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.
Kearney and Mogstad argue that, in practice, a UBI would be an extremely expensive, inefficiently targeted, and potentially harmful policy that would solve none of the economic challenges it purports to address.
Ingrid Gould Ellen (NYU Furman Center), Amy Ganz (Economic Strategy Group), and Katherine O’Regan (NYU Furman Center) document the costly externalities that such housing instability poses and propose the creation of a Federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program to provide one-time, short-term financial help to low-income renters who face unexpected financial shocks.
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. […]
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.
It's not a new idea, but few could have predicted that talk about universal basic income (UBI) would be receiving as much attention as it is today — especially among candidates for president of the United States.
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.
In order to stimulate employment in rural areas, author James P. Ziliak proposes a two-fold strategy of bringing “people to jobs” and “jobs to people,” an approach that combines people-based and place-based policies. The people-based policies include relocation assistance payments for those willing to make a permanent move to a new job, as well as a short- term credit for commuting expenses tied to a new job without residential relocation.
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.