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.
New York City Comptroller John Liu issued a new analysis of NYC pension costs, The $8 Billion Question: An Analysis of New York City Pensions Costs over the Last Decade, that reveals how poor market performance is the biggest factor in the escalation of pension costs.
Comptroller Liu requested the study to examine the steep rise in annual employer contributions to the Pension Funds over the past decade. Pension cost rose from $1.2 billion in Fiscal Year 2001 to $7.7 billion in Fiscal Year 2010. The study was validated by independent actuaries. The study found that escalation in the employer contributions to the City's Pension Funds was driven by the following major factors:
1. The largest factor was poor market performance which accounted for 48% of the increased cost. It added $3.1 billion to costs in FY 2010, and accounted for $15.2 billion over the decade. The lower investment returns this decade stand in contrast to the consistent higher annual returns experienced in the 1980s and 1990s.
2. The second-largest factor was benefit increases, which accounted for 44% of the additional cost. It added $2.4 billion in FY 2010, and accounted for an estimated $13.7 billion over the course of the decade. It must be noted that almost all of the benefit improvements were enacted in 2000. The benefit improvements enacted after 2000 have been relatively nominal, accounting for about 4% of the increase in pension cost.
3. The next largest factor was actuarial losses and revisions in actuarial assumptions and methods, due to a variety of factors including increased longevity, salaries, overtime, disability, early retirement, and buy-backs of service. It added $790 million in FY 2010, and totaled nearly $1.7 billion, or 5%, over the 10-year period.
4. The last major factor was higher than expected investment and administrative fees, which added $313 million to expenses in FY 2010, and totaled $982 million, or 3%, during the decade.
SCEPA is partnering with New York City Comptroller John C. Liu on Retirement Security NYC, a major initiative to protect the retirement security of public employees while ensuring the city's financial health by "battling rhetoric with research." The initiative will conduct and publish a series of research studies from SCEPA and the National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRS) that focus on the municipal workforce and pension reform.
Comptroller Liu invited SCEPA to participate in the initiative due to our Retirement Income Security Project (RIS). This project is led by Director Teresa Ghilarducci, a national expert on pensions and retirement issues. Ghilarducci's retirement reform proposal, Guaranteed Retirement Accounts (GRAs), would guarantee safe and secure retirement income for all Americans.
SCEPA fellow Jeff Madrick's upcoming book, "Age of Greed" doesn't go on sale until May 31, 2011 but is already being praised for its clear and thoughtful account of the recent economic disaster. Madrick gives a lucid narrative on what happened and who was responsible for the severe recession and the consequences affecting many because of the actions of a few.