Found 461 article(s) in category 'Fiscal Policy'

Larry Summers: Fixing America’s roads would essentially pay for itself

Larry Summers: Fixing America’s roads would essentially pay for itself. Lawrence Summers, October 13, 2015, Opinion. “There are many compelling arguments for increasing American infrastructure investment. Capital costs are exceptionally low. Construction labor is highly available. Materials costs are low as commodity prices have fallen. Investment is low by historic standards. Investing today relieves the burden of deferred maintenance for future generations. Here is another one. Maintaining our infrastructure directly benefits American families and businesses because with fewer potholes they have to spend less maintaining their vehicles…Link

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A Tax Boon for Working Women

A Tax Boon for Working Women. Martin Feldstein, October 5, 2015, Opinion. “The U.S. tax code is unfair to women who work. It also discourages women from working and from obtaining the skills that would lead to higher wages. In addition, there is a ‘marriage penalty’ for many working couples with either very low incomes or very high incomes who face a tax increase if they marry. The tax plan released last month by Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush would correct these unfair rules…Link

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Does Welfare Reduce Poverty?

Does Welfare Reduce Poverty? George Borjas, October 2015, Paper. “The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 made fundamental changes in the federal system of public assistance in the United States, and specifically limited the eligibility of immigrant households to receive many types of aid. Many states chose to protect their immigrant populations from the presumed adverse effects of welfare reform by offering state-funded assistance to these groups. I exploit these changes in eligibility rules to examine the link between welfare and poverty rates in the immigrant population…Link

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The Effects of Austerity: Recent Research

The Effects of Austerity: Recent Research. Alberto Alesina, October 2015, Paper. “What are the costs in terms of output losses of so-called “austerity” policies designed to reduce large government deficits and mounting public debt? The debate on this issue is raging, especially after the latest round of austerity in Europe.  The question is difficult to answer for at least three reasons. The first is “endogeneity,” the two-way interaction between fiscal policy and output growth. Suppose you observe a reduction in the government deficit and an economic boom. It would be highly questionable to conclude that deficit reduction policies generate growth…Link

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Impact Evaluation Methods in Public Economics: A Brief Introduction to Randomized Evaluations and Comparison with Other Methods

Impact Evaluation Methods in Public Economics: A Brief Introduction to Randomized Evaluations and Comparison with Other Methods. Dina Pomeranz, October 2015, Paper, “Recent years have seen a large expansion in the use of rigorous impact evaluation techniques. Increasingly, public administrations are collaborating with academic economists and other quantitative social scientists to apply such rigorous methods to the study of public finance. These developments allow for more reliable measurements of the effects of different policy options on the behavioral responses of citizens, firm owners, or public officials. They can help decision makers in tax administrations, public procurement offices, and other public agencies design programs informed by well-founded evidence. This paper provides an introductory overview of the most frequently used impact evaluation methods.Link

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Economists’ declaration on universal health coverage

Economists’ declaration on universal health coverage. Lawrence Summers, September 17, 2015, Opinion, “With the UN set to launch the bold sustainable development agenda this autumn, this is a crucial moment for global leaders to reflect on the financial investments to maximise progress by 2030. As an input into deliberations around those investments, the signatories to this declaration, economists from 44 countries, call on global policy makers to prioritise a pro-poor pathway to universal health coverage (UHC) as an essential pillar of development.Link

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Why Ukraine’s debt deal is important not just for Ukraine, but also for the West

Why Ukraine’s debt deal is important not just for Ukraine, but also for the West. Lawrence Summers, September 14, 2015, Opinion. “I have spent the last two days in Kiev attending the Yalta European Strategy meeting, where I have had the chance to discuss Ukraine’s economic reform efforts with key officials, including the finance minister and prime minister. I was encouraged to see a country where, despite huge challenges, including Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, economic reforms are being carried out and receiving support from the international community. The Ukrainian parliament will this week vote on a historic debt reduction…” Link

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The Ups and Downs of Minimum Wage Policy: The Fair Labor Standards Act in Historical Perspective

The Ups and Downs of Minimum Wage Policy: The Fair Labor Standards Act in Historical Perspective. Michael Reich, September 11, 2015, Paper. “I provide here a historical overview of the impact of minimum wage legislation enacted over 75 years ago in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938 and as amended subsequently on numerous occasions. Given elected officials’ caution today about raising the minimum wage in bad economic times, the timing of the passage of the FLSA is remarkable. After a long and heated political debate, Congress passed the FLSA in 1938, establishing a nationwide minimum wage of $0.25 per hour…Link

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The Key Role of Conservatives in Taxing Carbon

The Key Role of Conservatives in Taxing Carbon. N. Gregory Mankiw, September 4, 2015, Opinion, “This summer, a friend sent me a remarkable headline from The Seattle Times: ‘‘Green’ Alliance Opposes Petition to Tax carbon.’  My initial thought was that this doesn’t make sense. It is like reading ‘Democrats Rally to Cut the Minimum Wage’ or ‘Republicans Unite to Hike Income Taxes.’ But the political debate in Washington State is a case study about why smart environmental policy is so hard to enact…” Link

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China Confronts the Market

China Confronts the Market. Jeffrey Frankel, September 4, 2015, Opinion, “China’s current economic woes have largely been viewed through a single lens: the government’s failure to let the market operate. But that perspective has led foreign observers to misinterpret some of this year’s most important developments in the foreign-exchange and stock markets. To be sure, Chinese authorities do intervene strongly in various ways. From 2004 to 2013, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) bought trillions of dollars in foreign-exchange reserves, thereby preventing the renminbi from appreciating as much as it would have had it floated freely…Link

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