- 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.
On February 16, 2012, New York City Comptroller John C. Liu gave a State of the City address at the City College of New York to lay out his vision for the future of the city. His speech, titled, "Bridging the Great Divide," highlighted retirement security as an issue that needs attention from our city leaders and residents and cited the work of SCEPA director Teresa Ghilarducci and her research team. The speech was covered by NY1, The Observer, and The Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC radio. Below is an excerpt of the speech or, you can watch the full video on the Comptroller's website.
"We partnered with a renowned expert on pension and retirement issues at The New School, Dr. Teresa Ghilarducci, who is here with us today. Teresa and her staff did outstanding work for us, in a report called "Are New Yorkers Ready for Retirement?"—and the answer to that question, by the way, is unfortunately a resounding no....
Dr. Ghilarducci has been advancing the concept of Personal Retirement Accounts for private sector workers. For employers who choose to participate, the program would pool employee and employer contributions into a professionally managed retirement fund, one that can leverage economies of scale and offer portable, efficient, low-cost pension benefits. Studies have shown that when offered the chance, workers will participate in retirement plans with their own contributions....
Dr. Ghilarducci's proposal is to have the same staff that manages the New York City pension funds oversee a fund for private workers. This fund would leverage the expertise of the Asset Management Bureau, but the money it invests would be wholly provided—not by taxpayers—but by participating employers and their employees.
This idea, by the way, is now being considered by the California legislature. What a shame it would be if a great idea, homegrown here in New York City, was launched elsewhere first. Let's not forget that Frances Perkins, the driving force behind Social Security, worked in New York State government before she became FDR's Secretary of Labor and the first woman cabinet member. Who knows? Bigger things may lay ahead for Dr. Ghilarducci."
SCEPA Fellow Jeff Madrick evaluates President Obama's new budget in his latest piece for the New Deal 2.0 blog, Obama's Budget Finally Gets the Politics Right. Madrick calls the budget a step in the right direction and a victory for the President in the current political climate. However, Madrick also discusses his belief that the budget falls short of what the U.S. economy needs to grow and create jobs.
In an additional piece, 10 Questions for Economists Who Oppose Manufacturing Subsidies, in the Huffington Post, Madrick discusses Obama's proposal to subsidize manufacturing. He asks why economists on both the left and the right are vehemently opposed to subsidies when they could add to the economic recovery.
SCEPA's latest research paper, Do Cultural Tax Districts Buttress Revenue Growth for Budding Arts Organizations? by Lauren Schmitz, questions the role government should play in financing the arts.
While previous research has noted the possibility of public funding 'crowding-out' private dollars, Schmitz finds evidence of a 'crowding in' of private investment in her investigation of Denver's Scientific and Cultural Facilities Districts (SCFD). She puts forward the following theories to explain this effect: (1) SCFD funding may function as a stable source of income, allowing organizations to create the quality programming needed to attract audiences; (2) SCFD organizations may benefit from a "signaling effect" to the community that relays the value of their programming and worthiness of support; and (3) SCFD funds may incentivize organizations to create more mainstream or marketable programming that appeals to a broader population.