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.
Economics of Climate Change Expert Ottmar Edenhofer to Discuss "How Fast is the Transition to Green Energy?"
- Published on Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Given the current economic uncertainty, climate change proposals must be both effective and economically feasible. SCEPA is pleased to have Ottmar Edenhofer on the "How Fast is the Transition to Green Energy?" panel of our "The Bottom Line on Climate Change" conference. Edenhofer's work explores the impacts of induced technological change on mitigation costs and strategies. He also focuses on the design of instruments for climate and energy policy, the economy of climate stabilization, social benefit-cost analysis, and the theory of sustainability and economic growth.
Ottmar Edenhofer is currently professor of the Economics of Climate Change at the Technical University of Berlin, co-chair of Working group III of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and deputy director and chief economist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research as well as Fellow of the Academy of Sciences in Hamburg, Germany.
- Published on Wednesday, September 21, 2011
by Jeff Madrick, SCEPA Senior Fellow
A reviewer criticized a section of my book, Age of Greed, because it blamed the end of Regulation Q to a large degree on the banker, Walter Wriston. It was necessary to do away with Reg Q, which restricted the amount commercial banks could pay savers to deposit their money, goes the conventional wisdom, because inflation was driving interest so high, no one would put their money with the banks. Instead, they would put it in unregulated parts of the economy, like new money market funds.
The reviewer treated the end of Reg Q as inevitable; there was no other solution. Indeed, such deregulation was the idea solution to "complex" issues.
Of course, Reg Q could have been managed more flexibly. But if a practical version of it had been in place, institutions like Citicorp, which Wriston built, would never have become so large, influential, and damaging. And perhaps Washington would have been moved to regulate those other areas of the economy that the reviewer supposedly feared. I don't remember him bemoaning a lack of regulation among the shadow banks—oh, perhaps after the crisis, of course, when so many commentators found a new religion and forgot that they practiced the old one.
My point is that America had come to accept deregulated giants as necessary to the running of the economy. Cutting these down to size was beyond the imagination or ingrained thinking of the reviewer—it deviated from conventional wisdom in America.
- Published on Tuesday, September 20, 2011
SCEPA fellow Jeff Madrick appeared on Countdown with Keith Olbermann last night to discusses President Obama's proposed new economic plan. Obama's plan aims to raise taxes on the U.S.'s millionaires and billionaires and refocus efforts on the jobless and poor. Madrick points out "to get jobs we really need those spending programs. We need some infrastructure programs. We need aid — aid to state and local governments. Some of those tax cuts in the middle will also help."
Grim unemployment numbers and recent reports of increasing poverty rates add to the sense of urgency President Obama has displayed in recent days. Madrick argues "We've got a serious crisis here. Are we going to say we can't tax the rich who have done outrageously well, as I said, in order to start turning that around? Are we going to balance the budget on the back of all these people who have done poorly now for ten — and I would argue, actually, for a generation?"