This paper proposes three solutions to bring jobs to distressed areas: customized job training programs for businesses and employees, advice and consulting services through the Manufacturing Extension Partnership program, and a package of grants for local services and tax breaks through a reformed and revitalized Empowerment Zone program.
After being displaced from long-tenured jobs, workers often experience persistent, significant earnings losses. New research suggests that retraining in certain “high-return” fields can substantially reduce these losses. In a new Hamilton Project paper, Louis S. Jacobson, Robert J. LaLonde and Daniel G. Sullivan propose the establishment of a Displaced Worker Training (DWT) Program to distribute grants to displaced workers so they can obtain longer-term training to substantially increase their earnings. The DWT Program would also leverage the nation’s One-Stop Career Centers to assess and counsel grantees.
Less educated workers often experience prolonged periods of unemployment and stagnating wages because they lack the skills necessary to compete in a global economy. In a new Hamilton Project paper, Harry J. Holzer proposes a set of competitive grants to fund education, training, and career counseling initiatives that feature private sector connections based on the experience of existing successful workforce development programs.
While education reform is often focused on dramatic changes, Brian A. Jacob and Jonah E. Rockoff suggest that implementing managerial reforms and making sure the “trains run on time” can substantially increase student learning at modest cost. Jacob and Rockoff propose three organizational reforms to improve student performance at moderate cost: 1) Starting school later in the day for middle and high school students; 2) Shifting from separate to elementary and middle schools to K-8; 3) allow teachers to teach the same grade level for multiple years or having teachers specializing in the subject where they appear most effective.
Recent incentive programs demonstrate that well-designed rewards to students can improve student achievement at relatively low costs. Bradley M. Allan and Roland G. Fryer draw on field experiments to propose a set of guidelines to design a successful education incentive program. Those guidelines include paying students to perform tasks that will lead to better academic performance rather than paying them for grades and test scores alone.
This paper outlines a program of federal support to help states measure the effectiveness of individual teachers. Teachers who receive good evaluations would be offered bonuses if they were willing to teach in high-poverty schools.
In recent years, efforts to hold teachers and schools accountable for student test scores have increased as part of an attempt to increase student achievement by raising teacher effectiveness and bringing up the performance of low-performing schools. Derek Neal proposes improved assessments and accountability systems through two distinct examinations: one traditional test to track educational achievement over time, and a new examination to evaluate teacher performance.
Potential students and their families must navigate a labyrinth of incomplete and uncertain information when deciding where to go to college, what to study, or what career to pursue, resulting in an array of poor choices being made every day. This proposal calls for the federal government to expand the types of information that are available and allow users to compare indicators like cost, financial aid, student debt, employment outcomes, and average salaries following graduation, across peer institutions.
This paper analyzes the federal student aid system and finds that the level of complexity makes it ineffective at increasing college enrollment. The paper then outlines a simplified system to address this issue.
The U.S. corporate tax system introduced more than 100 years ago has not kept pace with changes to the economy. The growing role of financial innovation and the increasingly global nature of U.S. corporate operations are chief among these changes, necessitating reform. This paper proposes two reforms to the U.S. corporate tax system.
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.
John M. Deutch proposes a series of best practices for government support of U.S. technology demonstration and a new institution, the Energy Technology Corporation, that would be responsible for managing and selecting technology demonstration projects.
Thomas Kalil proposes expanding the US government’s use of prizes and Advanced Market Commitments to stimulate technological innovation in space exploration, African agriculture, vaccines for diseases of the poor, energy and climate change, and learning technologies.
Richard Freeman discusses the National Science Foundation fellowship policy. He argues that current U.S. NSF fellowship policy gives less of an incentive for students to enter science and engineering than in earlier periods.
Joseph E. Aldy proposes a national clean energy standard that would lower carbon dioxide emissions by as much as 60 percent relative to 2005 levels over twenty years, streamline the fragmented regulatory system that is currently in place, generate fiscal benefits, and help fund energy innovation.
Matthew Kahn and David Levinson propose a reorganization of our national highway infrastructure priorities to preserve, maintain, and enhance existing infrastructure and the creation of the Federal Highway Bank to meet these goals.
Jon M. Peha outlines policies through which government could facilitate the expansion of broadband infrastructure into unserved communities. He argues that these policy reforms would move America closer to the goal of universal access to broadband Internet.
Eduardo Engel, Ronald Fischer, and Alexander Galetovic propose a series of best practices for state and local governments to follow when using public–private partnerships to provide infrastructure.
Ted Gayer proposes three reforms addressing several problems that undermine the role played by cost-benefit analysis in environmental regulation: 1) agencies should use a check list of good empirical practices for using cost-benefit analysis; 2) regulators should presume that consumers can make their own energy-saving decisions and focus on regulations addressing harm people impose on others; and 3) a six-month, early regulatory review process should be established for particularly important regulations.
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.