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, July 19, 2011
In a recent edition of NPR's "All Things Considered," host Guy Raz interviews SCEPA's Jeff Madrick. They discuss the emergence of the income gap and how corporate greed has been a factor: "Self-interest is central to a free-enterprise system, but greed implies something else. Greed implies making so much money you are willing to violate the rules. And that begins to undermine the economy, undermine prosperity, and most importantly undermine the potential for economic growth."
- Published on Monday, July 11, 2011
Nancy Folbre, economics professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, cites research by SCEPA Faculty Fellow David Howell in her New York Times Economix blog on the political persistence of unemployment. Folbre states, "But political interest is low among most Democrats, and Republican governors and Republicans in Congress are pushing to cut unemployment insurance benefits, proclaiming that this would help the economic recovery. I've tackled this argument before, and a detailed critique can be found in this article by David R. Howell, an economist at The New School, and Bert M. Azizoglu, a graduate student there, forthcoming in the Oxford Review of Economic Policy."
- Published on Monday, July 11, 2011
by Jeff Madrick, SCEPA Senior Fellow
An old debate has been resurrected by the publication of Reckless Endangerment by respected journalist Gretchen Morgenson and financial analyst Josh Rosner. While sadly misleading, this book has energized another round of blame-it-on-the government posturing in Washington. Two politically conservative columnists, David Brooks of The New York Times and George Will of The Washington Post, use the book to tell us in recent columns that Fannie did it. Anti-government forces are lining up with even more vigor against Dodd-Frank rules. Here we go again.
The accusation that Government-Sponsored Enterprises (GSE's) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are the major causes of the financial crisis is palpably wrong. However, while the Morgenson-Rosner book is being used to make a case against government housing policy in general, at this time I want to introduce another perspective about government's role in housing. As usual, history provides us with much-needed perspective. If government caused the mortgage distress of the 2000s, why was there even more instability and excess in residential housing and commercial real estate in the 1920s – a time without similar federal interventions?