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Slowdowns in the economy are inevitable. While it may be tempting to rely on Federal Reserve policy as a lone response to recessions, this would be a mistake; we know that fiscal stimulus is effective. Rather than wait for a crisis to strike before designing discretionary fiscal policy, we would be better served by preparing in advance. Enacting evidence-based automatic stabilizer proposals before the next recession will help the next recovery start faster, make job creation stronger, and restore confidence to businesses and households.
Automatic stabilizers are designed to expand during an economic downturn and contract during an expansion—providing timely and temporary fiscal stimulus. Boushey, Nunn, O’Donnell, and Shambaugh assess the various policy responses available to the federal government and argues that when well designed, automatic stabilizers can be an effective part of the policy tool kit for responding to recessions.
In this framing paper, Ryan Nunn, Jimmy O'Donnell, and Jay Shambaugh evaluate the potential labor market impacts of several employment support policies, with particular attention devoted to a federal job guarantee. They conclude that while a job guarantee could lift employment rates and incomes for many participants, its effects on the currently employed and those out of the labor force are very uncertain.
Immigration has wide-ranging impacts on society and culture, and its economic effects are no less substantial. This document provides a set of economic facts about the role of immigration in the U.S. economy, describing the patterns of recent immigration (levels, legal status, country of origin, and U.S. state of residence), the characteristics of immigrants (education, occupations, and employment), and the effects of immigration on the economy (economic output, wages, innovation, fiscal resources, and crime).