- 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.
A March 21, 2012 Time article, What Will Replace the 401(k)?, goes into some of the reasons why 401k retirement plans have been insufficient vehicles for an adequate retirement. Dan Kadlec quotes Teresa Ghilarducci's New York Times op-ed piece, Don't Cut Pensions, Expand Them, that argues for the creation of State GRAs. This plan gives workers who currently lack access to a retirement plan through work the option to invest in a retirement plan administered by the state pension fund.
"Workers would still need to choose to contribute. They would still have to decide how to convert their next egg to an income stream. But market risks would be less and with lower investment costs returns would be higher. That's a start."
On April 17, 2012, SCEPA organized an event to discuss, "What the U.S. Should Learn From Austerity's Fallout in Europe and Latin America?"
Policymakers around the world have embraced austerity measures as the solution to the continuing economic malaise. Yet, the evidence of recent experience does not support this prescription. To encourage a broader discussion for the United States' future budgetary decisions, New School economists offer a different vision to create stability and growth.
Specifically, they review the theoretical foundations of austerity economics and the experiences of austerity and intervention in the European Union and South America. The event includes a discussion of the practicality of the pursuit of austerity policies in the United States and an analysis of the assumptions made by supporting politicians and policymakers.
Panelists and Presentations:"Spend Now, Cut Later: Fiscal Policy and Economic Growth"
Richard McGahey, Professor of Professional Practice, Public Policy and Economics, Urban Policy Program, New School for Public Engagement
"The North Can Learn from the South"
Michael Cohen, Professor of International Affairs and Director, Graduate Program in International Affairs, New School for Public Engagement
"Labor Market, Labor Institutions and Social Protection in Latin America"
Roxana Maurizio, Researcher-Professor, Universidad Nacional de General Sarmiento and CONICET, Argentina, and visiting CONICET Fellow at GPIA.
"Madmen in Authority and the Scientific Foundations of Austerity Policies"
William Milberg, Professor of Economics and Chair, Department of Economics, New School for Social Research
Moderator: Teresa Ghilarducci, Professor of Economics, New School for Social Research
This was the second in a series of SCEPA discussion's regarding the political power of austerity in the United States' response to the recession. The first event, "Do Budget Cuts Lead to Growth?," was held on December 13, 2011.
On March 15, 2012, the New York Times ran an oped by SCEPA Director Teresa Ghilarducci, "Don't Cut Pensions, Expand Them." The oped followed a deal the day before by New York State lawmakers to decrease pension benefits for future state workers in the debate over state and local budget deficits and public pension costs.
SCEPA's research has documented that future retirees in New York City and State are likely to experience downward mobility when they retire, making a case that the real debate over pensions should focus not on how to cut benefits for a few, but on how to increase retirement security for all workers. Ghilarducci's State GRA proposal would do so by allowing private employees and their employers access to public pensions.
This plan has been embraced by public officials in California and New York City. According to the article, "both proposals would rely on the same professional staff and institutional money managers that invest the state and city pension funds to manage contributions made by participating employers and employees in the private sector.
This is a vital step: public pension plans usually outperform 401(k) plans and individual retirement accounts, because instead of a single worker managing a single account, large institutional plans pool workers of all ages, diversify the portfolio over longer time periods, use the best professional managers that aren't available for retail accounts and have the bargaining power to lower fees and prioritize long-term investment.
By some estimates, costs for public pensions are over 45 percent lower than for individual 401(k) plans. Of course, since these plans would be financed by workers and their employers, there would be no cost to taxpayers."