- 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 October 4, 2012, Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz gave a lecture at The New School on his latest book, “The Price of Inequality: How Today's Divided Society Endangers Our Future." His presentation was followed by a discussion with SCEPA Director Teresa Ghilarducci, Michael Cohen, director of The New School Graduate Program in International Affairs, and New School President David Van Zandt.
The decision of the Ford Motor Company to raise wages from $2 a day to $5 a day inspired economists to theorize about the efficiency wage – how much to pay workers to ensure productivity and profitability. At the same time as this dramatic wage increase, Ford Motor Company also invested in large-scale, state-of-the-art machinery for assembly line production. The legacy of the Ford Motor Company and their tactics to ensure high productivity raises deeper questions about what firms can do to motivate workers to maximize profits.
The SCEPA Working Paper, “Work Effort, Firm Closure and Signaling through Excess Capacity Investment,” by New School PhD candidate Johann Jaeckel, addresses these questions. Are workers still motivated to work hard if they believe the company may close? How does the motivation of workers change when they have more or less information about the probability that a company will close? Does the purchasing of new equipment signal to workers that a firm is unlikely to go out of business and therefore impact the effort of workers?
This research is part of the Sustainability, Distribution and Stability Project supported by the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET) and seeks to contributes to our understanding of motivations for technical change.
Working longer is often posed as a solution to the retirement crisis, or the systemic lack of savings for those nearing retirement. However, an often overlooked factor in policy debates calling for a raise in the retirement age is the clear evidence that life expectancy rates have not improved equally for all Americans.
Average life expectancy has increased markedly since World War II. The average American born in 1950 would live to 68 years old. By 1980, life expectancy would increase to 73.88 years and to nearly 78 years by 2007.
These remarkable increases, however, belie a growing disparity of life expectancies among different socio-economic groups. The longevity of people in the top half of the income distribution has improved much more than those in the bottom half. This increasing inequality of outcomes has occurred with remarkable speed. For example, the Inter-American Development Bank estimates that from the 1983-1997 period to the 1998-2003 period the differences in life expectancy between the highest 20% and lowest earning 20% of Americans (for those ages 35-76) grew from 0.7 to 1.5 years among women, and from 2.7 years to 3.6 years among men.