On The Record Spotlight

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The Cost-Cutting Power of Medicare


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We cannot afford to diminish what TOPS does for Louisiana


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Promoting gender parity in the global workplace


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The Powers, and Limits, of E.C.B. Stimulus, as View From Davos


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The mystery of the falling teen birth rate


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Explaining ‘middle-class economics’


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Larry Summers: The euro failed to live up to goals


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State of the Union Statement from Tom Steyer


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My Statement on the President’s New Tax Proposal


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We need to leave TOPS alone


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There are about as many solar jobs as coal jobs in the US

If power plants had to internalize all these social costs, then sources like wind, solar, or even nuclear power would be far more competitive — as this 2012 paper by economists Michael Greenstone and Adam Looney explained. (One way to do that might be through a carbon tax on fossil fuels.)


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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…”


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What Brill’s ‘Bitter Pill’ Gets Wrong on Obamacare


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The State of the U.S. Job Market: Pre-January 2015 Jobs Release


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Student Loans Are Poorly Aligned With Graduate Earnings

Student-loan payments are the bane of many new graduates. A recent analysis by the Brookings Institution explains why: The typical new graduate is likely to devote 14 percent of his or her paycheck to student loans. That’s about half of what the average American spends on housing each month.


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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..."


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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..." 


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Sen. Bob Hertzberg, Edward Kleinbard and Laura Tyson: California tax reform should reflect shift to service economy


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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..." 

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Are low oil prices an opening for a carbon tax?


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State and local governments finally end years of anti-stimulus

"...The destructive austerity policies of state and local governments created an "anti-stimulus," with layoffs of public sector workers and cuts to spending that only served to undermine the gains from ARRA (see the second chart above). By May 2013, the Hamilton Project estimated those austerity policies cost 2.2 American million jobs and resulted in the slowest recovery since World War II.


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Let this be the year when we put a proper price on carbon

The case for carbon taxes has long been compelling. With the recent steep fall in oil prices and associated declines in other energy prices it is overwhelming. There is room for debate about the size of the tax and about how the proceeds should be deployed. But there should be no doubt that starting from the current zero tax rate on carbon, increased taxation would be desirable.

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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.


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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..."

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MTV has done more for the US teen birthrate than decades of policy

"...A recent study by Melissa Kearney, University of Maryland economics professor and director of the Brookings Institution’s Hamilton Project, showed a powerful connection linking 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom with a plunging birth rate for teenage women in the US..."


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The Steep Cost of America’s High Incarceration Rate


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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.


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Can the U.S. Government Go Moneyball

"Between August 13 and September 4, 2002, the Oakland Athletics baseball team didn’t lose a single time. For twenty consecutive games—an American League record—a team of misfits and overlooked talent dominated Major League Baseball like never before. And they did so, incredibly, on a budget of just $40 million—less than a third that of the league’s richest teams..."


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Good Medicine for Bad Bankers

"Maybe someone should launch a reality show called “Bankers Behaving Badly.” Because too many of them are. That’s the conclusion of William Dudley , president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, one of America’s most powerful financial regulators and (full disclosure) a friend..."


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Why is everyone so busy?


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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.


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Peter Thiel’s 3 Keys for Building A Successful Startup


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20 charts that will fill you with guilt and regret


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As Robots Grow Smarter, American Workers Struggle to Keep Up


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Water world: Can a solution to Utah’s thirst be found?

Utah's rate of 248 gallons of water per person, like other Western states, is linked to high outdoor use of potable or drinking water, and the region's dry climate. An analysis by the Brookings Institution's Hamilton Project shows Utah second to Idaho at 167 gallons per capita in domestic water use.


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Growth slowdowns: Middle-income trap vs. regression to the mean


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Quoted: Google’s Eric Schmidt On Fears About Artificial Intelligence


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Don’t Get Too Excited About the Budget Deal

Thanks to the spending bill that House and Senate leaders have negotiated, the federal government will avoid a shutdown. And that's great. Unfortunately, though, that’s the highest praise that can be attached to the deal.

Indeed, the agreement highlights three fundamental problems.


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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.


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Boutique Investment Banks Gain Prestige

Over all, the current fortunes of these independent firms is a decided contrast from 20 years ago, when banks like Evercore Partners and Greenhill & Company were setting up. Persuading big companies to trust smaller mergers advisers, even ones with brand-name talent, was “damn hard,” said Roger Altman, a co-founder and the chairman of Evercore.


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Challenge of paying back debt varies widely by major and degree

"...The Hamilton Project, an economic policy initiative at the Brookings Institution, recently released a calculator that shows the percent of monthly income individuals will need to dedicate in order to repay their student loans, depending on their undergraduate major..."


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Reauthorizing No Child Left Behind: Four Recommendations to Advance Federalism in Education

Citations include: Robert Gordon, Thomas J. Kane, and Douglas O. Staiger, “Identifying Effective Teachers Using Performance on the Job,” Brookings Institution, The Hamilton Project, White Paper No. 2006-01, April 2006, http://www.oest.oas.org/iten/documentos/Investigacion/Teacher%20effectiveness%202006.pdf (accessed December 5, 2014).


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$1.1 trillion student loan bubble? Not so fast

An analysis conducted by researchers at the Hamilton Project, a left-of-center think tank, found that a person who entered college in 1980 could expect to earn about $260,000 more over the course of his life than someone who only earned a high school degree. Adjusted for inflation, that amount has risen to more than $450,000 for someone starting college in 2010.


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Crumbling infrastructure is a sign of lost collective faith


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


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These College Majors Have the Hardest Time Paying Off Student Loans


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A solution to the U.S water problem: People who use more water, pay more


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Policymakers Often Overstate Marginal Tax Rates for Lower-Income Workers and Gloss Over Tough Trade-Offs in Reducing Them


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Llegamos a la infoesfera… y ahora, ¿qué hacemos?


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The Rising Costs of US Income Inequality


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Guilford weighs later start times for high school students


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Shoring up the Middle Class


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Drought: Weather or Economic Problem?


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The hidden dangers of low oil prices


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How Real Estate Markets May Affect the Birth Rate


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Awesome new student debt calculator is what every college student needs right now


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Gauging the crush college debt according to major


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The Economic Case Against Majoring in Fun Things


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Student Debt Payments: Major Matters


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Why a college degree shouldn’t be a commodity


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


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Student Debt: A Calculator Focused on College Majors


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


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


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Online calculator reveals average student loan debt for 80 college majors


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Homeland Security News Wire


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Why Larry Summers sees danger ahead for the economy


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How to Make the Clean Power Plan Affordable


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Four Maps That Show Where America’s Biggest Water Users Live


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


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We’ve Overlooked a Major Student-Debt Problem


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The Hamilton Project evaluates differences in U.S. water use


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US Water Consumption Lowest in Decades


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


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Could Republicans Help End Mass Incarceration?


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Will Retirees Come to Love Longevity Annuities?


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DOL urged to reform annuity safe harbors


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California’s water innovation problem


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David Cicilline says U.S. has third-lowest minimum wage among developed countries


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Water Trading: Studies Call for Market-based Water Use System3


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Owatonna High School pushes post-secondary readiness during College Application Week


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No, there won’t be a millennial ‘lost generation,’ analysts say


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The economic case for mentoring disadvantaged youth


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The West Needs a Water Market to Fight Drought


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Recently On the Record

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The Cost-Cutting Power of Medicare

Bloomberg View • January 26, 2015 • Peter R. Orzag

“The Department of Health and Human Services' action today to set a timetable for moving Medicare away from fee-for-service payments is commendable and timely. Secretary Sylvia Burwell's goals are nice and specific, too: Thirty percent of Medicare’s payments are to be value-based by the end of 2016, and 50 percent by the end of 2018.”

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Professor Laura Tyson: Is economic growth increasing inequality?

Biz News • January 25, 2015

“After attending a session on the major issues arising out of WEF this year, Alec managed to grab a few minutes of U.C. Berkeley Professor Laura Tyson’s time to have a chat about economic growth. Tyson mentioned that most discussion that she has witnessed taking place surrounding growth at Davos this year has been more a focus of how it can be expanded, as opposed to who it should include. ”

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We cannot afford to diminish what TOPS does for Louisiana

The Advertiser • January 24, 2015 • John Kennedy

“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.”

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Promoting gender parity in the global workplace

McKinsey & Company • January 22, 2015 • Laura D'Andrea Tyson

“Women account for half of the global labor supply and about 70 percent of global consumption demand. Greater gender equality in educational and employment opportunities fosters faster, more inclusive growth, not only because women are half of the world’s population but also because they are more likely than men to invest in the human capital of their families.”

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The Powers, and Limits, of E.C.B. Stimulus, as View From Davos

The New York Times • January 22, 2015 • Jenny Anderson

“Mr. Summers, who spoke on a panel about quantitative easing at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum on Thursday morning, said that many of the elements that made stimulus measures in the United States a success, including the fact that they were not widely expected and that interest rates were higher, do not exist in Europe today.”

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