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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.
Low recipiency rates and an imperfect Extended Benefits program weaken the unemployment insurance program’s effectiveness during recessions. Gabriel Chodorow-Reich and John Coglianese propose five reforms to strengthen the automatic stabilization functions of the unemployment insurance system.