Development economics research has made substantial progress in addressing poverty, poor health and education, and other problems of struggling areas. In this paper, Stephen C. Smith relates findings from the development economics literature to U.S. policy problems, highlighting programs and policies that have the potential to assist lagging areas in the United States.
Over the past few decades there have been troubling indications that dynamism and competition in the U.S. economy have declined. Markets are more concentrated than they were a few decades ago, and entrepreneurship is less common, with both the number and employment share of new firms well below the levels of previous decades. Carefully assessing these trends as they relate to public policy is necessary to achieving a more competitive, productive economy that generates broadly shared growth.
High levels of U.S. health-care spending and inadequate health outcomes make it vital for policymakers to explore opportunities for enhancing productivity in the health-care sector. However, the potential for these gains is sharply limited by anticompetitive policy barriers in the form of restrictive scope of practice laws imposed on physician assistants and advanced practice registered nurses. Adams and Markowitz examine evidence on the impacts of these restrictions, concluding that states should move to fully authorized scope of practice for these practitioners. The authors explore state and federal policies that could help facilitate this shift.
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.
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.
Substantial evidence shows that consumers often lack the high-quality information to select the best insurance plan, and once they have selected a plan they are less likely to switch, even as better plans become available. In response, Ben Handel and Jonathan Kolstad propose that exchanges develop a personalized decision support tool to give consumers the information they need to select the best plan. Additionally, they propose that exchanges establish a system of smart defaults, where an algorithm is used to move consumers to new plans if those plans deliver more value.