Strategy Papers/Economic Facts

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

October 2014 • Melissa S. Kearney, Benjamin H. Harris, Brad HershbeinEnergy & Environment

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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What’s the Catch? Challenges and Opportunities of the U.S. Fishing Industry

September 2014 • Melissa S. Kearney, Benjamin H. Harris, Brad HershbeinEconomic Security, Effective Government, Energy & Environment, State & Local

In this policy memo, The Hamilton Project highlights the economic significance of U.S. fisheries, describes the current landscape of the industry and typical management practices, and explains the “tragedy of the commons” challenge facing this natural resource. The Project also explores possible approaches for improving the economic and ecological sustainability of U.S. fisheries by establishing better-defined property rights as an alternative to traditional management systems.

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Ten Economic Facts about Crime and Incarceration in the United States

May 2014 • Melissa S. Kearney, Benjamin H. HarrisEconomic Security, Effective Government, Poverty, State & Local

This Hamilton Project policy memo provides ten economic facts highlighting recent trends in crime and incarceration in the United States. Specifically, it explores the characteristics of criminal offenders and victims;  the historically unprecedented level of incarceration in the United States; and  evidence on both the fiscal and social implications of current policy on taxpayers and those imprisoned.

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The Economic Promise of Wireless Spectrum

March 2014 • Benjamin H. Harris, Melissa S. KearneyEconomic Security, Effective Government, Infrastructure, Technology & Innovation

In a new policy memo, The Hamilton Project highlights four policy challenges hampering the economic potential of wireless spectrum and opportunities to address these challenges through innovative, evidence-driven approaches to reform.

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A Dozen Facts about America’s Struggling Lower-Middle Class

December 2013 • Melissa S. Kearney, Benjamin H. HarrisEconomic Security, Effective Government, Employment & Wages, Poverty, Tax Policy

These economic facts focus on two key challenges facing lower-middle-class families: food insecurity and the low return to work for families who lose tax and transfer benefits as their earnings increase.

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Thirteen Economic Facts about Social Mobility and the Role of Education

June 2013 • Michael Greenstone, Adam LooneyEducation, Economic Security

In this policy memo, The Hamilton Project examines the relationship between growing income inequality and social mobility in America. The memo explores the growing gap in educational opportunities and outcomes for students based on family income and the great potential of education to increase upward mobility for all Americans.

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A Dozen Economic Facts About K-12 Education

September 2012 • Michael Greenstone, Adam LooneyEducation, Employment & Wages

The Hamilton Project explores both the condition of education in the United States and the economic evidence on several promising K-12 interventions that could improve the lives of Americans.

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Innovation is the Key to Better Education

September 2012 • Adam Looney, Michael GreenstoneEducation, Employment & Wages

Although innovation has revolutionized the American economy as a whole over the last century, the education sector has benefitted relatively little from these advances.In a forthcoming paper, The Hamilton Project compares the nation’s total expenditures on research and development by sector and finds spending on education lags behind other areas such as pharmaceuticals and medicine.

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A Dozen Economic Facts About Tax Reform

May 2012 • Michael Greenstone, Adam Looney, Leslie B. SamuelsTax Policy, Effective Government, Employment & Wages

To provide an economic context for tax reform, The Hamilton Project has a new paper focusing on the role of our tax system in the long-run budget deficit, global competitiveness, and rising income inequality.

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Building America’s Job Skills with Effective Workforce Programs: A Training Strategy to Raise Wages and Increase Work Opportunities

November 2011 • Michael Greenstone, Adam LooneyEmployment & Wages, Education, Global Economy, Economic Security, Poverty

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.

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Improving Student Outcomes: Restoring America’s Education Potential

September 2011 • Adam Looney, Michael Greenstone, Paige ShevlinEducation

For decades, education has boosted U.S. productivity and earnings, forged a path out of poverty for many families, helped disadvantaged students narrow the learning gap with their peers, and developed a workforce that continues to be among the most productive and innovative on Earth.  However, in recent years educational attainment and performance have stagnated.  In this strategy paper, The Hamilton Project provides a dual-track approach to improving educational outcomes for K-12 students by addressing structural barriers and implementing short-term cost-effective reforms to improve student performance.

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A Dozen Economic Facts About Innovation

August 2011 • Adam Looney, Michael GreenstoneTechnology & Innovation

During the last century, medical, technical, and business  innovations have driven economic growth, increased wages, and improved living standards in the United States.  In recent years, however, those gains have stagnated.  The Hamilton Project examines the role of innovation in driving the U.S. economy, including its historical importance, the current pace of growth, and opportunities for investments to benefit America’s future.

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A Strategy for America’s Energy Future: Illuminating Energy’s Full Costs

May 2011 • Adam Looney, Michael GreenstoneEnergy & Environment, Effective Government

America’s energy choices are built on the prices we see at the pump and our utility bills. Yet these prices mask the social costs arising from those energy choices, including shorter lives, higher health care expenses, a changing climate, and weakened national security. Michael Greenstone and Adam Looney provide four principles for reforming America’s energy policies to help level the playing field for all energy sources — moving away from a system that favors energy sources with lower prices at the pump but higher costs to society through health impacts and our ongoing reliance on foreign oil.

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Investing in the Future: An Economic Strategy for State and Local Governments in a Period of Tight Budgets

February 2011 • Adam Looney, Michael GreenstoneInfrastructure, Education, State & Local

Confronting near-term budget challenges, state and local governments are under tremendous pressure to focus on immediate needs at the expense of long-term investments. Michael Greenstone and Adam Looney highlight four policy principles for state and local governments with an emphasis on the importance of infrastructure investments for economic growth and prosperity.

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Creating 21st Century Jobs: Increasing Employment and Wages for American Workers in a Changing World

December 2010 • Employment & Wages, Technology & Innovation, Global Economy

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.

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An Economic Strategy to Renew American Communities

October 2010 • Michael Greenstone, Adam LooneyEmployment & Wages, State & Local

When hit by recessions or other economic shocks, some communities have persistently low rates of economic growth that cause them to fall behind the rest of the country. The recovery period for these distressed communities is longer and more painful than necessary. To address this situation, The Hamilton Project proposes a three-pronged approach: attract businesses to distressed areas, invest in displaced workers, and match workers to jobs.

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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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From Recession to Recovery to Renewal: An Economic Strategy to Achieve Broadly Shared Growth

April 2010 • Roger C. Altman, Michael Greenstone, Robert E. RubinEconomic Security, Technology & Innovation

This paper argues that we must confront the challenges that pose a greater risk to our long-run prosperity than the Great Recession. America’s future growth requires reprioritizing expenditures toward increasing workforce productivity, innovation and infrastructure, savings, and government effectiveness.

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Path to Prosperity

September 2008 • Roger C. Altman, Jason E. Bordoff, Jason Furman, Robert E. RubinEconomic Security

Today, too many Americans are not fully sharing in our nation’s prosperity. This paper outlines the ways in which promoting economic growth, broad-based participation in growth, and economic security can be mutually reinforcing policy objectives.

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An Economic Strategy for Investing in America’s Infrastructure

July 2008 • Douglas W. ElmendorfInfrastructure

Manasi Deshpande and Douglas W. Elmendorf argue that America now has the opportunity to channel public concern and frustration into a national infrastructure strategy that promotes infrastructure as a central component of long-term, broadly shared growth.
 

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Missing Markets: Why Markets that Can Reduce Risks are Missing and What Can be Done About It

June 2008 • Jason FurmanEconomic Security

Jason Furman discusses the issue of missing markets for both societal and individual risk, highlighting reasons for the absence of these markets and proposing solutions to enable the development of new markets.

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If, When, How: A Primer on Fiscal Stimulus

January 2008 • Jason Furman, Douglas W. ElmendorfEconomic Security

The livelihoods and living standards of many Americans are at stake in any discussion about stimulus.  This paper considers several key questions on stimulus and provides principles and examples for effective implementation.  
 

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A Hand Up: A Strategy to Reward Work, Expand Opportunity, and Reduce Poverty

December 2007 • Jason E. Bordoff, Jason FurmanEmployment & Wages, Poverty

This paper offers a strategy to reduce poverty and strengthen growth across the income spectrum by helping people find jobs, investing in human capital, and creating a strong social safety net.

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An Economic Strategy to Address Climate Change and Promote Energy Security

October 2007 • Jason Furman, Jason E. BordoffEnergy & Environment, Global Economy

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.

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Achieving Progressive Tax Reform in an Increasingly Global Economy

June 2007 • Jason E. Bordoff, Jason Furman, Lawrence H. SummersTax Policy

The dynamic forces of technological change, financial innovation, and globalization present new challenges for progressive taxation. This strategy paper offers several broad principles that reflect the new challenges facing our tax system in the 21st Century.

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An Education Strategy to Promote Opportunity, Prosperity, and Growth

February 2007 • Jason E. Bordoff, Jason FurmanEducation, Technology & Innovation

To better secure the benefits of education, this paper outlines an evidence-based education strategy that emphasizes new investments in some areas (such as early education) and structural reforms in others (such as the teacher tenure system).

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Promoting Opportunity and Growth through Science, Technology, and Innovation

December 2006 • Jason E. Bordoff, Michael Deich, Peter OrszagTechnology & Innovation

This strategy paper argues that maintaining our nation's economic leadership in the world and promoting broad-based growth at home will require effective policies to support research, innovation, and access to advanced information and telecommunications technologies.

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A Growth-Enhancing Approach to Economic Security

September 2006 • Jason E. Bordoff, Michael Deich, Peter OrszagEconomic Security

American families face new economic risks even as our social safety net is fraying.  This paper outlines a strategy for providing a basic level of economic security that is beneficial for families and for national economic growth.

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Growth, Opportunity, and Prosperity in a Globalizing Economy

July 2006 • Michael Deich, Peter OrszagGlobal Economy

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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An Economic Strategy to Advance Opportunity, Prosperity, and Growth

April 2006 • Roger C. Altman, Jason E. Bordoff, Robert E. Rubin, Peter OrszagEconomic Security

Americans’ long-held belief that education and hard work advances each generation’ outlook has provided a powerful incentive for industrious activity, spurring the unprecedented economic growth that the United States has enjoyed for more than two centuries. Yet the fundamental principle that all citizens should have an opportunity to succeed is at risk today because the nation is neither paying its way nor investing adequately in its future. The Hamilton Project at Brookings advances innovative policy ideas for improving our nation’s economic policy.

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