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One simple question—Are wages rising?—is as central to the health of our democracy as it is to the health of our economy. For the last few decades, the U.S. economy has experienced real wage stagnation. On February 28, The Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution hosted a forum to explore the most effective policy options to revitalize wage growth.
On September 26, The Hamilton Project at Brookings hosted a forum on wage growth in The United States. The forum explored several key questions, including: What can and should be done to promote the economic growth that will lead to higher earnings for more American workers? How do we ensure that these gains are broadly shared, resulting in robust wage growth for as many workers as possible? In conjunction with this event, The Hamilton Project released a new framing paper exploring wage trends and their underlying economic determinants that underlie them.
Despite an expected shift in energy and environmental priorities in the coming years, several key challenges present clear opportunities for bipartisan cooperation. On March 27, The Hamilton Project and the Energy Policy Institute at University of Chicago (EPIC) co-hosted a forum exploring opportunities for progress on energy and climate policy. The forum included a series of roundtable discussions, with a focus on two Hamilton Project policy proposals on fuel economy regulation and enhancing urban resilience to new climate risk.
The modern economy is more reliant on data than ever before. Without reliable information about the economic and social environment, making sensible choices that produce positive outcomes in commerce, research, and governance is impossible. Although the federal government’s statistical agencies play a vital role in generating this information, their value is often overlooked. On March 2, the Hamilton Project at Brookings and the American Enterprise Institute convened a policy luncheon discussion highlighting the important role of government statistics.
The last decade’s decline in productivity—coupled with very low interest rates and declining public investment—presents a challenge and an opportunity for economic policy. In response, many policymakers and experts have proposed investments in public infrastructure, raising questions about which types of infrastructure projects are worth pursuing and how to finance them effectively. On February 7, The Hamilton Project hosted a policy forum exploring fiscally responsible policy options for funding and financing infrastructure investments.
There were approximately seven million Americans living under correctional supervision in 2014, and many more who have exited supervision in the United States. Accordingly, identifying and implementing effective reentry policies would yield far-reaching benefits for the formerly incarcerated, their communities, and society at large. On October 21, The Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution hosted a forum exploring policy options aimed at creating more opportunities for people with criminal records and facilitating successful reentry for formerly incarcerated individuals.
Hamilton Project Advisory Council Member Robert E. Rubin offers his thoughts on how the United States can achieve long-term economic growth in a recent Washington Post op-ed.
During the past 100 years, life expectancy at birth has increased by about 25 years in the United States. However, in sharp contrast to this broader trend, certain demographics—notably older whites and low-income Americans—find their life expectancies either stagnating or declining. On June 29, The Hamilton Project at Brookings will host a policy forum addressing trends in American life expectancy, including the recent life expectancy divergence for certain demographics.
In a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed, former U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin and Hamilton Project Director Diane Schanzenbach argue that the Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and other federal food aid programs are not just a moral imperative, but also make good economic sense.
Food insecurity impacts one in seven households in the United States and affects families with a range of incomes—two-thirds of food insecure households have incomes above the poverty line. On April 21, The Hamilton Project hosted a breakfast forum exploring policy solutions to alleviate food insecurity. In conjunction with the event, The Hamilton Project released a new set of economic facts on food insecurity, SNAP and nutrition-support programs.
Following the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, many observers have agreed that new and forward-thinking policy solutions are needed to confront the enduring economic challenges in health care and health insurance markets. On October 7, The Hamilton Project hosted a policy forum addressing these economic challenges in an evolving health care market. The Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Jason Furman delivered framing remarks.
On May 11, as part of Infrastructure Week, The Hamilton Project and Building America’s Future co-hosted a public forum discussing the challenges of U.S. infrastructure financing and potential policy solutions.