Roosevelt Institute | Cornell University

Center for Economic Policy

Carbon Dividend: The Revenue-Neutral Solution to Incentivizing Renewable Energy

By Nathan Lesser Published August 31, 2022

Solar & Wind Energy Farm

Policymakers need to unite upon a practical economic program which incentivizes green energy and reduces fossil gas usage. A carbon dividend does so while also benefitting taxpaying civilians and boosting America's economy.

How to Fix Collective Bargaining - A Primer on Sectoral Bargaining

By Scott Siegel Published December 17, 2020

Roosevelt Institute at Cornell University

The nation’s collective bargaining laws do not adequately respond to modern challenges. In a post-COVID-19 economy, sectoral bargaining must be considered to help restore economic and social equality.

Modernizing Civil Engineering Means Modernizing Financial Engineering - Balancing a Nation's Assets with its Liabilities

By Luke Hartigan Published December 16, 2020

A crane made of money lowers a stack of cash, emphasizing the funding needed in large scale infrastructure projects.

America's infrastructure is in a dire state. A recent ASCE report graded the nation's infrastructure a D+, citing $4.5 trillion of desperately needed investment. Several infrastructure plans have been suggested, with varying reception. But how will we pay for them? Using the principles of Modern Monetary Theory, a potential solution is proposed to solve our infrastructure crisis.

Should Congress Continue to CARE - On the Expiration of FPUC

By Collin Kane Published July 21, 2020

"Scaffolding anchors Sage Hall during a construction project", by Jason Koski, licensed under, no changes were made

"Scaffolding anchors Sage Hall during a construction project", by Jason Koski, licensed under The CARES Act provided supplemental unemployment insurance benefits of $600 a week to all workers who qualify for benefits. These benefits should be extended at the end of July because of the demonstrated success of policy, the lingering effects of the pandemic on the workforce, and the continued strain on state and local budgets.

All of Our Eggs Are in One Basket- the Agricultural Industry Amidst a Pandemic

By Emily Boldt Published June 8, 2020

Roosevelt Institute

The U.S. agricultural industry should consider sacrificing some efficiency and shift away from its reliance on giant processing plants to create a reliable and steady food supply chain.

Bleeding the System - How defensive medicine is costing the taxpayer big time

By Karim Farhat Published December 8, 2019

Cornell Roosevelt

Defensive medicine is a practice within the medical community that is costing taxpayers billions of dollars. The public should be made aware of the ramifications and origins of this practice as well as possible solutions. With nationalized healthcare, becoming more and more likely with every election, this issue is pertinent as to whether or not the nation will be able to afford it.

Empty Pockets from Expanding Wasitlines - The Economic Implications of Childhood Obesity

By Julia Eddelbuettel Published December 5, 2019

From 2000 to 2016, the proportion of overweight children and adolescents worldwide doubled, going from 1 in 10 to almost 1 in 5, according to a recently published UNICEF report. This increase in obesity causes significant problems for individuals and society beyond the obvious health concerns; in their future, these children will face lower levels of productivity, high mortality rates, and higher health-care costs to treat the comorbidities of obesity, such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

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By Garry Blum Published December 5, 2019


Regulation Best Interest Might Not be in Your Best Interest

By Abigail Cundiff Published December 4, 2019


The new SEC Regulation Best Interest endangers investors by blurring the distinction between a broker-dealer and a registered investment advisor.

Financial Repercussions of the Anti-Vaccine Movement

By Emily Boldt Published November 21, 2019

Roosevelt Institute

Examines the financial burden of the anti-vaccine movement, and the tremendous return on investment of vaccines.

Clearing a Political Traffic Jam - Can Congestion Pricing Save MTA?

By Dylan Nezaj Published September 12, 2019

Image courtesy of Mike Point/Getty Images North America

The debate over how best to bolster MTA funds is among the most contentious in New York politics. That congestion pricing will soon be a reality is a testament to a shifting paradigm, and an appreciation for the urgency with which we must repair the city’s economic engine.

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By Garry Blum Published April 27, 2019


Your Free Shipping is Killing People - Amazon combines 21st century technology and 20th century anti-unionism to crush modern workers

By Jin Mo Koo Published February 19, 2019

An Amazon training video warned managers to watch out for "union words" such as "living wage," "grievance," or "contract."

In the warehouses of the company owned by the world's first centi-billionare, workers are forced to pee in bottles in order to save the company money. Amazon's labor practices could be the future of the industry.

Debunking the Myth: Is America Really the “World’s Hottest” Economy? - ...or are Partisan Conflict and Government Shutdowns Leading to Increased Economic Stress?

By Sydney Eisenberg Published February 14, 2019

Republican President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence meet with Democrat Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

In President Donald Trump’s February 5th State of the Union address, he flaunted America as having the “world’s hottest economy,” and he also proudly exclaimed that we are on the brink of an “economic miracle.” However, the US stock market is slowly recovering from hitting a more-than-one-year low shortly before the new year, and the effect of the longest government shutdown in history has yet to show its true impact.

The Economists’ Plea to Politicians—Consider a Carbon Tax

By Abigail Cundiff Published February 12, 2019

The carbon tax is gaining traction once again because it seeks to solve one of the world’s most pressing issues—global climate change—and proposes to do so with little controversy. In light of recent events and reports, climate change and its effects have been brought to the forefront of political and social discourse. Members of Congress and top economists now back a carbon tax with a rebate—relying on incentives to change consumer behavior and, ultimately, reduce US carbon emissions and spur green energy innovation.

“...But the gift of life remains” - Fire Wreaks Havoc in California as Thousands are Displaced (with Reconstruction Far Out of Sight)

By Sydney Eisenberg Published November 19, 2018

Toward the end of the week of November 5th, a series of wildfires began to tear through Northern and Southern California. Over a quarter of a million people have been forced to evacuate as the fires rage through the state, threatening everything from personal homes to famous Hollywood sets.

Your Cashier at McDonald’s is Earning More - Here’s Why You Should Be Concerned

By Abigail Cundiff Published November 18, 2018

The US is experiencing a historically tight labor market, which has resulted in increased wages and benefits for low-skilled employees. This trend, however, is ultimately unsustainable.

Putting the “Social” back into Social Security - Dispelling the Myths about Social Security, and the Lesson that Paying for it Can Teach Us

By Dylan Nezaj Published November 18, 2018

Congress can pursue numerous policy measures to keep Social Security strong for generations to come. The combination of such measures that Congress adopts should reflect what we think constitutes a fair share of burden, will test our commitment to social insurance, and may redefine the very nature of one of America’s greatest policy endeavors.

Part Time Limbo

By Abigail Cundiff Published May 6, 2018

Involuntary part-time (IPT) employment, assumed to be a temporary trend, may be less temporary than previously thought. New research suggests that this post-Great Recession trend could be here to stay, proving problematic for the future of many American workers.

South Dakota v. Wayfair - How a Supreme Court Case is Revealing a 26-Year-Old Congressional Dormancy Regarding Interstate Online Sales Tax

By Sydney Eisenberg Published May 6, 2018

Search. Add to Cart. Checkout. “Your [insert item name here] will arrive in 2 days!” In a digital world, we can do almost all of our shopping with the click of a button. Depending on what site you shop from, you may not even have to pay sales tax! However, what seems like a lucky break to online consumers is soon going to pose a major question in Congress following the recently argued Supreme Court Case South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc.

It’s Time to Embrace Inclusionary Zoning

By Keenan Ashbrook Published May 6, 2018

It is widely acknowledged that American cities are facing a housing crisis. Forty million Americans now spend what the Department of Housing and Urban Development considers to be an unaffordable amount (30 percent of income or more) on housing. The average rent for a studio apartment now exceeds $1,700 in Chicago, $2,000 in Boston and Washington D.C. and $3,000 in New York and San Francisco.

Clean Energy “Made in China”? - A History of Coal and the Future of American Energy

By Dylan Nezaj Published May 6, 2018

Amidst China’s continuing efforts to achieve the status of a global economic superpower, the U.S. federal government is trying reinvigorating the coal industry. In so doing, the U.S. in losing the race to clean energy leadership.

The Problem of Our Times - Economic Inequality

By Brad DeSanctis Published May 6, 2018

American political discourse is saturated with policy issues, from gun policy to abortion, tax reform to healthcare, immigration to foreign policy. But one realm of policy stands out from the rest. Left unaddressed, it is slowly killing the core ethos of America: the American dream. The problem is economic inequality.

The Immigrants Are Coming…

By Basirat Owe Published May 6, 2018

President Trump’s candidacy was fueled by xenophobia. A major factor behind these sentiments is the belief that immigrants are “stealing” jobs from native-born Americans. To address that assumption, he seeks to enact prohibitive immigration policy (i.e., the construction of a border wall, increased border control and deportation).

The Hope and Need for an Infrastructure Bill

By Brad DeSanctis Published November 15, 2017

Infrastructure: it's what politicians can't stop talking about, but can never start doing anything about. America's infrastructure is deteriorating, while spending is declining. But despite lots of talk, there is little reason to expect federal action anytime soon.

Tackling Rising Rents

By Brad DeSanctis Published October 19, 2017

With 6.6 million Americans severely rent-burdened, many U.S. cities are struggling with rising rents and affordable housing. A patchwork of federal, state, and local policies, both old and new, attempt to address the issue.

Destressing the Distressed

By Abigail Cundiff Published October 19, 2017

America is experiencing a period of growth but it' not uniform. About 1/5 of the US population lives in a distressed community. Many poorer Americans face uncertain futures and it is necessary to bring these distressed communities up to speed with the rest of America in order to truly benefit citizens of all socioeconomic classes.

Gun Stocks Rise Following the Deadliest Mass Shooting in Recent American History, but will Sales?

By Sydney Eisenberg Published October 19, 2017

On October 1st, 2017, Stephen Paddock fired into a crowd at a country music festival in Las Vegas, Nevada. As news of the catastrophe spread, gun stock prices started to rise, and bump stock mechanisms quickly ran out of stock at major retailers across the country.

The Risk of a Simplistic Approach to NAFTA

By Dylan Nezaj Published October 19, 2017

The deal that governs trade between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico may be due for a renegotiation. But let's keep in mind the full scope of NAFTA's legacy before we threaten to withraw outright.

The economic impact of President Trump's health care executive order

By Raphael Gendler Published October 19, 2017

President Trump's executive orders aim to make healthcare cheaper and increase market competition, but will result in expensive and weak care for individuals who need it most.

The Impact of NAFTA: The Economics of the Embattled Trade Deal

By Berke Gursoy Published April 2, 2017

Why then is NAFTA under such attack? The answer is due in part to the very nature of trade agreements. The benefits of trade are dispersed and appreciable only over time while its costs are sometimes ideating and are highly concentrated in specific industries such as auto manufacturing. As such, attacking trade agreements is politically very easy, since the vast majority of people whose standard of living has been improved are unaware of it while those who have bared the cost care very much.

Trump Impacts His Daughter's Business

By Sarah Fox Published April 2, 2017

In the wake of the Trump presidency, clothing retail stores have been faced with an unique struggle. In the last few months, many stores have mixed Ivanka Trump's clothing lines with other products, or in some cases dropped it entirely, provoking outrage from both Ivanka and Donald Trump and impacting the clothing retail market.

The Importance of a Global Economy and the Consequences of President Trump's reliance on trade deficits

By Shivani Sanghani Published April 2, 2017

Mr. Trump's growing focus on hindering trade resonates insidiously if strictly pursued, driving policy changes that could disrupt industrial real estate markets throughout the US, Cushman & Wakefield reported in a logistics and industrial research briefing on April 19. Although unlikely, a trade war with China or withdrawal from the North American Free Trade Agreement remain possibilities.

Trump's Claims of Economic Success

By Brad DeSanctis Published April 2, 2017

President Trump has used economic metrics and corporate job announcements to paint his presidency as an instant success. But while this president is far from the first to make these claims, he does not deserve credit for the current state of the economy. In fact, the overall ability of the presidency to impact the economy is overstated.

If You Build It, Will They Come?

By Keenan Ashbrook Published March 14, 2017

Now a noted liberal activist, Michael Moore first gained widespread recognition with his 1989 film Roger & Me, which explored the effects of auto plant closures in his home city of Flint, Michigan. In the hopes of attracting tourists and generating economic growth to blunt the impact of the plant closures, Flint city officials supported the construction of a theme park, shopping center, and luxury hotel, all three of which promptly went bankrupt as Flint became a posterchild for post-industrial economic malaise. The failure of Flint's efforts should serve as a cautionary tale for those who would attempt to cover over structural economic problems with superficial development, infrastructure, and "quality of life" projects.

Taxes and Politics: Understanding the Tax Plans of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump

By Berke Gursoy Published October 31, 2016

Tax Policy isn't the most discussed or most controversial issue dividing the two candidates in this election, but for the American people, it may prove the most important outcome of the election. The tax plans of Clinton and Trump reflect those of their respective parties orthodox, and therefore represent two distinct visions of the American economy. Trump proposes across the board tax cuts centering on the wealthy in addition to easing the corporate tax rate and removing the estate tax. Clinton proposes maintaining the tax rate with increased taxes on the rich, maintaining of the corporate tax rate while eliminating certain loopholes and increasing the estate tax. They are opposites in policy and effect, Trump's is the tried and tested Republican policy of promoting short term growth at significant long-run cost, Clinton's is to cut into short-term growth for long term gain. With this information it is each American's decision over what policy would be best for them and the economic health of the nation as a whole.

Why You Should Care about Falling Oil Prices

By Mason Miller Published February 28, 2016

Even if you don't typically follow macroeconomic trends or commodity pricing, you've been hearing for months now that oil prices are plunging to historic lows. Exactly why prices are falling is complicated and not fully understood. If you've been paying attention, you may be able to point to Saudi Arabia and U.S. shale production as reasons for the decline - but that's a topic for another article. More interesting and important are the oil glut's implications for the world economy. They are many, and together they pose a huge threat to an already unstable world.

Understanding Current Deficiencies in U.S. Foreign Development Aid

By Tony Zhou Published February 28, 2016

This blog post examines current United States foreign development aid policies and finds two critical deficiencies: 1.) A fostering of aid dependence in recipient economies and 2.) A bureaucratic inefficiency in implementation. In addition, studies show that in some cases, the overall effect of these two deficiencies may nullify or even reverse prior progress seen in developing regions. Lastly, this blog post emphasizes the importance of addressing the previously mentioned deficiencies in the upcoming years.

Wealth Inequality and a System that Perpetuates It

By Jill Sternthal Published February 28, 2016

Many of the highest-earning Americans pay the lowest percentage of their income in federal taxes, revealing a flaw in our system of taxation. Despite this inefficiency, no recent policy has been passed to address this issue. With the 2016 presidential election 9 months away, candidates' proposed tax policies would either ameliorate or exacerbate this system of inherent wealth inequality.

Oil Monopolization and the Saudi-Russian Accord

By Jady Wei Published February 28, 2016

For over a decade, nations in the Middle East have relied on their oil reserves as a primary means of economic income and revenue. The recent February 16th accord between Saudia Arabia and Russia proved that the deal on oil supply control, which has meandered on for almost 15 years, has finally reached an agreement. The statement made by the two leading nations in global oil reserves is a portent for the freeze of oil production at January levels, if other nations were to agree on joining the accord. Subsequently, this may galvanize a path towards shoring up oil prices, as the nations aim to restore the Middle East's monopoly on the oil price market.

Franken-banks, it's time to meet your Makers

By Hanna Blunden Published February 28, 2016

Speaking to a post-recession society, rhetoric used frequently throughout the current presidential race works to remind Americans that the state of our current financial system still threatens our economic security. "Too big to fail" banks have emerged in the wake of the Great Recession as the unelected barons of the American economic prosperity, whose gargantuan spheres of influence permeate every sector of the economy, and whose demise could mean the end of it. The robust nature of these financial institutions remains a clear and insidious liability to American economic stability, thus the policy currently proliferating their existence and prevalence, must be reformed.

Understanding the Trans-Pacific Partnership

By Jack Polizzi Published November 11, 2015

When it comes to the landmark trade deal, information is in short supply and it can be difficult to understand what the deal is really about and what its practical effects will be. To be an informed citizenry and make sure Congress represents the views of constituents as effectively as possible, it is essential to understand some of the key points of the largest trade deal in world history.

A Free Higher Ed, A Free Economy

By Hanna Blunden Published November 10, 2015

The College For All plan proposed by Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders would not just have great social benefits, but great economic ones as well. The state-offered free higher public education option for all would eliminate the necessary evil of student debt. Indeed those who still chose to attend private school would still face these financial boundaries, but the option for a debt free college education would undoubtedly be there. With such a broad path to a debt free high education, future generations of college graduates would have significantly greater economic capabilities that would create substantial growth in the American economy.

Dubious Growth

By Jady Wei Published November 10, 2015

Many countries, including the U.S., view China's lowering of interest rates as a clear indication that China's economy is still in a deteriorating and volatile state. Moreover, the Chinese government appears to be aware of that, through the numerous incidents of rate reduction. The Chinese market is not as stable as the government strives to convey.

Basic Income: An alternative economic solution to the problem of wealth inequality

By Daniel Oudolsky Published November 10, 2015

In this blog piece, the author describes what exactly Basic Income (BI) is in the context of our current economic discourse, and argues how the implementation of a basic income by our policy makers will lead to positive consequences for American families, businesses and the country as a whole.

Reality Check on Candidates' Tax Plans

By Mason Miller Published November 10, 2015

Our Presidential candidates have started to release their ideas about tax reform. But how securely are they anchored in reality?

Reduction not Remorse

By Puneet Brar Published November 10, 2015

United States is the second largest emitter of carbon dioxide in the world, only recently preceded by China, without even accounting for the carbon that is emitted due to offshore production of our consumer goods. Various fragmented polices have been enacted to reduce carbon emissions; however, they have all reported only limited success. Implementing a universal carbon tax will be extremely beneficial and be a lot more simplified than implementing other forms of carbon reduction policies.

The Unseen Economics of Illegal Immigration

By Tony Zhou Published November 10, 2015

This blog posts analyzes the domestic economic impact of illegal immigration, which is reflected in three different aspects: the general effect on the growth of the U.S. economy, the particular effect on the U.S. government budget, and the effect on the U.S. job market. Results from studies find that while illegal immigration may cause a deficit in the government budget, illegal immigration is still beneficial to the overall growth of the economy and the health of the job market. This blog concludes by advocating for policies of openness and acceptance toward current illegal immigrants.

Economic challenges of Population Aging

By Yibo Sun Published November 9, 2015

Due to decline in fertility and rise in life expectancy, the world population is aging unprecedentedly. Significant economic implications of this phenomenon have started to attract people's attention. Extensive discussions and debates have generated various ideas of how to face this aging world, but there is still a long way to go.

Removing the Training Wheels from the US Economy: Are We There Yet?

By Jill Sternthal Published November 9, 2015

The mid-September meeting of the Federal Reserve resulted in no new increase to the federal funds rate for the ninth ongoing year. With many people believing that the economy is recovered from the fiasco of 2008, market players are wondering how much longer until the Fed will take off the financial training wheels.

Puerto Rico's Tax Reform

By Ignacio Garcia Conway Published November 9, 2015

As Puerto Rico's fiscal crisis worsened, the government needed to act quickly. Public pressure was high, and approval ratings were at an all time low. In February of 2015, governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla addressed to the people of Puerto Rico his game changing solution to the crisis: tax reform.

Minimum Wage Increase a Sign of Things to Come

By Victor Zhao Published March 13, 2015

Walmart, a company notorious for its ruthless commitment to cutting costs, has recently voluntarily decided to raise the minimum wage for its employees to $10/hour. The move is part of a growing national sentiment and campaign to increase the official minimum wage set by federal law of $7.25/hour.

Dodd-Frank- Where Will the Changes End?

By Kartik Ramkumar Published March 10, 2015

Over the last 15 years, Financial Reform has experienced quite a turbulent journey. The repeal of Glass-Stegall, the financial crisis, and the implementation of Dodd-Frank spelled great changes for the financial world. Recently, in the news, however, we saw that Congress is working toward challenging certain aspects of Dodd-Frank. But why is this important?

Awaiting the Verdict on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

By Sang Hyun Park Published March 10, 2015

The housing giants are back in business. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's consistent earnings since the bailout has made a convincing case for its continued operations despite Congress' initial plan to wind them down. With the two enterprises thriving once again, policymakers will need an answer soon as legal challenges mount against their conservatorship.

Unwelcome Visitors

By Anita Li Published March 10, 2015

While most places have yearned for the arrival of high spending travellers, some Hong Kong residents are upset by the influx of visitors from Mainland China. New tensions between Hong Kong and Mainland China have emerged over parallel trading, leading to a series of protests. 

Economic Impacts of Mobile Marketing

By Stephanie Hahm Published March 10, 2015

Even with the growing popularity of mobile phones, business marketing strategies have been stagnant, as advertisements are still primarily distributed through billboards, commercials, mail, and e-mail. However, an underutilized but extremely effective approach is using SMS mobile marketing. With data that shows extremely high open rates and the ability to easily evaluate the efficacy of SMS marketing, companies should be quick to realize the potential of this strategy.

Nonprofits: The 'Good Guys'?

By Abigail Hiller Published March 10, 2015

When you think nonprofit, your local YMCA or Salvation Army likely comes to mind. The good guys: using their money to further a worthy cause. Oftentimes, with nonprofit status comes tax exemption - an attractive prospect for a company. This is where things get murky. The NFL, FIFA, and Ikea are all able to take advantage of the legislation that grants nonprofits tax exemption.

Our Future Economy: "Uberification"

By Stephanie Hahm Published February 22, 2015

As more and more people carry smartphones, mobile traffic has been increasing exponentially. Knowing this, mobile applications have become much more personalized, and firms have catered their business models to exploit the immediacy of the services that these apps provide. This article investigates the app-based transportation company Uber as a case study for the rising trend that will transform our current economy.

Good Grief (Pronounced "Greece")

By Alex Pundyk Published February 22, 2015

How one of the smallest economies in the European Union poses its most substantial financial risk, and the political perils therein; as negotiations within the European Union continue to offer hope of economic salvation for Greece and the Euro zone, the more interesting question becomes how the political fabric of Europe will be changed.

Addressing the Income Gap: President ObamaAddressing the Income Gap: President Obama's "Middle-Class" Tax Reforms

By Jacob Barnes Published February 22, 2015

President Obama has proposed a series of reforms to the American tax system in his promotion of "middle-class economics," including increases to capital gains rates and expansion of the earned income tax credit. Will these proposals make it past Congress?

Sandel on the Economy and Morals

By Gabe Kaufman Published November 9, 2014

Michael Sandel's book, "What Money Can't Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets" is one of my favorite books because of its sheer novelty. Unlike most suspicious of market operations, Sandel is, for the most part, okay with capitalism. What is different, then, is that he argues that we live in a market society instead of a market economy and that this market society is corrosive to our moral lives because not everything should and can be commodified.

Fee and Dividend Carbon Taxation

By Alex Pundyk Published November 9, 2014

Following the formal recognition by Secretary of State Chuck Hagel of climate change as a threat to American national security, we are provided governmental confirmation of the widespread and interconnected consequences of global climate change. Among the foremost policies devised to chokehold carbon pollution by manufacturers, "Fee and Dividend" allegedly offers the most economically beneficial system of taxation and redistribution of fees. But can the economic conjectures of climate scientist's fare against the contestation of scholars of the international political economy?

The Cost of Incarceration

By Stephanie Hahm Published November 9, 2014

The current US prison system is broken. Though levels of crime have gone down dramatically, the incarceration rate has been increasing. The biggest problem, however, is the cost that goes behind everything. Our state and federal governments should make changes not only to alleviate budget pressures, but to also improve inmates' futures after imprisonment.

Easing Quantitative Easing

By Hamdan Al Yousefi Published November 9, 2014

Quantitative Easing has pumped trillions of dollars into the economy, acting as a lifeline during the recession. But as the Fed announces its intentions to stop the supplement it is questionable how the economy will react.

Wealth Inequality Surpasses Income Equality Considerably

By Abigail Hiller Published November 9, 2014

Inequality is a hot-topic of today, and is only going to become hotter if continues to increase dramatically. Inequality persists in both income and wealth. Income is the flow that accrues to the stock of wealth. Recent research has explored just how greaty wealth inequality exceeds income inequality.

American Economic Optimism Remains Low, Potentially on the Mend

By Jacob Barnes Published November 9, 2014

The results of a recently published survey conducted by the Pew Research Center show US economic optimism to be on the rise. While this may be a step in the right direction, the glass remains half empty for almost 4 in 5 Americans.

Raising the Minimum Wage

By Nicole Feibelman Published November 9, 2014

By Nicole Feibelman, 11/9/14 The last time Congress voted to raise minimum wage was five years ago. Since then, the US has endured recessionary pressures and faced increases in the cost of life essentials such as gas, college tuition and groceries. Yet the wages of the bottom fifth remain stagnant even though Americans are working harder, more productively, and with more education than ever.

Remember the Titans

By Hunter Bosson Published November 9, 2014

The regulations and restrictions placed on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are being relaxed and even abolished at an alarming rate. Politicians claim cheaper credit for mortgages will help the American economy and people with little regard for the potential risks. For all its good intentions, deregulation is an increasingly troubling trend.

Austerity or Stimulus? Merkel and the Eurozone Decide

By Jordan Jackson Published November 9, 2014

Angela Merkel has headed the European economic recovery initiative for over a decade now with austerity - a prevailing model that has seen the German economy stabilize in the wake of the crisis. However, as infrastructure and GDP slows in Germany, is austerity still enough to fend off a recession. The remedy may now rest in stimulus.

Oil-ogopoly to Monopoly - How Saudi Arabia Outlasts Rivals

By Alison Schonberg Published November 9, 2014

With oil at a record low $85 per barrel, large exporters are struggling to meet budget demands. In particular, countries with state-owned oil companies, dependence on export-revenue, and high market share are most likely to lose-out during this period of weak profits. Among these oil giants, only one seems properly equipped to survive - Saudi Arabia. With high foreign reserves, the exporter can survive longer than its opponents, manage huge budget deficits, and handle potential exchange rate crises.

Minimum Wage, Overtime Protection Delayed for Home Health Care Workers

By Jacob Barnes Published October 24, 2014

The U.S. Department of Labor announced on Tuesday the complete extension of Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) protection to home health care workers will be delayed until at least 2016.

Parking: An Exercise in Matching

By Victor Zhao Published October 24, 2014

If the study of economics is about maximizing utility from scarce resources, then parking defies every rule in the economics toolkit. A tremendous amount of land and money is spent building spaces for parked cars on the road and in lots; yet, lack of parking is a perennial complaint for many, particularly those in urban or even suburban areas. The problem is not the lack of parking spots but rather their cost - free. The solution to the parking problem is to view it from an economic perspective and allow the fundamental facilitator of economic activity - prices - to produce a market clearing outcome.

The Case for Green Investment

By Abigail Hiller Published October 24, 2014

Today, the health of our planet has become a priority to many. As has the creation of jobs in our economy. Most consider there to be a trade-off between the two. But, this is not necessarily true; green initiatives are shown to provide the economy with jobs.


By Nicole Feibelman Published October 24, 2014

Despite their intention of alleviating student debt, Government grants are losing power and woefully being exploited by private universities, inducing a cyclical increase in student expenses.

Worker Rights: A Lens for Economic Policymaking

By Kelly McClure Published October 24, 2014

The misclassification of Day Laborers as Independent Contractors generates a climate of exploitation. Not only are workers deprived of legal rights such as worker's compensation, but employers who misclassify workers are able to exploit the market. By paying lower wages (wage theft) these companies create unfair market conditions in which they evade paying taxes, avoid liability for worker injuries and often expose workers to hazardous working conditions with few repercussions.

Take the Money and Run

By Hunter Bosson Published October 24, 2014

After years of relative unresponsiveness by financial regulatory institutions, progress is finally being made. Firms that claimed exemption from regulatory standards and inspections are finally coming within the regulatory framework in an increasingly global movement. The financial industry and the world economy is becoming a safer place because of it.

Could Scotland have gone it alone? Yes. Should it have? No

By Jordan Jackson Published October 24, 2014

With questions raised on oil revenues, readiness to address the Eurocrisis, as well as economic stability at a level to effectively "go it alone," a YES vote in the Scottish referendum for independence would have been bad for the U.K and very bad for Scotland.

Review of "Capital in the 21st Century"

By Gabriel Kaufman Published October 24, 2014

Thomas Piketty's book, "Capital in the Twenty-First Century" is for sure going to be a classic. As a treatise that deals with some of the most pressing economic and social issues of our time, this work systematically describes a problem, namely economic inequality, and proposes a solution: a progressive tax on capital.

Germany - Full Blown Recession or Summer Slump?

By Alison Schonberg Published October 24, 2014

In recent weeks, the Eurozone has turned upside down. Weak figures for German industrial production, GDP growth, and investment climate have triggered fears of a double-dip recession, in which the former currency leader could drag down already tepid growth among its trading partners. If Germany stands by austerity policy, and its rigid balanced-budget requirement, it could perpetuate a vicious cycle of contractionary policy, more severe recessions, and weak demand throughout the Eurozone.

Contextualizing the Economic Forces Supporting ISIS

By Alex Pundyk Published October 24, 2014

An amassing Islamic State of Iraq and Syria has drawn widespread dissent from the allied nations of NATO and the fear and fascination of "infidels" around the world. To assess ISIS as a state competing on a global scale, we must determine its financial sources, assess its political goals, and contextualize its economy. We may then decide the political responses warranted by such rampant radicalism, and escalating violence.

Common Core: Is it Worth it?

By Stephanie Hahm Published October 24, 2014

The Common Core, the newest educational initiative for K-12 students, is a switch that students, teachers, and policymakers have been recently debating about. One of the main arguments from opponents of the Common Core is the price tag to transition from the current expenditures to match the new educational standards. But is the price required a big enough obstacle to detract states from implementing it?

Greece's Shadow Economy

By Hamdan Al Yousefi Published October 24, 2014

With the Greek economy still suffering the effects of the 2008 recession more and more people are taking liberties and exploiting loopholes to improve their financial situation "” namely tax evasion, creating a shadow economy and depriving the government of tax revenue, adding a burden to the government's debt repayment.

Why Money Can Buy Happiness

By Josh Mark Published April 24, 2014

A new study published by the Brookings Institute suggests that money can in fact lead to happiness. This is not due to the increased ability to buy material items, but rather because of increased life expectancy. After all, you can't be happy if you're not alive.

A New Outlook for Google

By Lorenzo de Simone Published April 24, 2014

Google's first-quarter earnings released this week surprised many on Wall Street. After traditionally gushing out profits, the tech giants have currently struggled to retain this momentum and are now being accused of 'binge buying', buying that has little to do with its core business of Internet search and advertising. The company has however also found new revenue steams and has intensified its innovative efforts.

Net Neutrality: An Issue of Economic Access

By Victor Zhao Published April 24, 2014

Net neutrality is an issue of economic fairness. Only by preserving open, equal access for all its users can the Internet's democratic potential be fully realized. Despite the federal court decision striking down its proposed rules, the FCC must continue to advocate for, and work towards, the goal of keeping the Internet open for all.

The New Basel Liquidity Standards for Financial Stability

By Jihee Lee Published April 24, 2014

Janet Yellen, the chairwoman of the Federal Reserve, announced the Fed's plan to reinforce the regulation addressing the major financial vulnerabilities highlighted by the 2008 financial crisis, increasing reliance on short-term borrowing and high leverage.

China's Shadow Banking Crisis

By Lorenzo de Simone Published April 10, 2014

In the aftermath of the European economies sovereign debt crisis and the global financial crisis that severely damaged the United States economy, which is still today struggling to regain full employment, attention has now shifted towards China and the potential of a serious financial fallout.

The Great Democratic Divide

By Dylan Scott Published April 5, 2014

Conflict is brewing within the Democratic Party and the source of the party's internal conflict is predictably its oddest bedfellow"”the mega donors that fill campaign coffers and command party leaders' attention. Amidst the populist surge that has slowly overtaken the Democratic Party, it is easy to forget about the close ties between Democrats and the super rich.

The Economic Impact of Granting Citizenship to Illegal Immigrants

By Josh Mark Published April 5, 2014

One of the most contentious debates in American society today is that regarding the citizenship status of illegal immigrants. Opinions from the left and the right offer opposing views regarding the economic impact of a decision to offer citizenship to the immigrants. Without taking sides, I hope to shed some light on the debate from both sides of the political spectrum.

Quantitative Easing - The Proof is in the Pudding

By Abshir Esse Published April 5, 2014

Nearly six years have lapsed since the start of the quantitative easing program and a couple it is clear that the economic stimulus facilitated by the Federal Reserve was absolutely necessary and these actions have proved efficacious in stabilizing the economy.

Why Raising the Minimum Wage is a Good Idea

By Victor Zhao Published April 5, 2014

Basic microeconomic models of supply and demand hold that price floors are fundamentally distorting to efficient markets. Artificially raising the price of a good above the market-clearing, equilibrium price creates an excess of supply to demand and deadweight loss to the overall economy. Applying this logic to the labor market would seem to indicate that a high minimum wage is a recipe for unemployment, as it would lead to greater supply (workers willing to work) than demand (open positions companies are looking to fill). This analysis, however, fails because the labor market is fundamentally different. The inefficiencies and friction of the labor market, as well as the societal benefits of higher wages, makes raising the minimum wage a sound economic policy.

Will Cuba's Unified Currency Lead to Economic Turmoil?

By Daneille Charpentier Published November 3, 2013

While Cuba's plans to scrap its two-currency system may reduce economic volatility and streamline its economy, the unification of the two currencies' exchange rates will lead to short-term economic disorder.

The Boom and Bust of the Technology Sector: When and When not to mess with the big boys

By Marc Getzoff Published November 3, 2013

The massive expansion of the technology sector in the developed world has been nothing short of extraordinary. Large technology corporations such as Apple and Microsoft produce products that are commonplace worldwide and have revenues that can compete with the top businesses in the world. What is often most shocking about these technology firms is that they usually start from practically nothing and become so large they face charges of creating monopolies on their respective industries such as Microsoft with computer software.

How Will the ACA Medicaid Expansion Affect State Budgets?

By Hilary Gelfond Published November 3, 2013

As part of the Affordable Care Act, states are given the opportunity to expand their Medicaid programs to include individuals between 19 and 65 years of age with incomes up to 138% of the federal poverty line (FPL). Despite the opportunity to significantly decrease the proportion of uninsured citizens, 22 states have opted out of receiving virtually "free" money from the federal government. More significantly, the states with the greatest proportion of uninsured poor non-elderly are also the ones who will not expand their Medicaid enrollment. While critics of the program lament that their autonomy in Medicaid decision-making might be breached and that costs will increase, further inspection reveals that there will be little impact from the Medicaid expansion on state budgets.

Understanding Medicaid Expansion from an Economic Perspective

By Joshua Mark Published November 3, 2013

January 1st, 2014 marks a historical day for the United States health care system. In just over a month, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is set to take effect, and insurance exchanges are set to open across the country. Additionally, twenty-one states plan to expand Medicaid to those currently uninsured with incomes below 138% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) with other states currently in deliberation. The federal government is projected to pay for 93% of the increased costs (the costs resulting from increasing coverage from 100% of the FPL to 138% of the FPL) from 2014 until 2022, and 90% of those increases thereafter. Politics of the Affordable Care Act aside, I'd like to look into the opportunity cost of a state's decision to reject federal funding for Medicaid expansion.

The Benefits of Real Estate Crowd Funding

By Scott Gelber Published November 3, 2013

Crowfunding is a popular way for people to raise money for businesses, campaigns, and other ventures. The SEC recently has allowed crowdfunding to be used to fund real estate projects. In this article, the benefits and risks of the type of fundraising will be analyzed.

Reforming Social Security

By Joshua Mark Published October 15, 2013

Social Security accounts for $768 billion, or 35% of federal expenditures per year. This program, for the purposes of this blog post, uses money collected though taxes to provide monetary assistance for Americans over the age of 65 in the United States. The program ensures financial stability in the final years of life, during which the elderly seldom have a significant income. While the underlying values of the program are clearly laudable, the program itself may not be the most cost-effective, or realistic way to protect the elderly from financial instability looking forward.

What Happened to the Brazilian Boom?

By Lorenzo de Simone Published October 13, 2013

Brazil has been at the forefront of growth in a period where major economies have stagnated. However, recent unease due to a sluggish economy suggests that government reform must take place in order for Brazil to relive the period of 'economic miracle'.

The Economic Horror of Our Current Predicament

By Marc Getzoff Published October 13, 2013

Economic uncertainty, a looming debt crisis and a divided government that is currently not working (literally!). Those words have often characterized regimes and nations that have fallen into economic calamity. One example is Russia in 1998 as it defaulted on its debt amidst inflation and government division. Today, we find ourselves describing the United States of America with those very words.

The Government Shutdown: Effects on the U.S. Market and the Global Economy

By Danielle Charpentier Published October 13, 2013

Wall Street maintains stability in the face of the first government shutdown in 17 years. However, a continued shutdown could agitate investment sentiment and decrease consumer confidence, potentially resulting in international economic stagnancy.

The Role of Tax Reform in Revenue Creation

By Hilary Gelfond Published September 29, 2013

With tax reform becoming an increasingly relevant topic on the political agenda, this article, the first in a series about the reform movement, will explore the role of revenue creation in tax policy. The determination that tax reform should include a revenue component is proven through snapshots in history form the 1986 Tax Reform Act and the political arguments for and against the policy.

Where are All the Balloons?

By Michael Crovetto Published September 29, 2013

In the past few months, some of you may have had a difficult time trying to come by inflated balloons. What's a birthday party without those cheerful floating bags of air? Helium, the key ingredient to those colorful adornments, has recently experienced a shortage. While helium may be one of the most abundant elements on Earth, after these past few months it no longer seems so. The element often associated with high-pitched humor, is in a situation which is no laughing matter.

Do government programs for the poor actually alleviate poverty?

By Dylan Scott Published September 29, 2013

During the State of the Union Address on January 8, 1964, President Lyndon Johnson outlined what would become known as the War on Poverty, proclaiming, "This administration today here and now declares unconditional war on poverty in America. I urge this Congress and all Americans to join me in that effort...." Johnson undertook a noble mission in that address, one that inspired a generation of lifelong activists committed to eliminating poverty through direct assistance programs for the poor. However, fifty years later, there is little evidence to show that this approach has lowered poverty rates at all.

Securing the Scandalized: How Regulators and Prosecutors have responded to a year of financial law breaking

By Austin Opatmy Published May 1, 2013

In the United States, two main fields have dominated news headlines: insider trading, and foreclosure violations. There have recently been multiple prosecutions for insider trading. SAC Capital, faced with two separate allegations of insider trading, has paid over $600 million in fines, a record-breaking amount.

Venezuela's outlook without Chavez

By Michael Crovetto Published May 1, 2013

With countries seemingly going bankrupt daily in Europe, and the threat of congressional incompetence killing the American economic recovery, it should come as no surprise that countries in South America are experiencing struggles as well.

The Effect of Secure Property Rights on Economic Growth

By Malavika Madgavkar Published May 1, 2013

Economist Douglass North argues that the key to sustained economic growth is efficient economic institutions. By efficient, he means that they provide incentives for individuals to engage in economic activity that is socially beneficial. Until recent times, according to North, governments mainly hindered economic growth because they were extractive institutions, which focused on maximizing the ruler's wealth and not the nation's.

Increasing mortgage rates is good for the housing market

By Scott Gelber Published May 1, 2013

Last week the 30 year fixed rate reached its highest level in more than six months showing signs of recovery in the housing market. Although the housing market has been in recovery for the past couple months, increased interest rates may be seen as a threat to the growth of the housing market.

Recent Improvements Aren't Enough to Slow Monetary Easing

By Said Israilov Published May 1, 2013

According to recently released data, the U.S. economy is showing persistent signs of recovery despite across-the-board spending cuts. Partly driven by improvements in the housing market, the US economy added an estimated 200,000 jobs a month since last November - nearly enough to shrug off defense and infrastructure spending cuts.

Infrastrucure and the Economy

By Hilary Gelfond Published May 1, 2013

This past Tuesday, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) released its 2013 Report Card for American Infrastructure. With an average grade of a D+, the ASCE estimates the America needs to spend $3.6 trillion on infrastructure improvements by 2020, $1.6 trillion more than current funding.[i] However, creaky bridges, congested roads, outdated school buildings, and unreliable energy grids have a greater impact on American wellbeing besides the obvious safety hazards.

Gun Laws seem to be Anything but "Common Sense"

By Kyle Datoush Published May 1, 2013

Recent legislation regarding gun control that has been put forward has been anything but "common sense," to use New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's phrase. The New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act of 2013 (NY SAFE Act) is a prime example of legislation that was hastily passed and has gone beyond what is necessary to address gun control.

If You Can't Beat Them, Regulate Them

By Dylan Scott Published May 1, 2013

In order to learn more about the impact of entry regulations on small businesses, I watched a presentation by experts on food industry regulation at the American Enterprise Institute. The discussion introduced ideas about the nature of anti-competitive regulation that appear applicable to many industries.

Spending Cuts are Hard

By Victor Zhao Published May 1, 2013

By now, we are more than familiar with proclamations of wasteful government spending; Republicans have been on the drumbeat about the size of the federal budget deficit for seemingly forever (actually, since Barack Obama replaced the last Republican president in the White House). But it isn't just the Republicans who are guilty of this; Democrats, too, including President Obama, have made a premature pivot to deficit reduction, by proposing cuts in a number of social programs funded by the federal government.