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.
- Published on Tuesday, April 05, 2011
by Rick McGahey, SCEPA Faculty Fellow
Although it could change at the last minute, Republicans in Congress seem ready to bring about a shutdown of the federal government rather than compromise on spending cuts.
A short-term shutdown would probably not have huge economic effects, but a prolonged shutdown could shake up financial markets, as it would signal worse to come. The Republicans, who emphasize restoring business confidence as the key to economic recovery, are simultaneously threatening to shake the financial markets and hurt the economy through their brinkmanship over the budget.
How did we get into this mess?
- Published on Friday, April 01, 2011
The fierce battle in Wisconsin over public sector unions has renewed interest over the role of unions in society. In short, people are questioning the portrayal of unions as organizations serving only narrow special interests. And as the debate moves to other states such as Ohio, short-term victories in stripping collective rights are appearing to come with a cost: a political backlash against overreaching.
A new CBS / New York Times poll puts this issue front and center. Most Americans (by a margin of 2 to 1) disagree with efforts to curtail collective bargaining rights of public sector unions, even when almost half of those surveyed sit on fence on whether they view them favorably or unfavorably. Furthermore, a majority oppose cutting public employees' pay as a way to balance distressed state budgets.
- Published on Tuesday, March 29, 2011
At SCEPA, we are committed to supporting research projects that advance positive change. Our formula is simple. We start with high-quality, peer-reviewed academic research, prescribe innovative solutions for the nation's economic questions, and end with high-impact outreach strategies that inform and educate policy makers, opinion leaders, advocates and the public.
This fiscal year, we made strategic investments in our ability to facilitate this theory of change. Namely, we focused on building a solid platform to support our research, including building our communications capacity and increasing our collaboration with coalition partners.
In 2010, we went live with a new website, www.economicpolicyresearch.org, to replace our previous static site for one which gave us the functionality of a modern communications platform. Now, we have the functionality to allow our research team and collaborators an interactive forum to discuss public events, post research, and respond to questions within the larger issue environment. Supportive communications and social media, including our @SCEPA_Economics Twitter feed and Facebook page, allow us to target different communities while building SCEPA's overall audience and build a rapid response capability for both traditional and non-traditional media.
In the first year, SCEPA's website climbed to second on Google for economic policy research, putting our site in the company of older, more resourced organizations. We also achieved a PageRank of 6 out of 10, a numeric value that represents a site's 'authority' online.
We also focused our research into dedicated projects that allow us to promote dialogue, education and collaboration around thematic research questions. These projects include, but are not limited to, the Retirement Income Security Project, Economics of Climate Change, and Deficit Commission Project. This structure is reflected on our website in the form of micro blogs on the homepage that allow people to find our research by topic. While making our research easier to find, it also allows us to build networks according to these broad research questions. Most importantly, long-standing projects allow us to partner with organizations working on similar issues. This creates an exchange of knowledge and resources that leverages all partner's capacity and reach.
SCEPA's goal for the 2009/2010 fiscal year was simple: to put our theory of change into action. For us, this means affecting positive change in the policies that effect real lives. To create a more intense level of activity and scope of influence, we focused on collaboration and outreach. This effort brought us increased visibility in domestic policy debates, funding from prominent foundations, and helped us build credibility as a New York‐based, progressive policy institute.
We also added two significant resources to our staff. First, we welcomed Bridget Fisher as our new associate director. A communications specialist, Bridget has a background in government and public affairs. She served as chief of staff for a member of the New York City Council and press secretary and legislative assistant for a member of the U.S. Congress. Second, with support from the Rockefeller Foundation and The New School's Provost Tim Marshall, we were able to hire Dr. Joelle Saad‐Lessler as SCEPA's statistician. An accomplished economist with extensive experience in econometric modeling, statistical programming, and data analysis, Joelle works with faculty and students in support of SCEPA's original research. Together, Bridget and Joelle contribute significantly to our efforts to create quality research and broaden our reach to new audiences.