Located in New York City, SCEPA is at the center of a network of leaders dedicated to progressive and innovative education and ideas.
SCEPA faculty are investigating the economics of climate change, from mitigation proposals to implementation.
SCEPA focuses on the U.S. economy, with an awareness of the global context of domestic economic developments.
A research institute within The New School’s Economics Department, SCEPA is dedicated to collaboration between today’s experts and tomorrow’s leading economists.
SCEPA is working to reform a retirement system that is failing Americans.
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 June 9, 2013, NPR's story, "Golden Years Tainted as Retirement Savings Dwindle" reports on a new study on the next generation's ability to retire. "Gen. X looks to be the first generation that will not exceed the wealth of the group that came before them, and to potentially face downward mobility in retirement," says Erin Currier, director of economic mobility for the Pew Charitable Trusts.
SCEPA's Retirement Income Security project has documented the current retirement system's failure to support future retirees. NPR quotes SCEPA Director Teresa Ghilarducci: "There has to be new institutions that guarantee a modest but safe continual rate of return," she says. "And we can do that by adding to the Social Security system, a place where people can save their money and get a rate of return that's safe."
by Rick McGahey, SCEPA Faculty Fellow
This morning's release of the May employment report shows an American economy still stuck in low gear. There were 175,000 new jobs created, and the unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 7.6%.
While positive job growth is a good thing, this level of job growth is not enough to restore the economy's health. According to the Economic Policy Institute, at this rate of job growth it would take over six years to get back to our pre-recession unemployment rate.
The federal government should be doing more to encourage job growth. But instead, the federal budget is dragging the economy down, as we feel the full effects of the budget sequester. Federal government employment fell by 15,000 jobs last month, with 45,000 jobs being lost in the past three months. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the total sequester will withdraw $85.3 billion in spending from this weak economy.
CBO expects these negative effects to accelerate in the coming months as the full sequester kicks in, cutting not only direct federal jobs but also jobs where contractors, state and local governments, and nonprofits depend on federal spending. Economists estimate that the sequester has already taken more than one full percentage point off GDP growth in the past six months.
Instead of cutting spending, the federal government should be increasing it - especially because interest rates for federal borrowing are so low. Just like a smart home shopper, the federal government should be locking in low interest rates now for these investments. At a minimum, the Obama administration should resist any further spending cuts and instead press Republicans in Congress to increase spending and job creation to get the economy out of this slump.
New research by SCEPA Faculty Fellow and Visiting Heuss Professor Stephan Klasen questions the conventional wisdom that women’s participation in the labor force will automatically increase with economic development. Rather, in a paper co-authored with Isis Gaddis, he suggests that the lack of empirical evidence for this theory suggests that proactive measures are needed to promote women’s employment opportunities in developing countries.
The standard hypothesis in development economics is that female labor force participation (FLFP) follows a U-shaped trend as countries develop. Developing countries initially have high rates of female labor participation, due to poverty and the ability to combine domestic and agrarian work. As these countries develop, female participation falls because women’s social, cultural, and economic barriers make it difficult for women to find work in the industrial sector. As countries get richer, these trends are reversed again, largely due to increases in female education, fertility decline, and a slow dismantling of the structural and social barriers against female employment.
Klasen’s work finds that this U-shaped trend vanishes when using advanced econometric techniques such as dynamic panel estimations and depends on the data sources used. Moreover, the differences in the level of female participation among different countries is related to historical and cultural aspects. For example, female labor force participation rates in Sub Saharan Africa are substantially higher than predicted by the U-theory due to the strong roles women play in agriculture. Rates are also much lower than predicted in the Middle East and North Africa, with women’s participation linked to economic structure and societal barriers to employment.