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News Coverage Mar 27, 2018

The New York Times: Here’s Why an Accurate Census Count Is So Important

“’It’s getting harder to conduct the census, due to a variety of factors, including increasing cultural & linguistic diversity, and distrust of the government,’ said Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, an economist who directs the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University. ‘The addition of the citizenship question will make the enumerators’ jobs even harder by heightening privacy concerns and reducing participation among immigrants, who may fear the information will be used to harm them or their families.’”

News Coverage Mar 16, 2018

The Washington Post: Fiscal Policy Is Working Backward: Why That’s a Real Concern

"Another interesting point in the figure is the large, negative contribution from financial conditions in 2015. Jay Shambaugh, director of the Brookings Hamilton Project, points out that exchange rate and Fed dynamics were in play here. ‘Assumptions that the Federal Reserve would raise rates much faster than the rest of the world helped spur a substantial appreciation of the dollar (15 to 20 percent in 18 months) which contributed to slower U.S. and global growth in 2015 and 2016."

News Coverage Mar 12, 2018

The Washington Post: Fixing the Tax Bill: How Democrats Should Use Some Rare Leverage

“Support is building for a program to help reach disadvantaged workers in places left behind even in year nine of the current expansion. As I discuss in this recent paper for the Brookings Hamilton Project, Congress should allocate a mandatory Full Employment Fund to support a jobs programs that could range from less interventionist employer subsidies to more ambitious direct job-creation initiatives.”

News Coverage Mar 9, 2018

Pacific Standard: How to Give American Workers Fair Wages

Last month, the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution convened a panel to discuss solutions to this problem; the event coincided with the release of a new e-book from theHamilton Project that's chock full of proposals to address wage stagnation. ‘Coming out of a very deep recession, there's often a single-minded focus on jobs, jobs, jobs,’ says Jay Shambaugh, an economist and the director of the Hamilton Project. ‘But as theunemployment rate comes down, at a certain point, it's important to think about what thereturn on those jobs is. And if you look at the broader sweep of history, the returns to work for the typical worker have not been growing.’

News Coverage Mar 6, 2018

Equitablog: What would lead to monetary overshooting by the Fed?

But perhaps a new target alone wouldn’t be enough. At an event last week hosted by the Hamilton Project, Neel Kashkari, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, argued that a strong belief in a “nonlinear relationship” between unemployment and inflation among many monetary policymakers is why the Fed has hiked interest rate hikes when the rate of inflation was still below target.

News Coverage Mar 5, 2018

Conversable Economist: Rebalancing the Economy Toward Workers and Wages

Are there some ways to tip the balance a bit more toward workers? Jay Shambaugh and Ryan Nunn have edited an ebook, Revitalizing Wage Growth: Policies to Get American Workers a Raise, with nine chapters on causes of wage stagnation and policy proposals to address it (published by the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution, February 2018, full Table of Contents is appended below). Given that the US unemployment rate has now been 5% or less for more than two years, since September 2016, the question of wage growth is rightfully assuming high importance.

News Coverage Mar 1, 2018

MarketWatch: Overheat? A few say the Powell Fed is chasing after shadows

In a speech in Washington on Wednesday, Kashkari suggested he didn’t want the Fed to tap on the brakes until wage growth and inflation move higher. “I think we should allow this [economy] to continue to run,” Kashkari said. “I want to see wage growth continue to build, I want to see inflation move towards our 2% target,[ and] I want to see more evidence that the slack in the labor market is being used up,” he said at the HamiltonProject in Washington.

News Coverage Feb 28, 2018

U.S. News & World Report: Fed’s Kashkari: ‘I Want to See the Wage Growth’

'I want wage growth to continue to build, I want to see inflation move toward our 2-percent target, I want to see more evidence that the slack in the labor market is being used up: those are going to be the key factors that I pay attention to in making my recommendation,’ Minneapolis Federal Reserve President Neel Kashkari said at an event on the roots of slow wage growth at the Hamilton Project in Washington.

News Coverage Feb 22, 2018

The Washington Post: America Needs a Universal Paid Leave Program

“It’s time to enact a national universal paid leave program. It should include the principles laid out by the Washington Center for Equitable Growth’s Bridget Ansel and Heather Boushey in a paper published last fall by the Hamilton Project: Offer at least 12 weeks of leave to men and women for childbirth and adoption, care of a relative’s serious medical condition or a personal medical issue; cover all private-sector workers; and pay those workers a replacement wage high enough to make a difference in their lives. Doing so would provide an immense benefit to workers and their families and be very good for the overall economy.”

News Coverage Feb 14, 2018

Mic: Dow Jones Today: Why the Stock Market Had a Mini-Freakout About the Inflation Rate – Then Recovered

“Plus, some economists point out that while month-to-month prices changes missed expectations, the year-to-year downtrend in inflation is more important. After all, inflation is still below the Fed’s 2% target, suggesting the Fed might feel less pressure to raise rates quickly — a point Jay Shambaugh, who served as an adviser to former President Barack Obama, made on Twitter.”

News Coverage Feb 14, 2018

Vox: Why American Doctors Keep Doing Expensive Procedures That Don’t Work

“A proposal from the Hamilton Project would give the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) more resources to scrutinize medical technologies and allow the agency to experiment with ‘reference pricing’: Medicare would pay a single price for all treatments, for a given condition, that have similar therapeutic effects, up to a cost-effectiveness threshold. Patients who want to receive less cost-effective treatments could still get them, but they’d have to pay any difference out of pocket. That strikes the right balance.”

News Coverage Jan 8, 2018

The Atlantic: The False Promises of Worker Retraining

A study by the Brooking Institution’s Hamilton Project estimated that, because such requirements discourage people from pursuing some careers, the rules have resulted in 2.85 million fewer jobs nationwide. The study found that around 30 percent of American workers need a license to perform their jobs; in the early 1950s, less than 5 percent did. About 800 occupations—from emergency medical technicians to cosmetologists to interior designers—are licensed by at least one state.

News Coverage Dec 28, 2017

Vox: Why American doctors keep doing expensive procedures that don’t work

A proposal from the Hamilton Project would give the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) more resources to scrutinize medical technologies and allow the agency to experiment with “reference pricing”: Medicare would pay a single price for all treatments, for a given condition, that have similar therapeutic effects, up to a cost-effectiveness threshold. Patients who want to receive less cost-effective treatments could still get them, but they’d have to pay any difference out of pocket. That strikes the right balance.

News Coverage Dec 27, 2017

ArsTechnica: These experts figured out why so many bogus patents get approved

If you've read our coverage of the Electronic Frontier Foundation's "Stupid Patent of the Month"series, you know America has a patent quality problem. People apply for patents on ideas that are obvious, vague, or were invented years earlier. Too often, applications get approved and low-quality patents fall into the hands of patent trolls, creating headaches for real innovators. Why don't more low-quality patents get rejected? A recent paper published by the Brookings Institution offers fascinating insights into this question.

News Coverage Dec 11, 2017

BBC: Who are the poor Americans?

“Of those living in poverty, the 2016 figures show that there are about 13.3 million children - 18% of those under the age of 18. As the population has aged, the number of over-65s in poverty has increased to 4.6 million but, at 9%, the poverty rate is lower than for those of working age (18-64). It is this working-age group which provides perhaps the most striking picture, with nearly 23 million - or almost 12% - living in poverty. The Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution has been exploring this puzzle.”

News Coverage Dec 8, 2017

Econofact: What Happened To Women’s Rising Participation in the Workforce?

“The increase in the share of women in the workforce over the second half of the 20th century was enough to offset the declining labor force participation rate of men, which has been steadily falling for more than 60 years. The percentage of women ages 16 and up that are either in the workforce, or are actively looking for work, increased substantially in the United States — rising from 37 percent in 1962 to 61 percent by the year 2000 (see here for our detailed [Hamilton Project] report).”

News Coverage Nov 20, 2017

USA Today: How a few small investments can lower your water bill

The median monthly water bill in the U.S. falls at about $34.50, LaFrance said, but that number can vary widely from region to region or even city to city. According to a study from the economic research group The Hamilton Project, water bills can range anywhere from $25 to $70 in major cities. But, when it comes to saving, the rules are universal: be conscientious. Water conservation and saving money go hand and hand.

News Coverage Nov 8, 2017

The New York Times: Why the U.S. Needs a Federal Jobs Program, Not Payouts

The federal jobs program I’ve described doesn’t have the intuitive simplicity of the universal basic income. But it serves critical purposes that the basic income doesn’t and should be an integral part of a broad-based agenda to address rapidly changing economic conditions. Adopting a federal jobs program could enhance our work force and increase our nation’s output while providing people with the self-worth and economic opportunity that work can provide.

News Coverage Nov 1, 2017

Real Clear Markets: Removing Barriers to Female Labor-Force Participation

Women’s labor force participation and the quality of women’s labor market opportunities are dual objectives, both contributing to economic growth. Working within this framework, The Hamilton Project’s recent book, entitled The 51%: Driving Growth through Women’s Economic Participation, put forward policies to both increase women’s labor force participation and improve their economic outcomes.

News Coverage Oct 26, 2017

Slate: I’m Sandwiched Between Elder and Child Care—and I’m Not Alone

A report from the Brookings Institute and the Hamilton Project finds the cost of care to blame for a steady drop in the number of adults who are employed or looking for a job. More than 70 percent of those surveyed in their study said that caregiving kept them out of the workforce. Too often caregivers, who predominantly are women, have to leave their jobs because the burden of family care is not affordable or sustainable. And they often neglect their own health and personal needs.

News Coverage Oct 26, 2017

The Washington Post: Trump was an election surprise. Expect more.

There is no reason to think, with continued income weakness, that we will not see a similarly discontented electorate in upcoming elections — including because the Trump administration, like its recent predecessors, will not have delivered better household economics. Which suggests volatile voting behavior again. And with a right-wing candidate having won the presidency last year, and voters often seeking the opposite in the next election, don’t be surprised if a distinctly left-wing candidate takes the White House in 2020. President Sanders, anyone?

News Coverage Oct 24, 2017

Harvard Business Review: Why Wages Aren’t Growing in America

The majority of Americans share in economic growth through the wages they receive for their labor, rather than through investment income. Unfortunately, many of these workers have fared poorly in recent decades. Since the early 1970s, the hourly inflation-adjusted wages received by the typical worker have barely risen, growing only 0.2% per year. In other words, though the economy has been growing, the primary way most people benefit from that growth has almost completely stalled.

News Coverage Oct 23, 2017

Pacific Standard: How expanding the EITC would benefit working-class Americans

And at a policy forum last week at Stanford University, a group of experts reminded us of some of those reforms. The forum, co-hosted by the Hamilton Project,, and the Stanford Law School, focused on increasing economic opportunities for women; many of the policy proposals released in conjunction with the event are focused on the kinds of things that are perceived as "women's issues," but of course affect all Americans across the income spectrum: encouraging female labor force participation, increasing the economic security of older women, investing in child care, and establishing a paid parental leave program.

News Coverage Oct 9, 2017

The Washington Post: Why aren’t wages growing more quickly? A graphical analysis.

Such disinvestment shows up in my final figure, from a must-read new study on the wage problem from the Brookings Institution’s Hamilton Project. The figure shows the persistent fall-off in labor’s share of income, which predated the last recession. Tightening labor markets have helped to stop the fall, but again, if the job market were really that tight, I’d expect to see this metric climbing back up. 

News Coverage Sep 24, 2017

The Wall Street Journal: Real Wages Keep Powering Ahead, but Can the Trend Last?

In the past decade, real-wage growth has been stronger than during the economic cycles of the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s, according to a paper the Brookings Institution’s Hamilton Project released Sunday. Inflation-adjusted wages have increased at a 0.82% annual rate since the recession began in late 2007. In contrast, real wages declined in the 1980s, and rose at 0.71% and 0.31% rates, respectively, in the cycles of the 1990s and early 2000s

News Coverage Sep 8, 2017

The Nation: Unemployment Statistics Don’t Take Into Account People Who Have Given Up on Finding a Job

The millions who don’t show up in the statistics are often overlooked or dismissed because they’re not employed or job seeking. But a fresh analysis by the Brookings Institution’s Hamilton Project reveals why a growing portion of “non-labor-force participants” are deciding work isn’t worth it. Why would anyone, after all, deliberately abandon the one activity that, above all, defines an American’s social status? These individuals seem to have opted out, but often it is the labor system that is turning away from their communities.

News Coverage Aug 30, 2017

Real Clear Markets: We’ve Fixed the Jobs Gap, But People Still Aren’t Working

A recent Hamilton Project analysis calculated that—adjusting for population and demographic changes—the jobs gap, as of July 2017, is now closed. This does not mean the economy is at full employment or has no slack, but rather that enough jobs have been added to restore the share of the population working (after adjusting for demographic shifts) to where it was before the crisis began. Any slack that existed prior to the financial crisis still remains, and it’s worth noting that the prime age employment rate is still below its December 2007 level of 79.8 percent. The jobs gap is closed despite this because older workers are employed at a higher rate than previously. But, there is clearly room to lift employment rates—at a minimum back to where they were prior to the crisis.

News Coverage Aug 18, 2017

CBS News: Unemployment is down, but millions of Americans remain on sidelines

Women staying home to take care of kids or an aging parent are the biggest group, a new analysis of 2016 labor data by the Hamilton Project shows. In total, about 24 million people, or 19 percent of Americans aged 25 to 54, didn't actively seek a job last year, according to the analysis of Federal Reserve data. Child care costs likely play a role in the persistent phenomenon, a 2014 Pew Research study showed. Whether by choice or necessity, millions of Americans continuing to sit on the economic sidelines may show a need for policy changes, said Hamilton Project Director Jay Shambaugh. ‘Child care highlights that there is something holding back some that could participate,’ he said. It's ‘certainly going to leave you with disparities.’

News Coverage Aug 18, 2017

Forbes: Why Millions of Americans Stay Out of the Workforce [Infographic]

Since 1999, the share of U.S. adults who are either employed or job seeking has been in steady decline, according to a report from The Brookings Institution and The Hamilton Project. Economists consider labor force participation a barometer of economic vitality and an indicator of household living standards. In 2016, more than a third of American adults were not part of the workforce, with nearly a fifth of them prime working age.

News Coverage Aug 18, 2017

U.S. News and World Report: Study: Who Is Slipping Through the Unemployment Cracks?

A new report from the Brookings Institution's Hamilton Project this week aims to shed more light on that demographic, finding that older Americans, women and those without much education are significantly more likely to sit on the sidelines than any other groups. ‘The large number of adults who are not in the labor force is a puzzle that cannot be fully accounted for by factors like baby boomers aging out of the workforce, women engaged in caregiving, or recent college graduates delaying the responsibilities of adulthood,’ the report said. Indeed, the researchers behind the study pooled government data and ultimately found that 37.2 percent of American adults – and 18.7 percent of prime-aged working adults between the ages of 25 and 54 – were not in the workforce as of 2016.

News Coverage Aug 7, 2017

Fortune: Takeaways From a “Near-Perfect” Jobs Report

“With the expansion entering its ninth year, and already the second longest on record, now’s the time to be looking for signs it is coming to an end. Friday’s report offered none. Job growth was solid, but not strong enough to spook the Fed. Wage growth picked up, but not enough to threaten inflation. Discouraged workers began making their way back into the job market, indicating that despite an unemployment rate of just 4.3%, there’s still some slack to fuel future growth. An important milestone was passed: the Hamilton Project calculated the U.S. job market has finally fully recovered from the Great Recession. And The Wall Street Journal calculated layoffs are at their lowest level in half a century.”

News Coverage Aug 7, 2017

Econofact: What Does the Seattle Experience Teach Us About Minimum Wages?

“It is an important and unresolved question whether minimum wages at the levels that will be reached in many cities and states in coming years—and that have been proposed at the federal level—will lead to meaningful reductions in employment, even where the evidence points to few or no such effects for lower minimum wages. Unfortunately, the Seattle study does little to resolve this question.”

News Coverage Aug 6, 2017

Axios: Women and baby boomers power the great American jobs machine

“Ryan Nunn, an economist with the Hamilton Project, tells Axios that, adjusting for population growth, all the jobs lost in the 2009 recession are now restored. But, he said, ‘there's been a very different recovery for different kinds of Americans.’ Hamilton released a report on Friday detailing these results, using monthly jobs figures released by the federal government… ‘Whites were never hit as hard during the worst of the recession,’ says Nunn. ‘But they've actually recovered more slowly as well.’ That said, African American workers and women still remain employed at lower rates than white men.”

News Coverage Aug 6, 2017

Axios: Women and baby boomers power the great American jobs machine

Ryan Nunn, an economist with the Hamilton Project, tells Axios that, adjusting for population growth, all the jobs lost in the 2009 recession are now restored. But, he said, ‘there's been a very different recovery for different kinds of Americans.’ Hamilton released a report on Friday detailing these results, using monthly jobs figures released by the federal government… ‘Whites were never hit as hard during the worst of the recession,’ says Nunn. ‘But they've actually recovered more slowly as well.’ That said, African American workers and women still remain employed at lower rates than white men.

News Coverage Aug 4, 2017

Yahoo Finance: The job market hits a key milestone

“Until now. Employers added 209,000 jobs in July, which pushed the economy past an important milestone: When adjusted for a growing and aging population, there are now more jobs than there were at the pre-recession peak in 2007. “Nearly a full decade after the start of the recession, employment has returned to its demographically adjusted pre-recession level,” according to a new report from the Hamilton Project, which is part of the Brookings Institution. “The economy has added enough jobs to make up for losses during the Great Recession.”

News Coverage Aug 4, 2017

Bloomberg: U.S. Economy Finally Closes Jobs Gap With Strong July Payrolls

“The better-than-estimated 209,000 payroll gain in July was more than enough to close what the Hamilton Project calls the ‘jobs gap.’ The measure, which adjusts for growth and aging of the population, accounts for total employment and what’s needed to absorb the number of new labor-market entrants, according to the economics offshoot of the Brookings Institution. ‘It’s sort of a mark of healing of the labor market,’ said Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, the outgoing director of the Hamilton Project. ‘That doesn’t mean we’re at full employment…and I think everybody’s worried about wage growth, but this is one marker of healing.’”

News Coverage Aug 4, 2017

PBS Newshour: July jobs report closes the near decade-long jobs gap

“Since 2010, the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution has calculated the jobs gap, defined as “the number of jobs that the U.S. economy needs to create in order to return to pre-recession employment levels while also absorbing the people who enter the potential labor force each month.” ‘With this jobs report, the economy has closed the jobs gap…We think of the jobs gap as one important measure of labor market health, but it’s just one measure. There are other economic indicators that suggest there still may be slack,’ said Ryan Nunn, the policy director at the Hamilton Project. He also pointed to a report released today that shows how uneven the recovery has been by state, gender, education and race.”

News Coverage Aug 4, 2017

The Washington Post: The job market just recovered from the recession. Men and white people haven’t.

“After accounting for changes in the population, the United States regained the same level of employment in July that it had before the recession began nearly a decade ago in November 2007, according to a new report published Friday morning by the Brookings Institution's Hamilton Project… The milestone is important, though it does not indicate the economy is unblemished, said Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, one of the report’s authors. “It does not mean there’s no slack in the economy, [or] that we’re at full employment. But it does mean the job losses from the great recession are behind us,” she said.”

News Coverage Aug 2, 2017

The Hill: Eliminating in-house CBO scoring would be ‘profoundly unwise’

“Cutting the CBO’s resources and responsibilities would be profoundly unwise. The CBO has a unique role in our democracy, bringing high-quality evidence to bear on important public policy questions. Although the CBO’s projections have not been perfect — no forecasts ever are — the CBO has provided vital information to policymakers who would otherwise lack an understanding of the probable costs and benefits of their actions.”

News Coverage Aug 1, 2017

The Atlantic: The Unexpected Value of the Liberal Arts

“Yet over time, liberal-arts graduates’ earnings often surge, especially for students pursuing advanced degrees. History majors often become well-paid lawyers or judges after completing law degrees, a recent analysis by the Brookings Institution’s Hamilton Project has found. Many philosophy majors put their analytical and argumentative skills to work on Wall Street. International-relations majors thrive as overseas executives for big corporations, and so on.”

News Coverage Jul 19, 2017

PBS NewsHour: If SNAP benefits are cut, who hurts the most?

Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach views it differently. A senior fellow at Brookings who directs the Hamilton Project, Schanzenbach has studied the food stamp program for two decades. She said policies that serve as “food police” tend to raise stigma rather than help families and individuals who need better access to food. When New York City’s “soda ban” on sugary drinks at food-service establishments failed in 2013, the idea initially sounded simple but was bedeviled with details, Schanzenbach said: “You could purchase V8 juice but not V8 splash. Try to explain that to someone.”

News Coverage Jul 18, 2017

Time Magazine: 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.

News Coverage Jul 6, 2017

Chalkbeat Indiana: DeVos says school spending and student outcomes aren’t related, but research suggests otherwise

“DeVos was relying on evidence from one specific program, but the broader research on money in education generally paints a more positive picture. “There’s this notion out there that increased spending doesn’t help,” said Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach who has studied school spending and is the director the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution. “There’s good evidence that indeed increased spending does help — it increases student test scores and it improves later life outcomes.” A few major national studies have reached that conclusion. One analysis, published in the peer-reviewed Quarterly Journal of Economics, found that court-ordered increases in school spending caused students to attend college at higher rates and earn more money as adults. Another study, coauthored by Schanzenbach, showed that when states increased spending they saw substantial increases in scores on the federal NAEP exam.”

News Coverage Jul 6, 2017

South Coast Today: College is an investment, not an expense

“If college is a good investment versus not going to college, how does it stack up against other investments? In other words, instead of paying $15,000 for a four-year degree, should you invest in other financial instruments? The Hamilton Project, which emanates from the Brookings Institution, recently released a report comparing different financial investments versus a college education in terms of annual return on investment.”

News Coverage Jun 28, 2017

Education Week: Student Privacy in Education Research: ‘It’s Time’ to Update Federal Laws

“Yet Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, the director of the Hamilton Project and a professor of education and social policy at Northwestern University, said researchers should help make parents and the public more aware of the security precautions that researchers already use. Schanzenbach, whose research often includes student data from the National Center for Education Statistics, noted that every research project she has worked on included detailed data protocols—up to "some data that I could only access on a standalone computer that was not connected to the internet and that was kept in a locked safe when I wasn't using it."

News Coverage Jun 18, 2017

The Atlantic: Even the Insured Often Can’t Afford Their Medical Bills

“As for hospital-based charity, it can vary widely. Most studies find for-profit hospitals provide less charity care than nonprofit medical centers. But getting aid from a non-profit hospital isn’t exactly a gimme. A [Hamilton Project] paper published by the Brookings Institution in 2015 pointed out that the non-profit hospitals with the most funds that could be devoted to charity care—that is, covering or forgiving medical bills of those who cannot pay full—are not located in the geographic areas where the need is greatest.”  

News Coverage Jun 9, 2017

National Public Radio: DeVos Says More Money Won’t Help Schools; Research Says Otherwise

“While the money in Camden, N.J., has led to relatively little academic progress, our stories from North Carolina, Indiana and Massachusetts offer a compelling counterpoint to the idea that money doesn't really matter…The first, we'll call it Study A, looked at how well these low-income students performed on the NAEP test, the National Assessment of Educational Progress. “After the spending increased, test scores slowly, surely increased as a result," says one of the researchers, Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, who is also an associate professor at Northwestern's School of Education and Social Policy.”

News Coverage Jun 2, 2017

CNN: Liberal arts majors can get high-paying jobs, too

“Your career choice also plays a big role in how much you earn, and for liberal arts majors, career options are pretty broad, according to a new report from The Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution. Ryan Nunn, an author of the report, said he was shocked to see just how much variety there actually is among people with the same major… "There's a lot of variety across majors, but STEM majors do have a more clear path to the higher paying jobs," said Nunn.”

News Coverage May 12, 2017

Pacific Standard: These charts show how it’s your career path—not your college major—that affects how much you make

A new analysis from the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution sheds some light on how post-college career decisions and gender (and, yes, college major) interact to produce different earnings outcomes. The analysis finds that, generally speaking, while college major does affect earnings, the decisions people make about what career to pursue play a large role as well. In fact, different career paths can explain 15 to 25 percent of earning variations among people who majored in the same thing in college. Philosophy majors who go on to work as management analysts earn a salary of about $72,000; those who become post-secondary teachers earn only $51,000.

News Coverage Apr 26, 2017

Time: How a Harvard Economist Would Make Free Tuition Even Better

The solution, according to a [Hamilton Project] paper released today by Harvard economist David Deming, is to provide states with a financial incentive to focus on improving outcomes while also reducing costs to families…Yet if states don’t increase spending to support more students on campus, the same pot of money will be stretched over a larger share of students. “You’re going to get low tuition, low spending, low completion rates,” Deming said while presenting his proposal at an event sponsored by The Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution.

News Coverage Apr 26, 2017

The 74 Million: Report: 5 Ways to Address Teacher Shortages — Where They Really Exist

The often-described “teacher shortage” may not be as widespread as commonly thought, but there are places and subjects where teachers are hard to find, and a new report puts forth some fairly straightforward solutions for that. The analysis, published through the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution, wades into the much-argued question of whether teacher shortages are real and what should be done about them.

News Coverage Apr 26, 2017

The Seattle Times: Teacher-shortage crisis? UW researcher says it’s not that simple, and offers some fixes

Judging by the headlines, public schools in the U.S. are in crisis mode, struggling with the first major teacher shortage since the 1990s. The New York Times, The Washington Post, National Public Radio and, yes, The Seattle Times have all contributed to a growing perception that there just aren’t enough teachers to do the job. And since 2011, mentions of the phrase “teacher shortage” in U.S. news coverage spiked more than 1,300 percent to nearly 4,000 times last year, according to a new [Hamilton Project] report by Dan Goldhaber, director of the Center for Education Data and Research at the University of Washington.

News Coverage Apr 21, 2017

Plant City Times & Observer: A future unwritten: New immigration policies could threaten stability in Plant City

According to a September 2010 study titled ‘Ten Economic Facts About Immigration,’ from the Hamilton Project, an economic policy initiative from the nonprofit policy organization the Brookings Institution, ‘taxes paid by immigrants and their children — both legal and unauthorized — exceed the costs of the services they use.’ Even the high cost of childcare for immigrants, often seen as a burden on the American taxpayer, are proportional to the children of native-born parents. The cost is cancelled out when what those parents and children put back into the system is considered.

News Coverage Apr 20, 2017

Yahoo Finance: Malcolm Gladwell may have been wrong about a schooling strategy many parents think will help their k

Parents who have children with birthdays on the cusp between two school years increasingly face a quandary. Should they hold their child back a year — also known as academic redshirting — to allow them to enter kindergarten as the oldest in the grade, or is it better to send them straight away as the youngest in the grade? "This is one of the most popular questions out there on the playground," Diane Schanzenbach, an education researcher and professor at Northwestern University, said on the podcast EdNext. "I think more often than not it's a mistake to redshirt your kindergartener," she continued.

News Coverage Apr 19, 2017

Education Next: Should You Hold Your Child Back from Kindergarten?

In this week’s episode, Marty West talks with Diane Schanzenbach, about the down side of academic redshirting. Schanzenbach is a professor of education and social policy at Northwestern University and director of the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution. Along with Stephanie Howard Larson, Diane is the author of the article “Is your child ready for kindergarten?” which will appear in the Summer 2017 issue of the journal.

News Coverage Apr 15, 2017

The New York Times: Supply-Side Economics, but for Liberals

In other areas, the relationship between public programs and higher incomes and employment rates is more indirect and takes longer to play out, but researchers are analyzing vast troves of data to detect trends. For example, the food stamp program was introduced gradually in the United States from 1961 to 1975. Hilary Hoynes of the University of California, Berkeley, Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach of Northwestern University and Douglas Almond of Columbia University have found that low-income children who benefited from the program were healthier and more likely to be working decades later than otherwise similar children in counties where the program arrived later.

News Coverage Apr 14, 2017

National Public Radio: Ready Or Not (For Kindergarten), Some Research Says, Enroll Anyway

For me, the age gap didn't really matter until my freshman year at college, when I was only 17 and couldn't vote in the 2012 presidential election with everybody else. Feeling left out, I started to wish my parents had waited to put me in school. But, Diane Schanzenbach, an education professor at Northwestern University, and Stephanie Larson, director of Rose Hall Montessori School, have made me think twice. The two recently published an article on the emotional and economic toll that redshirting can have on students, despite all its praise from writers like Malcolm Gladwell.

News Coverage Apr 10, 2017

Education Next: Is Your Child Ready for Kindergarten?

As any good educator will tell you, parents know their children best. There are multiple factors to weigh when deciding whether a preschooler is ready to thrive in kindergarten. What research tells us about the “average” child or “most” children may not apply to a particular son’s or daughter’s unique abilities and delays. Families might want to speak with parents of older children about their own kindergarten-enrollment decisions and how they view them in retrospect. And then, parents should follow their own best judgment.

News Coverage Apr 5, 2017

National Public Radio - Think Podcast: Protecting Urban Populations From Climate Risk

Later this year, the Trump administration will unveil a $1 trillion infrastructure plan to address the nation's aging highways, bridges, airports and electrical grid. University of Southern California economics professor Matthew Kahn joins us to talk about how replacing these items can also help fight climate change. His paper "Protecting Urban Places and Populations from Rising Climate Risk" was recently published by [The Hamilton Project at] the Brookings Institution.

News Coverage Apr 3, 2017

Vox: The case for immigration

This is not, incidentally, because an increase in the labor supply has no adverse effects for anyone. Rather, as Heidi Shierholz of the liberal Economic Policy Institute emphasizes in her overview of the literature, it’s that “earlier immigrants are the group that’s most adversely affected by immigration” because they are the people whose skill sets are most likely to put them in direct competition with new immigrants. Across a range of estimates, the effects on wages “tend to be very small, and on average, modestly positive. That’s because, as Michael Greenstone and Adam Looney of the center-left Hamilton Project put it, “immigrants and U.S.-born workers generally do not compete for the same jobs; instead, many immigrants complement the work of U.S. employees and increase their productivity.

News Coverage Mar 16, 2017

CBS: Half of college grads earn less now than in 2000

It’s unclear whether those college grads earning less than in 2000 are in lower-paid fields or working in industries suffering from low growth or even cutbacks. Some evidence indicates that some college majors result in higher pay than others. The Hamilton Project found in a 2014 study that four science-related majors were linked with median lifetime earnings of more than $2 million, more than double that of early-childhood education grads.

News Coverage Mar 7, 2017

The Hill: America’s small investment in government data has big payoffs

Proposals to augment survey data with administrative data, with appropriate confidentiality safeguards, would likely improve the quality of data in a cost-effective manner. Agencies should build off the success of Census’ Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics program and continue finding ways to link different data sources together. “Data synchronization” should finally pass Congress and be enacted. Improving the data requires resources. The return on this investment is significant — to businesses, policymakers, and families. It’s an investment worth making.

News Coverage Mar 7, 2017

Pacific Standard Magazine: Cutting Spending on Statistics Won’t Save the Budget

Last week, the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution (often described as a center-left think tank) and the American Enterprise Institute (often described as a center-right think tank) held an event on the “vital role of government statistics.” The event was, in short, a full-throated, deeply passionate, bipartisan defense of the value and importance of government statistics.

News Coverage Feb 23, 2017

Reuters: Why living longer should not lead to retirement benefit cuts

You will often hear proponents argue for this policy by citing soaring longevity rates in the United States. But the data can mislead. At the start of the 20th century, average life expectancy was 46 years for men and 48 years for women; now, it is 76 for men, and 81 for women, according to Brookings Institution research. But that measures longevity from birth, and fails to factor in sharp declines in infant mortality.

News Coverage Feb 23, 2017

Pacific Standard Magazine: Should the Government Tell SNAP Recipients What They Can Eat?

As Schanzenbach notes, implementing SNAP restrictions on sweetened beverages or other sugary foods likely wouldn’t be a simple process. There are approximately 20,000 new food products introduced in this country every year — all of these would have to be evaluated by the USDA to determine eligibility. Nor is determining eligibility necessarily a straightforward proposition. Some granola bars, for example, have more sugar per serving than candy — should those foods be restricted? What about juice, specialty carbonated beverages, or flavored waters or sports drinks with small amounts of added sugar?

News Coverage Feb 22, 2017

The 74 Million: Hard to Game, Easy to Use: Chronic Absenteeism Gains Ground as New ESSA Measure of Student Success

A report recently released by the Hamilton Project of the Brookings Institution recommends using chronic absenteeism — meaning the rate of students who are absent more than, say, 10 to 15 days each year — for accountability purposes. An estimated 5 million to 7.5 million students miss 18 or more days of a school year, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

News Coverage Feb 20, 2017

CBS News: Food stamps and sweets: Should they be kept apart?

Banning soda purchases would likely have no impact on what recipients buy at the grocery store, because they would likely shift their budgets and use their own money to buy soda, while relying on food-stamps for their other purchases. On top of that, the burden of restricting soda and candy purchases would fall on retailers, adding to their costs, The Hamilton Project director Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach told the committee.

News Coverage Feb 15, 2017

Forbes: Some Progress On Occupational Licensing But Much More Needed

Some might be concerned that less occupational licensing will lead to less consumer safety, but for many currently licensed occupations the evidence suggests otherwise. In a recent Brookings report, economist Morris Kleiner notes that: "Economic studies have found little impact of occupational licensing on service quality in occupations that are not widely licensed; even in occupations that are widely licensed, studies have found few impacts of tougher requirements for licensing on health measures or quality outcomes."

News Coverage Feb 13, 2017

The 74 Million: What If Every Struggling Student Had a Tutor? It Won’t Be Cheap, but It Might Be Worth It

The hardest, but most important, part of any education reform shown to be effective in one setting is determining whether and how it can be implemented elsewhere. A March 2016 paper for the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution — co-authored by Guryan as well as Roseanna Ander and Jens Ludwig of the University of Chicago — recommends expanding intensive tutoring like in the Chicago model to schools nationally.

News Coverage Feb 10, 2017

The Washington Post: Putting ‘America First’ isn’t the problem. Trump’s version of it is.

In this light, “buy American and hire American” is an extreme version of an economic nationalist tradition that dates back to Alexander Hamilton, who favored protection of American industries, at least until they could compete on the global stage. The Hamilton Project, a mainstream bipartisan initiative based at the Brookings Institution, rests on the belief both in markets as engines of economic growth and in the use of government power “to enhance and guide market forces.” If those market forces favor the interests of foreign workers over those of American workers, even if American consumers benefit from lower prices, why shouldn’t we put American workers first?

News Coverage Feb 9, 2017

Pacific Standard Magazine: This Chart Illustrates Why Infrastructure Investment Is a Good Idea

Earlier this week, The Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution held an event exploring the ins and outs of infrastructure investment. While a panel full of superstar economists agreed that the United States is approaching full employment and doesn’t need much in the way of fiscal stimulus right now, they nonetheless argued that government investment in infrastructure might still be a good idea. As illustrated by the chart below, which comes from a framing paper that The Hamilton Project released in advance of the event, the U.S. is just not spending nearly enough money on infrastructure.

News Coverage Feb 9, 2017

Quartz: The most important skill for middle class workers isn’t being taught in American schools

The relationship between social skills and economic success is a relatively new phenomena, it’s impact varies from generation to generation. It’s rose up from a changing labor market, a US economy, like others around the world, that abandoned manufacturing and left a huge swath of baby boomers out of work with a set of skills that had become obsolete. A recent study (pdf) from The Hamilton Project, an initiative of the Brookings Institution, points out that while social skills had almost no impact on likelihood of future employment for those born in the late 1950s and early 1960s, they have large employment effects for those born in the early 1980s.

News Coverage Feb 7, 2017

The Fiscal Times: Trump’s Trillion Dollar Infrastructure Plan Could Be DOA

By one important measure of the inadequacy of federal, state and local policies, annual public investment in infrastructure has declined from 1.5 percent of Gross Domestic Product in 1980 to just 0.6 percent of the overall economy in 2015, as the Brookings Institution’s Hamilton Project notes in a new report. Indeed, the American Society of Civil Engineers in 2013 estimated that $3.6 trillion would be required just to bring U.S. infrastructure into a state of good repair, not counting any expansion to the existing infrastructure.

News Coverage Jan 27, 2017

Vox: Donald Trump’s “paying for the wall by hiking prices on avocados” controversy, explained

Alan Auerbach, an economist at UC Berkeley, worked out a detailed proposal for a border-adjusted corporate tax back in 2010 in a paper for the Center for American Progress and the Hamilton Project, two institutions with links to the Obama administration and the Democratic Party establishment more broadly. The center-left Century Foundation issued a report from University of Michigan law professor Reuven Avi-Yonah in November calling for a similar system.

News Coverage Jan 25, 2017

Vox: Trump’s promise to create 25 million jobs in a decade seems wildly unrealistic

Twenty-five million jobs over 10 years comes out to about 208,000 jobs per month. This is only slightly higher than the pace of 180,000 jobs per months we’ve seen over the past year. The problem is (according to the Hamilton Project’s jobs gap calculator) we’re only about five months away from reaching pre-recession employment levels if we add 208,000 jobs per month. We’re very likely to see slower job growth than that over the next 115 months of Trump’s pledge — keeping up with population growth at that point would only entail about 90,000 jobs per month.

News Coverage Jan 25, 2017

Real Clear Markets: Should Government Control What Low-Income People Eat?

Let’s not forget that SNAP has been a clear policy success. It lifted nearly 5 million people out of poverty in 2014 (the most recent data available), is efficiently targeted to families who need benefits the most, reduces the likelihood that families have trouble affording food, serves as an automatic fiscal stabilizer in times of economic downturns, and has extremely low rates of both error and fraud. SNAP also has long-term benefits. My own recent research study found that those who had access to SNAP benefits during childhood grew up to be healthier, and women in particular were more likely to become economically self-sufficient due to childhood access to SNAP benefits.

News Coverage Jan 13, 2017

The Chicago Tribune: How parents can survive the $233,610 cost of raising a child

Before becoming nauseated, however, consider that on the day your baby is born you don't have to have $233,610 sitting around to pay for baby food in a few months or Adidas and a computer later. If you consider your lifetime earnings, your income will total a big number too. A parent with a college bachelor's degree is likely to make $800,000 to $2 million during their working years, according to an estimate by the Hamilton Project, a research group within the Brookings Institution. A person with only a high school degree will make about $580,000.

News Coverage Jan 11, 2017

The Diplomat: Robert Rubin on the Future of US-China Relations

The key is to recognize that a constructive working relationship with China offers bilateral and multilateral benefits, and, conversely, a tense relationship presents serious risks. The greatest American threat to the economic future of China would be America’s failure to succeed economically, and, conversely, the United States’ greatest economic danger would be Chinese failure. By contrast, if each country gets its own house in order, and succeeds economically, that should increase confidence about the future, which should foster a constructive relationship.

News Coverage Jan 4, 2017

Wallethub: 2017’s Best & Worst Cities for Jobs

With 2016 behind us, it’s time to think about fresh starts again. But whether that means a small change or a complete life overhaul, finding a new or better job surely will top many Americans’ list of goals. If that’s your mission for the new year, it’s a good time to be on the job market. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most recent jobs report, the national unemployment rate has fallen to 4.6 percent — the lowest since 2007.

News Coverage Sep 16, 2016

Michigan Live: Is college still worth the cost? Usually

“A 2014 [Hamliton Project] national study of lifetime earnings in 80 college majors found that median earnings by college graduates are higher in every major over lifetime earnings of those with a high school degree. But there were a handful of majors that earned less than the median earnings of those with an associate degree -- and not much more than a high school graduate. They include drama and theater arts, elementary education, early childhood education and theology.”

News Coverage Sep 15, 2016

KJZZ: Charter Schools Fight Back Against Comedian John Oliver

“The Arizona State Board for Charter Schools has approved an intent to revoke the charter of a Mesa school that closed just as school was supposed to start. And recently, charter schools caught the eye of John Oliver, on his HBO show, Last Week Tonight. In response to the monologue, the Center for Education Reform launched what it’s calling the “Hey John Oliver, back off my charter school” video contest, which aims to show how charter schools help students and their families. Diane Schanzenbach is the director of the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution – it’s a non-partisan economic think tank that looks at a variety of policies, including education. We ask if she thinks charter schools suffer a perception problem.”

News Coverage Sep 15, 2016

WUOM: What is the average class size in Michigan’s schools?

"Michigan Radio's Jennifer Guerra spoke with Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach. She says small classes help students. They're particularly helpful through grade 3, and large class sizes can harm students as they get older. "Kids who were randomly assigned to the small classes were more likely to go on to attend college," explains Schanzenbach. "They’re less likely to be involved in crime, they’re less likely to be a teenage parent, they’re more likely to save for retirement." And the positive outcomes are most pronounced in African American children and kids from low-income families."

News Coverage Sep 8, 2016

PBS NewsHour: Could a Hillary Clinton presidency spark a preschool evolution?

“Among other findings, the study found Head Start children had a higher high school graduation rate, by 5 percentage points, than their non-Head Start siblings. “Third-grade test scores are only one thing that we care about,” said Diane Schanzenbach, director of the Hamilton Project at The Brookings Institute, the think tank that conducted the recent study. “We care more about the long-term impact on young kids.”

News Coverage Sep 2, 2016 Head Start Works. And It’s About to Get Even Better.

“The second study comes from the Hamilton Project at Brookings.  Their new economic analysis extends what we know about the long-term impacts of Head Start even beyond middle school. Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, a survey that has tracked a multi-generational representative sample since 1979, the study compares Head Start children with their siblings who either went to a different type of pre-K or who did not attend any program.” 

News Coverage Aug 31, 2016

Mackinac Center: Detroit Should Lessen Licensing Requirements

“For at least 60 occupations, workers must pay fees, take classes, pass exams, and/or undergo additional training prior to being allowed to work. Research shows that these barriers restrict job growth and provide no measurable health or safety benefits to the public. Morris Kleiner of the University of Minnesota concludes in a 2015 Brookings Institution [Hamilton Project] paper that licensing requirements cost consumers more than $200 billion and result in up to 2.85 million fewer jobs. As the economic damage becomes more clear, Mr. Kleiner has found allies in groups as ideologically distinct as the Cato Institute and President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers.”

News Coverage Aug 29, 2016

Pacific Standard Magazine: What Are the Long-Term Effects of Head Start?

“Earlier this month, the Hamilton Project’s Lauren Bauer and Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach released a study on the long-term effects of childhood participation in Head Start, a large, federally funded early childhood education program. Their results resoundingly support Heckman’s arguments. Previous evaluations of the short-term impacts of Head Start have echoed the Tennessee evaluation — short-term boosts in test scores that “fade out” once children finish the program. Longer-term evaluations, meanwhile, have found modest effects of Head Start participation on high school graduation rates and the likelihood that participants will attempt post-secondary education, but haven’t analyzed the effects of the program on participants past the age of 28.”

News Coverage Aug 26, 2016

CBS Money Watch: For these rising costs, the middle class has it the worst

“Middle-class families have been especially hurt since the recession, with their spending on health care jumping 25 percent from 2007 to 2014, according to The Wall Street Journal, citing an analysis from Brookings Institution senior fellow Diane Schanzenbach. At the same time, income for middle-class Americans has slipped, falling from almost $77,000 in 2000 to slightly more than $73,000 in 2014. The result: financial heartburn that no medication is likely to cure.”

News Coverage Aug 26, 2016

Becker’s Hospital Review: The middle class’ dominant role in healthcare spending

“The Wall Street Journal cites a June Brookings Institution study, which found middle-income households now allocate the biggest portion of their spending to healthcare, 8.9 percent, a rise of more than three percentage points from 1984 to 2014. Additionally, an analysis for The Wall Street Journal by Brookings senior fellow Diane Schanzenbach found that by 2014, middle-income households spent 25 percent more on healthcare than what they were spending before the recession that began in 2007, the article states. This happened even as spending fell for food, housing, clothing and transportation.”

News Coverage Aug 26, 2016

Wall Street Journal: How Detroit Can Liberate Its ‘Extreme Rebels’

“Research shows that these barriers restrict job growth and provide no measurable health or safety benefits to the public. Morris Kleiner of the University of Minnesota concludes in a 2015 Brookings Institution [Hamilton Project] paper that licensing requirements cost consumers more than $200 billion and result in up to 2.85 million fewer jobs. As the economic damage becomes more clear, Mr. Kleiner has found allies in groups as ideologically distinct as the Cato Institute and PresidentObama’s Council of Economic Advisers.”

News Coverage Aug 25, 2016

The Wall Street Journal: Burden of Health-Care Costs Moves to the Middle Class

“A June [Hamilton Project at] Brookings Institution study found middle-income households now devote the largest share of their spending to health care, 8.9%, a rise of more than three percentage points from 1984 to 2014. By 2014, middle-income households’ health-care spending was 25% higher than what they were spending before the recession that began in 2007, even as spending fell for other “basic needs” such as food, housing, clothing and transportation, according to an analysis for The Wall Street Journal by Brookings senior fellow Diane Schanzenbach. These households cut back sharply on more discretionary categories like dining out and clothing.

News Coverage Jan 29, 2016

Time Tracking Blog: You Don’y Have to be a Geek to Make it Big in the Gig Economy

“At the lower end, a report published in December 2015 by The Hamilton Project estimates that just 600,000 people in the U.S. (equivalent to 0.4 percent of the total workforce) currently work in the gig economy. This figure is much smaller than other estimates and while some may use it as evidence that the gig economy is simply “Silicon Valley Hype”, the report maintains that these workers still represent a significant and growing minority who not only warrant our attention but greater protection.”

News Coverage Jan 27, 2016

JD Supra Business Advisor: DOL to Revive Survey to Assess Members of the “Gig” Economy

News Coverage Jan 27, 2016

Project Syndicate: Doing Well by Doing Good

“If you get most of your ideas about government from speeches by America’s Republican presidential candidates, it’s easy to believe that the US federal government is incapable of doing anything right. But not even the Republicans actually believe it. The proof is just beneath the surface, where a remarkable bipartisan consensus is emerging around an approach to America’s most serious social problems – including homelessness, criminal recidivism, preschool education, and chronic illness – that combines the best principles of conservatism and progressivism. It is a strategy that is playing out in Republican states such as Utah and Kentucky and Democratic ones like Massachusetts and California.”

News Coverage Jan 25, 2016

Kentucky New Era: Small classes: Do they really help kids learn?

“A lot of people were disappointed when California didn’t have major gains,” said Diane Schanzenbach, an associate professor of social policy at Northwestern University. She said one issue in California is that schools had to hire a lot of new, inexperienced teachers to handle the decreased class sizes, saying that probably dampened some of the benefits of decreasing class sizes. She said there is evidence that class size matters, but the question is just how much."

News Coverage Jan 20, 2016

Money Talks News: More Thank 500,000 Americans Will Soon Lose Food Stamps

“About 1 in 10 recipients of food stamps are considered able-bodied adults without dependent children, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. They receive an average of $191 in food stamps each month. These are typically the poorest Americans, both from a monetary and an educational standpoint. “When we’re talking about this population, they’ve got low levels of skill, and the job market is still soft. They’re the first fired and the last to be re-hired,” Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, director of the Hamilton Project at the Brooking Institution, told Pacific Standard. “Taking away this meager benefit, it would be surprising to me if we then saw a big response of people working. The reason that these people are not working is not because they’re saying, ‘Oh gosh, I don’t want to lose my food stamp benefits.'”

News Coverage Jan 15, 2016

The Washington Post: Sorry, Powerball dreamers: There’s no such thing as a ‘lucky store’

“People should behave as if these things are totally random,” said Melissa Kearney, a University of Maryland economist. “But they don’t.” And Kearney has proved it. In 2008, she co-authored a paper titled “Gambling at Lucky Stores: Empirical Evidence from State Lottery Sales.” She and co-author Jonathan Guryan found that in the week after selling a big ticket, stores see lottery sales jump as much as 38 percent. This effect takes place right away and can last months.”

News Coverage Jan 15, 2016

The Financial Times: Lunch with the FT: Roland Fryer

"We are five minutes into our lunch when Roland Fryer asks if he may use my notepad and pen to draw a chart. The youngest African-American to take up a tenured professorship at Harvard University is explaining his new research on racial differences in the use of force by US police. As a teenager, Fryer had guns pulled on him “six or seven” times by cops. “But,” he says, sketching a downward curve from left to right, “there is a disturbing trend of people discussing race in America based only on their own personal experience.” In a voice with a hint of southern drawl, he adds: “I don’t care about my personal experience or anyone else’s — all I want to know is how that experience gets us to data to help us know what is really going on.”

News Coverage Jan 15, 2016

Pacific Standard: Do Food Stamps Really Discourage Work?

“While the work incentive effects of welfare have been extensively studied, it's not actually clear that food stamp benefits provide any work disincentives, particularly among non-disabled adults without dependents. Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, director of the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution, is skeptical that SNAP benefits today provide much in the way of work disincentives for healthy, childless adults.”

News Coverage Jan 13, 2016

Bloomberg Business: Summers Says Global Economic Can’t Withstand Four 2016 Fed Hikes

“Policy makers need to heed the message from global commodity and stock markets that “risks are substantially tilted to the downside,” former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers said Wednesday. Given the weakness in prices and growth, it’ll be hard for the world to take in stride four interest-rate increases that forecasters are penciling in from the Federal Reserve this year, Summers said in a Bloomberg TV interview.”

News Coverage Jan 11, 2016

The Huffington Post: Inventing Fish: An Industry on the Brink

“We are all aware of the crisis in world fisheries that has brought many species to the verge of extinction. Fishing is, of course, big business. According to a Hamilton Project report based on U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service statistics, fishing in the U.S. represents some $90 billion in annual revenues and supports over one and half million jobs. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration classifies 17% of US fisheries as "overfished," and resource management schemes, applied by zones and species, are at the center of an industry response to this serious natural resource challenge.”

News Coverage Jan 11, 2016

Bloomberg View: Have App, Won’t Travel

“Over the winter break, my teenage children observed, based on their friends and acquaintances, that young adults are much less eager to get their driver's licenses than they once were, and that in general fewer young people have them. I was skeptical at first, but it turns out they’re right. In 1983, 92 percent of Americans aged 20 to 24 had a driver’s license. In 2014, just 77 percent did. Were it not for that decline, 3.5 million more young people would be drivers today.”

News Coverage Jan 7, 2016

Associated Press: Why Wal-Mart family foundation is spending $1 billion on charter schools

“In 2012, The Christian Science Monitor reported that the presence of charter schools can help traditional schools: ‘Charter schools are not a silver bullet for education reform, a new report says, but applying the best practices from some charter schools to low-performing public schools may increase student achievement. Early data show that the strategy – applied in Houston and Denver pilot programs – yielded “promising” results, according to the report, titled "Learning from the Successes and Failures of Charter Schools" and released Thursday by the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution.’”

News Coverage Jan 5, 2016

New Statesman: What impact are services like Uber, TaskRabbit and Airbnb having on workers?

“Alternatives are being put forward in the US, such as Seth Harris and Alan Krueger’s [Hamilton Project] proposal for a new legal category of the "independent worker" to address the uncertainty workers and businesses currently face. They argue that a number of rights should be extended to participants in the on-demand economy including the freedom to unionise and collectively bargain, the application of anti-discrimination laws, tax withholding services, and employer contributions for health insurance. But because of the difficulty of measuring work in hours, they stop short of arguing for the minimum wage or overtime compensation to be extended to this group.”

News Coverage Jan 1, 2016

Kiplinger's: What Your Credit Score Says About Your Love Life

“Of course, low credit scores can indicate financial distress, which often leads to relationship distress. But even beyond the financial implications, credit scores seemed to indicate an underlying skill that people bring to life and relationships, says coauthor Jane Dokko, now a fellow in economic studies at the Brookings Institution. “That skill might be trustworthiness,” says Dokko, who says credit score data correlates with trustworthiness measures in surveys outside the financial arena.”

News Coverage Dec 30, 2015

Huffington Post: Inmate Management: What’s Wanted Better Criminals or Citizens?

“In May 2014, Brookings Institute experts Melissa S. Kearney and Benjamin H. Harris released the Hamilton Project Policy Memo that included analysis about the impacts of the lack of educational achievement. Part of its focus was to determine if any relationship(s) existed between educational levels and incarceration rates. In this memo, ten economic facts were used to highlight crime and incarceration trends in the United States (U.S.).”

News Coverage Dec 30, 2015

Huffington Post: Inmate Management: What’s Wanted Better Criminals or Citizens?

“In May 2014, Brookings Institute experts Melissa S. Kearney and Benjamin H. Harris released the Hamilton Project Policy Memo that included analysis about the impacts of the lack of educational achievement. Part of its focus was to determine if any relationship(s) existed between educational levels and incarceration rates. In this memo, ten economic facts were used to highlight crime and incarceration trends in the United States (U.S.).”

News Coverage Dec 25, 2015

The Globe and Mail: It’s time to regulate Uber if a ‘gig’ economy is here to stay

“Our system is not well set up for this type of work arrangement,” Princeton University economist Alan Krueger lamented at a [Hamilton Project] Brookings Institute event in Washington earlier this month. “We have just two classifications: independent contractors and employees. The law is often vague as to how to classify the workers … and these relationships fall into this grey area. And that’s creating a tremendous amount of legal uncertainty, inefficiency and costs in our system today.”

News Coverage Dec 22, 2015

The Washington Post: The Fed’s mistakes are a cause for pessimism

“It has been two years since I resurrected Alvin Hansen’s secular stagnation idea and suggested its relevance to current conditions in the industrial world. Unfortunately experience since that time has tended to confirm the secular stagnation hypothesis. Secular stagnation is a possibility. It is not an inevitability and it can be avoided with strong policy. Unfortunately, the Fed and other policy setters remain committed to traditional paradigms and so are acting in ways that make secular stagnation more likely.” 

News Coverage Dec 21, 2015

Economic 21: Embracing the 21st Century Employee

“The rise of the sharing economy has shown that America’s labor laws—such as the 77-year-old Fair Labor Standards Act and 80-year-old National Labor Relations Act—are outdated and do not adequately reflect the realities faced by today’s workers. To try and correct this problem, Princeton University economist Alan Krueger and Cornell University economist Seth Harris recently proposed [in a Hamilton Project paper] a new path to embracing a 21st century labor force.”

News Coverage Dec 20, 2015

Financial Times: An economist’s dreams of a fairer gig economy

“Mr. Krueger’s approach is to adapt the status quo by extending some employment benefits to gig economy workers. He and his co-author, Seth Harris, recently proposed [in a new Hamilton Project paper] a third category of “independent workers”, neither pure freelancers nor pure employees. They receive “all the benefits that employees get”, Mr. Krueger told me, “except for the ones that don’t make sense.”

News Coverage Dec 18, 2015

Wage and Hour Litigation Blog: A long time ago, in an on-demand world far, far away…

Two former senior members of the Obama Administration, Seth Harris (former Acting Secretary of Labor) and Alan Kreuger (former Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers), authored a report that proposed creating a third classification of worker in addition to “employee” and “independent contractor”: the “independent worker.” The report, issued December 7 by The Hamilton Project, a think tank affiliated with the Brookings Institution, aims to “modernize labor laws for the 21st century workforce.” 

News Coverage Dec 18, 2015

Bloomberg BNA: Limited Data Show Gig Workers May Be Moonlighters

“If we suddenly turn a blind eye and tomorrow we have 60, 70, 80 percent of the workforce as a contingent workforce with no social insurance at all, the irony for folks who say they're conservative is that what you're going to end up doing is putting more and more pressure on a feeble public entitlement system that is underfunded.” Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) said Dec. 9 during a panel event organized by the [Hamilton Project] Brookings Institution. “So you might wind up growing government rather than decreasing government because you will have no shared responsibility for eating the broccoli that is social insurance.”

News Coverage Dec 18, 2015

LaGrange Daily News: Many African-American youths in need of a helping hand

"In addition, this high rate of incarceration is expensive for both federal and state governments. On average, in 2012 it cost more than $29,000 to house an inmate in federal prison (Congressional Research Service 2013). In total, the United States spent over $80 billion on corrections expenditures in 2010, with more than 90 percent of these expenditures occurring at the state and local levels (Policy Memo, May, 2014, The Hamilton Project: “Ten Economic Facts about Crime and Incarceration in the United States”)."

News Coverage Dec 16, 2015

International Business Times: After Paris Climate Talks, US Still Far From A Clean Energy Revolution, Green Jobs Boom

"But to spur a renewables revolution, the U.S. will need to invest further in breakthroughs, by tripling or even quadrupling government spending for clean energy research, said Michael Greenstone, who directs the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago in Illinois. That would boost federal spending to around $15 billion to $20 billion a year, based on current levels.”

News Coverage Dec 15, 2015

The American Prospect: The Labor Prospect: Is There An On-Demandate?

“Some labor experts and on-demand business leaders have called for a new class of employment—one that blends the flexibility of new employment models with the safety nets of traditional employment law. As The New York Times reports, that coalition has coalesced through The Hamilton Project, which held an event one day before the DOL’s calling for employment law reform. However, many in the labor movement dismiss the need for a new classification of employee, arguing that it’s just a plot by on-demand companies to avoid the cost of having real employees.”

News Coverage Dec 15, 2015

The Huffington Post: DIY, Gig, Corporate Giants: How Big and Small Play Well Together in the New Economy

“As more members of the contingent labor force find work in the Gig economy, today's regulatory, legal, and public policy challenges will become more pressing. The Hamilton Project and Brookings recently sponsored a forum on this topic, including "A Proposal for Modernizing Labor Laws for Twenty-First Century Work" by Seth Harris of Cornell University and Alan Krueger of Princeton. Are Gig economy workers "employees" or are they "independent contractors"? How do they obtain benefits?”

News Coverage Dec 15, 2015

New York Times: Preparing to Raise Rates, Fed Underestimates Benefits of More Inflation

“Today, much of the industrial world is stuck at this zero bound. Japan has still not emerged from the doldrums. Europe is barely treading water. In the United States, the Federal Reserve’s benchmark interest rate target has been hovering just above zero for seven years. Yet inflation has consistently undershot the Fed’s stated goal of 2 percent in the face of persistently weak economic growth. “We’ve realized that the zero lower bound on the funds rate is a bigger deal than we thought a decade ago,” said Douglas W. Elmendorf, a former director of the Congressional Budget Office who is now at the Brookings Institution in Washington.”

News Coverage Dec 15, 2015

Yahoo! Finance: Tax Reform Isn’t the Magic Formula Politicians Say It Is

“All those ideas may have merit, but politicians greatly overstate the possible economic benefits of tax reform. “Tax reform is an important tool to boost economic growth,” says Doug Elmendorf, former head of the Congressional Budget Office, in the video above. “But we have to be realistic about the quantitative effect of tax reform.” (Yahoo Finance is teaming with the Brookings Institution, where Elmendorf is now a visiting fellow, to present a series of explanatory videos on important economic topics.)

News Coverage Dec 14, 2015

Wichita Business Journal: Koch’s Mark Holden argues against occupational licensing

“He also writes that with little evidence that such licensing improves safety, it is instead often special interest groups looking to limit competition that appears to be the true driving force behind many licensing requirements. He also points to another recent report from the Hamilton Project of the Brookings Institution that estimated the barriers of such licensing has prevented the creation of nearly three million jobs.”

News Coverage Dec 10, 2015

New York Times: A Middle Ground Between Contract Worker and Employee

“In their analysis, Mr. Krueger and Mr. Harris posit a situation in which a single driver has both the Uber and Lyft apps open simultaneously before accepting a passenger. If the drivers were employees, they ask, “Who should pay the driver for this waiting time?” (The new report was carried out for the Hamilton Project, a research group, but Mr. Krueger previously co-wrote a study of Uber drivers that was commissioned by the company.)”

News Coverage Dec 9, 2015

Wall Street Journal: As the Gig Economy Changes Work, So Should Rules

“In a new paper from the Hamilton Project, a liberal think-tank, Seth Harris, a Cornell University professor of industrial and labor relations, and Alan Krueger, a Princeton University economist, argue these characteristics differ from a typical employee because they supply only as many hours as they like. (Mr. Krueger has previously conducted research for Uber; Uber had no role in the latest study.)”

News Coverage Dec 9, 2015

The Atlantic: When Will Labor Laws Catch Up With the Gig Economy?

“Part of the problem is the limited, binary system for labeling workers—either they are employees with all the legal protections that imbues or not—argue Seth Harris and Alan Krueger in a new paper from the Brookings Institution. They (and others) have suggested that the solution is finding a new, middle classification, which would allow workers and employers to retain some of the freedoms associated with independent work while enjoying some of the protections from being mistreated.”

News Coverage Dec 9, 2015

The Wall Street Journal: The I-Word Our Debates Are Missing

“As presidential candidates crisscross the nation, economic inequality has become a rallying cry. That is important: Opportunity in the U.S. should inure to all, not just a privileged few. Nonetheless, I wish that politicians would spend more time addressing economic insecurity, which has become the dominant way average Americans understand their household budgets.
Take a look at the data: A study released last year by the Brookings Institution, on whose board I serve, found that up to 40% of American households live hand-to-mouth. They spend all their available financial resources every pay period.”

News Coverage Dec 8, 2015

Bloomberg View: Your Uber Driver Should Be an ‘Independent Worker’

“There are other efforts too, several of which are discussed by the Washington Post’s Lydia DePillis here. And this week we have an important proposal from Seth Harris and Alan Krueger, under the auspices of the Brookings Institution’s Hamilton Project, for a new employment category called the “independent worker”: In our proposal, independent workers — regardless of whether they work through an online or offline intermediary — would qualify for many, although not all, of the benefits and protections that employees receive, including the freedom to organize and collectively bargain, civil rights protections, tax withholding, and employer contributions for payroll taxes.”

News Coverage Dec 4, 2015

The New York Times: Robust Jobs Report All but Guarantees Fed Will Raise Rates

“Moreover, the economy is still 2.8 million jobs short of where it would have to be to match pre-recession employment levels while also absorbing new entrants into the work force, according to the Hamilton Project, a research group associated with the Brookings Institution in Washington. Even if the current trend continues, that so-called ‘jobs gap’ won’t be closed until mid-2017.”

News Coverage Dec 4, 2015

The Seattle Times: Vote: How was your recovery?

“Unfortunately, this has been anything but a normal recovery. The stock market and corporate profits have reached new records. The 0.1 percent are wealthier than ever. But even with a steady pace of 200,000 jobs added a month, the recession’s damage was so great that we face a gap of 2.8 million jobs, according to the Hamilton Project. In other words, jobs that should have been created in a normal recovery to keep pace with growth of the labor force.”

News Coverage Dec 1, 2015

The New York Times: Imagining a World Without Growth

“Economic growth took off consistently around the world only some 200 years ago. Two things powered it: innovation and lots and lots of carbon-based energy, most of it derived from fossil fuels like coal and petroleum. Staring at climactic upheaval approaching down the decades, environmental advocates, scientists and even some political leaders have put the proposal on the table: World consumption must stop growing. ‘This is a subtle and largely unacknowledged part of some folks’ environmental/climate plan,’ said Michael Greenstone, who directs the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago.”

News Coverage Nov 30, 2015

Bloomberg View: This Isn’t ‘Big Data.’ It’s Just Bad Data.

“With response rates that have declined to under 10 percent, public opinion polls are increasingly unreliable. Perhaps even more concerning, though, is that the same phenomenon is hindering surveys used for official government statistics, including the Current Population Survey, the Survey of Income and Program Participation and the American Community Survey. Those data are used for a wide array of economic statistics -- for example, the numbers you read in newspapers on unemployment, health insurance coverage, inflation and poverty.”

News Coverage Nov 28, 2015

Project Syndicate: Worker Protection in the Gig Economy

“Today’s labor markets are undergoing radical change, as digital platforms transform how they operate and revolutionize the nature of work. In many ways, this is a positive development, one that has the potential to match workers with jobs more efficiently and transparently than ever before. But the increasing digitization of the labor market also has at least one very worrying drawback: it is undermining the traditional employer-employee relationships that have been the primary channel through which worker benefits and protections have been provided.”

News Coverage Nov 27, 2015

The New York Times: The New Atomic Age We Need

“This past summer, the Group of 7 nations promised “urgent and concrete action” to limit climate change. What actions exactly? Activists hope for answers from the coming United Nations climate conference in Paris, which begins Monday. They should look instead to Washington today. The single most important action we can take is thawing a nuclear energy policy that keeps our technology frozen in time. If we are serious about replacing fossil fuels, we are going to need nuclear power, so the choice is stark: We can keep on merely talking about a carbon-free world, or we can go ahead and create one.”

News Coverage Nov 17, 2015

The Range-The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch: Fathoming Water Episode 2: UA Prof Robert Glennon Talks About Future of Our Water Supply

“In this episode Dr. Glennon and I talk about how water markets work in the United States. We take a look back at the American legal history that makes water trades difficult and sometimes impossible. Focusing on his new paper “Shopping for Water” prepared for The Hamilton Project we discuss solutions to overcoming that history in order to make water markets a more viable solution for re-allocating water among farmers and between agricultural, industrial, and municipal uses. As well as going in-depth about how trades of water work in the U.S., Glennon shares simple ways we can all conserve water in our daily lives, because it is the first step to making conscious decisions about water at a policy level.”

News Coverage Nov 12, 2015

Wall Street Journal: Obama Misses on Keystone

“Mr. Obama could still make a number of decisions during the rest of his term that affect the production of fossil fuels, from leasing federal land for coal mining and oil and gas drilling to easing the ban on exports of U.S. crude. One potential area for this approach: Michael Greenstone, an economist at the University of Chicago, reckons that the climate damage of coal mined from the Powder River Basin in Montana and Wyoming is five times as great as its market value. The federal government could take those damages into consideration when calculating leases and royalty rates on federal land.”

News Coverage Nov 11, 2015

New York Times: Voters, You Can Have Everything

“Not only do the tax-cutting plans offered by the leading Republican candidates create eye-popping deficits, but some Democratic tax hike proposals don’t quite add up, either. As the Washington Post economics columnist Robert Samuelson reported last week, a Brookings Institution [Gale / Kearney / Orszag] study found that even if the top income tax rate were increased to 50 percent from 39.6 percent, it would cover less than a quarter of the deficit for the 2015 fiscal year, let alone generate funds for increased investment.”

News Coverage Nov 11, 2015

Australian Financial Review: Robots threaten jobs of bankers, lawyers: Bank of America says

“Washington-based Brookings Institution senior fellow Melissa Kearney said rapidly advancing computer power and automation technology will "change the nature of work and the future of the economy." "Our nation will face new and pressing challenges about how to educate more people for the jobs of the future, how to foster creation of high-paying jobs, and how to support those who struggle economically during the transition," she said in a recent research paper.”

News Coverage Nov 11, 2015

Slate: What Philosophers Want You, Me, and Marco Rubio to Know About How Much They Make

“To get a better breakdown, I consulted the Brookings Institution’s Hamilton Project, which helpfully compiles career earnings for 80 different college majors, including “philosophy and religious studies.” You can’t compare the earnings for a particular major to a particular occupation, but I charted the median annual earnings for philosophy majors against that of people with an associate’s degree or a high school degree/GED. The associate’s degree data in particular is similar to the BLS data on mean annual wages for welders. (Associate’s degree holders earn slightly more, but it’s close enough to give you an idea.)”

News Coverage Nov 10, 2015

The Washington Post: This $13 trillion question is more important than ever

“The Hutchins Center for Fiscal and Monetary Policy at Brookings is having a conference on Tuesday launching an important new volume on federal debt management policy. Just as in the Great War it became clear that war is too important to be left to generals, so too in the Great Recession it became clear that (government) debt management is too important to be left to the parochial world of debt managers.”

News Coverage Nov 6, 2015

The Wall Street Journal: Jobs Report: Full-Time Employment Now Above Where It Was Before the Recession

“The Hamilton Project, a think tank affiliated with the Brookings Institution, examines the “jobs gap” every month, or the number of jobs needed to return to prerecession employment levels while accounting for new workers entering the labor force.


It estimated that at the end of October, the economy needed around 2.9 million jobs to reach workforce-adjusted, prerecession employment levels. Using the pace of job growth over the prior year, it would take until March 2017 to reach that mark.”

News Coverage Nov 6, 2015

The New York Times: Great News! We’re Not Doomed to Soaring Health Care Costs

The good news is that recently health care inflation has been at historic lows. As Jason Furman, the chairman of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, put it in a speech to the Hamilton Project last month, “Health care prices have grown at an annual rate of 1.6 percent since the Affordable Care Act was enacted in March 2010, the slowest rate for such a period in five decades, and those prices have grown at an even slower 1.1 percent rate over the 12 months ending in August 2015.”

News Coverage Nov 6, 2015

The Wall Street Journal: Jobs Report: Full-Time Employment Now Above Where It Was Before the Recession

"The Hamilton Project, a think tank affiliated with the Brookings Institution, examines the “jobs gap” every month, or the number of jobs needed to return to prerecession employment levels while accounting for new workers entering the labor force.

It estimated that at the end of October, the economy needed around 2.9 million jobs to reach workforce-adjusted, prerecession employment levels. Using the pace of job growth over the prior year, it would take until March 2017 to reach that mark."

News Coverage Nov 4, 2015

Michigan Chronicle: Justice at Last?

“A May 2014 policy memo from the Hamilton Project of the Washington, D.C. think tank the Brookings Institution found that in 2010 the United States spent more than $80 billion on corrections expenditures at the federal, state, and local levels. The memo stated in part: ‘Corrections expenditures fund the supervision, confinement,and rehabilitation of adults and juveniles convicted of offenses against the law, and the confinement of persons awaiting trial and adjudication (Kyckelhahn 2013). Total corrections expenditures more than quadrupled over the past twenty years in real terms, from approximately $17 billion in 1980 to more than $80 billion in 2010. When including expenditures for police protection and judicial and legal services, the direct costs of crime rise to $261 billion.”’

News Coverage Nov 1, 2015

The New York Times: Why Consumers Often Err in Choosing Health Plans

“Few consumers get this much help. When researchers at the University of Pennsylvania examined the Obamacare online marketplaces last year, they found only a few that provided some of the tools consumers need. Most marketplaces presented plans in order of the cost of the premium, which doesn’t take other cost sharing into account. (However, California ranked plans according to total cost, Kentucky listed them randomly, and Minnesota ranked them based on best match according to a series of preference questions, similar in spirit to an approach recommended by University of California, Berkeley economists in a recent Brookings [Hamilton Project] policy paper.)”

News Coverage Oct 23, 2015

World Economic Forum: Are Rising Rents Driving Income Inequality in the US?

“Rents, in economics parlance, are extra returns above and beyond what we’d expect in a competitive market. A new paper by Jason Furman, chair of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, and Peter Orszag, former director of the Office of Management and Budget and a current Vice Chairman at Citigroup Inc., presents some evidence that not only have rents increased, but they provide a fundamentally important explanation for rising inequality.”

News Coverage Oct 22, 2015

Washington Post: The Truth About Global Inequality is Much Different Than What People Expect

“Inequality, in other words, has different causes, and, as a result, different cures. Take the U.S. Higher taxes on the rich would help, but maybe not as much as you think. Economists William Gale, Melissa Kearney, and Peter Orszag found that even raising the top tax rate to 50 percent would only undo 3 to 18 percent of the increase in inequality the last 35 years. So while it's true that lower taxes on the rich have played a role in why they have more money after taxes, the bigger one is the fact that they have so much more before taxes. Why is that? Well, it's not clear. The usual suspects are new technologies and globalization, which have created winner-take-all markets. But Orszag, together with Council of Economics Chair Jason Furman, has found that this might be more about winner-take-all companies.”

News Coverage Oct 21, 2015

PBS NewsHour: The Countries Where Global Warming Will Shrink Bank Accounts

“If global warming isn’t checked, the team expects average global incomes will be slashed by a quarter by 2100. So whether you’re an Indonesian rice farmer baking in the hot sun or a tech jockey sitting in a cool Silicon Valley office, you can expect your economic prosperity to decline. “The results indicate that societies will need to adapt in ways that are likely to be expensive, or [they will] face even greater damages in terms of lost GDP,” said economist Michael Greenstone of the University of Chicago, who wasn’t involved in the project.”

News Coverage Oct 21, 2015

Foreign Policy: The TPP Is Just Half a Loaf

“The preparation for such legislation can proceed quickly. There is no lack of ideas for upgrading the workforce, backed by thoughtful, credible studies. Examples include the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution, where research has focused on public investment, income inequality, social mobility, and education; or work done at the American Enterprise Institute that focuses on the earned income tax credit, relocation assistance, and work sharing. In addition, there may be programs at the state or municipal level that could be examined for effectiveness and scalability and should be ingredients in this new legislation.”

News Coverage Oct 19, 2015

Reuters: How your credit score affects your love life

“Almonte may not have known it, but according to the Federal Reserve - yes, the stately U.S. Federal Reserve - things bode well for her relationship. The Fed recently looked at the correlation between credit scores and relationship duration, in a working paper entitled "Credit Scores and Committed Relationships" by researchers Jane Dokko, Geng Li and Jessica Hayes ( It uncovered some fascinating tidbits.”

News Coverage Oct 19, 2015

Los Angeles Times: In search of a way to defuse the debt limit brinkmanship

“For those reasons, the GAO recommended this summer that Congress consider alternatives to the debt limit. Around the same time, two respected Washington veterans at the Bipartisan Policy Center — former Sen. Pete Domenici of New Mexico, a Republican, and former Federal Reserve Vice Chairwoman Alice Rivlin, a Democrat — proposed automatically increasing the debt limit when Congress passes a budget.”

News Coverage Oct 13, 2015

The Atlantic: Who Pays Hospital Bills When Patients Can’t?

A new report by The Hamilton Project, an initiative of the Brookings Institution, looks at a proposal to improve the charity-care system in the U.S. Three researchers at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management—David Dranove, Craig Garthwaite, and Christopher Ody—argue that the supply and demand for charity care are not geographically aligned. That is, hospitals with the most resources to offer charity care aren’t in the places where people most need it. In high-income areas, hospitals are better funded and more able to provide charity care. But it’s in the hospitals in low-income areas where the demand is highest.

News Coverage Oct 8, 2015

Fierce Health Finance: How to improve the delivery of charity care services

“Should hospitals trade their charity care capacity? Yes, according to a proposal put forth by Northwestern University researchers and published by the Hamilton Project, an economic initiative of the non-profit Brookings Institution. Under the proposal, states would set a charity care "floor"--the minimum percentage of a hospital's expenses that can be dedicated to charity care. States would also set an income cutoff where charity care provisions cannot count toward hospital expenses…”

News Coverage Oct 8, 2015

POLITICO Pulse: White House Defends Cadillac Tax

“Just days after Hillary Rodham Clinton backed scrapping the excise tax, President Obama's chief economist called it one of the ACA's "most important tools" for both bringing down costs and improving the quality of care. In a data-filled presentation at the [Hamilton Project at] Brookings Institution on Wednesday, Jason Furman called repealing or delaying the Cadillac tax "deeply problematic." He argued that it lowers health care costs, increase workers' wages, and reduces the federal deficit by $90 billion over the next decade (and by half-a-trillion dollars over the next 20 years, according to White House calculations). And, these changes, he argued, will spill out across the health care system and provide employers with a "little more incentive to exercise their market power to slow the cost of health care." You can read an extended version of his remarks here:”

News Coverage Oct 8, 2015

POLITICO Morning Tax: Cadillac Tax, Round Whatever

“On Wednesday [at a Hamilton Project event], top Obama economic adviser Jason Furman said “any changes to the excise tax — or other provisions of the law — must preserve, not undermine, the law's major benefits for our health care system, our economy, and the deficit which is why the administration opposes legislation that would repeal or delay this provision.” Furman’s comments:”

News Coverage Oct 5, 2015

Forbes: Saving New York From Sea-Level Rise Could Cost $120 Billion

“Bob Kopp, associate director of the Rutgers Energy Institute, offered what he called this “rough guesstimate” of costs at the University of Chicago last week in response to queries by Chicago economics professor Michael Greenstone, former chief economist for President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers. “You know we’re going to spend every single dollar to protect Manhattan,” Greenstone said.”

News Coverage Oct 3, 2015

My SA: Too many fail to complete college, training

“Despite growing costs, a college education continues to be a wise investment. The Brookings Institution’s Hamilton Project found that the benefits of a four-year degree are the equivalent of a 15.2 percent annual return on an investment. U.S. Census Bureau records bear out the significance of that investment. They show a bachelor’s degree can almost double a high school graduate’s lifetime earnings from $1.6 million to $3.1 million…”

News Coverage Oct 2, 2015

The Crimson: Larry Summers Talks Income Inequality at IOP

“Former University President Lawrence H. Summers argued for concrete public policy solutions to economic inequality in front of a crowded audience Thursday evening at the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum. In a discussion called “The Challenge of Inclusion” with moderator John Authers, senior investment columnist for The Financial Times, Summers recommended policies such as progressive taxation and infrastructure investment…”

News Coverage Oct 2, 2015

Bloomberg Business: The Federal Reserve Has Some Advice for Your Love Life

“But a new working paper published at the Federal Reserve Board draws some conclusions that might help prevent your heart from deflating. Let's just say you'll never look at "credit unions" the same way again. Economists Jane Dokko, Geng Li, and Jessica Hayes presented their findings about the role that credit scores have in predicting the stability and potential longevity of a relationship that's starting to get serious…”

News Coverage Oct 1, 2015

Washington Examiner: Hey, babe, what’s your credit score?

“Furthermore, people with good credit tend to end up with other people with good credit, even after taking into account differences in economic and demographic characteristics. The connection comes about because "credit scores reveal an individual's relationship skill and level of commitment," say the authors, Jane Dokko of the Brookings Institution, Geng Li of the Federal Reserve Board and Jessica Hayes of UCLA."

News Coverage Sep 30, 2015

Project Syndicate: Making Higher Education Pay

“Higher education is a great investment, with each additional year of post-secondary education yielding a 10-15% return, on average. For university graduates, that means hundreds of thousands of dollars over a lifetime. Unfortunately, students aspiring to a higher education, especially those from low-income families and underperforming secondary schools, lack the information they need to make wise choices about where to go and what to study to maximize the return on their investment.”

News Coverage Sep 28, 2015

Bloomberg View: Education and Taxes Can’t Reduce Inequality

“The economists Bill Gale and Melissa Kearney (colleagues of mine at the Brookings Institution) and I recently looked into the tax-rate question and found that even a big increase in the marginal tax rate for top earners would have shockingly little effect on after-tax inequality. We modeled, among other scenarios, raising the top individual income tax rate to 50 percent from its current level of 39.6 percent…”

News Coverage Sep 24, 2015

Boston Globe: The importance of global health investment

“ONE OF the things I am proudest of having done in Washington was having the idea as chief economist of the World Bank that the bank should devote its annual World Development Report to making the case for improving both the quantity and quality of global health investment. The 1993 report, produced by a team led by renowned global health economist Dean Jamison, proved more influential than I could have hoped, not least because it drew Bill Gates into the global health arena…”

News Coverage Sep 24, 2015

Marketplace: What if it’s not just Volkswagen?

“Gauging the economic impact of a power plant’s worth of pollution is challenging, but it can be done. It’s the kind of thing University of Chicago economist Michael Greenstone does in his research: “Increased NOx emissions out of the car lead to higher ambient concentrations of ozone and possibly higher ambient concentrations of particulates, and then those two forms of air pollution in turn will lead to health problems.”

News Coverage Sep 24, 2015

NYT – The UpShot: The Connection Between Cleaner Air and Longer Lives

“Back in 1970, Los Angeles was known as the smog capital of the world — a notorious example of industrialization largely unfettered by regard for health or the environment. Heavy pollution drove up respiratory and heart problems and shortened lives. But 1970 was also the year the environmental movement held the first Earth Day and when, 45 years ago this month, Congress passed a powerful update of the Clean Air Act…”

News Coverage Sep 22, 2015

MarketWatch: Many Americans underestimate the value of a college degree

“…That information gap could be discouraging students from attending, particularly those who might benefit the most from a degree, the study’s findings suggest. In most cases, a college degree is a worthy investment because it improves employment outcomes — college graduates make more money, on average, than their counterparts with a high school degree. For students from low-income backgrounds, a degree can be one of the few tickets to economic mobility [finds The Hamilton Project]...”

News Coverage Sep 18, 2015

The Atlantic: Is the Awfulness of Income Inequality Mitigated by the Cheapness of Consumer Goods?

“…According to economist Melissa Kearney at The Hamilton Project, one other thing isn’t quite what it was 20 years ago: income inequality. In fact, it’s much worse: Between 1947 and 1975, a period of strong economic growth, the families at the bottom 20 percent saw their income grow by 90 percent. Compare that with the period from 1975 to 2010, when families in the bottom 20 percent only saw their income grow by 3.7 percent while the top 5 percent saw average income gains of 57 percent…”

News Coverage Sep 18, 2015

New York Times: Watching the Fed, and Remembering the Tequila Crisis

“…When Fed policy makers do eventually decide to move, they should emphasize that it is not the beginning of a relentless new tightening phase, said Robert E. Rubin, President Bill Clinton’s Treasury secretary from 1995-99. At the time of the initial rate increase, he said, Fed officials should make clear that future increases will only come if the data suggests the economy continues to strengthen and that higher interest rates and a tighter monetary policy are required to head off the clear risk of inflation…”

News Coverage Sep 16, 2015

Atlanta Daily World: Entrepreneurs of Color Fund now open for small Black businesses

“Michael Barr’s recent research, Minority and Women Entrepreneurs: Building Capital, Network, and Skills, published by the Hamilton Project of the Brookings Institution, calls for greater support for minority-owned and female-owned small businesses. “Minority-owned businesses, including those in Detroit, often lack access to credit, to essential skills needed to survive and grow, and to business networks for mentoring and new business opportunities,” said Michael S. Barr, Professor of Law at the University of Michigan…”

News Coverage Sep 16, 2015

Washington Post: Racial disparities in college major selection exacerbate earnings gap

“…To be sure, regardless of major median earnings of graduates with bachelor’s degrees are higher than the median earnings of high school graduates over the entire course of their career, according to a from the Hamilton Project. And other studies have found that over time liberal arts majors are employed at the same rates and can earn similar salaries as people with professional degrees…”

News Coverage Sep 14, 2015

Washington Post—Wonkblog: Why Ukraine’s debt deal is important not just for Ukraine, but also for the West

“I have spent the last two days in Kiev attending the Yalta European Strategy meeting, where I have had the chance to discuss Ukraine’s economic reform efforts with key officials, including the finance minister and prime minister. I was encouraged to see a country where, despite huge challenges, including Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, economic reforms are being carried out and receiving support from the international community…”

News Coverage Sep 13, 2015

Columbus Dispatch: Laboring to Revover

“…The recession clearly made things worse,” said Melissa Kearney, author of a report released by the Hamilton Project in April that documents the changes. “But the structural changes were there before the recession kicked in.” The shift away from traditional blue-collar, middle-paying jobs to lower-paying service jobs over the past 25 years accounts for as much as 40 percent of the overall decline in annual earnings for the typical worker without a bachelor’s degree, according to the Hamilton Project report…”

News Coverage Sep 9, 2015

Boston Globe: September heat wave becomes official Wednesday, how are you coping?

“Air Conditioning Saves Lives: According to MIT environmental economics professor Michael Greenstone, the widespread availability of air conditioning has saved lives. In a Washington Post article from December 2012, "A team of researchers from Tulane University, Carnegie Mellon University, the National Bureau of Economic Research and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology examined patterns in heat-related deaths between 1900 and 2004…”

News Coverage Sep 9, 2015

Washington Post: Get ready: Experts say a government shutdown is likely

“…Here are four congressional budget analysts' predictions on how likely it is that the government will shut down. We'll start with the most conservative estimate -- which is still "well over 50 percent." 'Well over 50 percent' That's the prediction from Peter Orszag, President Obama's former budget director and the former head of the Congressional Budget Office. In an Aug. 31 interview with CNBC's "Squawk Box," Orszag noted that Congress is probably not going to pass the 12 separate spending bills needed to set a new budget for federal agencies (the House has passed just six, and the Senate has passed zero.) No real surprise there…”

News Coverage Sep 9, 2015

The Washington Post—Wonkblog: Why the Fed must stand still on rates

“Two weeks ago, I argued that a Federal Reserve decision to raise rates in September would be a serious mistake. As I wrote my column, the market was assigning a 50 percent chance to a rate hike. The current chance is 34 percent. Having followed the debate among economists, Fed governors and bank presidents, I believe the case against a rate increase has become somewhat more compelling than it looked even two weeks ago…”

News Coverage Sep 8, 2015

The Hill: Orszag returning to Brookings

“Former Obama administration official Peter Orszag is returning to the Brookings Institution after leaving more than eight years ago. Orszag, who left Brookings in January, 2007 to head up the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) before taking the reins at the Office of Management and Budget from January 2009 until July 2010, helped shaped President Obama’s economic and healthcare policy early in his presidency… “We are happy to welcome Peter back to Brookings,” said Ted Gayer, Brookings’s vice president and director of economic studies…During his first stint at Brookings, Orszag was the Joseph A. Pechman Senior Fellow and deputy director of economic studies and served as the first director of The Hamilton Project...”

News Coverage Sep 8, 2015

London School of Economics: The US safety net caught some poor households during the Great Recession

“The Great Recession saw large increases in unemployment and greater housing insecurity for many, which in turn led to increased take up of social safety net programs such as food stamps. In new research, Patricia M. Anderson, Kristin F. Butcher and Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach find that while households that are below the poverty line were largely shielded from additional hardships during the Great Recession, those with incomes just above it slipped through the cracks of the safety net, and experienced additional hardships…”

News Coverage Sep 7, 2015

The New Yorker: College Calculus

“…When the research firm PayScale did this a few years ago, it found that the average inflation-adjusted return on a college education is about seven per cent, which is a bit lower than the historical rate of return on the stock market. Cappelli cites this study along with one from the Hamilton Project, a Washington-based research group that came up with a much higher figure—about fifteen per cent—but by assuming, for example, that all college students graduate in four years…”

News Coverage Sep 6, 2015

Cleveland Business: Crain’s editorial: Get real

“…According to the Brooking Institution's Hamilton Project: “The most recent academic research suggests that, on average, immigrants raise the overall standard of living of American workers by boosting wages and lowering prices. One reason is that immigrants and U.S.-born workers generally do not compete for the same jobs; instead many immigrants complement the work of U.S. employees and increase their productivity.”

News Coverage Sep 4, 2015

Burlington County Times: Straight outta sleep: a case for teens’ most coveted commodity

“The most intriguing discovery was a report from The Brookings Institution [Hamilton Project], which concluded that the combined effects of all the advantages from schools starting later could lead to lifetime earnings gains of $17,500 per student. Essentially, you’d be getting paid to sleep in, which sounds incredible. So why have only 15 percent of all schools adopted this later start time?”

News Coverage Aug 31, 2015

The New York Times - The Upshot: Why Students With Smallest Debts Have the Larger Problem

“…I have co-written a similar proposal [for The Hamilton Project], which also recommends extending the repayment period to 25 years, as is it in many countries. This allows for smaller monthly payments than the 10-year payment plan that is standard in the United States. The Institute for College Access and Success recommends keeping the standard 10-year repayment plan, but automatically shifting borrowers into an income-based plan if they fall behind on payments…”

News Coverage Aug 31, 2015

Philanthropy Daily: On problems with occupational licenses

“…In January, the Hamilton Project, a branch of Brookings, issued a comprehensive report by University of Minnesota economist Morris M. Kleiner about the problems caused by excessive licensing requirements. He notes that the state of Michigan requires athletic trainers to have nearly 1,600 hours of experience—while emergency medical technicians in that state need less than 40 hours of practice to get a license…”

News Coverage Aug 26, 2015

Columbia Daily Tribune: Trump off base on immigration

“The most recent academic research suggests that, on average, immigrants raise the overall standard of living of American workers by boosting wages and lowering prices,” the Brookings Institution’s Hamilton Project found. “One reason is that immigrants and U.S.-born workers generally do not compete for the same jobs; instead many immigrants complement the work of U.S. employees and increase their productivity.”

News Coverage Aug 23, 2015

The Washington Post: No time for an interest rate hike

“Federal Reserve officials have held out the prospect that at long last they may raise interest rates at their September meeting, with the hike taking effect by year’s end barring major unforeseen developments. A reasonable assessment of current conditions suggests that raising rates in the near future would be a serious error that would threaten all three of the Fed’s major objectives: price stability, full employment and financial stability…”

News Coverage Aug 20, 2015

St. Louis American: Black engineers bond to boost STEM

“…Crime is a major factor in the economic decline of a community. A report from the Brookings Institute’s Hamilton Project found that black male dropouts born in 1975 have a 70 percent chance of ending up in prison. I believe that we can reduce the prison pipeline numbers by training young parents, religious and community leaders on the importance of early childhood education, specifically an education with a STEM emphasis. An education with a STEM emphasis might also reverse this troubling trend: While people of African descent represent 14 percent of the U.S. population, we only hold 1 percent of the nation’s wealth…”

News Coverage Aug 18, 2015

EconoMonitor: “Video Killed the Radio Star”: Why Hasn’t Technology Destroyed All Jobs?

“…The average college graduate continues to earn more (1.6 times as much) than the average high school graduate, but not all college graduates are alike. “ Over the entire career, the highest-earning majors will earn about two-and-a-half times what the lowest-earning majors will earn, a range from over $2 million for some engineering majors to about $800,000 for early childhood education” (Hamilton Project)…”

News Coverage Aug 18, 2015

Washington Post: The false assumptions underlying Trump’s immigration plan

“…The laws of supply and demand suggest that a larger supply of labor (more immigrants) will lower wages. But the economic literature points to a counterintuitive conclusion. "The most recent academic research suggests that, on average, immigrants raise the overall standard of living of American workers by boosting wages and lowering prices," the Brookings Institution's Hamilton Project found…”

News Coverage Aug 14, 2015

International Business Times: Undocumented immigrants taking jobs from US citizens?

"...Economists generally argue that immigration helps the U.S. economy by adding young workers to the workforce. The Brookings Institution’s Michael Greenstone and Adam Looney wrote [in a Hamilton Project economic analysis] that “on average, immigrant workers increase the opportunities and incomes of Americans" while a study released in January by the liberal Center for American Progress concluded that granting legal status to undocumented workers could create jobs..."

News Coverage Aug 10, 2015

The Washington Post: Taking a long view on corporate reform

"There are not many wholly new areas to open up in economic policy. But recent months have seen a wave of innovative proposals directed at improving economic performance in general and middle-class incomes in particular, not through government actions but through mandates or incentives designed to change business decision-making. The goal is to cause companies and their shareholders to operate on longer time horizons and to more generously share the fruits of corporate success with their workers, customers and other stakeholders..."

News Coverage Aug 7, 2015

The Conversation: Lackluster jobs growth and stagnant wages show why the Fed shouldn’t raise interest rates just yet

“…But recently the growth has slowed somewhat, averaging 235,000 in the last three months. According to the Brookings Institution’s Hamilton Project, the economy is still 3.3 million jobs short of closing the job gap. If the recent rate continues, we won’t manage to close the gap until early- to mid-2017 – about a decade after the start of the Great Recession!”

News Coverage Aug 6, 2015

The Washington Post: A license to be a florist? How occupational rules can be a burden on workers

"...To be sure, the report’s authors stand on the shoulders of not only Smith and Friedman but also researchers at think tanks ranging from the libertarian Institute for Justice to the liberal Brookings Institution, who have previously documented the often contradictory and unjustifiable rules that require, say, scrap metal recyclers to get a license in one state but not in another — or oblige aspiring members of the same licensed trade to pay wildly varying fees and spend wildly varying amounts of time studying depending on where they live..."

News Coverage Aug 6, 2015

Washington Post: A license to be a florist? How occupational rules can be a burden on workers

"...To be sure, the report’s authors stand on the shoulders of not only Smith and Friedman but also researchers at think tanks ranging from the libertarian Institute for Justice to the liberal [Hamilton Project at the] Brookings Institution, who have previously documented the often contradictory and unjustifiable rules that require, say, scrap metal recyclers to get a license in one state but not in another — or oblige aspiring members of the same licensed trade to pay wildly varying fees and spend wildly varying amounts of time studying depending on where they live..."

News Coverage Aug 4, 2015

Vox: Why a great minimum wage for New York may not be right for Nebraska

"...University of Massachusetts economist Arindrajit Dube's Hamilton Project paper "Designing Thoughtful Minimum Wage Policy at the State and Local Levels" is the urtext of that era. It suggested a minimum wage of about $13 an hour in places like the Bay Area, Greater Boston, and the metropolitan area surrounding Washington, DC, while holding that something in the $9 to $10 range might be more appropriate for Atlanta or Dallas..."

News Coverage Jul 29, 2015

Bangor Daily News: As clock ticks down on the highway fund, Congress barely talks about highways

"...In the short term, they should focus on raising the gas tax — a user tax that ensures those who use the roads the most assume most of the cost of maintaining them. There are options to limit the impact on low-income drivers. The Hamilton Project, an initiative of the Brookings Institution, suggests having the gas tax fluctuate inversely with the price of gasoline, so drivers pay less tax when fuel prices are high. Congress would set minimum and maximum levels for the federal gas tax, and those levels would change with inflation..."

News Coverage Jul 24, 2015

Federal News Radio: Dr. Alice Rivlin: Congressional budget process needs an overhaul

“We've all heard the complaints and lived with the consequences. The congressional budget process is broken and needs drastic overhaul. The Bipartisan Policy Center has some suggestions for doing just that. Dr. Alice Rivlin is a senior fellow in economic studies at the Brooking Institution, and a former director of both the Congressional Budget Office and the Office of Management and Budget…”

News Coverage Jul 22, 2015

The Marshall Project: The nonviolent offenders Congress forgot

“…The prosecution of immigration crimes has grown in recent years to make up a large part of federal law enforcement. A report by the Brookings Institute's Hamilton Project, from which Obama cited the overall cost of mass incarceration in the U.S., says that the “increase in federal imprisonment rates has been driven by increases in immigration-related admissions. Between 2003 and 2011, admissions to federal prisons for immigration-related offenses increased by 83 percent.”…”

News Coverage Jul 16, 2015

Foreign Affairs: Why the Fed works

“…For as long as the United States has existed, there has been controversy over the role of centralized banking. It was rooted in the debates between Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton over the federalist system and was manifest in concerns about the balance of power not just between the central government and the states, but also between bankers and merchants in the biggest cities and the agrarian interests in rural precincts…”

News Coverage Jul 14, 2015

TEDxPennsylvaniaAvenue: Combatting poverty: A social, moral and economic imperative | Robert E. Rubin

“How does our nation's poverty rate impact overall economic growth? In his compelling, first-ever TEDx talk, Robert E. Rubin, Co-Chair of the Council on Foreign Relations and former Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, shares his unique perspective as a current and former public, private, and non-profit sector leader to explain how improving economic opportunity for all Americans is critical to our nation's economic growth and well-being…”

News Coverage Jul 12, 2015

The Financial Times: Complacency and incrementalism are traps to avoid

“Against a backdrop of slow and diminishing growth forecasts, recent months and especially recent weeks have seen an extraordinary level of financial drama. While not rising to the level of the systemic global crisis of 2008, or the period of great uncertainty in the late 1990s around the Asia-Russia-Brazil-Long-Term Capital Management crises, markets everywhere seem to be thwarting political aspirations…”

News Coverage Jul 10, 2015

The Atlantic - City Lab: It’s about to get easier for California farmers to conserve water—and sell it

"...Glennon argues that a stronger water market would internalize these costs. A report he co-authored for the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution lays out a novel way to do so: “Municipal and industrial folks should pay farmers modernize their irrigation infrastructure, in exchange for the water conserved,” he says. “By doing that, farmers would use less water, but grow the same amount of product so that they stay in business.”

News Coverage Jun 24, 2015

Science Mic: More students are going to space school—and it may be a better idea than you think

"...Overall, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics students do well when it comes to career earnings, consistently dominating lists ranking valuable college majors. Aerospace engineering sits close to the top as the second most lucrative college major over the course of a lifetime, according to a list compiled by the Hamilton Project. The only thing outranking it is chemical engineering, a major that has its own prospects for future space careers..."

News Coverage Jun 24, 2015

Benefits Pro: Will tax breaks incentivize retirement savings? Think tank suggests rethinking them

"...The studies were released at a symposium hosted by The Hamilton Project, the arm of the Washington D.C.-based think tank that researches retirement policy. One of those papers, “Ten Economic Facts About Financial Well-Being in Retirement,” notes that tax breaks to promote savings account for the second largest federal tax expenditure, behind only tax breaks for employer-provided health insurance..."

News Coverage Jun 23, 2015

The Wall Street Journal: We’re living longer, and other reasons to worry about American’s retirement outlook

“Americans are increasingly unprepared for retirement. That’s a key finding in a new paper from the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution that examines 10 facts about contemporary retirement finances. We won’t outline all 10 here, but the key is this: Americans are living longer. The average American woman who reaches age 65 this year has a better than one-in-three chance of seeing her 90th birthday, up from a one-in-four chance 50 years ago…”

News Coverage Jun 19, 2015

The Washington Post: Africa’s moment to lead on climate

"Climate change is the greatest threat facing humanity today. To avoid catastrophe, we must dramatically reduce the carbon intensity of our modern energy systems, which have set us on a collision course with our planetary boundaries. This is the challenge leading up to three key international events this year: a July summit on financing for new global development goals, another in September to settle on those goals and — crucially — a global meeting in December to frame an agreement, and set meaningful targets, on climate change..."

News Coverage Jun 16, 2015

The New York Times: Doing more, not less, to save retirees from financial ruin

"...In a study for the Brookings Institution’s Hamilton Project, scheduled to be presented next week, Professor Friedman proposes that the government cap the tax deductibility on workers’ retirement savings — which are relatively inefficient at mobilizing additional saving — and use the money saved to provide tax credits for employers that increase their workers’ pension contributions..."

News Coverage Jun 13, 2015

The Economist: Big bird, big brain

“…Since 1969, “Sesame Street” has been introducing small children to letters and numbers by using clever skits and songs performed by Muppets and celebrities. Patrick Stewart, for instance, reworked Hamlet’s soliloquy as an ode to the letter B (“B or not a B, that is the question”). Now a report by two economists, Melissa Kearney of the University of Maryland and Phillip Levine of Wellesley College, has tracked the first generation of watchers (who were under six in 1969). It reveals that children who had access to “Sesame Street” ended up better prepared for school and were 14% less likely to fall behind in class. (Whether they got better jobs later was less clear.)…”

News Coverage Jun 12, 2015

Cheat Sheet: How bulldozing licensing laws can lead to job growth

“…The Hamilton Project, part of the Brookings Institution, has addressed this before as well. Nearly 30% of American jobs require some kind of licensing, which means that there is a built-in incentive for people to steer away from those positions. Since those jobs require an initial investment from the prospective worker, fewer people will be willing to attempt to go after them. Getting said licensing may not be a problem for some people, who have the resources in both time and money to secure the proper paperwork. But for others, licensing requirements may shut them out of certain sectors completely…”

News Coverage Jun 11, 2015

Politico: Former CBO chief Doug Elmendorf named Harvard Kennedy School dean

“…He returned to the Federal Reserve in 1999, working first as deputy assistant director for economic policy and eventually as assistant director of the Research and Statistics Division until 2007. At that time, he joined the Brookings Institution, where until 2009 he was a senior fellow in economics and its Bernstein Scholar, co-editing the Brookings Papers on Economic Activity and serving as director of the Hamilton Project, which aimed to create fresh policy proposals that would stimulate growth…”

News Coverage Jun 10, 2015

The Washington Post: After plunge in oil prices, hope fades for group of long-beleaguered workers

"...More than 9 out of 10 oil and gas jobs are held by men without college degrees. Their median earnings topped out at $65,000 a year in 2013, according to Census Bureau data, double what similarly educated men make in the overall economy. Between 2008 and 2013, the median income for prime-working-age oil and gas drillers increased by 70 percent, according to an analysis by economist Brad Hershbein, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Hamilton Project..."

News Coverage Jun 8, 2015

The Atlantic - City Lab: How much money U.S. transit systems lose per trip, in 1 chart

"Alison Burke over at Brookings points us to the chart below, via the Hamilton Project, showing how much money major U.S. public transit systems lose per ride. The immediate if unsurprising takeaway is that every single metro rail system loses money. Only a handful of America’s 1,800-plus mass transit operations (metro trains as well as buses and other modes) generated more fare revenue in 2013 than they paid in costs, according to Hamilton..."

News Coverage May 21, 2015

Bloomberg View: Chinese drivers pay for roads. Why can’t Americans?

"...A new paper from the Hamilton Project lays out several ways in which we could facilitate user fees in the U.S. The federal government could, for example, establish a single national standard for electronic toll collection, perhaps through a smartphone application that would function much like an E-ZPass. The authors also suggest a set of national guidelines for congestion pricing, with variable user fees that depend on traffic flows and so reduce demand on infrastructure at peak times..."

News Coverage May 20, 2015

NPR: How the minimum wage debate moved from capitol hill to city halls

"...But there's a case for setting city-specific minimum wages nationwide. In a 2014 paper for the Hamilton Project, a part of the left-leaning think tank the Brookings Institution, MIT professor Arindrajit Dube agreed with this idea, arguing that "one-size-fits-all" minimum wages hurt people in cities with higher costs of living. His idea is to set local and state minimum wages at half the state or local median wage..."

News Coverage May 14, 2015

Washington Center for Equitable Growth: Would graduating more college students reduce wage inequality?

"After making these informal comments, Summers –together with Melissa Kearney and Brad Hershbein, both of the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution– produced a more formal analysis of how much increasing the share of college-educated workers could aid in reducing inequality. Their more formal analysis concluded “Increasing educational attainment will not significantly change overall earnings inequality” but would “reduce inequality in the bottom half of the earnings distribution, largely by pulling up the earnings of those near the 25th percentile.”..."

News Coverage May 13, 2015

Reuters: Structuring infrastructure

"...To help the United States accelerate repairs and upgrades to roads, bridges and transit systems, Altman along with Princeton economist Alan Krueger and Aaron Klein, from the Bipartisan Policy Center think tank, published a new [Hamilton Project] policy paper this week. They push for a 10-fold increase in appropriations for a federal infrastructure program, to $10 billion, which would back $400 billion in additional loans. More liberal accounting assumptions also would help, the trio write in their paper. And they have some good ideas about how to restructure user fees to make them fairer and fatter..."

News Coverage May 12, 2015

Campaign for America's Future: You don’t have to sell your soul to pay for infrastructure

"...But there are in fact other options, and some of them were in a policy paper released Monday as part of a forum on “Financing U.S. Transportation Infrastructure in the 21st Century” by [The Hamilton Project] and the organization Building America’s Future…Roger C. Altman of Evercore, a former Clinton administration Treasury deputy; Aaron Klein, a former Obama Treasury official now with the Bipartisan Policy Center; and Alan B. Krueger, also a former Obama Treasury official who is now an economist at Princeton University, offer a mix of short-term and long-term strategies that accept the role of the federal government as a leader in marshaling resources and mediating disparate state interests…”

News Coverage May 8, 2015

NBC News: As unemployment falls, Americans wait for paychecks to grow

"I think we're all expecting and really eager to see more pressure on wages," said Melissa Kearney director of Brookings Institution's Hamilton Project policy group. "There's still slack in the labor market." Over the past year, long-term unemployment has improved a little bit, but people out of work for 27 weeks or longer still make up almost 30 percent of unemployed workers, while the labor force participation rate really hasn't budged at all in the past year…”

News Coverage May 8, 2015

Politico - Morning Transportation: Brookings pitches indexing gas tax to inflation

"In an infrastructure funding report released Thursday, the [Hamilton Project at] Brookings Institution proposes indexing the federal gas tax to inflation and linking it to changes in the price of oil. Pro’s Katy O'Donnell reports that, under the proposal, “the tax would rise when the price of gasoline falls — and vice versa — in order to limit the economic consequences of fluctuations in the after-tax retail price of gasoline. The authors suggest setting a floor and ceiling on the variations.”

News Coverage May 8, 2015

Politico - Morning Tax: Brookings pitches gas tax ideas for infrastructure funding

"Legislators may be hating on raising the gas tax and using the proceeds to fund infrastructure and transportation, but The [Hamilton Project at] Brookings Institution sees value in the plan. Brookings proposed indexing the federal gas tax to inflation and linking it to changes in the price of oil as part of a larger report on funding infrastructure and transportation it plans to present next week. Under the Brookings proposal, the tax would rise when the price of gasoline falls — and vice versa — in order to limit the economic consequences of fluctuations in the after-tax retail price of gasoline..."

News Coverage May 7, 2015

NPR: It’s Infrastructure Week: More potholes than tax dollars to fill them

"...The Obama administration's preferred approach for transportation funding would tax U.S. companies' overseas profits. But it hasn't gained much traction either. How about Build America Bonds? That's a proposal in a new paper from The Hamilton Project, which suggests the bonds could be a short-term solution to the nation's infrastructure funding needs. More likely, Congress will come up with another short-term fix, kicking the proverbial can down the road..."

News Coverage May 3, 2015

Bloomberg Business: Singapore wants kids to skip college: Good luck with that

“…Lifetime earnings for a typical U.S. bachelor’s degree holder is twice that of someone with a high-school diploma, according to a study by the Brookings Institution’s Hamilton Project released in September. In Singapore, the median starting salary for graduates with a four-year electrical engineering degree was S$3,135 ($2,370) in 2013, compared with S$1,750 for those who studied the same subject at a technical institute, according to data from the Ministry of Manpower…”

News Coverage Apr 30, 2015

Project Syndicate: Beyond Silicon Valley

“Once again, California’s Silicon Valley is confirming its status as a mecca of high-tech entrepreneurship and wealth creation. But it is not a model for job creation and inclusive growth that policymakers and entrepreneurs elsewhere can emulate – at least not without making some fundamental adjustments. To be sure, what is happening in Silicon Valley today is nothing short of dazzling. Venture capital (VC) investment has reached near-record highs. Overnight millionaires – even billionaires – are proliferating. Twenty-something software coders are commanding six-figure salaries…”

News Coverage Apr 29, 2015

Herald Times Online: One thing that is needlessly holding some students back from making more money

“More and more, researchers are finding the impact of college has been misconstrued. While the mass media narrative has trended away from the importance of a degree, studies are finding that a college education might be more useful now than at any time in recent memory. As I wrote last week, a study by The Hamilton Project has found that a college degree may be the best way for workers to combat the low-paying service jobs that are quickly overtaking the jobs market…”

News Coverage Apr 29, 2015

The Huffington Post: My statement on the new Congressional Budget Agreement

“The budget conference agreement, if adopted by Congress, will represent one of the most radical budget plans that lawmakers have adopted since they created the modern budget process in 1974. That's no exaggeration. If they follow this plan, lawmakers would eviscerate substantial parts of the federal government — including parts that have previously enjoyed bipartisan support — and they also would violate the clear intent of the 2011 Budget Control Act (BCA)…”

News Coverage Apr 28, 2015

Green Biz: The business case for investments in water efficiency

“…Water is currently relatively inexpensive for C&I customers. Yet a recent survey by the Hamilton Project reported that over 60 percent of respondents in the industrial and consumer products manufacturing sectors believe they are exposed to water risks such as water scarcity, rising prices and/or regulatory changes. Business owners and managers are recognizing that water is likely to become a far more valuable commodity…”

News Coverage Apr 27, 2015

Newsmax Finance: Wells Capital’s Paulsen: Economic policy should be focused on supply instead of demand

“Meanwhile, former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers has suggested for more than a year that the U.S. economy might be suffering from "secular stagnation" — a prolonged period of weakness marked by a surplus of savings over investment…But former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, in his blog, recently took issue with Summers' view, offering a more positive take on the economy…”

News Coverage Apr 27, 2015

The Economist: The John Bates Clark Medal goes to Roland Fryer

“On April 24th the American Economic Association (AEA) announced that it would award this year's John Bates Clark Medal to Roland Fryer (pictured) of Harvard University. The professional body for academic economists gives out the prize each year to the "American economist under the age of forty who is judged to have made the most significant contribution to economic thought and knowledge". This year's prize was given to Mr Fryer, a 37-year-old, for his innovative work on economics, education and racial inequality…”

News Coverage Apr 23, 2015

The Street: American needs a new economic plan to stop leaving workers behind

“…So states Melissa S. Kearney in the New York Times. Kearney is the director of the Hamilton Project at the centrist think tank Brookings Institution. She is part of a team studying the changes in the labor market for less educated workers. The results of the study are quite dramatic… For example, from 1990 to 2013, the median earnings of working men aged 30 to 45 without a high school diploma fell 20%…”

News Coverage Apr 22, 2015

Morning Star: The 401(k) millionaire: When is it realistic?

“…For wages, we'll use two projections of lifetime salary expectations, both expressed in today's dollars. The source is the Hamilton Project, a wing of the Brookings Institution. The first, more conservative projection is Hamilton's estimate of the year-by-year salary curve for the average college grad, assuming all majors. The second, more aggressive projection is Hamilton's estimate for economics grads—economics being a relatively lucrative major, although not the highest (trailing several engineering majors, for example)…”

News Coverage Apr 22, 2015

Slate: The fight against 15

“…One scholar who has been particularly thoughtful as to why this matters is Dube himself, who has argued against a one-size-fits-all approach to the minimum wage. In a paper for the Hamilton Project, Dube observed that “states as dissimilar as Massachusetts and Mississippi have different capacities to absorb a minimum wage of, say, $11.00 per hour, and a single minimum wage has to balance the needs of states at both ends of the spectrum.”…”

News Coverage Apr 22, 2015

Politico - Morning Money: Why lack of education is crushing workers

“Perhaps the single most shocking number in a new review of employment and earnings data by researchers at the Hamilton Project, a research group within the Brookings Institution, is this one: The median earnings of working men aged 30 to 45 without a high school diploma fell 20 percent from 1990 to 2013 when adjusted for inflation. A group of people not earning much to begin with, in other words, has seen earnings plummet to $25,500 in 2013 from $31,900 in 1990 (both numbers are in 2013 dollars).

News Coverage Apr 21, 2015

National Journal: The long-term unemployment trap

“…Washington politics may suffer from terrible gridlock, but politicians from both the right and left support an interesting idea of offering relocation subsidies to the long-term unemployed to help them move from one area of high unemployment to a place with a better job market. A 2010 paper from the Hamilton Project at Brookings estimates that relocation subsidies would cost the federal government less than $1 billion a year and would result in as many as 62,000 matches between workers and new jobs…”

News Coverage Apr 21, 2015

The New York Times - Upshot: Earnings have fallen for workers with little education

“Perhaps the single most shocking number in a new review of employment and earnings data by researchers at the Hamilton Project, a research group within the Brookings Institution, is this one: The median earnings of prime-aged working men (25 to 54) without a high school diploma fell 20 percent from 1990 to 2013 when adjusted for inflation…The difficulties of American workers, and especially those with low levels of education, have been well documented. What makes the latest analysis, by Melissa S. Kearney, Brad Hershbein and Elisa Jácome, interesting is in some ways its simplicity…”

News Coverage Apr 20, 2015

Washington Examiner: Men without college degrees doing worse than in 1990

“…The share of men with only high school degrees aged 30-45 working full-time year-round fell from 76 percent in 1990 to 68 percent in 2013, the Hamilton Project found in a report published Monday afternoon…The Hamilton Project, a non-partisan think tank in Washington, also found that the median earnings for men without a college diploma dropped by more than 13 percent over the same time, from $47,100 to $40,700, adjusted for inflation…”

News Coverage Apr 14, 2015

Bloomberg View: A smarter way to pay doctors

“In a welcome break from political stasis, Congress may be on the verge of passing important bipartisan legislation to fix the way Medicare pays doctors. A bill before the Senate this week, which the president is willing to sign, would shift toward paying based on how well doctors care for their patients, rather than on how much care they provide. The fix isn't perfect, but it's far better than most of us expected from a polarized Congress…”

News Coverage Apr 13, 2015

Union Leader: Contractor burden: A license to kill…mold?

“…In the 1950s, only about 5 percent of American occupations required a license; today it is about 30 percent, according to the Brookings Institution. Economist Morris Kleiner, in a Brookings paper released in January, wrote that occupational licensing tends to “impose net costs on society with little improvement to service quality, health, and safety.” This license requirement fits that description…”

News Coverage Apr 10, 2015

Cheat Sheet: Education isn’t the solution to income inequality

“…[Lawrence] Summers, along with fellow economists Brad Hershbein and Melissa Kearney, conducted an experiment to see what might happen if 10% of men between the ages of 25 and 64 who hadn’t been to college suddenly had a degree. They concluded that having a degree meant greater earnings potential and higher incomes for individuals. Median earnings would jump by more than $3,000 per year, according to their calculations, which were published on the Brookings Institution [Hamilton Project] blog…”

News Coverage Apr 9, 2015

Eco Watch: How hot would it get if we burned all our fossil fuels?

“Today’s climate and planet would very likely be unrecognizable,” wrote Greenstone in an editorial in The New York Times...Greenstone broke down his figures even further. He found that if we used all the coal, oil and natural gas that is accessible and economical with today’s technology, we’d warm another 2.8 degrees. Added to the 1.7 degrees, that would already be above the 3.6 limit beyond which scientists feel global impacts would be devastating. He then calculated impact of extracting the fossil fuel resources—those recoverable with today’s technology but not economical feasible. Extracting and burning this oil and natural gas would cause a rise of another 3.1 degrees…”

News Coverage Apr 6, 2015

Main Street: Labor force participation at a 36-year low, and other bad news from the March jobs report

“…Job creation was far below expectations. The economy added 126,000 new positions, far below the 245,000 that economists predicted. This was less than half of February’s growth. (By way of context, the Hamilton Project estimates that if the U.S. added 208,000 jobs per month it would take until 2020 to return to full employment.) The BLS has also adjusted its growth estimates down for January and February, putting the recent quarter at an average growth of 197,000 jobs per month…”

News Coverage Apr 6, 2015

WV Gazette: Editorial: Poverty, despair driving unwed pregnancy?

“…Dr. Melissa Kearney of the University of Maryland and Dr. Phillip Levine of Wellesley College write that income inequality is the biggest factor determining whether U.S. teens will become single mothers…In regions with severe income gaps, girls in the underclass are much more vulnerable, they said. Further, geographic patterns occur: “A teen in Mississippi is four times more likely to give birth than a teen in New Hampshire.”…”

News Coverage Apr 5, 2015

The Financial Times: Time US leadership woke up to new economic era

“…This past month may be remembered as the moment the United States lost its role as the underwriter of the global economic system. True, there have been any number of periods of frustration for the US before, and times when American behaviour was hardly multilateralist, such as the 1971 Nixon shock, ending the convertibility of the dollar into gold. But I can think of no event since Bretton Woods comparable to the combination of China’s effort to establish a major new institution and the failure of the US to persuade dozens of its traditional allies, starting with Britain, to stay out of it…”

News Coverage Mar 31, 2015

The Washington Post - Wonkblog: Why you can’t solve income inequality by sending people to college

“…"I am all for improving education," Summers told Wonkblog earlier this month. "But to suggest that improving education is the solution to inequality is, I think, an evasion."…Summers and his collaborators, the Upjohn Institute's Brad Hershbein and Melissa S. Kearney of the University of Maryland, calculated what would happen if they could wave their magic wands and give a college education to about 6.8 million American men who don't already have one. Relatively speaking, that's an enormous increase — about the same proportion as the increase in the overall share of the population with a college degree since 1979…"

News Coverage Mar 31, 2015

McClatchy DC: Summers’ inequality simulation surprises

“…Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers released an analysis Tuesday that concludes that a college education helps address the gap… Summers co-authored an analysis published by the Hamilton Project, part of the center-left Brookings Institution. Summers simulated the effect that a college degree would have on a working-age man, with an eye toward showing what it’d do for earnings and earnings inequality…"

News Coverage Mar 31, 2015

Time: New research shows education won’t fix inequality

“…But is education really the solution to inequality that it’s often presented as? A new paper from the Hamilton Project, co-authored by former Treasury Secretary and former Harvard University president Lawrence Summers, argues that the answer is no. Instead, the researchers assert, policymakers tend conflate two separate issues: helping lower-income Americans become more financially secure and decreasing inequality overall…”

News Coverage Mar 31, 2015

The New York Times - Upshot: Why more education won’t fix economic inequality

“…Brad Hershbein, Melissa Kearney and Lawrence Summers offer a simple little simulation that shows the limits of education as an inequality-fighter. In short, more education would be great news for middle and lower-income Americans, increasing their pay and economic security. It just isn’t up to the task of meaningfully reducing inequality, which is being driven by the sharp upward movement of the very top of the income distribution…”

News Coverage Mar 31, 2015

The Wall Street Journal: More college degrees aren’t enough to wipe out inequality, paper says

“Better education would lift the earnings of men in the bottom half of the income scale but wouldn’t be enough to erase inequality between the rich and poor, according to a new paper…The study, by economists Brad Hershbein, Melissa Kearney and former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, simulates the impact of a bachelor’s degree on the population of men 25 to 64 who don’t have one.”

News Coverage Mar 31, 2015

The Harvard Crimson: Obama colleagues Summers and Furman talk economic growth

“Former University President Lawrence H. Summers and Jason L. Furman ‘92, the current chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, discussed domestic economic growth at a packed John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum at the Institute of Politics Monday night…Both men, who previously worked together as economic advisers in the Obama Administration, touched on concerns surrounding tepid growth in the U.S. economy overall, in addition to issues like income inequality, healthcare costs, and stagnant growth for the middle class…”

News Coverage Mar 31, 2015

Politico - Morning Money: Education won’t solve inequality — U.S. economy close to stall speed — Bush backs Indiana law — Iran deadline day

“In a paper going out this morning as part of the Hamilton Project, Brad Hershbein, Melissa S. Kearney, and Lawrence H. Summers write: “Increasing the educational attainment of men without a college degree will increase their average earnings and their likelihood of being employed. … Increasing educational attainment will not significantly change overall earnings inequality…”

News Coverage Mar 31, 2015

Slate: Why More Bachelor’s Degrees Won’t Solve Inequality

“…What these analyses usually lack is a clear picture of what the world might look like if we successfully increased college graduation. But today, economists Larry Summers, Melissa Kearney, and Brad Hershbein have stepped up to offer an answer in a short paper for the Hamilton Project. The team finds that, yes, boosting bachelor's degree attainment would decrease inequality a bit, mostly by bringing lower-income workers a bit closer to the middle class…”

News Coverage Mar 30, 2015

Washington Examiner: Entitlement reform: Dead or alive?

“…In his recently released budget, Obama offered few new ideas for addressing long-term entitlement costs, a position that reflects the increasingly progressive tone coming from the White House in the president's final two years…"The combination of discretionary spending cuts, slower growth in health spending and tax rate increases has slowed the projected growth of debt, but not reversed it," Alice Rivlin, former budget director under President Clinton, told the Washington Examiner. "I would not advise the president to jump back on this issue right now."…”

News Coverage Mar 30, 2015

PR Newswire: Alice M. Rivlin to receive the Economic Club of New York Award for leadership excellence

“Alice M. Rivlin, a senior fellow in the Economic Studies Department at the Brookings Institution; founding Director of the Congressional Budget Office and former Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve System has been elected by the Economic Club of New York to receive its third Award for Leadership Excellence. Ms. Rivlin will receive the award and speak at a luncheon at the Waldorf Astoria in New York on Tuesday, April 21, 2015…”

News Coverage Mar 25, 2015

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities : Despite anti-fraud rhetoric, Republican budgets omit funding to combat fraud and abuse

“The budgets that the House and Senate will consider this week leave out the funding that the 2011 Budget Control Act (BCA) specifically allows for “program integrity” activities to fight fraud and abuse in Medicare, Medicaid, and disability programs, despite the fact that these activities have a proven track record of saving money. This action stands in contrast to Republican claims that their budgets will make government spending more “efficient and effective.”

News Coverage Mar 24, 2015

The Washington Post: It is actually illegal in Colorado to collect the rain that falls on your home

“…In a report for the [Hamilton Project at] Brookings Institution last October, he and co-authors Peter Culp and Gary Libecap suggest a menu of water contracts that farmers and cities could buy and sell: “The perfect example is a dry year option, whereby a broccoli grower agrees not to grow broccoli in a dry season to let either a thirsty orchard producer or a city use the water,” Glennon said. The broccoli grower gets paid every year, wet or dry, for a steady stream of income. The orchard producer gets insurance that he’ll have enough water for his almond trees, even during a drought…”

News Coverage Mar 24, 2015

Morning Consult: No voter consensus on debt-ceiling debate

“Almost half of U.S. registered voters said Congress should not increase the nation’s borrowing limit, according to a new Morning Consult poll. Twenty-four percent of respondents said lawmakers should pass a bill that would allow the federal government to borrow more money, while 27 percent have no opinion on the matter. At the same time, a plurality – 40 percent – said an economic crisis would ensue if Capitol Hill failed to raise the country’s debt limit. That contrasts with the 30 percent who said no such catastrophe would ensue. Alice Rivlin, former director of both the Congressional Budget Office and the Office of Management and Budget, said in an interview this week that the out-of-sync responses are due to the issue’s complexity…”

News Coverage Mar 24, 2015

The Atlantic: Finding the Right Price for Water

"A Brookings [Hamilton Project] report finds that the current drought is serious indeed, but not unprecedented. Serious droughts occur almost every decade, and the current one is within historical range. Though it doesn't help that the driest regions of the country are also experiencing rapid population growth…The drought's cost to agriculture has been estimated to be as high as $1.5 billion. According to a report by The Hamilton Project, agriculture accounts for over 80 percent of water consumption in the American West…”

News Coverage Mar 19, 2015

NextGen Climate: Bad math: Why Republicans have the Keystone XL jobs argument all wrong

“I’ve been saying it for years: we don’t have to choose between a healthy environment and a healthy economy! But when it comes to the Keystone XL pipeline, Republicans in Congress are trying to trick us into thinking that we have to do just that. They’ve created a false framework where it’s either Keystone XL or nothing. Listening to them, you’d think that if we don’t approve this pipeline the consequences will be dire—that America will never build another infrastructure project or create a single job…”

News Coverage Mar 19, 2015

Thought Economics: Capitalism - What comes next?

“In this exclusive interview series, we speak to Nobel Prize Winning Economist, Edmund Phelps (Director of the Columbia University Center on Capitalism & Society and the McVickar Professor of Political Economy at Columbia University) and Professor Lawrence ‘Larry’ H. Summers (Charles W. Eliot University Professor and President Emeritus at Harvard University. He served as the 71st Secretary of the Treasury for President Clinton and the Director of the National Economic Council for President Obama). We look at the story of modern capitalism, the benefits it has brought, and the challenges it has created…”

News Coverage Mar 17, 2015

The New York Times: Men, money and the marriage crisis

“…Here I’m very doubtful. The Matt Bruenig piece I cited in my last post makes that case, arguing that men in lower income deciles have seen their wages fall by as much as 34 percent since 1969; likewise, an earlier Hamilton Project estimate that found median male earnings declining by 28 percent over roughly that period. But both estimates are vulnerable to a pretty convincing critique, offered here and here by Scott Winship…”

Press Release Mar 13, 2015

Expanding Employment Opportunities: Event Recap & Materials

Washington, DC – A fundamental part of a successful economy is a thriving labor market where workers of all skill levels have the opportunity to prosper. On Wednesday, The Hamilton Project at Brookings convened academic experts and stakeholders for a forum at the National Press Club on expanding employment opportunities. United States Vice President Joe Biden delivered remarks at the forum. Following Vice President Biden’s remarks, three new Hamilton Project papers – proposing ways to develop labor market opportunities for workers – were explored during two roundtable discussions. In conjunction with the forum, The Hamilton Project released a new framing memo highlighting the challenges and opportunities of job growth…

News Coverage Mar 13, 2015

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities : Balancing the budget in ten years and no new revenue are flawed budget goals

“The House and Senate are expected to consider their respective budget resolutions starting next week. Press reports suggest that the resolutions will likely be shaped in substantial part by two fiscal goals: balancing the budget over the next ten years, which would likely require roughly $4½ trillion in policy savings, and using no new revenues to help achieve those large savings…”

News Coverage Mar 13, 2015

Business Cheat Sheet: Is this the solution to the long-term unemployment problem?

“…One argument in favor of cutting such programs is that it leads to long-term dependency on government. While that hasn’t necessarily proven to be true, it has been the prevailing logic in reducing benefits, or allowing those benefits to run out — although many recipients have yet to find a new position. According to The Hamilton Project’s Adriana Kugler, reforming the way we think about unemployment insurance programs may be the key to solving the long-term unemployment problem once and for all…”

News Coverage Mar 11, 2015

The Atlantic: America’s unemployment insurance programs need to be reimagined

“…A new [Hamilton Project] Brookings study looks at what can be done to shorten the average length of unemployment, and considers how the current system of unemployment insurance could be revised to achieve this goal. The report, which is written by Adriana Kugler, a professor at Georgetown University and former chief economist at the U.S. Department of Labor, proposes a number of radical changes to the prerequisites for receiving unemployment-insurance payments…”

News Coverage Mar 8, 2015

The Financial Times: A deal worth getting right

“Over the next few months, the question of U.S. participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal is likely to be resolved one way or the other. It is, to put it mildly, a highly controversial issue. Proponents believe a deal is essential to both our economic and geopolitical interests; opponents fear that it will primarily benefit corporations and the wealthy at the expense of middle-class living standards…”

News Coverage Mar 6, 2015

The World Post: 47 percent’ of U.S. jobs are at risk because of advancing technologies

“…It's a societal problem," Dr. Laura Tyson, professor of Business Administration and Economics, at the University of California, Berkeley's Haas School of Business, told me. In the U.S., she notes, most job growth is already happening towards the bottom of the pay scale, much of which is driven by people whose traditional middle income manufacturing jobs have been lost to increasingly productive robots in the factory…”

News Coverage Mar 5, 2015

Center for American Progress: The state of the U.S. Job Market: Pre-March 2015 jobs release

“…As for job growth, during the economic expansion of the 1990s, the economy added at least250,000 jobs per month 47 times. During the current expansion, which has now lasted roughly half as long, we have seen only 13 months of job growth greater than 250,000, which includes abnormal hiring involved with conducting the decennial census. Meanwhile, at the average rate of job growth over the past three years, The Hamilton Project estimates that we may not reach our former level of employment, when factoring in new labor-force entrants, until as late as mid-2017.*”

News Coverage Mar 4, 2015

Bloomberg Business: Altman says Putin’s Russia a weak country, may bend santions

“Roger Altman, the investment banker and former deputy U.S. Treasury secretary, said Russian President Vladimir Putin is more vulnerable than people realize to sanctions that will test his population’s patience: “A lot of people misunderstand how profoundly weak Russia is,” Altman, the co-founder of Evercore Partners Inc., told Bloomberg Television’s Betty Liu in an interview Wednesday, citing a declining population, a hobbled banking system and a currency that has lost about half its value. “Russia is on the edge.”

News Coverage Mar 3, 2015

The Washington Post: Robots are hurting middle class workers, and education won’t solve the problem, Larry Summers says

“Two weeks ago, the famous economist Larry Summers sat in a chair on a stage at the National Press Club, talked with several other smart people for an hour and briefly upended a major debate in economics. The occasion was a forum, hosted by the Brookings Institution' Hamilton Project, on technological change and its effect on American workers. Summers, the former Treasury Secretary who is arguably the most influential economist in Democratic Party circles today, joined a discussion on whether rapidly advancing technology — like robots — is killing jobs and hurting incomes for the middle class…”

News Coverage Mar 2, 2015

Aljazeera America: Signs of intelligent life in the economics profession

“The core problem is that there aren't enough jobs,” said [Larry Summers] the former Treasury Secretary under Bill Clinton and top economics adviser to Barack Obama. “If you help some people, you could help them get the jobs, but then someone else won't get the jobs. Unless you're doing things that have things that are affecting the demand for jobs, you're helping people win a race to get a finite number of jobs.” He made these comments at a conference at the Brookings Institution put on by the Hamilton Project, the economics think tank funded by Summers’ predecessor at the Clinton Treasury, Robert Rubin…”

News Coverage Feb 28, 2015

Project Syndicate: Competing on corporate tax

“Corporate tax reform has emerged as an area of potential bipartisan action in the United States Congress over the next few months. But fundamental questions about the right approach remain. There is widespread agreement that the US corporate tax system is deeply flawed. The rate is too high; the base is too narrow; it is costly to administer; and it is riddled with credits, deductions, and special preferences that distort decisions, harming the economy…”

News Coverage Feb 25, 2015

The Wall Street Journal: Be calm, robots aren’t about to take your job, MIT economist says

“…But at panel discussion last week at the Hamilton Project, Mr. Summers said he sees two possibilities: Automation could be making existing workers more productive or taking over jobs and leaving them unemployed, which would be a negative outcome for labor. “But in either of those scenarios you would expect it to be producing a renaissance of higher productivity,” and yet that isn’t the case…”

News Coverage Feb 24, 2015

Vox: India’s air pollution is so bad it’s reducing life expectancy by 3.2 years

“…A few years ago, however, economist Michael Greenstone and his colleagues found a way to conduct a quasi-natural experiment in China. They noticed that, back in the 1950s, the Chinese government started providing free winter heating via coal boilers to people living north of the Huai River. Meanwhile, those living south of the river didn't get the free boilers. This disparity gave the researchers a way to isolate the effects of air pollution…”

Press Release Feb 23, 2015

The Future of Work in the Age of the Machine - Event Materials

Washington, DC – Last week, The Hamilton Project at Brookings convened academic experts and government and business leaders for a forum at the National Press Club to discuss the future of work in the age of the machine. In advance of the forum, The Hamilton Project released a new framing paper describing these trends and the potential implications for broad-based economic growth in the United States…

News Coverage Feb 23, 2015

The New York Times - Upshot: We keep flunking forecasts on interest rates, distorting the budget outlook

“…Forecasters are regularly overestimating and thus regularly overstating, all else being equal, future interest payments on the debt. Misses like this tell you that forecasters are missing a change in the structure of the economy. Two candidates for why this is happening are a significant increase in global liquidity and what the economist Larry Summers has dubbed “secular stagnation.”

News Coverage Feb 23, 2015

The Economic Times: Air pollution cutting 660 million lives short by 3 years: Report

“Air pollution is an urgent public health problem that deserves policy attention. In approaching the issue of air pollution as one of public health, it would be possible to break the perception and understanding that addressing environmental issues like air pollution and economic growth/development are somehow opposed to each other," Michael Greenstone of the University of Chicago, who led this study, told ET…”

News Coverage Feb 23, 2015

Yahoo! Finance: Blodget: We have enough jobs, they just need to pay better

“We all know how it works: Jobs die out. Technology creates new ones. But are there enough good paying jobs to replace the ones that have disappeared? It's an old question sparking new debate and former National Economic Council Director, Larry Summers, came out swinging last week. Summers appeared on a panel for the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution—all about the future of jobs in the machine age…”

News Coverage Feb 23, 2015

The Wall Street Journal: The search for a monetary-policy wizard and political moral hazard

“…Monetary policy is important, but it is not omnipotent. The relentless focus on monetary policy creates serious moral hazard by taking attention away from elected officials’ failure to act on the fiscal, public-investment and structural issues that are the key to short- and long-term economic success. Commensurately, focusing on central banks reduces public pressure on elected officials to act. And monetary-policy decisions themselves require a rigorous balancing of benefits and risks…”

News Coverage Feb 22, 2015

The New York Times: Rip Van Skillsgap

“There’s been quite a lot of commentary about the Hamilton Project conference on robots and all that. Let me just add my two cents about the “framing paper“. What strikes me about this paper — and in general what one still hears from many people inside the Beltway — is the continuing urge to make this mainly a story about the skills gap, of not enough workers having higher education or maybe the right kind of education…”

News Coverage Feb 20, 2015

PBS Newshour: Will your job exist in the future, or will a robot have replaced you?

“…That was the subject of a recent Hamilton Project paper and related conference, “The Future of Work in the Age of the Machine,” inspired by the New York Times best-seller “The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies,” co-authored by MIT professors Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, who appeared in one of our Making Sen$e NewsHour stories last year…”

News Coverage Feb 20, 2015

Next New Deal: The one where Larry Summers demolished the robots and skills arguments

“…They say Washington DC has had a huge crime decline, but I just saw one of the most vicious muggings I’m likely to see, one where David Autor and Larry Summers just tore this idea that a Machine Age is responsible for our economic plight apart on a panel yesterday at the Hamilton Project for the launch of a new Machine Age report. Summers, in particular, took an aggressive tone that is likely to be where liberal and Democratic Party mainstream economic thinking is in advance of 2016. It is a very, very good place…”

News Coverage Feb 19, 2015

The Brookings Institution - The Avenue: U.S. advanced industries: Not so small after all

“With the Hamilton’s Project’s “jobs gap” showing we are 4 million jobs below pre-recession employment levels, one could question our spotlighting of “advanced industries” as a prerequisite for broad prosperity. That’s because the sector—characterized by high R&D spending and a disproportionate share of technical workers—employs just 8.7 percent of the workforce. And it’s true that the sector’s 12.3- million worker labor force, while sizable, is not massive…”

News Coverage Feb 17, 2015

The Washington Post: It’s time for presidential candidates to reckon with robots

“…A new paper from economists at the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution sums up the tension nicely: “As rapidly advancing computer power and automation technology change the nature of work and the future of the economy,” Melissa Kearney, Brad Hershbein and David Boddy write, “our nation will face new and pressing challenges about how to educate more people for the jobs of the future, how to foster creation of high-paying jobs and how to support those who struggle economically during the transition.”

News Coverage Feb 16, 2015

USA Today: Bartiromo: Larry Summers on global threats

“…The debate on whether to send weapons to aid Ukraine in its fight against Russia has also become a contested matter. Former Treasury secretary Larry Summers says it is more important for the U.S. to help Ukraine than it is to fight Russia. I caught up with the former Treasury secretary and head of the president's Council of Economic Advisers to talk Europe, the U.S. and Harvard, which is where he remains a professor…”

News Coverage Feb 11, 2015

The Atlantic: The Many Causes of America’s Decline in Crime

“…Our findings do not exist in a vacuum. A body of empirical research is slowly coalescing around the ineffectiveness of increased incarceration. Last year, the Hamilton Project issued a report calling incarceration a “classic case of diminishing returns,” based on findings from California and Italy. The National Research Council issued a hefty report last year, finding that crime was not the cause of mass incarceration…”

News Coverage Feb 10, 2015

NextGen Climate: Statement from Tom Steyer on New Legislation to Combat Climate Change in California

“I join a generation of California business leaders and job creators in applauding Senate President Kevin de León and his colleagues for introducing landmark legislation to ensure California is reaching higher and building on its global leadership in meeting the climate challenge. These are achievable policy proposals that will create good-paying green jobs here in California, mitigate the impact of climate change, and leave a cleaner, safer, more stable world for the next generation…”