Expanding Economic Opportunity for More Americans: Bipartisan Policies to Increase Work, Wages, and Skills

Washington, DC

February 4, 2019
8:30 am, ET

Despite a historically long recovery, the U.S. economy continues to face significant, long-term challenges. Many workers find themselves lacking the requisite skills and training to thrive in the modern economy. Most low- and middle-income workers have not seen meaningful increases in their wages, and many have fallen out of the workforce altogether. Geographic disparities in economic opportunity have become more pronounced: prosperity is increasingly concentrated in certain regions and cities, while other communities, particularly those in rural areas, have fallen further behind. Taken together, these challenges, though vexing and deep-rooted, are not insurmountable. As the 116th congress begins, lawmakers have ample opportunities to come together to advance bipartisan solutions to these challenges. The Economic Strategy Group highlights some of these opportunities with the release of Expanding Economic Opportunity for More Americans, a series of policy proposals that aim to expand economic opportunity for more Americans.


All times shown are Eastern

  1. 8:30 am Registration and Breakfast
  3. 9:30 am Tackling Barriers to Economic Opportunity: Housing Affordability, Wage Stagnation, and Rural Employment

    America’s cities are its economic powerhouses.  The 10 most productive cities account for nearly 40 percent of the nation’s GDP, despite containing only a quarter of the population. Yet, fewer workers are moving across state lines to areas of greater opportunity compared to previous decades, and workers in rural areas are lagging behind their urban counterparts. This panel features three policy proposals that address the causes and consequences of growing geographic disparities in economic opportunity, including zoning reforms to promote housing affordability in highly productive urban areas, business tax credits to offset the cost of minimum wage increases, and programs to promote employment in rural labor markets.




    David Neumark, Chancellor’s Professor of Economics, University of California, Irvine.
    Joshua Gottlieb, Associate Professor of Economics, University of British Columbia.
    James Ziliak, Gatton Endowed Chair in Microeconomics, Founding Director of the Center for Poverty Research, University of Kentucky


    Kevin Hassett, Chairman, White House Council of Economic Advisers
    Jared Bernstein, Senior Fellow, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

    Melissa Kearney, Neil Moskowitz Professor of Economics, University of Maryland; Director, Economic Strategy Group

  4. 10:35 am A Proposal for Supply-Side Investments in America’s Community Colleges
  5. 11:35 am The Role of State and Local Government in Expanding Economic Opportunity

    In this fireside chat, Mitch Daniels, President of Purdue University and Former Governor of Indiana, and Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of Chicago and former White House Chief of Staff to President Barack Obama, explore the challenges and opportunities for state, local, and federal policymakers in the current policy and economic climate. They draw on their experiences and insights as policy leaders who have served in a multitude of roles.




    Mitch Daniels, President, Purdue University
    Rahm Emanuel, Mayor, City of Chicago 

    Catherine Rampell, Opinion Columnist, The Washington Post