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All Papers

Policy Proposal Apr 12, 2021

Bolstering the Housing Safety Net: The Promise of Automatic Stabilizers

In this proposal Robert Collinson, Ingrid Gould Ellen, and Benjamin Keys propose a plan to support homeowners and renters to stabilize households and housing markets during future economic downturns. Their proposal would create new emergency rental assistance accounts for low-income households; implement an automatic, three-month forbearance period for vulnerable mortgage borrowers in response to elevated local unemployment; and establish a permanent tax credit exchange program that would allow states to exchange tax credits for direct subsidies at a fiscally neutral price when demand from tax credit investors falls.

Policy Proposal Apr 12, 2021

A Plan to Reform the Unemployment Insurance System in the United States

In this proposal, Arindrajit Dube offers a comprehensive plan to reform and modernize the Unemployment Insurance (UI) system to reflect and align with the challenges of the current labor market. He recommends converting UI into a fully federal program; ensuring that more people who need UI are eligible; creating automatic triggers that extend the potential benefit duration when needed due to economic downturns; implementing more progressive replacement rates; and improving short time compensation, also known as “work sharing”.

Economic Analysis Apr 12, 2021

A Comparison of Renters and Homeowners in Recent Decades

Wendy Edelberg, Sara Estep, Stephanie Lu, and Emily Moss examine and offer new insights on the recent history of housing policy from the latter half of the 20th century to today, compare homeowner and renter experiences, and analyze housing assistance policies. The authors conclude that to increase housing stability, policymakers should improve housing policies to create better infrastructure and more-inclusive housing programs in addition to supplying additional funding.

Policy Proposal Feb 15, 2021

After COVID-19: Building a More Coherent and Effective Workforce Development System in the United States

In this proposal, Harry Holzer outlines ways to boost students and workers in the American economy. He recommends enacting reforms to increase funding for the Higher Education Act of 1965, adding modest taxes on worker displacement, and creating a permanent version of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grants to fund partnerships among community colleges, workforce institutions, and states. 

Policy Proposal Sep 17, 2020

From Survival to Revival: How to Help Small Businesses through the COVID-19 Crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic poses an existential threat to small businesses, with more than 400,000 lost since the crisis began. Many small businesses are financially fragile and not equipped to weather a prolonged period of substantially reduced revenues. In this proposal, Steven Hamilton of The George Washington University calls for a significant expansion of refundable tax credits to help support small businesses through this crisis.

Economic Analysis Jul 16, 2020

The Nature of Work after the COVID Crisis: Too Few Low-Wage Jobs

David Autor and Elisabeth Reynolds ask whether the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the conventional wisdom about automation and inequality in the United States over the past four decades. They make four projections about a rapidly automating post-COVID-19 economy: increasing telework, city de-densification, large-firm consolidation, and forced automation, all of which have significant, negative consequences for low wage workers and economic inequality. 

Economic Analysis Jul 16, 2020

The Initial Impact of COVID-19 on Labor Market Outcomes Across Groups and the Potential for Permanent Scarring

The economic damages of the COVID-19 pandemic are not being well captured by current labor market statistics that show both permanent damage to employment relationships and labor force attachment as well as a surge of workers who have experienced a temporary loss of work and income. In this essay, Betsey Stevenson of the University of Michigan explores the many ways the COVID-19 recession has affected the labor market, showing that the labor market effects have not been evenly borne across workers and that the scarring effects of this recession will likely lead to high long-term unemployment and weakened labor market attachment for years to come.   

Policy Proposal Mar 10, 2020

A Proposal to Cap Provider Prices and Price Growth in the Commercial Health-Care Market

The United States spends a larger share of its GDP on health care than any other advanced economy. This high private sector health-care spending in the United States is driven mostly by higher prices, with little evidence to suggest that high prices reflect better quality of care. In this proposal, Michael Chernew, Leemore Dafny, and Maximilian Pany discuss how price regulations could be used to constrain commercial provider prices in an efficient manner.