The U.S. economy in recent years has been characterized by slow average productivity growth and increasing productivity dispersion within industries. In this essay, author Chad Syverson discusses research into the potential causes of these patterns and outlines several policy changes that would yield expected productivity and wage benefits under general conditions.
Incarceration rates in the United States have more than tripled in recent decades as rehabilitation has gradually taken a back seat to a policy agenda emphasizing punishment and incapacitation. This raises important questions about the effectiveness of state and federal prisons in the United States, and about whether the resources required for long prison sentences would be better spent improving prison conditions and expanding rehabilitation programs.
Gale argues that although historically low interest rates reduce the cost of government borrowing, they are not a "get out of jail free card." Rising debt will slowly but surely make it harder to grow the economy, boost living standards, respond to wars or recessions, address social needs, and maintain the nation’s role as a global leader.
Adam Looney (University of Utah), Jeff Larrimore (Federal Reserve Board), and David Splinter (Joint Committee on Taxation) provide an in-depth analysis of after tax and transfer incomes of middle-class Americans over time.
This proposal recognizes the simultaneous need for more college educated workers and also for a higher level of labor market skill among non-college educated individuals. The authors propose to invest in the upskilling of the American workplace by better leveraging the potential of the community college sector.
The American economic system has always been the foundation of our national strength. But this foundation is showing cracks—from high levels of income inequality, declining economic mobility, and persistent economic insecurity among low- and middle-income Americans.