Featured Papers

Policies to Address Poverty in America, Full Volume

The Hamilton Project asked academic experts to develop policy proposals confronting the various challenges of America’s poorest citizens, and to introduce innovative approaches to addressing poverty. When combined, the scope and impact of these proposals has the potential to vastly improve the lives of the poor. The resulting 14 policy memos are included in The Hamilton Project's Policies to Address Poverty in America. The main areas of focus include promoting early childhood development, supporting disadvantaged youth, building worker skills, and improving safety net and work support.


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The Hamilton Project Policy Response to the 2015 State of the Union Address

In his 2015 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama emphasized the need to restore the link between hard work and growing opportunity for every American: especially low- and middle-income citizens.  The Hamilton Project highlights policy proposals that are most relevant to the goals and ideas explicitly promoted in the speech and reflective of the current policy context. These proposals offer smart, actionable ways forward on each of the particular policy goals. 


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Major Decisions: Graduates’ Earnings Growth and Debt Repayment

In a new interactive feature and economic analysis, The Hamilton Project explores how the current student loan repayment system often creates a heavy burden on recent graduates by having them make payments in the beginning of their careers when their earnings are low. The accompanying interactive feature allows users to calculate the share of earnings necessary to service traditional loan repayment for 80 college majors.


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Tidal Wave or Drop in the Bucket? Differences in Water Use Across the United States

Using newly released data, The Hamilton Project presents an economic analysis and a new interactive feature to illustrate the great variation in the level and nature of water use across the country. 


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In Times of Drought: Nine Economic Facts about Water in the United States

The water crisis is as much an economic issue as it is an environmental one, and it demands focused national attention. This Hamilton Project policy memo presents nine economic facts about water in the United States, focusing on relevant background context to the water crisis as well as on supply and demand issues. This memo underscores three topics: the occurrence of drought in the United States, the importance of water to the U.S. economy, and barriers to efficient uses of water.


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Shopping for Water: How the Market Can Mitigate Water Shortages in the American West

In the face of a severe drought in the West, new approaches are required to mitigate the risk of water shortages. In this Hamilton Project paper, Peter Culp, Robert Glennon and Gary Libecap present five proposals to encourage the use of market mechanisms to increase flexibility and resiliency in water management.


Popular Papers

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Major Decisions: What Graduates Earn Over Their Lifetimes

September 2014 • Brad Hershbein, Melissa S. KearneyEducation, Employment & Wages

The importance of a college education for the advancement of one’s life and career has been widely reported. However, there is much speculation about the likely trajectory of one’s lifetime earnings once they’ve chosen a major program to study.  To accompany a new interactive feature, The Hamilton Project explores the evidence behind career earnings by college major In this economic analysis.

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Where is the Best Place to Invest $102,000 — In Stocks, Bonds, or a College Degree?

June 2011 • Adam Looney, Michael GreenstoneEconomic Security, Education, Employment & Wages

Is college a worthwhile investment? Hamilton Project Director Michael Greenstone and Policy Director Adam Looney compare the value of a college degree to other investment options and find higher education provides, by far, the greatest rate of return. 

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Ten Economic Facts about Immigration

September 2010 • Adam Looney, Michael GreenstoneGlobal Economy

This policy memo explores some of the questions frequently raised around immigration in the United States and provides facts drawn from publicly available data sets and the academic literature.

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Major Decisions: Graduates’ Earnings Growth and Debt Repayment

November 2014 • Brad Hershbein, Benjamin H. Harris, Melissa S. KearneyEducation

In a new interactive feature and economic analysis, The Hamilton Project explores how the current student loan repayment system often creates a heavy burden on recent graduates by having them make payments in the beginning of their careers when their earnings are low. The accompanying interactive feature allows users to calculate the share of earnings necessary to service traditional loan repayment for 80 college majors.

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Employment-Based Tax Credits for Low-Skilled Workers

December 2007 • John Karl ScholzEmployment & Wages, Tax Policy

This paper proposes increasing the return to work for low-income families through the expansion the earned income tax credit for low-income childless taxpayers and the creation of a targeted wage subsidy in certain economically depressed areas.

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A periodic newsletter of events, policy briefs, and working papers from The Hamilton Project.