SEARCH: Inequality

The Faltering Escalator of Urban Opportunity

Since 1980, college-educated workers have been steadily moving into affluent cities while non-college workers have been moving out.  At the core of understanding why non-college workers (defined by author David Autor as workers without a bachelor's degree) are no longer flocking to the cities is the question of push versus pull.

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.

Wealth Taxation: An Overview of the Issues

Viard argues that a wealth tax in the U.S. would pose administrative and constitutional challenges. As an economic matter, such a tax would decrease savings and investment, thereby lowering the capital stock, making workers less productive, and slowing wage growth. The potential revenue that would be gained is unclear.

14 Facts about US Investments in Infrastructure and R&D

Bipartisan support in Congress is emerging for new strategic investments in science and technology, in addition to a trillion-dollar infrastructure deal. These proposals reflect an emerging consensus that large-scale government investments are necessary to support the US economy’s transition to sustainable energy sources, address underlying sources of domestic inequality, and promote American economic competitiveness.  In […]

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.

Maintaining the Strength of American Capitalism: Introduction

A national debate about the strength and fairness of American capitalism is taking place against a backdrop of vast levels of income and wealth inequality, growing pessimism about the state of economic opportunity and mobility, increased market concentration in many sectors, and a precarious fiscal situation.

New York Times: How to Get Americans to Love Capitalism Again

American capitalism is at a serious inflection point. Many Americans, including the two of us, are alarmed by enormous levels of inequality and by declining economic mobility. We are concerned that in many cases American markets are no longer the most competitive in the world. And, we worry that our country’s long-term economic strength will slowly deteriorate because of an unsustainable fiscal trajectory that leaves future generations worse off.