nov 27, 2012

Fiscal cliff threatens scientific research, experts warn

In a recent policy memo, “A Dozen Economic Facts About Innovation,” The Hamilton Project found that federal support for research and development has been on the decline in recent years. The paper found that federal funding for R&D as a percent of GDP has declined from a high of 2.2 percent in 1964 to 1 percent today. Now, many experts are warning that a failure to reach a deal to avoid going over the fiscal cliff would lead to automatic spending cuts that will further reduce those investments, McClatchy Newspapers reports. Read the full story here.

Blog Post Nov 26, 2012

Inside America’s Tax Battle

In Project Syndicate, Advisory Council member Laura D’Andrea Tyson discusses the challenges to achieving a balanced deficit-reduction plan that includes both increases in revenue and cuts to spending. Tyson says that despite the bipartisan support for a balanced approach, there has not been agreement on tax rates for high-income Americans. She highlights President Obama’s proposal to let 2001 and 2003 rate cuts for the top 2-3% of taxpayers be allowed to expire at the end of the year, while the rate cuts for other taxpayers are extended. She notes that Republicans want the rate cuts to be extended for all taxpayers, arguing that increases in top rates would discourage job creation. Tyson discusses recent research suggesting no link between tax cuts for high-income taxpayers and job creation, and highlights findings from a Hamilton Project paper, “A Dozen Economic Facts About Tax Reform,” which show that the federal tax system has become less progressive at the same time as the biggest tax cuts have gone to high-income Americans.

Blog Post Nov 21, 2012

Dump the H-1B visa. Link immigration reform to what a global economy actually needs—workers who can come and go

In a Quartz article on immigration reform, Liz Espin Stern highlights findings from The Hamilton Project discussion paper, “Rationalizing U.S. Immigration Policy: Reforms for Simplicity, Fairness, and Economic Growth,”on the percentage of immigrants who were key founders in engineering and IT companies in the decade after 1995, patent activity among high-skilled immigrants, and more. In the paper, Giovanni Peri of UC Davis proposes a practical set of immigration reforms to simplify the system and better link visaallocationwith labor market demand. Additional information on the economic impacts of immigration on the U.S. economy can be found in another Hamilton Project paper, “Ten Economic Facts about Immigration.”

Blog Post Nov 14, 2012

The economics of global climate leadership

Ryan Avent in The Economist’s “Free Exchange” argues that the most notable part of the latest World Energy Outlook report is the expected shifts in energy supply and demand. He notes that new techniques, including hydraulic fracturing or fracking, will make the U.S. an net exporter of energy within the next few decades, which will have large effects on energy trade. In the Hamilton Project discussion paper, “Modernizing Bonding Requirements for Natural Gas Producers,” UC Berkley’s Lucas Davis argues that fracking could provide significant benefits to the nation’s economy, but suggests this and other technological advances raise many environmental concerns. To ensure funds are available for clean-up when natural gas accidents occur, Davis discusses new approaches to bonding requirements for producers, including increasing federal minimum bond amounts and encouraging states to adopt similar minimum bond amounts for drilling on non-federal land.

Blog Post Nov 13, 2012

The Fiscal Delusion

In a New York Times opinion piece, Advisory Council member Robert E. Rubin suggests that the focus on reducing or eliminating tax expenditures to address the fiscal cliff and the nation’s long-term fiscal trajectory is misguided. Rubin argues that many of these cuts would hit important and popular policy programs and ultimately would not create enough savings to have a significant impact on tax rates or the budget deficit. He also suggests that continuing to discuss proposals that would reduce tax rates and deficits, such as the Simpson-Bowles plan, could backfire. Rubin highlights data from a Hamilton Project paper, “A Dozen Economic Facts About Tax Reform,” that show lowering individual income tax rates would modestly increase the earnings of the typical American family while substantially increasing the federal budget deficit. Read the full piece here.

Blog Post Nov 8, 2012

Obama could put heat on drillers but stall gas exports

Analysts expect President Obama will pursue tougher energy regulations early in his second term, but say he is likely to put off a decision on natural gas exports, according to an article in Reuters by Timothy Gardner. Many opponents of natural gas exports say it could lead to increased fuel costs and conflict with domestic manufacturing efforts. Michael Levi of the Council on Foreign Relations in a Hamilton Project discussion paper, "A Strategy for U.S. Natural Gas Exports,” poses a framework for regulators to determine if exporting natural gas is in the public interest, arguing the upsides of exports outweigh the costs as long as the government acts to mitigate risk. Read the full paper here.

Blog Post Nov 8, 2012

The Long-Term Economic To-Do List

In a Wall Street Journal article on President Obama’s “economic to-do list,” David Wessel cites data from the Hamilton Project on trends in annual wages for American workers. The Project’s data suggest that wages of American male workers began stagnating before the Great Recession and women are beginning to face some of the same issues. In the New York Times’ Economix Hamilton Project Director Michael Greenstone and Adam Looney previously discussed these trends. Read the full Economix piece here.

Blog Post Nov 7, 2012

How Obama’s Reelection Could Shape Budget Talks

Advisory Council members Peter Orszag and Laura D’Andrea Tyson were among those discussing how President Obama’s reelection will affect budget negotiations going forward. Tyson, in an interview with Wall Street Journal Live, said the “key challenge is to find a way to avoid going over the fiscal cliff to provide time to really make a long-run deal.” Orszag in his Bloomberg column said the main obstacle will be determining how to handle the expiring Bush-era tax cuts and suggests that the Obama administration should have been working with one of three options over the past few months to move forward.

Blog Post Nov 6, 2012

Running the numbers on your college education ROI

Reuters in an article on selecting a major highlights data from The Hamilton Project paper, “Where is the Best Place to Invest $102,000 — In Stocks, Bonds, or a College Degree?” which finds that investing in college has a higher return than investments in stocks and bonds. The Project compares the economic benefits of a college degree to its costs and finds the benefits of a four-year college degree on average are more than double the average return to stock market investments since 1950 and more than five times the returns to corporate bonds, gold, long-term government bonds, or home ownership. Read the full piece here.

Blog Post Oct 31, 2012

Stephen G. Rosentel: Natural gas prices may rise unexpectedly

Stephen G. Rosentel in an opinion piece on an energy strategy released earlier this month by Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy and the state’s Department of Environment and Energy Commissioner Daniel C. Esty highlights The Hamilton Project paper, "A Strategy for U.S. Natural Gas Exports,” in which Michael Levi of the Council on Foreign Relations poses a framework for regulators to determine if exporting natural gas is in the public interest, arguing the upsides of exports outweigh the costs as long as the government acts to mitigate risk.

Blog Post Oct 29, 2012

Advocates lament shrinking funds for medical research

The Hill's "Healthwatch" highlights a new Research!America report that shows declines in federal spending on medical research and development of 14% or more than $6 billion between fiscal years 2010 and 2011. The Hamilton Project addressed the declining spending on research development in a paper, "A Dozen Economic Facts About Innovation," which examines the role of innovation in driving the U.S. economy. Read the full paper here.