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The need to improve our nation’s infrastructure is an issue on which many policy makers, at all levels of government and across the political aisle, can agree. Regrettably, the consensus essentially begins and ends with the need to address our nation’s infrastructure. In response, an innovative concept for funding and financing infrastructure investment has gained traction in recent years: public-private partnerships. In this blog post, THP assesses the pros and cons of public-private partnerships.
This paper seeks to provide an economic framework for evaluating infrastructure investments and their methods of funding and finance. Why should we invest in infrastructure, what projects should be selected, who should decide, and how should those investments be paid for are all questions that can be better answered with the help of sound economic theory and evidence.
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 a new paper from The Hamilton Project and the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago, Professors Kenneth T. Gillingham (of Yale) and James H. Stock (of Harvard) propose reforms to the federal minerals leasing program that address the negative climate effects associated with coal mining in an efficient manner that benefits the taxpayer.
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.
During the past 100 years, life expectancy at birth has increased by about 25 years in the United States. However, certain groups—notably older whites and low-income Americans—find their mortality rates either stagnating or rising in recent years. In a new framing paper, The Hamilton Project examines the widening gap in life expectancy and explores policy reforms aimed at extending life expectancy gains for more Americans.
Americans have enjoyed an overall gain of about 25 years in life expectancy at birth during the past century and eductions in mortality have continued in recent years for many Americans, including non-whites, the young, and those with higher incomes. Yet for other demographic groups, progress has stalled or even reversed. Disparities in life expectancy persist and some recent trends in mortality are cause for alarm.
This economic analysis focuses on the role of occupational licensing—that is, the legal permission that many workers must obtain before working in professions ranging from law and medicine to, in some states, floral arrangement and landscaping.
Understanding the characteristics of the poor is crucial for crafting effective anti-poverty policies. In this Economic Analysis, The Hamilton Project documents characteristics of the 46.7 million Americans—14.8 percent of the population—who lived in poverty in 2014.
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.