In his 2014 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama spoke of a “breakthrough year for America” and foreshadowed a “year of action.” He focused on ways to expand opportunities for Americans by enhancing employment and education options for low-and middle-income citizens, developing more robust worker training programs, investing in America through infrastructure investments and energy innovation, the importance of making progress on immigration reform, and more. Since its launch in 2006, The Hamilton Project has released a range of targeted policy proposals that provide innovative, evidence-based approaches to addressing many of the policy priorities set forth in the Presidents address.
Papers: Global Economy
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In this month’s employment analysis, The Hamilton Project examines how future immigration trends could impact American wages, using targets set in the recently-passed Senate bill as a signpost. Understanding that S.744 is just the first piece of legislation out of the gate, the new analysis suggests that the average impact of new immigrants on the wages of U.S.-born workers would be positive (based on CBO estimates, the analysis assumes approximately 9.6 million additional immigrants by 2013 due to the legislation). The analysis also suggests that American workers are likely to gain through other channels, based on evidence that immigrants enhance purchasing power of consumers, increase demand for goods and services at businesses, and contribute to innovation that boost living standards over time.
In his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama outlined an ambitious second-term agenda focusing on policies to help strengthen America’s middle class through broad-based economic growth. Since its launch in 2006, The Hamilton Project has released a range of targeted policy proposals that provide innovative, evidence-based approaches to address many of the priorities set forth in this year’s address, which we offer as a resource to policymakers in response to specific ideas mentioned by the President this week.
In this paper the authors present a strategy to change the U.S. employment-based immigration system to make the system more efficient, increase the economic benefits of immigration and raise revenues by using market-based auctions to allocate visas.
Immigration reform has taken center stage of the policy debate. While most Americans agree that our immigration system is flawed, there remains a lack of understanding about immigration’s effects on wages, jobs, budgets, and the U.S. economy in general. Two recent Hamilton Project papers provide important economic context for the issue and a potential path forward.
Michael Levi of the Council on Foreign Relations poses a framework for regulators to determine if exporting natural gas is in the public interest, arguing the upsides of exports outweigh the costs as long as the government acts to mitigate risk.
The Hamilton Project provides background information on the state of America’s immigration system, and discusses the economic benefits of reforming the system.
Giovanni Peri of UC Davis proposes a practical set of immigration reforms, starting with market-based changes to employment-based visas to better link visas with the labor market and ending with broad simplification in many areas of policy.
Our nation’s immigration policy continues to be an issue of debate among policymakers, particularly the impact on the U.S. labor force. The Hamilton Project highlights the economic evidence on what immigration means for U.S. jobs and the economy.
Building America’s Job Skills with Effective Workforce Programs: A Training Strategy to Raise Wages and Increase Work Opportunities
Amid the Great Recession and rapid technological changes, both workers with less education and workers who have been displaced from long-tenured jobs face challenges because they lack the particular skills that employers demand for good-paying jobs. In a new Hamilton Project strategy paper, Michael Greenstone and Adam Looney address the importance of developing workers’ skills through training and workforce development programs, and examine newly available evidence on policies that boost job opportunities and wages.
Raising Job Quality and Skills for American Workers: Creating More-Effective Education and Workforce Development Systems in the States
Less educated workers often experience prolonged periods of unemployment and stagnating wages because they lack the skills necessary to compete in a global economy. In a new Hamilton Project paper, Harry J. Holzer proposes a set of competitive grants to fund education, training, and career counseling initiatives that feature private sector connections based on the experience of existing successful workforce development programs.
After being displaced from long-tenured jobs, workers often experience persistent, significant earnings losses. New research suggests that retraining in certain “high-return” fields can substantially reduce these losses. In a new Hamilton Project paper, Louis S. Jacobson, Robert J. LaLonde and Daniel G. Sullivan propose the establishment of a Displaced Worker Training (DWT) Program to distribute grants to displaced workers so they can obtain longer-term training to substantially increase their earnings. The DWT Program would also leverage the nation’s One-Stop Career Centers to assess and counsel grantees.
Creating 21st Century Jobs: Increasing Employment and Wages for American Workers in a Changing World
In this paper, the Center for American Progress (CAP) and The Hamilton Project (THP) outline three proposals to help address the long-run imperative of creating jobs and improving wages in the United States.
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.
The Polarization of Job Opportunities in the U.S. Labor Market: Implications for Employment and Earnings
This paper analyzes the U.S. labor market over the past three decades and finds employment polarization on the rise as job opportunities decline in middle-skill occupations, resulting in a sharp increase in wage inequality.
This paper lays out the arguments for using cap-and-trade to address climate change and proposes a system that includes an upstream cap on CO2, a gradual downward trajectory of emissions ceilings over time, and mechanisms to reduce cost uncertainty.
This paper presents a strategy for addressing climate change and promoting energy security that includes pricing carbon and oil, investing in basic research on energy technologies, and engaging with other major emitting nations.
This briefing paper articulates a philosophy of embracing international competition while investing in workers and market-friendly insurance. The underlying goal is to boost overall productivity while also sharing more broadly both the benefits and costs of trade.
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Hamilton Project Updates
A periodic newsletter of events, policy briefs, and working papers from The Hamilton Project.