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.
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).
Ryan Nunn, Jana Parsons, and Jay Shambaugh investigate the factors that have created concentrated prosperity in the United States while leaving many places behind. They explore how economic activity has shifted, as well as the factors that are associated with success or failure for particular places.
Bradley Hardy, Trevon Logan, and John Parman describe the legacy of structural racism and its influence on economic outcomes for people and places today, outlining the role it should play in informing policy to improve economic conditions in lagging U.S. communities.
Many place-based policies have been unsuccessful, failing to deliver cost-effective benefits to disadvantaged communities; meanwhile areas across the county have large and rising concentration of poverty. David Neumark proposes that the federal government subsidize employment in places that are struggling, focusing on nonprofit jobs that contribute to local public goods.