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.
by Rick McGahey, SCEPA Faculty Fellow
Today's employment report for January 2013 at first glance is just more of the same: very slow job growth, a slight uptick in the unemployment rate, and not enough job creation to promise significant economic recovery any time soon. But there are hints in the data that the employment problem, while still profound nationally, is beginning to differentiate regionally, with slower recovery or actual worsening in some metropolitan areas while others continue to improve. If this trend continues, it will make it even harder to pass aggressive job creating policies in a sharply divided Congress.
But first, the numbers: the unemployment rate rose slightly, from 7.8 to 7.9 percent, while total job creation was a disappointing 157,000 (168,000 new private sector jobs were created, but government employment declined slightly).
One bit of good news was the upward revision of job growth for the last quarter of 2012—the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) raised total payroll employment for that quarter by 150,000 jobs (payroll numbers often are revised for several months after the initial report, as delayed reporting from companies trickles into BLS).
It is important to keep repeating that this job growth is not enough to move the economy forward. According to the Atlanta Federal Reserve's jobs calculator, it will take four and half years at this monthly job growth rate to get unemployment down to 6 percent. The economy is simply not growing fast enough, and preliminary fourth quarter GDP growth was slightly negative (-0.1 percent), raising concerns about the economy falling back into recession, although most analysts think slow growth will continue.
BLS also released metropolitan area employment data for the annual period between December 2011 and 2012. A closer look at these numbers suggests that the employment problem is becoming concentrated in some metropolitan regions, while others are showing progress. For example, year-over-year metropolitan unemployment fell in Dallas-Fort Worth (from 7 to 5.9 percent), Seattle (7.7 to 6.7), Chicago (9.3 to 8.6), and Miami (9.5 to 8.1). Overall, unemployment fell year-over-year in 290 of the 372 metropolitan areas that BLS examines. Some areas—Boston at 5.9 percent, Minneapolis-St. Paul (5.1) , and Oklahoma City (4.6) are showing considerable economic health overall. (Here in the New York region, year-to-year unemployment went up from 8.2 to 8.5.)
But several metropolitan areas saw their unemployment rise during 2012, against the national trend of falling unemployment. These include Buffalo (from 8 to 8.6), Philadelphia (7.9 to 8.4), Pittsburgh (6.6 to 7.2), and Detroit (9.7 to 10.2). Others saw falling rates, but still very high levels, especially in California, with Los Angeles moving from 10.7 to 9.3, and Fresno from 16.2 to 14.9. The pattern suggests that some regions, including older industrial ones in the Midwest, and parts of California, are bearing the brunt of national unemployment (although Cleveland fell from 7 to 6.5 percent). If unemployment becomes more polarized among regions, it will be even harder to get job-creating policies through a Congress unnecessarily obsessed with deficit reduction and austerity.
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.