Securing Our Economic Future

December 10 2020

Via Zoom - All times shown are Eastern


Two of the most critical economic challenges facing our country are the need to bolster a prosperous middle class and to address the global climate challenge. Join us for a discussion about the relevant evidence and what it implies for policy makers seeking to address these challenges and secure our country’s economic future. This event coincides with the release of the Economic Strategy Group’s third annual policy volume Securing Our Economic Future.


All times shown are Eastern

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    Erskine Bowles, Co-Chair, Economic Strategy Group

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    PANEL I: The Economics of the Middle Class: New Evidence and Implications for Policy

    There is widespread concern about the economic health of the American middle class and a great deal of attention is paid to policies that aim to bolster the economic security of middle class households. But assessing the economic wellbeing of the American middle class is a complicated empirical task that requires understanding the full impacts of labor market trends, tax and transfer policy, consumer spending and prices, and the volatility of income. In this session, experts will present a nuanced assessment of how the economic situation and financial security of middle-income Americans has changed in recent decades, along with new evidence on the generosity of taxes and transfers over time. Finally, as the current pandemic and associated economic situation has highlighted housing insecurity as an ongoing challenge for many Americans, this session will also feature a specific policy proposal for an emergency rental assistance program for low- and middle-income Americans.


    Bruce Sacerdote, Richard S. Braddock 1963 Professor in Economics, Dartmouth College
    Adam Looney
    , Professor of Finance, Marriner S. Eccles Institute, University of Utah
    Katherine M. O’Regan
    , Professor of Public Policy and Planning, NYU Wagner School of Public Service and Co-Director, NYU Furman Center

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

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    Henry M. Paulson, Jr., Co-Chair, Economic Strategy Group

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    PANEL II: Policy Options for Addressing Climate Change

    Climate policy is returning to the forefront in Washington as a new administration takes the helm.  The costs of inaction on climate change have been mounting, with potentially catastrophic consequences for human health and prosperity. Meanwhile, the burden of addressing the challenge remains daunting, as differences in risks, priorities, and cost-benefit tradeoffs across regions hinder coordinated action within the United States and around the world. This panel will focus on major policy mechanisms for addressing climate change and discuss opportunities for and barriers to implementation. This conversation will feature three climate policy experts who will discuss market-based strategies for reducing carbon emissions; the use of climate-control mechanisms such as carbon dioxide removal and solar modification; and policies to mitigate climate risk and promote adaptation. 


    Trevor Houser, Partner, Rhodium Group
    David Keith, Gordon McKay Professor of Applied Physics, John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences; Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School
    Roberton Williams, Professor, University of Maryland; Chief Economist, Climate Leadership Council
    Kate Gordon, Director, Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, California

    Gillian Tett, Chair of Editorial Board and Editor-at-Large, US of the Financial Times

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


    This event coincides with the release of the Economic Strategy Group’s edited policy volume Securing our Economic Future, featuring nine chapters by leading experts on the economics of the middle class, geographic divergence and place-based economic development, and the global climate challenge. If you would like to receive a complimentary copy of our book, please include your mailing address when registering above.


  1. Kate Gordon
    Kate Gordon
    Director,Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, California
  2. Gillian Tett
    Gillian Tett
    Chair of Editorial Board and Editor-at-Large, US,The Financial Times
  3. Roberton Williams
    Roberton Williams
    Professor, University of Maryland;,Chief Economist, Climate Leadership Council