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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…”

News Coverage Feb 6, 2015

The New York Times: Falling Marriage Rates Reveal Economic Fault Lines

“…A 2012 [Hamilton Project] study by the Brookings Institution found that only women in the top 10 percent of Americans in earnings saw their marriage rates increase between 1970 and 2011, whereas women in the bottom 65 percent in earnings had become much less likely to marry, with their marriage rate declining by more than 20 percentage points. This was also mirrored in the experiences of men in the study…”

News Coverage Feb 4, 2015

M Live: Is More Money Needed to Close K-12 Achievement Gap Between Low- and Middle-Income Students?

“…Another study in 2012, by the Hamilton Project think-tank, found that high-achieving charter schools were those who implemented strategies such extended school day or year, extensive tutoring for students and extensive professional development to improve teacher effectiveness — all strategies that cost extra money. The Hamilton Project paper estimates the extra costs at about $1,800 per student when these strategies were implemented in the Houston school system…"

News Coverage Feb 3, 2015 Will Massachusetts Take Obama’s Suggestion to Reform Professional Licensing?

“…In that sense, occupational licensure in Massachusetts mirrors a national trend. The Brookings Institute’s Hamilton Project found recently that, “In the early 1950s less than 5 percent of U.S. workers were required to have a license from a state government in order to perform their jobs legally. By 2008, the share of workers requiring a license to work was estimated to be almost 29 percent…”

News Coverage Feb 2, 2015

The Diamondback: Obama Adopts Tax Reform Proposal from UMD Economics Professors

“…The second-earner tax credit was created by professors Melissa Kearney and Lesley Turner, who saw an inherent problem in the country’s tax code, which imposes extra costs on families with two sources of income. Because family income is pooled under the current tax system, Kearney said, second income sources are taxed at much higher rates than if those workers were single…Kearney and Turner published their proposal in December 2013 with the Hamilton Project, a nonpartisan think tank aimed at helping middle-class families…”

News Coverage Feb 1, 2015

WUIS 91.9: Declining Fortunes - Middle Class Faced Threats Prior to Great Recession

“…More than half of U.S. families have annual incomes of $60,000 or less, and nearly half of the U.S. families live below 250 percent of the federal poverty line, which is $49,475 for a family of three, according to the Washington, D.C.-based Brookings Institute’s Hamilton Project. Evidence of the dwindling middle class varies depending on which part of the state is considered…”

News Coverage Jan 29, 2015

UChicago News: Indian state adopts environmental audit reforms after study shows they reduce pollution

The study was conducted by Esther Duflo of MIT, Michael Greenstone of the University of Chicago, Rohini Pande of the Harvard Kennedy School, and Nicholas Ryan of Yale, in partnership with the Gujarat Pollution Control Board and the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) South Asia. It found that making environmental auditors more independent improved the accuracy of audit reports on plant pollution. In response, audited industrial plants reduced their pollution emissions.

News Coverage Jan 29, 2015

The Washington Post: How job licensing increases the cost of college

As states have tried to fill gaps in their budgets in recent decades, they have turned to collecting increased fees by requiring that more professionals get a license. A study by the Brookings Institution’s Hamilton Project found that 30 percent of American workers need a license to perform their jobs; in the early 1950s, less than 5 percent did. About 800 occupations are licensed by at least one state.

News Coverage Jan 27, 2015

American Enterprise Institute: Your barber faces stricter licensing requirements than an EMT

A new post by Brookings’s Melissa Kearney, Brad Hershbein and David Boddy points out that almost 30% of workers in the US need a license to do their job. Occupational licensing has increased quite a bit from its 1950s level of 5%, growing to 10% in the 70s, and now affects “workers of all skill levels,” reaching many more than “doctors, lawyers, nurses, and teachers.” Kearney, Hershbein and Boddy:

News Coverage Jan 27, 2015

The New York Times: Job Licenses in Spotlight as Uber Rises

"…In a study commissioned by the Brookings Institution’s Hamilton Project, Morris Kleiner of the University of Minnesota found that almost three out of 10 workers in the United States need a license from state governments to do their jobs, up from one in 20 in the 1950s. By cordoning off so many occupations, he estimates, professional licensing by state governments ultimately reduces employment by up to 2.8 million jobs…”

News Coverage Jan 24, 2015

The Advertiser: We cannot afford to diminish what TOPS does for Louisiana

The Hamilton Project, an arm of the Brookings Institution, crunched the numbers last year on what a college degree is worth. Not surprisingly, a degree in chemical engineering is more of a moneymaker than a drama degree. Also not surprisingly, any degree is better than no degree. The Hamilton Project's conclusion: "Median earnings of bachelor's degree graduates are higher than median earnings of high school graduates for all 80 majors studied." For every successful college dropout like Bill Gates, there are a thousand other dropouts clocking in at minimum wage jobs and not making a living wage.

News Coverage Jan 21, 2015

NPR-Marketplace: Explaining ‘middle-class economics’

But "middle class" has no formal economic definition, meaning many people define it themselves."And that often means working, not relying on government," says Melissa Kearney, director of the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution. "But it's really a nebulous concept." Politicians love to talk about middle-class Americans, Kearney says, but it's hard to tailor government programs to them, precisely because there's no middle-class definition. As a result, Obama's plan bleeds over to not-so-middle class Americans, she says.

News Coverage Jan 20, 2015

The Huffington Post: My Statement on the President’s New Tax Proposal

In recent decades, economic growth has powerfully benefited Wall Street while leaving much of Main Street behind. The plan that President Obama unveiled today would take large, important steps to help redress part of the imbalance and make prosperity more broadly shared. The president's new tax proposals will surely elicit howls of protest from various special interests and on ideological grounds; adversaries will make predictable claims that the proposals would harm the economy and jobs.

News Coverage Jan 20, 2015

Shreveport Times: We need to leave TOPS alone

The Hamilton Project, an arm of the Brookings Institution, crunched the numbers last year on what a college degree is worth. Not surprisingly, a degree in chemical engineering is more of a moneymaker than a drama degree. Also not surprisingly, any degree is better than no degree. The Hamilton Project's conclusion: "Median earnings of bachelor's degree graduates are higher than median earnings of high school graduates for all 80 majors studied."

News Coverage Jan 15, 2015

Center for American Progress: Report on the Commission on Inclusive Prosperity

“…Our report is about embracing the new economic opportunities of the 21st century by finding ways to ensure they serve the vast majority of society. In previous eras, political institutions have responded to economic transformations to ensure prosperity is shared: the New Deal in the United States and the European social welfare state; the “third-way” politics of putting people first of Clinton and Blair by investing in people and reforming institutions…”

News Coverage Jan 12, 2015

Bloomberg View: What Brill’s ‘Bitter Pill’ Gets Wrong on Obamacare

"…Why have Medicare costs stopped rising as fast as expected? The biggest explanation is the direct effect of policy changes, including reductions in how much Medicare pays hospitals and Medicare Advantage plans, according to the Kaiser report. The rest of the effect is unexplained, but I suspect it is tied to the indirect effects of Obamacare. (The analysis for total health spending is more complicated, because it has been affected by the weak economy. Not so for Medicare.)…"

News Coverage Jan 10, 2015

PBS Newshour: Savings programs tied to prizes to become more widely available

"It's often thought that people are irrational when they play the lottery. But I would challenge that assumption. If you're a low income individual, how else can you potentially win enough money to buy a house, or really change your life?"Kearney is an economist at the University of Maryland and director of the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution. She's thinks these lottery-based accounts help people save by leveraging their desire to win big.

News Coverage Jan 7, 2015

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities : Republican Leaders Deploying Untruths on 40-Hour Health Bill

“While political leaders often stretch the truth to make their case, they usually don’t claim the opposite of the truth. That, however, is essentially what Republican congressional leaders are doing by claiming that a measure before the House tomorrow to alter a provision of health reform will safeguard the 40-hour work week and thereby protect workers. House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan claims in today’s USA Today, for example, that the bill will enable “more people [to] work full time.” In fact, it clearly will do just the opposite…”

News Coverage Jan 6, 2015

Water Technology: Around the industry - January 2015

“…The severe drought in Western parts of the U.S. has called national attention to U.S. water resources. The current drought in California has cost the state billions of dollars in economic losses, and businesses across the nation report substantial concerns over water supplies. The Hamilton Project, using newly released data, presents an economic analysis and accompanying interactive feature to illustrate the variation in the level and nature of water use across the nation…”

News Coverage Jan 5, 2015

The Atlantic: Does Immigration Harm Working Americans?

“…It's said again and again that immigrants do not take jobs from natives. Here’s National Journal, reporting just last year, under the headline "Left and Right Agree: Immigrants Don't Take American Jobs": "…Most economists don’t find immigrants driving down wages or jobs, the Brookings Institution’s Michael Greenstone and Adam Looney wrote in May. In fact, “on average, immigrant workers increase the opportunities and incomes of Americans,” they write…”

News Coverage Jan 5, 2015

MarketPlace: Are low oil prices an opening for a carbon tax?

One of us is a former Treasury secretary, the other directs a criminal-justice institute. But we've reached the same conclusions. America's overreliance on incarceration is exacting excessive costs on individuals and communities, as well as on the national economy. Sentences are too long, and parole and probation policies too inflexible. There is too little rehabilitation in prison and inadequate support for life after prison.

News Coverage Dec 29, 2014

The Huffington Post: Are More Criminal Justice Reforms on the Horizon in 2015?

The Brookings Institution’s Hamilton Project also shed light on the country’s $80 billion a year in direct corrections expenses in a recent report. And, more than a million people viewed the VlogBrothers’ four-minute video focusing on how the war on crime is failed policy and that, “It’s cruel, it’s shortsighted, and to continue this policy of mass incarceration would be foolish. We’re living inside of a massive $75 billion per year failed experiment.

News Coverage Dec 29, 2014

Project Sundicate: Obamacare and Effective Government

“When historians look back on the United States’ Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), President Barack Obama’s controversial 2010 health-care reform, we predict that they will not devote much attention to its regulations, its troubled insurance exchanges, or its website’s flawed launch. Instead, we think that they will focus on how “Obamacare” encouraged a wave of innovation that gradually tamed the spiraling costs of a dysfunctional system, even as millions of previously excluded Americans gained access to health insurance…”

News Coverage Dec 25, 2014

Wall Street Journal: The Steep Cost of America’s High Incarceration Rate

One of us is a former Treasury secretary, the other directs a criminal-justice institute. But we've reached the same conclusions. America's overreliance on incarceration is exacting excessive costs on individuals and communities, as well as on the national economy. Sentences are too long, and parole and probation policies too inflexible. There is too little rehabilitation in prison and inadequate support for life after prison.

News Coverage Dec 24, 2014

Washington Post: How a simple change to the tax code could help the middle class

The figure below, reproduced from a document prepared by The Hamilton Project, shows how the tax and transfer system changes the distribution of income for working-age families with children. The effect of the tax and transfer system is to expand the middle class by reducing the number of families located at either end of the income distribution and raising the number of families in the middle range.

News Coverage Dec 20, 2014

The Economist: Why is everyone so busy?

American mothers with a college degree, for example, spend roughly 4.5 hours more per week on child care than mothers with no education beyond high school. This gap persists even when the better-educated mother works outside the home, as she is now likely to do, according to research from Jonathan Guryan and Erik Hurst of the University of Chicago, and Melissa Kearney of the University of Maryland. As for fathers, those with a job and a college degree spend far more time with their children than fathers ever used to, and 105% more time than their less-educated male peers. These patterns can be found around the world, particularly in relatively rich countries.

News Coverage Dec 18, 2014

Governing The States and Localities: The State of Public Employment in 2014

Overall, the year was a mixed bag on the job front. In January, state and local governments shed 19,000 jobs; in September, they added 22,000; and in November, they only added 2,000 jobs. Most of the hiring is happening in public safety and education; in fact, a majority of the November jobs are seasonal education employees. According to a September report by the Hamilton Project, an economic policy initiative at the Brookings Institute, the public sector (including the federal sector) needs to add 1.6 million jobs to reach pre-recession employment levels. But, excluding December, state and local governments added barely over 100,000 jobs in 2014.

News Coverage Dec 17, 2014

CNBC: Markets rule, ‘Russia is on its knees’: Altman

Russia considers itself a global superpower, but it is looking small compared to the power of the global capital markets, Evercore Partners' Roger Altman told CNBC on Wednesday. What Russia's currency crisis has exposed is how profoundly weak the country has become, the investment bank's founder and executive chairman said on "Squawk Box." The commodity-centered economy now faces massive financial flight, a lack of meaningful foreign investment and highly leveraged corporations, Altman added.

News Coverage Dec 9, 2014

CBS MoneyWatch: Why repaying your student loan gets easier with time

But that may be the wrong way to think about it. A new study by the Brookings Institution suggests that focusing on starting salary can be misleading because many new grads see a rapid rise in pay — a median hike of 65 percent — in their first five years of employment. Much of that increase comes from graduates getting full-time employment and switching jobs as they look to advance their careers. In only a handful of college majors do earnings grow less than 25 percent over the first five years after a grad starts working.

News Coverage Dec 8, 2014

Tax Policy Center - The Daily Deduction: Congress Ties Up Loose Ends, Loosely

A new TPC brief by Benjamin Harris and Lucie Parker uses zip-code level data for a close look at the popular tax break. It’s the largest tax expenditure for home ownership, but its benefits are concentrated. Roughly half of the aggregate mortgage interest deductions are claimed by twenty percent of zip codes. - See more at:

News Coverage Dec 7, 2014

Financial Times: Crumbling infrastructure is a sign of lost collective faith

Take a walk from the US Air Shuttle in New York's LaGuardia airport to ground transportation. For months you will have encountered a sign saying "New escalator coming in Spring 2015". Or take the Charles River at a key point separating Boston and Cambridge which is little more than 100 yards wide. Traffic has been diverted to support the repair of a major bridge crossing the river for more than two years, and yet work is expected to continue into 2016.

News Coverage Dec 4, 2014

Fortune: Theater majors face greatest student loan burdens

A new study breaks down exactly how hard it is for former students to pay off their student loans based on their chosen major. While some of the results are predictable, the research sheds new light on exactly how tough it can be for new grads in certain fields. The Brookings Institution's Hamilton Project crunched the numbers on more than 80 different majors to determine how much graduates typically earn right out of school as well as a decade later, and how that affects their ability to pay off their student loans.

News Coverage Dec 4, 2014

Center for American Progress: The State of the U.S. Labor Market: Pre-December 2014 Jobs Release

As for job growth, during the economic expansion of the 1990s, the economy added at least 250,000 jobs per month 47 times. During the current expansion, which has now lasted roughly half as long, we have seen only six 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 will not reach our former level of employment, when factoring in new labor-force entrants, until mid-2019.*

News Coverage Dec 4, 2014

TIME: These College Majors Have the Hardest Time Paying Off Student Loans

A new study breaks down exactly how hard it is for former students to pay off their student loans based on what their chosen major. While some of the results are predictable, the research sheds new light on exactly how tough it can be for new grads in certain fields. The Brookings Institution's Hamilton Project crunched the numbers on more than 80 different majors to determine how much graduates typically earn right out of school as well as a decade later, and how that affects their ability to pay off their student loans.

News Coverage Dec 3, 2014

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities : Policymakers Often Overstate Marginal Tax Rates for Lower-Income Workers and Gloss Over Tough Trade-Offs in Reducing Them

As reflected in the Lee-Rubio op-ed, some in Washington are focusing more attention on the issue of how both tax-based and safety net program benefits for low- and moderate-income families phase down in response to higher earnings, how the phase-down translates into what are known as "marginal tax rates" (as explained below), and how those rates affect the work habits of beneficiaries. This issue surely deserves attention. However, some overstate the magnitude of these tax rates — as Senators Lee and Rubio did — and their impact on employment while overlooking the tough trade-offs involved in trying to reduce these rates.

News Coverage Dec 1, 2014

Bloomberg View: Left-Handed? Prepare to Earn Less

"When our son was born two years ago, my right-handed wife prayed he would be a lefty, because she believed lefties were disproportionately talented. It seems that he is left-handed, as am I and my older son, but new research suggests that may not carry the benefit my wife thought it would. About 12 percent of people globally are southpaws. You're more likely to be one if you're male than female and if your mother was left-handed. Lefties' brain structure and use appear to differ from righties. For example, the neural fibers connecting the left and right sides of the brain (the corpus callosum) are larger in lefties. And lefties differ in how the brain responds to language."

News Coverage Nov 30, 2014

Project Syndicate: The Rising Costs of US Income Inequality

"During the last several decades, income inequality in the United States has increased significantly — and the trend shows no sign of reversing. The last time inequality was as high as it is now was just before the Great Depression. Such a high level of inequality is not only incompatible with widely held norms of social justice and equality of opportunity; it poses a serious threat to America's economy and democracy."

News Coverage Nov 29, 2014

New Haven Register: Guilford weighs later start times for high school students

"There are several studies that back up proponents of a later high school start. The Hamilton Project, an public policy initiative of the Brookings Institute, in 2011 released a study on the advantages of later high school starting times. In "Organizing Schools to Improve Student Achievement." In it, the authors of the study concluded that the move is a lower-cost option that reaps important benefits, especially in lower performing school districts."

News Coverage Nov 26, 2014

CATO Institute : Shoring up the Middle Class

"Intertwined with many of the cultural and familial changes are changes in the work lives and financial prospects of people without a college degree. The economic prospects of this large group have fallen over the past several decades, especially among men. In 1967, nearly every prime-age American man with only a high-school diploma was working; today, about one in five is idle. According to Michael Greenstone, an economist at MIT, real median wages of men have fallen 28 percent since 1969, once you account for the men who have washed out of the workforce altogether."

News Coverage Nov 20, 2014

Daily Nebraskan: COLTON: Even if you’re an English major, college is worth the cost

But don't delete your senior thesis just yet. Despite America's rising cynicism and the rare billionaire-dropout outlier, statistically, graduating college is much better than not going at all. According to a study conducted by Brad Hershbein and Melissa Kearney of The Hamilton Project, a person who graduates college will make, on average, twice the amount a high school graduate will make in a lifetime.

News Coverage Nov 20, 2014

New York Times - The Upshot: Student Debt: A Calculator Focused on College Majors

So it's a good time for an interactive calculator that the Hamilton Project is releasing Thursday, meant to give more detailed information about loan burdens. The feature's main contribution is the earnings data it gives on about 80 different majors, allowing people to look up typical debt burdens by major, over the first decade after college — which is when people tend to repay their loans.

News Coverage Nov 20, 2014

International Business TImes: Immigration Reform 2014: Obama’s Potential Expansion of Immigration Could Benefit Older Workers

On average, new immigrants — among both higher- and lower-skilled workers — raise wages and expand employment opportunities for native-born American workers, according to a 2013 study by Brookings' Hamilton Project. But perceptions about immigrants stealing jobs still feed concerns around legalization of these undocumented immigrants, said Harry Holzer, an economist and professor of public policy at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

News Coverage Nov 20, 2014

The Stanford Daily: Let’s go green by going brown

Stanford University is home to some of the foremost world experts on water management and policy like professors Buzz Thompson and David Freyberg; Stanford's Woods Institute even recently hosted California's Hamilton Project featuring Governor Jerry Brown to discuss the future of water policy. Yet we still have not significantly cut our own water usage since the onset of this epic drought; Stanford has only cut its water usage by three percent.

News Coverage Nov 20, 2014

Washington Post: People who wanted market-driven health care now have it in the Affordable Care Act

As the Affordable Care Act moved into its second open enrollment period on Nov. 15, critics seized on the fact that some beneficiaries are in for unpleasant surprises. Some of those who enrolled last time will face higher premiums if they stay with their current plans. They will have to shop around on the exchange to find a plan with a lower price. When they return to the Web site, they are likely to find more plans to choose from than they did last year. More choices — how confusing!

News Coverage Nov 18, 2014

Homeland Security News Wire: Homeland Security News Wire

The paper was released during New Directions for U.S. Water Policy, a recent forum at Stanford that featured comments from California governor Jerry Brown, former U.S. treasury secretary Robert E. Rubin, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, and a range of experts from federal and municipal agencies, universities, agricultural interests, businesses, and nonprofits. The forum, co-hosted by the Stanford Woods Institute and The Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution, focused national attention on the Western United States' ongoing drought, market mechanisms for mitigating water shortages, the path to water innovation and global warming's impacts on water resources.

News Coverage Nov 17, 2014

Scientific American: How to Make the Clean Power Plan Affordable

Ideally, states will opt to coordinate their approaches through regional carbon markets, said co-author Michael Greenstone, a former Obama adviser now with the University of Chicago. "While the EPA has allowed states to achieve emissions reductions through multiple approaches [in the CPP], the best way to minimize costs and facilitate economic growth is by joining regional trading programs," he said. "Even better would be if all states joined in the same trading market.

News Coverage Nov 11, 2014

Bloomberg View: A Party Hack Would Ruin the CBO

The Congressional Budget Office should be able to celebrate its 40th anniversary this coming February with pride. The agency plays a crucial role in the nation's policy-making, providing rigorous and nonpartisan analysis of the budgetary and economic issues Congress considers, and objectively estimating the cost of legislative proposals.The occasion will be ruined, however, if the new Republican Congress breaks its long tradition of naming an objective economist/policy analyst as CBO director, when the position becomes vacant next year, and instead appoints a party hack.

News Coverage Nov 11, 2014

BBC NEws: The ‘infosphere’: Where philosophy meets technology

Early on in the book, there is an eye-catching diagram taken from the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution, a US think tank. It demonstrates how dramatically the cost of computing power has fallen over the past 70 years. The Hamilton Project graph uses the standard measurement of computer performance: Mips, millions of instructions per second. The 2010 iPad2 (now outdated, of course) worked at 1,600 Mips.

News Coverage Nov 10, 2014

Stanford News: Water sector ripe for innovation and investment, finds Stanford-led report

The paper was released during "New Directions for U.S. Water Policy," a recent forum at Stanford that featured comments from California Gov. Jerry Brown, former U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin, Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and a range of experts from federal and municipal agencies, universities, agricultural interests, businesses and nonprofits. The forum, co-hosted by the Stanford Woods Institute and The Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution, focused national attention on the Western United States' ongoing drought, market mechanisms for mitigating water shortages, the path to water innovation and global warming's impacts on water resources.

News Coverage Nov 10, 2014

Just Means: US Water Consumption Lowest in Decades

These numbers were rolled up at a national level. Drilling down into the numbers, as the folks at the Hamilton Project did, shows a wide variation in water usage across the various regions of the country. Regionally, most of the withdrawals for power generation occurred east of the Mississippi, though there is a substantial concentration in Southern California as well. As for irrigation, on the other hand, most of this took place west of the Mississippi, though there is also a dense pocket in Southern Florida.

News Coverage Nov 6, 2014

Center for American Progress: The State of the U.S. Labor Market: Pre-November 2014 Jobs Release

As for job growth, during the economic expansion of the 1990s, the economy added at least 250,000 jobs per month 47 times. During the current expansion, which has now lasted roughly half as long, we have seen only six 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 will not reach our former level of employment, when factoring in new labor-force entrants, until mid-2019.*

News Coverage Nov 6, 2014

Wall Street Journal: Americans Are Bad at Guessing How Long They’ll Live

In 1992, researchers at the University of Michigan's Health and Retirement Study began asking people in their late 50s to estimate their odds of living to the age of 75, and have followed them since. New research, being presented today at the Brookings Institution, shows just how poor a job those initial respondents have done. Among the people who thought they had no chance of living to age 75 (presumably, a group in very bad health in their late 50s), nearly half of them—49%—actually reached the age of 75. Among people who gave themselves 50-50 odds, a full 75% actually lived to age 75. In fact, aside from people who gave themselves 90% or 100% odds of living to age 75, nearly everyone was too pessimistic about their chances. (Though people who give themselves 100% odds aren't being terribly realistic.) The paper's authors Katharine Abraham from the University of Maryland and Benjamin Harris from Brookings, are presenting the data as part of a conference on retirement security. Their paper suggests that many people aren't necessarily planning out their retirement savings in the right way.

News Coverage Nov 4, 2014

Bloomberg View: A New Do-Nothing Congress

The question of the day is, What difference will it make if Republicans take the Senate? The backdrop is a highly polarized political environment. Regardless of whether it's preferable for Congress to enact bipartisan laws, the moderates who produce them are so rare that only partisan legislation is likely to be considered. Getting such laws passed, though, requires that one party control not just the House and the Senate but also the White House. In a world where you need all three, having two as opposed to one doesn't matter much.

News Coverage Nov 4, 2014

Forbes: Will Retirees Come to Love Longevity Annuities?

On Thursday, several retirement experts will tackle the challenges of longevity annuities at a Brookings Institution event. The program will begin with a presentation by Katharine Abraham of the University of Maryland, followed by two panels. In the first, David John of AARP, Henry Aaron of Brookings, and Ben Harris of the Hamilton Project will debate the pros and cons of these investments. David Wessel of the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy will moderate.

News Coverage Nov 4, 2014

Benefits Pro: DOL urged to reform annuity safe harbors

Americans are not good at predicting their own death. In fact, data cited in a new Brookings Institution paper on the value of longevity annuities says that half of the people who think they won't live to see age 75 actually do. And a lot of them live much longer. That's part of the reason why University of Maryland professor Katharine Abraham and Brookings fellow Benjamin Harris write in favor of improving the regulatory framework around longevity annuities to encourage more plan sponsors to include the option in 401(k) menus.

News Coverage Oct 31, 2014

Vox: Could water markets help solve the American West’s water crisis?

Glennon would like that to change. He recently co-wrote a paper for the Hamilton Project that scrutinized a number of rules that impede water trading. "We think those rules create disincentives and impede efficient use of water," he told me. "And we'd like to see them changed." The paper acknowledges that this is a complicated affair — and reforms might take many, many years. But, the authors argue, it's a far better way for the West to manage its dwindling water resources and avert future crises.

News Coverage Oct 28, 2014

Washington Post: The economic case for mentoring disadvantaged youth

Today, Columbia University graduate student Isaac Solano discusses the role mentoring has played in his journey out of poverty. He refers to both informal and formal mentoring, the latter of which Wellesley College professor Phillip Levine evaluated a few months ago for the Brookings Institutions' Hamilton Project. His paper was part of the project's June 2014 "Policies to Address Poverty in America."

News Coverage Oct 28, 2014

Sheldon Whitehouse: Sen. Whitehouse Delivers Keynote Address at NYU Conference on Climate Policy

As University of Chicago Economics Professor Michael Greenstone recently explained, this concept is widely accepted in his field: "The media always reports that there's near consensus amongst scientists about the fact that human activity impacts climate change. What does not receive as much attention is that there's even greater consensus amongst economists, starting from Milton Friedman and moving into the most left-wing economists that you could find, that the obvious correct public policy solution to this is to put a price on carbon. It's not controversial."

News Coverage Oct 26, 2014

Modern Ghana: Ghana Must Consider Coal in Power Generation Mix - Enercom Africa

During the session, Prof Michael Greenstone who heads the energy division made a strong case against the use of fossil fuels in power generation citing its environmental impacts. In as much as I agree that coal has such impacts, I believe we still need to face the economic facts. I therefore make a proposition that Coal should still play a significant role in the power generation mix for the African power sector, and particularly Ghana which in spite of recent phenomenal economic growth has seen a power crisis that is hampering economic and social progress.

News Coverage Oct 25, 2014

HNGN: U.S. Immigration Population Hit Record High in 2013, Will the Swell Impact American Workers Hard?

But the Brookings Institute and the Hamilton Project claim otherwise, writing in August 2013, "Recent economic research suggests that on average, immigrants raise wages and expand employment opportunities for Americans" by expanding "capacity of American businesses and farms, increasing the responsibility and pay of American foremen and supervisors, and providing expanded opportunities for higher skilled Americans, particularly women, to pursue higher-paying careers."

News Coverage Oct 24, 2014

Central Valley Business Times: Seminar panelist says there will be no new big water projects built

"…This was the first panel discussion during The Hamilton Project's New Directions for U.S. Water Policy at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment held on the Stanford University campus. In the first panel discussion after welcoming comments by Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg and Mr. Brown's keynote speech, the panel focused on how the market can mitigate water shortages in the American West…"

News Coverage Oct 24, 2014

NCPA: How Important Is Water to the U.S. Economy?

America is highly reliant on water, from supporting agriculture to thermoelectric power to regular household use. In fact, American household water use is quite high compared to other nations — domestic water use in the United States is 98 gallons per person per day, while it is just 37 gallons per day in the U.K. and 32 gallons per day in Germany. Brookings Institute researchers Melissa S. Kearney, Benjamin H. Harris, Brad Hershbein, Elisa JÌÁcome and Gregory Nantz have compiled a report that looks at the importance of water within the U.S. economy. According to the study:

Press Release Oct 23, 2014

New Directions for U.S. Water Policy - Full Report and Event Materials

Palo Alto, CA – Earlier this week, The Hamilton Project at Brookings and the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment hosted a forum and released new papers highlighting opportunities for improving water management in the United States in the face of scarce water supplies. Three panels of experts discussed the potential for market mechanisms to improve our country’s water management systems; opportunities to promote water innovation; and the impact of climate change on America’s water resources. Event materials, including audio and video by panel and select pull quotes, can be found below…

News Coverage Oct 23, 2014

Yahoo Finance: Research Report Defines Impact of Sourcewater’s B2B Exchange for Water Unconventional Energy Production Industry

Specific to the importance of creating new business models and markets to overcome the water crisis, The Hamilton Project this week convened a session at Stanford University keynoted by California Governor Jerry Brown, Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg and former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, involving dozens of top-ranking public and private sector executives. In papers issued concurrently, the group states that "the United States needs to restructure its approach to water management and create institutions that would make water allocation more flexible and resilient…

News Coverage Oct 23, 2014 India Study: Public opinion trumps environmental regulations in causing change

The researchers looked at India's data on air and water pollution at a city level. By looking at news trends and levels of civic engagement, they charted public actions on specific environmental issues. "We find that when it comes to enforcing its strong environmental regulations, India has a mixed track record," said Michael Greenstone, economist at the University of Chicago and study co-author, to

News Coverage Oct 23, 2014

The Wall Street Journal: The West Needs a Water Market to Fight Drought

Traditional solutions—diverting more water from rivers, building new reservoirs or drilling additional groundwater wells—are no longer ways to substantially increase the water supply. In a new report for The Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution, we, along with co-author Peter W. Culp, propose that states use market tools to promote water trading. That is, farmers or other users who reduce their consumption should be allowed to lease or sell the conserved water.

News Coverage Oct 22, 2014

Maven's Notebook: In his own words…Governor Brown talks water at Stanford conference

"Yesterday, the Hamilton Project and the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment held a conference at Stanford titled, New Directions for U.S. Water Policy which brought together officials and experts from California and across the west to discuss water markets, technological innovations, climate change and other water policy issues. Governor Jerry Brown was the keynote speaker. In his speech, he talked about the history and the challenges facing California water, and outlined his administration's plan for the next four years…"

News Coverage Oct 22, 2014

Economy Watch: Democrats and Republicans unite in calls to rebuild US penal system

The cost to families is heartbreaking. Between 1980 and 2000, the number of children with fathers in prison rose from 350,000 to 2.1 million. The financial cost to the American public is also huge. The Brookings Institution's Hamilton Project calculated that US$80 billion a year is spent on prison services alone. There are signs, however, that a new consensus is emerging on both the political left and right that the 40-year experiment of imprisoning high numbers has been socially and economically destructive.

News Coverage Oct 21, 2014

KQED News: The Story of California Water According to Jerry Brown

"Gov. Jerry Brown was invited to speak Monday at a Stanford symposium on the future of U.S. water policy. Brown, running for his fourth term as governor, used his appearance at The Hamilton Project conference to give a sort of oral history of California water — which is, in a sense, a Brown family story — and to make a pitch for Proposition 1, the $7.5 billion bond measure on the November ballot…"

News Coverage Oct 21, 2014

Policy Mic: One Troubling Chart Reveals the Harsh Truth About Inequality in America

Most troubling is the indication that the effects of economic inequality are felt as early as preschool and kindergarten. In a June memo released by the Hamilton Project, economists found that "despite similar starting points, by age 4, children in the highest income quintile score, on average, in the 69th percentile on tests … while the children in the lowest income quintile score in the 34th and 32nd percentile."

News Coverage Oct 21, 2014

The Washington Post: A constitutional convention could be the single most dangerous way to ‘fix’ American government

A dangerous proposal is circulating in states across the country that could widen political divisions and jeopardize cherished rights and freedoms. The push is coming primarily from well-organized, arch-conservative groups seeking to capitalize on the decline in public trust in government to limit the federal government's role and spending powers. And the method they prefer is a constitutional convention — the first since the 1787 conclave that produced the U.S. Constitution.

News Coverage Oct 20, 2014

San Jose Mercury News: California drought: Gov. Jerry Brown touts water bond measure at Stanford summit

"Gov. Jerry Brown pitched his plan Monday for a water bond and a rainy-day fund at a Stanford University water conference. The two policy measures are the cornerstone of his record fourth term re-election campaign. "We have a management challenge that is going to take money, it will take brains, it will take innovation and the magic of the marketplace to bring out the best of our creativity," Brown said at the forum called New Directions for U.S. Water Policy, co-sponsored by The Hamilton Project and Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment…"

News Coverage Oct 20, 2014

Tyler Morning Telegraph: Tax code changes can help families

"This family would face a series of painful 'marriage penalties' if the mother decides to join the paid labor force," Ms. Rampell explained. "If she takes on a $25,000 job, the family would lose the entirety of their earned-income tax credit — about $5,000 — and pay an additional $6,000 in payroll and federal income taxes, according to calculations from a recent report by the Hamilton Project, a nonpartisan think tank. This family would also lose access to about $2,600 worth of food stamp benefits, as well as other means-tested benefits, such as Medicaid."

News Coverage Oct 20, 2014

News.Mic: One U.S. State Locks Up More People Per Capita Than China and Russia Combined

According to the Brookings Institute's Hamilton Project, the incarceration rate in the U.S. experienced a spike as more states enacted this type of law…In the U.S., the risk of imprisonment for certain demographic groups also reflects racial disparities and low educational attainment. Brookings tracked the growth of mass incarceration in America and identified the striking disparity, reporting, "There is nearly a 70% chance that an African American man without a high school diploma will be imprisoned by his mid-thirties."

News Coverage Oct 20, 2014

Washington Examiner: Think Tanks: Obama sides with Amazon against workers

Benjamin Harris and Aurite Werman for the Brookings Institution: Social mobility is often thought of as a challenge facing children and working-age adults, but sharp drops in income are a real threat for millions of elderly Americans. Widowhood and divorce are often the culprits behind this downward intragenerational mobility — especially for women. The 2012 elderly poverty rate for widowed and divorced women was nearly three times that for married women and the elderly poverty rate for divorced women stood at nearly twice that for divorced men.

News Coverage Oct 17, 2014

Circle of Blue: Business, Finance Leaders Address U.S. Water Policy

"Organized by Stanford's Woods Institute for the Environment and the Hamilton Project, a Brookings Institution offshoot that is keen on using economic tools to solve policy problems, the one-day conference will highlight the ways that markets and prices can reduce water consumption and catalyze technological innovation that can make better use of scarce supplies. These messages are all the more interesting because of who is delivering them…"

News Coverage Oct 15, 2014

Special Work Helper: The Forgotten Poor: More Children Living in Extreme Poverty

So what do we do about this? How can we begin to lift children of extreme poverty? The Hamilton Project at the prestigious Brookings Institute offers a number of poverty policy prescriptions that include increasing early childhood education, increasing mentoring and other support programs for disadvantaged youth, skills-building for low-income workers, support for the minimum wage and expansion of the EITC, among others.

News Coverage Oct 15, 2014 Addressing India’s air quality, health and climate requires public action, study finds

"Effective environmental regulations in India are vital for the hundreds of millions of Indians who are seeing their life expectancy cut short due to high air pollution. And if India chooses to regulate greenhouse gases, it will be important for the world as India increasingly becomes a major emitter of greenhouse gases," said University of Chicago economist Michael Greenstone, co-author of the study and the director of the Energy Policy Institute at Chicago. "We find that when it comes to enforcing its strong environmental regulations, India has a mixed track record."

News Coverage Oct 15, 2014

Washington Post: The West is bone dry. Here’s how to help

They do that because America's water markets often don't work very well. As Glennon writes in another new paper for Hamilton, the way local, state and federal government allocates water can discourage the sort of market trading that should help get the resource in the hands of the people who will put it to its most valuable use. This has long been true in the West, where water rights can be passed down for more than a century and the law encourages sucking as much from the ground and the streams as you can possibly make use of.

News Coverage Oct 13, 2014

HBR Blog Network: How Uber and the Sharing Economy Can Win Over Regulations

Sharing economy firms are disrupting traditional industries across the globe. For proof, look no further than Airbnb which, at $10 billion, can boast a higher valuation than the Hyatt hotel chain. Uber is currently valued at $18.2 billion relative to Hertz at $12.5 billion and Avis at $5.2 billion. Beyond individual firms, there are now more than 1,000 cities across four continents where people can share cars.

News Coverage Oct 7, 2014

Bloomberg View: What Tattoos Tell Us About the Economy

Tattoos have long since become commonplace in the U.S.: Forty percent of households now include someone with one, according to a recent survey, up from 21 percent in 1999. Apart from their fashionability, does this tell us anything about America?Consider what we know about people who get tattoos: They're not evenly distributed across the population, but tend to be found in families with relatively less education. Fifty percent of people with a high school diploma or less live in the same household with a tattooed person (or have one themselves), compared with 22 percent of those who have attended graduate school.

News Coverage Oct 6, 2014

Financial Times: Why public investment really is a free lunch

High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email to buy additional rights. has been joked that the letters IMF stand for "it's mostly fiscal". The International Monetary Fund has long been a stalwart advocate of austerity as the route out of financial crisis, and every year it chastises dozens of countries for their fiscal indiscipline. Fiscal consolidation — a euphemism for cuts to government spending — is a staple of the fund's rescue programmes. A year ago the IMF was suggesting that the US had a fiscal gap of as much as 10 per cent of gross domestic product.

News Coverage Oct 2, 2014

Washington Post: Want to do what you love and get paid for it? Choose one of these majors

PayScale surveyed 1.4 million college graduates who provided information on the school they attended, their choice of major, and their current job and salary. It asked respondents whether their job makes the world a better place, and whether they'd recommend their undergraduate major to others. While the survey respondents are all PayScale users, and hence a somewhat self-selective sample, it's worth nothing that PayScale's earnings figures comport closely with separate research released by the Brookings Institution's Hamilton Project this week, which is reassuring.

News Coverage Oct 2, 2014

Huffington Post: The One Argument In Favor of Student Loans

College is worth it. That's the straightforward conclusion of a recent study from the Brookings Institution's Hamilton Project. "A college degree — in any major — is important for advancing one's earnings potential," the study's authors write. Median earnings are higher no matter what you study, and the advantage you have over high school graduates lasts throughout your career. The difference isn't minor, either: Over a lifetime, the Hamilton study notes, "the typical bachelor's degree graduate worker earns $1.19 million, which is twice what the typical high school graduate earns."

News Coverage Oct 1, 2014

Big Think: Is Your College Investment Going to Pay Off?

Rick Newman of Yahoo Finance points out that the average cost of a bachelor's degree has breached $100,000, with private tuition potentially spelling a price as much as double that figure. In order to make the most of that hundred-grand, he suggests taking into account the findings of the Hamilton Project, a non-profit aimed at advancing opportunity, prosperity, and growth. Hamilton's recent report assesses the lifetime earnings of graduates by major. The chart below features some key major categories; a full listing is available in the report linked above.

News Coverage Oct 1, 2014

Albuquerque Journal: Study: People with a degree tend to earn more over a lifetime

Researchers with the Hamilton Project, an affiliate of the Brookings Institution, examined data from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey in reaching the conclusion that, regardless of a student's major in college, a bachelor's degree means that the typical graduate will earn considerably more than someone with an associate degree and a lot more than a high school graduate.

News Coverage Sep 30, 2014

PBS Newshour: Growing wealth gap may threaten education’s role in social mobility

A report out last year from the Hamilton Project also found a growing gap in the education spending of high- and low-income families."The most concerning thing is that there are initial signs that inequality is starting to bleed into social mobility. And social mobility is at the heart of the American experience," Michael Greenstone, the co-author of the report and an economics professor at MIT told the Boston Globe.

News Coverage Sep 30, 2014

Venture Beat: Sorry, CompSci majors: Engineering degrees will out-earn you

My one-time research partner, Brad Hershbein over at the Hamilton Project for the Brookings Institute, analyzed lifetime earnings for a variety of majors and found that the typical bachelor's degree earns you a lifetime of $1.19 million, twice what the average high school degree holder earns. Engineering degree holders earn nearly $2 million over their lifetime, while an early child education major earns the least at around $750,000.

News Coverage Sep 30, 2014

Associated Press: School spending by affluent is widening wealth gap

"If you're at the bottom and the top keeps pulling away, you're just further behind," said Melissa Kearney, a senior economics fellow at the Brookings Institution.Between 2007 and 2011, enrollment at private elementary and secondary schools whose annual tuition averaged $28,340 — more than half the median U.S. household income — jumped 36 percent, according to federal data. The intensified reach for the costliest schools occurred even as enrollment in private schools overall fell.

News Coverage Sep 29, 2014

Slate: Want to Be Stinking Rich? Major in Economics.

At least, that's how I'd sum up the findings of a new report and interactive tool from the Hamilton Project, which looks at how the value of a college degree changes depending on your major. This is already a pretty well-explored subject. But the Hamilton study is especially nifty, because instead of calculating what the "typical" college graduate can expect to make over the course of a career, like many researchers do, it shows a whole range of potential outcomes, from the fifth percentile of earners up to the 95th percentile. And of the best-paid graduates in all fields, economics majors rake in the most.

News Coverage Sep 29, 2014

Washington Post: What it’s like to graduate from college with the lowest-paying major

Researchers at the Brookings Institution's Hamilton Project recently set out to answer: As student debt rises — and devours our wealth — how do the high school students of today, feverishly applying to colleges this fall, decide what they can afford to study?A college degree, in any major, significantly increases your lifetime earning potential, the study found. Some do more than others. But all do more than Calfee's.

News Coverage Sep 29, 2014

Washington Post: Want proof college is worth it? Look at this list of the highest-paying majors

Is a four-year college degree worth it? Generally yes, but the results vary quite a bit across majors — and can even vary widely within majors.That's the takeaway from new research by Brad Hershbein and Melissa Kearney at The Hamilton Project. The authors analyzed Census Bureau data to find out which college majors earned the most and the least. Topping the list are the engineering fields, to no one's surprise.

News Coverage Sep 27, 2014

The Motley Fool: This Important Unemployment Gauge Signals a Troubling Trend

Every month, the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution takes a stab at what a full jobs recovery might look like, given specific levels of job creation. Noting that 5.6 million new jobs were still needed at the end of August in order for the market to return to its pre-crisis levels, the center's analysts estimated that this level might be reached in approximately three more years — as long as the economy creates 207,000 jobs each month.

News Coverage Sep 24, 2014

The Washington Post: Why inequality makes it harder to stop climate change

You should also know that University of Chicago economist Michael Greenstone estimates that the mortality effects of very hot days in India are nearly 20 times as great as they are in air-conditioned America. Think of that stat as a warning. If the world can't find a way to collectively curb emissions by its largest users, rich countries — and rich people within those countries — will buy relief that the poorest among us cannot.

News Coverage Sep 24, 2014 US Fishing Industry Contributes Nearly $90 Billion To The Economy

The Hamilton Project released new papers and is hosting a forum to explore opportunities for improving the economic prosperity and long-term sustainability of the U.S. fishing industry. Taken together, commercial and recreational fishing contributed nearly $90 billion to the U.S. economy in 2012, according to Hamilton Project data, including over 1.5 million jobs for American workers.

News Coverage Sep 24, 2014

Laboratory Equipment: “Getting-by Girls” Fall Between Academic Winners, Losers

They also provide a rare insight into the attitudes and aspirations of the children of America's struggling lower-middle class. A recent report by the Hamilton Project found that lower-middle-class families are more likely to be headed by two-income married couples, with at least one parent having attended college, but who still face many of the same financial insecurities as those living in poverty.