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Research Archive

June 18, 2024

A Unified Theory of Education

When it comes to education, these have been the best of times and the worst of times. In 2021, Arizona adopted the nation’s first universal education-savings-account (ESA) program. In 2022, West Virginia adopted the second. That trickle became a flood in 2023, with states from Arkansas to Utah to Ohio adopting their own programs. Around…

June 18, 2024

Economic Opportunity and Social Mobility

Years ago, I worked at the Pew Charitable Trusts on something called the Economic Mobility Project. In 2009, we commissioned a survey covering opportunity, mobility, and the American Dream. One revealing question we asked was the following: The term American Dream means different things to different people. Here are some ways some people have described…

June 10, 2024

Employment and Labor Supply Responses to the Child Tax Credit Expansion: Theory and Evidence

AbstractThe 2021 Child Tax Credit (CTC) expansion increased government benefits to families, andespecially to families with the lowest incomes. Economic theory predicts that this policyintervention would have led to a reduction in labor supply among adults in those families. Ourreview of available research suggests that employment within broadly defined demographicgroups was not reduced by the…

June 10, 2024

The Economic World We’ve Lost

Populism has infected both major parties in the United States, leading to policies that previous generations of economic policymakers would immediately recognized as foolhardy and counter-productive. But whether the country can escape its self-destructive pessimism is anyone’s guess. WASHINGTON, DC – The past decade has brought a sea change in US economic policy, and not…

June 4, 2024

What Comes After Neoliberalism?

The steep tariff increases on Chinese goods that US President Joe Biden’s administration recently announced are just the latest in a long string of interventionist economic policies that fly in the face of decades of neoliberal orthodoxy. And the Biden administration is hardly alone: a growing number of governments, economists, and institutions are rethinking the…

May 24, 2024

The First National Calculation of Mortality of the US Homeless Population

It is well established that those with lower incomes tend to have worse health outcomes. But whether this relationship extends to the most disadvantaged in society – people experiencing homelessness – has rarely been examined. This column explores the relationship between homelessness and health outcomes in the US. It finds that after accounting for demographic…

May 23, 2024

Biden’s Unending Student Loan Forgiveness Run

On Tuesday, the Biden administration announced $7.7 billion in student debt cancellation for about 161,000 borrowers, equating to about $48,000 per borrower. Compared to what has already been spent on loan forgiveness since the pandemic began, that’s an enormous drop in a gargantuan bucket. AEI’s Student Debt Forgiveness Tracker, which I run, tracks all student loan revenue from…

May 20, 2024

Indivar Dutta-Gupta and Scott Winship on the 60th Anniversary of LBJ’s “War on Poverty” on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal”

Indivar Dutta-Gupta and Scott Winship talked about the 60th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s “Great Society” speech and the war on poverty.

May 16, 2024

Critiquing Bastian (2022, 2023, 2024, and forthcoming):On Child Tax Credit Reform and the Sensitivity of Single Mothers to Work Incentives

Abstract In 2021, Congress passed and President Biden signed a major, but temporary, reform to the Child Tax Credit (CTC). Among other reforms to the credit, the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) made it available to non-workers on the same basis as workers. Attempts to make this reform permanent foundered, in part, due to opposition…

May 14, 2024

Understanding Trends in Worker Pay over the Past 50 years

Key Points Executive Summary Doomers on the political left and right agree that economic growth has failed to translate into higher wages for American workers, with some claiming that pay has barely risen in 50 years. Such sentiments have been buttressed by flawed analyses that, comparing apples to oranges in a variety of ways, have…