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Strategy Paper Apr 25, 2018

Reducing Chronic Absenteeism under the Every Student Succeeds Act

In this Hamilton Project strategy paper, Lauren Bauer,  Patrick Liu, Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, and Jay Shambaugh articulate a framework for states as they oversee implementation of statewide accountability plans under the Every Student Succeeds Act and describe how states differ in their approaches. The authors present novel analyses of the factors at the school and student levels that relate to chronic absenteeism and describe evidence-based strategies for schools as they work to reduce rates of chronic absence among students.

All Papers

Strategy Paper Apr 25, 2018

Reducing Chronic Absenteeism under the Every Student Succeeds Act

In this Hamilton Project strategy paper, Lauren Bauer,  Patrick Liu, Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, and Jay Shambaugh articulate a framework for states as they oversee implementation of statewide accountability plans under the Every Student Succeeds Act and describe how states differ in their approaches. The authors present novel analyses of the factors at the school and student levels that relate to chronic absenteeism and describe evidence-based strategies for schools as they work to reduce rates of chronic absence among students.

Policy Books Feb 27, 2018

Revitalizing Wage Growth: Policies to Get American Workers a Raise

One simple question—are wages rising?—is as central to the health of our democracy as it is to the health of our economy. This book presents evidence and analysis that detail why wages have been stagnant for so many workers, while also identifying public policies that could effectively contribute to the growth in productivity and wages that are core parts of improving living standards for all Americans. These proposals include greater support for policies that increase human capital, boost worker mobility, strengthen worker bargaining power, and sustain robust labor demand.

Policy Proposal Feb 27, 2018

Strengthening Labor Standards and Institutions to Promote Wage Growth

For most of the period since the 1970s the United States has suffered from two trends: stagnant wages for most workers and rising inequality. In this paper, Heidi Shierholz focuses on the erosion of labor standards, institutions, and norms that has reduced the bargaining power of low- and moderate-wage workers. She proposes a suite of remedies to help strengthen worker bargaining power and increase wages.

Policy Proposal Feb 27, 2018

Information is Power: Fostering Labor Market Competition through Transparent Wages

One of the challenges of wage stagnation is asymmetric information, whereby employers have a greater knowledge of the distribution of wages relative to workers. This asymmetry of information is potentially suppressing wage growth as it limits workers’ ability and inclination to negotiate for higher pay. In this paper, Ben Harris advances a five-part proposal to improve wage transparency as a strategy for improving worker bargaining power, and ultimately, raising wages across the income distribution.

Policy Proposal Feb 27, 2018

Reforming Non-Competes to Support Workers

Firms use non-competes widely in order to minimize recruiting costs, safeguard investments, and protect intellectual property more easily than is achieved via non-disclosure agreements. But these benefits come at a cost to workers, whose career flexibility is compromised—often without their informed consent. In this paper, Matt Marx describes evidence from empirical research on non-compete agreements and recommends policies to balance the interests of firms and workers.  

Policy Proposal Feb 27, 2018

The Importance of Strong Labor Demand

By conventional measures, the U.S. job market has suffered some degree of slack for about 70 percent of the time since 1980. The absence of persistent, strong labor market demand has a significant negative impact on wages and incomes, with these costs falling disproportionately on the least advantaged. In this paper, Jared Bernstein offers a four-part proposal to increase labor demand along with earnings and employment opportunities.

Policy Proposal Feb 27, 2018

Coming and Going: Encouraging Geographic Mobility at College Entry and Exit to Lift Wages

Geography is an important part of economic opportunity—but due to monetary and nonmonetary costs of migration, college attendance is less likely for those who live farther from postsecondary institutions. The college educated have also become increasingly concentrated in larger labor markets, while at the same time mobility across markets is falling. Wozniak proposes two modifications to the existing Federal Student Aid programs to level the playing field on these dimensions. 

Policy Proposal Feb 27, 2018

Stagnation in Lifetime Incomes: An Overview of Trends and Potential Causes

Lifetime incomes have stagnated significantly since the 1960s, with young workers earning less than the previous generation early in their careers, resulting in lower lifetime incomes. These trends coincided with a stagnation of educational attainment for men, as well as rising income disparities among workers with some college experience. In light of these facts, this paper presents policy proposals that aim to boost wage growth for younger workers.

Policy Proposal Dec 13, 2017

Decreasing the Patent Office’s Incentives to Grant Invalid Patents

There is general agreement that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issues too many invalid patents—those patents issued on an existing technology or on an obvious technological advancement—that are unnecessarily reducing consumer welfare, stunting productive research, and discouraging innovation. To address this, Frakes and Wasserman build upon new empirical evidence to propose three changes to the patent system that would reduce the issuance of invalid patents.

Policy Proposal Dec 13, 2017

Promoting Energy Innovation with Lessons from Drug Development

Despite progress toward a cleaner energy system, current U.S. policies appear insufficient to reduce emissions enough to avoid catastrophic climate change while sustaining economic growth. Energy innovation is a crucial part of addressing this problem, but a number of inefficiencies persist in the innovation system. To address this, Goldstein, Azoulay, Graff Zivin, and Bulović examine practices and institutions that successfully support the pharmaceutical innovation system and that hold important lessons for energy innovation.

Economic Facts Dec 13, 2017

Eleven Facts about Innovation and Patents

In this set of eleven economic facts, The Hamilton Project explores central features of the innovation system, including patents, research and development (R&D) investments, and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. Invalid patents and other challenges in the innovation pipeline can be overcome only if the determinants of innovation are well understood. Addressing these challenges advances The Hamilton Project’s core goal of promoting broadly shared economic growth.

Economic Analysis Nov 1, 2017

Lessons from the Rise of Women’s Labor Force Participation in Japan

After lagging behind U.S. women for more than forty years, Japanese prime-age women have now caught up and exceeded the U.S. rate of labor force participation. In this economic analysis, we seek to learn from a labor market that has been on an entirely different trajectory from that of the United States, and a country that has made women’s labor force participation a top macroeconomic priority.

Policy Books Oct 19, 2017

The 51% Driving Growth through Women’s Economic Participation

The U.S. economy will not operate at its full potential unless government and employers remove impediments to full participation by women in the labor market. The failure to address structural problems in labor markets, tax, and employment policy that women face does more than hold back their careers and aspirations for a better life. Barriers to participation by women also act as brakes on the national economy, stifling the economy’s ability to grow. To address these problems, The Hamilton Project published this book featuring a host of public policies to promote women’s economic opportunity.

Policy Proposal Oct 19, 2017

Modernizing U.S. Labor Standards for 21st-Century Families

Women now make up almost half the U.S. workforce, and more than half of the U.S. population. Despite the central role women play in the economy, our labor laws and institutions do little to address the various ways in which women are held back at work. This not only hampers women’s economic well-being, but also has implications for U.S. productivity, labor force participation, and economic growth. In this paper, Ansel and Boushey propose policies aimed at boosting women’s economic outcomes: paid family leave, fair scheduling, and combatting wage discrimination. They show how enacting carefully designed policies will better address the challenges of today’s labor force, enhance women’s economic outcomes, and provide benefits for the national economy.

Framing Paper Oct 19, 2017

The Recent Decline in Women’s Labor Force Participation

While women’s labor force participation has increased substantially in the U.S. over the second half of the 20th century, this growth has stagnated and reversed since 2000. This pattern persists across women of varying races and ethnicities, educational backgrounds, ages, and marital statuses, and for women with and without children alike. Black, Schanzenbach, and Breitwieser note that this decline seems to be moving directly against the trends observed in other major OECD economies. 

Policy Proposal Oct 19, 2017

Expanding Access to Earned Sick Leave to Support Caregiving

The rapid growth of the older population in the United States will dramatically increase the need for elder care, most of which will be provided at home by family members. Supporting an older person sometimes comes at the cost of leaving the labor force, particularly for caregivers in jobs with an inflexible work schedule. This paper proposes a federal earned sick leave mandate guaranteeing one hour of flexible, multi-purpose sick leave for every 30 hours worked. By helping workers periodically adjust their work schedules to accommodate intermittent and urgent caregiving activities, paid sick leave would increase both home caregiving and employment, as fewer workers would be forced to choose between these activities. 

Policy Proposal Oct 19, 2017

Helping Women to Succeed in Higher Education: Supporting Student-Parents with Child Care

Women have surpassed men in college enrollment. This trend is particularly pronounced among nontraditional students, including part-time and older students—two groups that face significant challenges in higher education. For the 4.8 million college students who are parents, high-quality, reliable, and affordable child care is essential. Long proposes building on the Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) Program to structure an institutional grant program that better supports the availability of high-quality child care for parents pursuing postsecondary credentials (student-parents). Compared with the existing federal program, the proposed program would be larger and better targeted to address the substantial needs of low-income student-parents.

Policy Proposal Oct 19, 2017

Public Investments in Child Care

Child care is a necessity for working women with young children. However, the costs of high-quality center-based child care in the United States—particularly for children under age five—are prohibitively high for many families. In this proposal, Elizabeth Cascio describes a multifaceted approach to child-care policy that reduces the financial burden of child care, encourages maternal employment, and supports child development. The proposal would replace existing federal child-care tax policies with a single refundable federal child-care tax credit that is more generous to lower-income families and families with children under the age of five. To address child care quality, Cascio proposes investments in Quality Rating and Improvement Systems and in expansion of universal preschool for four-year-olds. State and local governments could pursue these investments on their own or with federal assistance.

Policy Proposal Oct 19, 2017

A National Paid Parental Leave Policy for the United States

Despite widespread public support for paid parental leave, the United States is the only industrialized country without a national policy providing mothers with rights to paid leave following the birth of a child. Ruhm proposes a national paid leave program that entitles both mothers and fathers to 12 weeks of paid time off work. The proposal includes job protection during the leave, broad eligibility, and income-tiered wage replacement rates. The program would be financed by general revenues and administered by a new office established within the Social Security Administration, with program evaluation scheduled three to five years after initial implementation.

Policy Proposal Oct 19, 2017

Increasing the Economic Security of Older Women

Popular commentary often points to the lower lifetime earnings and longer expected life spans of women relative to men as a reason to be especially concerned about the economic risks women face as they age. Indeed, women aged 65 and older are twice as likely as their male counterparts to live in poverty. Disability and widowhood are major drivers of economic insecurity for women later in life. To reduce the risk of economic insecurity among older women, the authors propose to allow Social Security beneficiaries to forgo some benefits when claiming to finance greater benefits in the event of widowhood, disability, or both. The proposed changes would be voluntary and self-financing.