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Economic Facts Apr 26, 2017

Eight Economic Facts on Higher Education

In this set of eight facts, the Hamilton Project offers evidence of the economic value of a postsecondary education. These facts document who is enrolling in and completing – or dropping out of – postsecondary programs and how this has changed over time. While there continues to be a sizeable earnings premium for postsecondary degree holders, these facts also describe the distribution of debt and default among student borrowers.

All Papers

Economic Facts Apr 26, 2017

Eight Economic Facts on Higher Education

In this set of eight facts, the Hamilton Project offers evidence of the economic value of a postsecondary education. These facts document who is enrolling in and completing – or dropping out of – postsecondary programs and how this has changed over time. While there continues to be a sizeable earnings premium for postsecondary degree holders, these facts also describe the distribution of debt and default among student borrowers.

Policy Proposal Apr 26, 2017

Improving College and Career Outcomes of Low-Performing High School Students

In this proposal, the author shows that many students who perform at or below average in high school are not prepared for college and do not attain postsecondary degrees or high-value certificates. The author proposes a set of policies and practices, informed by his multimethod evaluation of the Florida College and Career Initiative (FCCRI), that would improve college and career outcomes at relatively low cost.

Policy Proposal Apr 26, 2017

Understanding and Addressing Teacher Shortages in the United States

While there is a popular perception of a national teacher shortage, the authors demonstrate that teacher shortages are in fact localized and subject-specific. Teacher hiring and retention are often difficult for schools that serve low-income students as well as in particular fields like STEM and special education. The authors propose complementary strategies that K-12 school districts, teacher education programs, and regulatory authorities can use to address these shortages.

Policy Proposal Apr 26, 2017

Labor Force to Lecture Hall: Pell Grants and Postsecondary Policies in Response to Job Loss

Currently, Pell Grants are designed to meet the needs of recent high school graduates. In this proposal, Turner explores the possibility of better tailoring Pell Grant eligibility and needs assessment to the circumstances of the adult unemployed. In addition to improving Pell access for these individuals, facilitating better matches between unemployment insurance recipients and post-secondary programs has the potential to enhance long-term labor market outcomes, which Turner proposes to carefully evaluate. 

Policy Proposal Apr 26, 2017

A Risk Sharing Proposal for Student Loans

In this paper, the authors propose a risk-sharing system for the student loan program. Institutions with low repayment rates, as measured by a new cohort-based repayment metric, would be asked to pay a fee in proportion to the degree to which they miss repayment rate targets. This fee is intended to be a nudge to encourage institutions to improve matching between students and programs, program quality, completion, and other factors that relate to repayment outcomes.

Policy Proposal Apr 26, 2017

Increasing College Completion with a Federal Higher Education Matching Grant

The federal government largely invests in higher education through aid to students that aims to lower the effective price of college. However, Deming finds that increases in institutional spending per-pupil are particularly important for increasing degree completion. Based on this work, Deming proposes a federal matching grant for spending by public institutions in states that implement free college proposals. The proposal would give states an incentive to rein in college costs while maintaining or increasing spending levels in the core spending categories of instruction and academic support.

Policy Proposal Mar 27, 2017

The Next Generation of Transportation Policy

In this paper, Greenstone, Sunstein and Ori propose two major steps towards simplifying fuel efficiency standards and refocusing the program on achieving guaranteed emissions reductions at lower cost to automakers. First, they propose targeting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions directly, without differentiating by vehicle types and sizes, using data to project a given vehicle’s lifetime greenhouse gas emissions. Second they recommend establishing a robust cap-and-trade market to reduce compliance costs for automakers while providing considerably more certainty about the future path of carbon dioxide emissions. 

Policy Proposal Mar 27, 2017

Protecting Urban Places and Populations from Rising Climate Risk

This paper proposes three complementary policies for enhancing urban resilience to new climate risk. The first focuses on improving key urban infrastructure. The second addresses the urban poor, who are the most vulnerable in the face of climate change risks. The third proposal aims to reduce the cost of adaptation through better-functioning markets, and to allow prices of natural resources, energy, and coastal insurance to reflect true conditions.

Economic Facts Mar 2, 2017

In Order That They Might Rest Their Arguments on Facts: The Vital Role of Government-Collected Data

Objective, impartial data collection by federal statistical agencies is vital to informing decisions made by businesses, policy makers, and families. These measurements make it possible to have a productive discussion about the advantages and disadvantages of particular policies, and about the state of the economy. These economic facts highlight the breadth and importance of government statistics to public policy and the economy.

Policy Proposal Dec 8, 2016

Federal Minerals Leasing Reform and Climate Policy

Over the past two decades Democratic and Republican administrations have taken steps to reduce U.S. carbon-dioxide emissions by reducing use of fossil fuels. Despite growing public attention to the climate consequences of fossil fuel extraction, U.S. climate policy so far has not extended to the government’s role as a major source of fossil fuels. Kenneth Gillingham and James Stock propose to incorporate climate considerations into federal coal leasing by placing a royalty adder on federal coal that is linked to the climate damages from its combustion. A royalty adder set to 20 percent of the social cost of carbon would reduce total power sector emissions, raise the price of federal coal to align it with coal mined on private land, increase coal mining employment in Appalachia and the Midwest, and provide additional government revenues to help coal communities.

Strategy Paper Oct 28, 2016

Lessons for Broadening School Accountability under the Every Student Succeeds Act

In this strategy paper, The Hamilton Project highlights rates of chronic absenteeism in elementary, middle and high schools throughout the United States. The interactive map illustrates THP’s research that shows that across the nation and in every state, rates of chronic absenteeism meaningfully differentiate between schools. This means that rates of chronic absenteeism are widely distributed across schools and that the lowest performing schools are clearly identifiable. Accordingly, an accompanying Hamilton Project report recommends the selection of chronic absenteeism when states choose a new measure of school accountability as mandated under the recently enacted federal education law. 

Policy Proposal Oct 21, 2016

Increasing Employment for Individuals with Criminal Records

Individuals who were formerly incarcerated often face great difficulty in re-entering the labor market after incarceration. A multi-pronged approach—inclusive of effective policies aimed at building workers’ skills, communicating their work-readiness to employers, and promoting robust labor markets for low-skilled workers—is necessary for improving employment outcomes for workers with criminal records. In addition, it is important to consider the potential unintended consequences of regulations that restrict information available to employers.

Policy Proposal Oct 21, 2016

Putting Time Limits on the Punitiveness of the Criminal Justice System

Over the past 30 years, both the incarcerated population and the limitations placed on those with criminal records have dramatically expanded. The consequences of a criminal conviction can last long beyond any imposed sentence, but current efforts to reduce the punitiveness of the criminal justice system tend to focus on sentencing reform rather than consequences for those who have already served prison terms. The author offers three principles for reform efforts aimed at reducing criminal justice punitiveness.

Policy Proposal Oct 21, 2016

Graduated Reintegration: Smoothing the Transition from Prison to Community

High recidivism rates—some 50 percent of released prisoners return within three years—constitute a major factor driving both high crime rates and high incarceration rates. The unduly sudden process of prisoner release contributes to recidivism by confronting releasees with unnecessarily difficult problems of subsistence and adjustment. Graduated Reintegration addresses that problem by making the release process less sudden. 

Economic Facts Oct 20, 2016

Twelve Facts about Incarceration and Prisoner Reentry

In this set of economic facts, The Hamilton Project explores the characteristics of the populations of the currently incarcerated and individuals reentering their communities. In 2014, there were approximately seven million Americans living under correctional supervision and even more with criminal records. Successful reintegration is not just a concern for those who return from prison: it is also a matter of public safety and economic necessity. Reducing recidivism is critical for community safety; providing effective rehabilitation and skill development for those incarcerated and formerly incarcerated is critical to strengthening households and the economy.”

Economic Facts Oct 4, 2016

Seven Facts on Noncognitive Skills from Education to the Labor Market

In the past 30 years, the U.S. labor market has shifted dramatically toward increasing demand and reward for noncognitive skills. These noncognitive skills – elsewhere called soft skills or social, emotional, and behavioral skills – include qualities like perseverance, conscientiousness, self-control, social skills, and leadership ability. To facilitate success in the modern labor market, education policies should address how schools and teachers develop noncognitive skills.  In this set of economic facts, The Hamilton Project explores the development of noncognitive skills in education and the returns to noncognitive skills in the labor market.

Economic Analysis Aug 19, 2016

The Long-Term Impact of the Head Start Program

In this Economic Analysis, The Hamilton Project explores the impact of Head Start on a new set of long-term outcomes, extending landmark analyses further into adulthood and considering the effect of Head Start on participants’ children. The Hamilton Project finds that Head Start has a significant impact on its participants' educational outcomes, social and behavioral development, and parenting practices later in life.

Framing Paper Jun 29, 2016

The Changing Landscape of American Life Expectancy

During the past 100 years, life expectancy at birth has increased by about 25 years in the United States. However, certain groups—notably older whites and low-income Americans—find their mortality rates either stagnating or rising in recent years. In a new framing paper, The Hamilton Project examines the widening gap in life expectancy and explores policy reforms aimed at extending life expectancy gains for more Americans.