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Policy Note | Social Security is the most essential and well-functioning part of the U.S. retirement system. Any reforms to federal retirement policy—while necessary and long overdue—must be built on the foundation of a protected and strengthened Social Security system. More than 60 percent of adults 65 and older receive most of their income from Social Security and all recipients benefit from the annuitized income the system provides. Despite calls to cut benefits and misleading claims about its finances, Social Security should be bolstered and expanded.

Policy Note | Up to 40 percent of middle-income workers are at risk of downward mobility into poverty or near-poverty in retirement because of an inefficient retirement system that disproportionately benefits those with high incomes. Universal retirement accounts and providing workers with more equitable and better targeted tax incentives are among the best methods to supplement Social Security and prevent downward mobility in retirement.

Paper | Recent controversies over the impact of an energy embargo on Russia triggered by Russia’s war in Ukraine have focused on reducing dependence on fossil fuels and reorganizing energy supplies. This German- language paper presents a model-based econometric framework to estimate both the short-term effects of fossil energy shortages and long-term effects of different climate policy measures on individual sectors of the economy.

Paper | This paper models economic output jointly with health outcomes as they pertain to the COVID pandemic, finding that a continuously varying control (i.e. the lockdown intensity) fares better than sporadically taken discrete-time decisions with lockdown intensity staying constant over some time intervals. 

This paper proposes a new type of tax to help finance (and accelerate) the green transition.

Article | Value capture schemes sound simple in theory – future revenues pay debt issued to cover upfront costs. But in practice, these financing mechanisms are highly complex and, as a result, can have unintended consequences on municipal finances. Research from SCEPA’s Critical Public Finance project published in the Journal of the American Planning Association (JAPA) offers a new frame to evaluate TIF projects based on the tool’s potential to create, capture, & destroy value.