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Aspen Economic Strategy Group Releases New Policy Analyses Examining the US Infrastructure Agenda

Three papers examine how infrastructure investments can promote economic growth and broader prosperity. Washington, DC, July 14, 2021 – The Aspen Economic Strategy Group (AESG) today released a set of three papers on infrastructure and technological innovation and their impact on the post-pandemic economic recovery.  These papers will be included in the group’s annual policy volume, […]

Introduction: The Need to Expand Economic Opportunity

The pursuit of economic opportunity for all Americans is as important to the health of the country’s economy as it is to the strength of its democracy. The promise that hard work and determination will yield economic success is a central American ideal, but it has been called into question as secular economic forces and institutional changes have reshaped the American economy and had an uneven impact on Americans’ ability to prosper.

Expanding Economic Opportunity for More Americans: Foreword

The American economy is stronger today than it has been in many years. At the time of this writing, jobs are plentiful and the country's economic expansion is the second-longest on record. But our nation's economic performance has not been even, and the prosperity is not as widespread as it once was.

Can Innovation Policy Restore Inclusive Prosperity in America?

Van Reenen argues the U.S. should pursue a robust innovation policy composed of tax credits, direct subsidies, and human capital investments, which have been shown to spur innovation and wage growth. He proposes combining these approaches into a 10-year $1 trillion Grand Innovation Challenge, which would reinvigorate R&D investment, promote American technological leadership, and advance policy goals of inclusive growth.

Taskforce Report: Promoting Economic Recovery After COVID-19

This report puts forward a set of policies that should be part of the next wave of fiscal policy aimed at bolstering individuals and workers, small and mid-sized businesses, and state and local governments during a sustained recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Walking the Tightrope: Variable Income and Limited Liquidity Among the US Middle Class

In this chapter, author Dan Silverman of Arizona State University describes a body of evidence showing that large fluctuations in household income are commonplace both across and within years. However, these households’ reactions to shocks reveal substantial resilience despite their lack of a financial buffer. Silverman argues these facts imply that successful policies will focus on limiting the uninsured risks that families face.

13 Aspen Economic Strategy Group Reports related to the American Jobs and Families Plans

The Biden Administration’s American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan propose over $4.1 trillion in new government spending over the next 10 years, aiming to fundamentally reshape and expand the social safety net, increase the economy’s productive potential through investments in physical and human capital, and make major public investments in green infrastructure and technology.  […]

How Minimum Zoning Mandates Can Improve Housing Markets and Expand Opportunity

State-level Minimum Zoning Mandates (MZMs) allowing landowners to build at a state-guaranteed minimum density, even in municipalities resistant to development, would be an effective means of encouraging denser housing development. These MZMs would improve housing affordability, spread economic opportunity more broadly, and limit the environmental impact of new development.

The Higher Wages Tax Credit

In this chapter, author David Neumark proposes a Higher Wages Tax Credit (HWTC) to partially offset the costs imposed by minimum wage increases on firms that employ low-skilled labor. Following a minimum wage increase, the HWTC would provide a tax credit of 50% of the difference between the prior minimum wage and the new minimum wage, for each hour of labor employed; the credit would phase out at wages higher than the minimum wage, and as wage inflation erodes the real cost of higher nominal minimum wages.