- 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.
Blowing Smoke at the Retirement Crisis
This blog was written by Teresa Ghilarducci and Joelle Saad-Lessler and originally published by the Huffington Post on December 21, 2012.
The lobbying group for the mutual fund companies surprised Americans with a report that declares all is well with their retirement income security. The Investment Company Institute's (ICI) December report, "The Success of the U.S. Retirement System," asserts that the retirement system adequately prepares Americans for a comfortable retirement.
We know that private groups often bend the truth closer to their interests, and ICI is paid to make 401ks and IRAs look good. But the degree that ICI distorts the truth in this report defies convention and common sense.
So let's take a closer look at the assertions made in ICI's report and figure out how they tortured the data until it gave them the findings they wanted.
On January 18, 2013, SCEPA Director Teresa Ghilarducci weighed in on PBS Newshour's Business Desk blog on the detrimental impact of raising the retirement age. Ghilarducci writes that despite conventional rhetoric, the physical and mental demands of older workers' jobs have intensified, making raising the retirement age poor economic policy.
As a recent SCEPA policy note documents, job quality for older Americans from 1992-2008 has declined due to an increase in jobs that require physical demands or traits, such as good eye sight. The increase in physically-demanding jobs is associated with service sector jobs, a decline in bargaining power, and increased unemployment among older Americans. There is no way to distinguish between older workers who are unfit for working longer than those whose jobs can be performed well into a worker's late 60s or 70s. For these reasons, raising the retirement age or the medicare eligibility age would harm vulnerable older Americans in low-paying and difficult jobs.
The Brookings Institution Press will publish research by SCEPA Research Assistant Lauren Schmitz in a forthcoming book, Creative Communities: Art Works in Economic Development, about new growth theory and the arts. Schmitz’s chapter, "Do Cultural Tax Districts Buttress Revenue Growth for Arts Organizations? Evidence from Colorado's Scientific and Cultural Facilities District" examines the impact of voter-approved sales taxes to sustain and develop small arts organizations. Schmitz finds these public funds help “crowd in” additional private dollars to support the arts, which contradicts theories that public dollars "crowd out" private funds.