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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.

Is the Decline of the Middle Class Greatly Exaggerated?

Professor Bruce Sacerdote of Dartmouth College asserts that claims about a vanishing middle class are not well-founded. The real challenges, he argues, are the rapidly changing nature of work and the skills demanded in the labor market; the unequal distribution of income growth in the United States in which median income and consumption are growing less quickly than the economy as a whole; and the deterioration of happiness and mental health indicators.

Restoring Economic Opportunity for “The People Left Behind”: Employment Strategies for Rural America

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.

Policies to Reintegrate Former Inmates Into the Labor Force

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.

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.

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.  […]

The Link Between Wages and Productivity Is Strong

In this chapter, author Michael R. Strain first discusses the wage-setting process and the conceptual issues that are of critical importance to any empirical investigation of the link between compensation and productivity. He then highlights some recent evidence suggesting that, contrary to the current narrative in some policy circles, the link between productivity and wages is strong.

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.

Securing Our Economic Future

The Economic Strategy Group's third annual policy volume focuses on the economics of the middle class, geographic disparities in economic opportunity, and U.S. policy options to address climate change.