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The U.S. economy will not operate at its full potential unless government and employers remove impediments to full participation by women in the labor market. The failure to address structural problems in labor markets, tax, and employment policy that women face does more than hold back their careers and aspirations for a better life. Barriers to participation by women also act as brakes on the national economy, stifling the economy’s ability to grow. To address these problems, The Hamilton Project published this book featuring a host of public policies to promote women’s economic opportunity.
The gap between wages of men and women has fallen over the past several decades, reflecting women’s economic progress. Successive generations of women have obtained more education and received higher wages, entering a broader range of occupations that had previously been male-dominated. However, a significant gender wage gap remains. Nunn and Mumford point out that occupational segregation, differences in academic specialization, difficulty in balancing work and household responsibilities, and wage discrimination—among many other factors—likely underlie much of the remaining gender wage gap.
In this economic analysis, THP analyzes the relationship between age, income, and measures of health status, as well as how these relationships have changed between the late 1970s and today. While overall there have been remarkable gains in life expectancy in the United States over the past half-century, these have not been reflected in other measures of health which have declined over time.
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.
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.”
Recently, private prisons have become the focus of considerable attention. This economic analysis explores the growth of the private prison industry and provides an economic framework for evaluating them.
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.
This economic analysis examines shifts in consumer spending patterns over the last thirty years, contrasting the experiences of low, middle, and high-income households. The analysis concludes that low-income households are spending a higher share of their budgets on basic needs—defined as the major budget components of housing, food, transportation, health care, and clothing—than they did three decades ago.
There are many factors at work in determining educational outcomes; some of these are more easily addressed by policy reforms than others, and not all can be addressed directly within the K–12 education system. To illustrate the payoffs from increasing educational attainment, the challenges faced by our nation’s K–12 schools, and the promise of targeted childhood interventions, The Hamilton Project offers the following fourteen facts on education and economic opportunity.
Allowing charter schools to operate is a policy lever that can encourage innovation and improvement in the education sector through competition. Yet, for charter schools to encourage school choice and competition, students must have reasonable access to them. This Hamilton Project economic analysis examines the variation in charter school access and enrollment by state, both over time and across student characteristics.
In this framing paper, The Hamilton Project describes the broader economic context of contingent employer–employee relationships and where the emerging on-demand gig economy fits in this context. It also highlights the regulatory and measurement gaps that need to be resolved.