- On Capitol Hill
- On Wall Street
- In the Press
- Policy Reform Work
Our projects are designed to empower policy makers to create positive change. With a focus on collaboration and outreach, we provide original, standards-based research on key policy issues.
SCEPA joined with the Economic Policy Institute on Capitol Hill to brief congressional staff and policy experts on tax expenditures, or incentives given through the tax code without scrutiny by Congress.
SCEPA economists are working on the prospects for a more progressive economic order to emerge from the shock of the recession. They have published papers and documents that place current events in a longer-term context as well as policy proposals to deal with short-term concerns. They are also documenting the emerging discussion of how the discipline of economics is reacting to the Great Recession and the questioning of conventional economic analysis.
Lance Taylor, a SCEPA Faculty Fellow, presents an overview of his new book, Maynard’s Revenge, in a Google Tech Talk.
The book, published this November by Harvard University Press, is a timely analysis of mainstream macroeconomics, posing the need for a more useful and realistic economic analysis that can provide a better understanding of the ongoing global financial and economic crisis.
The government spends $143 billion through tax breaks in an effort to expand pension coverage and security. Yet, over half of the American workforce does not have a pension. Retirement insecurity hurts business plans, workers’ lives and retiree well-being. Reform is needed.
SCEPA’s Guaranteeing Retirement Income Project, sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation and in collaboration with Demos and the Economic Policy Institute, has a plan to guarantee safe and secure retirement income for all Americans.
On Tuesday, March 21, New School economist Willi Semmler presented, “A Macroeconomic Framework for Climate Investment,” at the United Nations (UN) Development Policy Seminar. The talk was chaired by Diana Alarcon, chief of the UN’s Development Strategy and Policy Analysis Unit.
The UN Development Policy Seminar brings together UN and academic experts to critically assess topics related to development. Professor Semmler was invited to discuss the macroeconomics of climate change and strategies for transitioning to low-carbon economies. Semmler’s work focuses on investment for adaptation and mitigation that can improve the environment, employment, and output. By considering national levels of development and demographics, Semmler shows how policy and institutions can lead the transition to a sustainable future.
Semmler leads SCEPA’s Economics of Climate Change Project. He is the Henry Arnhold Professor of International Cooperation and Development at The New School for Social Research and author of The Oxford Handbook of the Macroeconomics of Global Warming (2015).
We are excited to share SCEPA's 2016 Annual Report, which documents our work to pursue innovative solutions to the nation’s pressing economic questions by producing strategic research under academic standards. This past year, our economists engaged in debates surrounding the United Nation's Paris Agreement, the $15 minimum wage, and growth and inequality. In its first full year, the center’s Retirement Equity Lab (ReLab) impacted the national debate on reforming our failing retirement system. Research produced by the Lab was cited in materials supporting retirement reform legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate. We engaged with the community by sharing an economics course online and hosting events. Our largest event yet featured former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis for his talk, "The Future of Capitalism."
SCEPA is committed to engaging in the issues that affect Americans’ economic well-being and support a better future. We are grateful for the generosity of our supporters and partners in these efforts and look forward to sharing our progress as we move forward next year and beyond.
February Unemployment Report for Workers Over 55
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) today reported a 3.4% unemployment rate for workers age 55 and older in February, a decrease of 0.1 percentage points from January.
While the headline unemployment rate for older workers is low, women still face sex discrimination in the labor market. Older women earn less than men. The gender pay gap for full-time workers aged 55 to 64 is $13,000, with men earning an average of $50,000 a year compared to women’s $37,000. The earnings gap for minority women is even larger. Black women average $35,000, or $15,000 less than men, while Hispanic women average $27,000, or $23,000 less than men.
The less workers earn, the higher the poverty risk in old age. Women are at even higher risk because they live on average 2.5 years years longer than men, and thus need to save more.
Thirty-six percent of elderly women are poor (income below $11,880) or near-poor (income below $23,760) compared to 28% of men, a gender poverty gap of 8 percentage points. Reflecting their earnings gap, the poverty gap between all men and black and Hispanic women is larger. Forty-three percent of elderly Hispanic women are poor or near poor, 15 percentage points more than men. And more than half (51%) of black women are poor or near poor, 23 percentage points more than men.
Social Security alone is insufficient to lift women and minorities out of poverty in retirement. To ensure adequate retirement income, we need to both strengthen Social Security and ensure all workers have access to a retirement plan. Guaranteed Retirement Accounts (GRAs) are individual accounts requiring contributions from both employees and employers throughout a worker’s career. They provide a safe, effective vehicle for workers to accumulate personal retirement savings.