Research Brief

Take-up and Targeting: Experimental Evidence from SNAP

There are programs in the United States that provide food and health care, for example, to individuals who otherwise cannot afford them. All they have to do is apply. And yet many eligible individuals choose to not apply for those benefits.
Research Brief

The Economic Consequences of Bankruptcy Reform

For some individuals with high levels of debt and no means to pay it all back, bankruptcy can mean a fresh start by offering creditors partial repayment while remaining debts are forgiven. This new beginning is not painless for debtors, as they must liquidate personal property, which means not only cash, stocks, or bonds, but can also include such items as collectables and family heirlooms. For creditors, bankruptcy may offer at least some repayment but often leaves them wanting.
Research Brief

Impact of the COVID-19 Crisis on Family Dynamics in Economically Vulnerable Households • The Education Gradient in Maternal Enjoyment of Time in Childcare

A Google search of “parenting and mothers during covid” in mid-October 2020 returned nearly 300...
Topics:  COVID-19, Economic Mobility & Poverty, Early Childhood Education
Research Brief

Elections, Political Polarization, and Economic Uncertainty

Uncertainty is the bane of economic decision-making. Whether to invest, start a new business, change jobs, or a myriad of other questions are difficult choices even in relatively stable times (however one chooses to define “stable”). However, such events as hotly contested national elections turn up the dials of uncertainty and complicate decision-making beyond normal bounds of ambiguity. This is especially true when a large gap exists between the likely economic policies of competing candidates and political parties.
Research Brief

Effective Policy Communication: Targets versus Instruments

In recent decades, and especially since the Great Recession, interest rates have remained very low, meaning that central banks have had to devise new ways to invigorate the economy in times of recession. In some cases, like quantitative easing, whereby central banks purchase long-term securities in the open market to increase the money supply and encourage lending and investment, these new tools are deemed unconventional.
Topics:  Monetary Policy
Research Brief

Fifty Shades of QE: Conflicts of Interest in Economic Research

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Reserve dusted off one of its unconventional monetary policy tools from the Great Recession—quantitative easing, or QE. This practice, whereby the Fed purchases long-term securities in the open market, is meant to increase the money supply and, thus, encourage lending and investment. The Fed originally introduced this program in 2009 when interest rates were near zero, thus rendering traditional monetary policy ineffective and limiting the Fed’s ability to address the economic slump.
Research Brief

The Allocation of Talent and US Economic Growth

Imagine falling sick in a world where half or more of all the good doctors were intentionally kept out of the profession. How confident would you be in the care you received? Or imagine that you needed a lawyer to get you out of a tight legal jam, yet roughly half of the brightest legal minds were intentionally unavailable?
Topics:  Employment & Wages
Research Brief

The Great Lockdown and the Big Stimulus: Tracing the Pandemic Possibility Frontier for the US

The COVID-19 pandemic has fueled a global health and economic crisis of unprecedented severity. Six months into the pandemic, the death toll in the US is approaching 200,000 and, despite massive fiscal stimulus, the country faces its deepest economic contraction in modern history. Since person-to-person contact is essential for a substantial fraction of the US economy to function, and since such close contact allows the virus to spread easily, both fatalities and economic losses are unavoidable.
Topics:  COVID-19