- On Capitol Hill
- On Wall Street
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- 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.
Lance Taylor, SCEPA Faculty Fellow and emeritus Professor of Economics at The New School, analyzes Paul Krugman's "IS/LM" macroeconomic model. His analysis includes a discussion of the theory's origins in the history of economic thought and ends in a critique that the policy implications may not be robust.
In the United States, there is ongoing debate about how the positions of the “poor” (say households in the bottom one or two quintiles of the size distribution of income), the “rich” (the top decile or top percentile), and the “middle class” (households “between” these two groups) will be affected by fiscal and other initiatives such as raising the minimum wage.
In a new SCEPA/INET paper prepared for the Eastern Economics Association (EEA) conference in May, 2013, "U.S. Size Distribution and the Macroeconomy, 1986-2009," the authors use a social accounting matrix, or SAM, and a simple demand-driven model to investigate rising inequality and the effects of redistributive economic policies. The database for the paper is made available as a spreadsheet.
They find that the resulting simulations of macroeconomic policy measures do not markedly affect the distribution of household disposable income. Only policies directed at explicit wage equalization in the form of rising wages at the bottom lead to significantly greater equality.
Is austerity good for business? Not if you want people to have enough money to be customers, says SCEPA Director Teresa Ghilarducci.
On April 24, 2013, Ghilarducci joined host Chris Hayes and Bloomberg View Writer Josh Barro on the MSNBC program, All In With Chris Hayes. The three discussed the idea that employers are lobbying for austerity measures as a means to keep unemployment high and wages low. According to Ghilarducci, employers face a conflict of interest in times of crisis: while high unemployment decrease workers' bargaining power, lowering wages, it also erodes consumer spending, leading to less sales. For this reason, corporate interests largely support austerity measures, while small- and medium-sized firms feel the consequences when their customers can't afford to spend. Ghilarducci says strengthening worker protections, not eliminating them, is the solution. "We do need policies. You need minimum wage policies. You need other kinds of protections. However, how does that happen? It happens when people are on the street. That's always happened."