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Research Archive

December 14, 2023

The Myth of the 1%

The skewing of income toward the top 1% of earners has become a central issue in American politics, with both Republicans and Democrats proposing higher taxes on the rich. But new research finds that it may not be true, suggesting that policymakers would do better to focus more on helping the working class. WASHINGTON, DC—For…

August 3, 2023

Does Money (and Economic Growth) Buy Happiness?

Sure, economic growth may allow us to buy more stuff, buy cooler stuff, help us to live longer, and give us the resources to solve big problems such as global poverty and climate change. That’s fine, I guess. But do the higher incomes that come from economic growth make us, you know, happier? Do they,…

June 14, 2023

Better Data Means Better Policy

“Did you adjust for inflation?” An occupational inconvenience of doing economic research is that you are routinely asked by disbelieving non-researchers whether your numbers have taken into account the rising cost of living. The answer to that question is nearly always, “Yes.” The debates among researchers are about how to adjust earnings and income for inflation, and…

June 8, 2023

Work Improves Mental Health

Since President Joe Biden signed the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023 (FRA) into law, countless news stories have detailed how thousands of low-income Americans will be negatively impacted by new work requirements in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). A narrow work requirement has long existed in SNAP, but changes in the FRA raised the age of SNAP’s…

December 15, 2022

The Myth of Income Stagnation

According to the conventional wisdom, income stagnation and inequality are large and growing threats to broad-based prosperity in the United States. Many economists, journalists, business leaders, and elected leaders (from both parties) believe that for a large share of households, real (inflation-adjusted) income has not increased for decades, and that income inequality – the gap between higher- and lower-income households –…

June 10, 2021

Long Shadows: The Black-White Gap in Multigenerational Poverty

Key Points Executive Summary Issues of racial inequality and injustice are center stage in America today—especially the position and treatment of Black Americans. This report presents evidence on long-term differences in opportunity by race. Previous research showed large racial gaps in poverty and mobility across two generations. We take a longer view, examining patterns of…