Putting Your Major to Work: Career Paths after College

Putting Your Major to Work: Career Paths after College. Brookings Institution. Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, Ryan Nunn, and Greg Nantz. May 11, 2017

For most people, a college degree is helpful for flourishing in the labor market. College graduates earn more than workers with less education—on average, about $600,000 more over their lifetimes than workers with only a high school education. College graduates also have much lower levels of unemployment, enjoy better health, and have lower mortality rates.

However, not all college experiences have the same benefits. A previous Hamilton Project economic analysis documented important variation in earnings across college majors: for the median degree holder, cumulative lifetime earnings ranged from about $800,000 to roughly $2 million. At the high end of the earnings distribution are graduates who majored in fields emphasizing quantitative skills, such as engineering, computer science, economics, and finance. At the low end are graduates who majored in fields that emphasize working with children or providing counseling services, including early childhood education, elementary education, social work, and fine arts. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 8 pages, 1.26 MB].

Stateless Attribution: Toward International Accountability in Cyberspace

Stateless Attribution: Toward International Accountability in Cyberspace. RAND Corporation. John S. Davis II et al. June 2, 2017.

The public attribution of a malicious cyber incident consists of identifying the responsible party behind the activity. A cyber attribution finding is a necessary prerequisite for holding actors accountable for malicious activity. Recently, several cyber incidents with geopolitical implications and the attribution findings associated with those incidents have received high-profile press coverage. Many segments of the general public disputed and questioned the credibility of the declared attributions. This report reviews the state of cyber attribution and examines alternative options for producing standardized and transparent attribution that may overcome concerns about credibility. In particular, this exploratory work considers the value of an independent, global organization whose mission consists of investigating and publicly attributing major cyber attacks. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 64 pages, 648.96 KB].

State and Local Fiscal Effects of Immigration

State and Local Fiscal Effects of Immigration. Urban Institute. Kim S. Rueben, Sarah Gault. June 5, 2017

In the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election, immigrants and immigration are at the forefront of the national conversation. Although much of the discussion has focused on national security and who should be able to live in the United States, a key aspect of the issue is what immigrants contribute to or cost this country. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS) commissioned a panel of experts to examine this issue and released The Economic and Fiscal Consequences of Immigration (NAS 2016) summarizing what we know about this multifaceted topic. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 19 pages, 1.63 MB].

Paid family and medical leave: An issue whose time has come

Paid family and medical leave: An issue whose time has come. Brookings Institution. June 6, 2017

The U.S. is the only developed nation without a national paid family leave policy. Though a handful of states have created their own policies—including California, New Jersey, Rhode Island, New York, and the District of Columbia—the plans have a lack of public awareness and low take-up rates. And while some private employers offer paid family leave policies, employer-provided paid leave is concentrated among high-income workers; a majority of those below media income received no pay while on leave.

In “Paid family and medical leave: An issue whose time has come”, the joint AEI-Brookings Working Group on Paid Family Leave—a group comprised of experts with experience in both Democratic and Republican administrations—takes a closer look at the need for federal paid family leave, highlighting the benefits and costs of providing paid leave from the perspective of workers, businesses, and society. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 48 pages, 1.17 MB].

Water Quality Targeting Success Stories: How to Achieve Measurably Cleaner Water Through U.S. Farm Conservation Watershed Projects

Water Quality Targeting Success Stories: How to Achieve Measurably Cleaner Water Through U.S. Farm Conservation Watershed Projects. World Resources Institute. Michelle Perez. May 2017

This joint report from WRI and the American Farmland Trust features lessons learned from six water quality targeting project success stories and highlights key factors that allowed these programs to achieve desirable environmental outcomes. It concludes with recommendations for both public and private sectors to help other projects achieve and measure landscape-scale environmental outcomes.
The report and its recommendations were developed based on literature reviews and interviews with USDA staff, farm conservation and water quality experts, and leaders of the six projects. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 162 pages, 10.26 MB].

Frequently Asked Questions About Prescription Drug Pricing and Policy

Frequently Asked Questions About Prescription Drug Pricing and Policy. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Suzanne M. Kirchhoff, Judith A. Johnson, Susan Thaul. May 2, 2017

Prescription drugs play an important role in the U.S. health care system. Innovative, breakthrough drugs are providing cures for diseases such as hepatitis C and helping individuals with chronic conditions lead fuller lives. Studies show that prescription drug therapy can produce health care savings by reducing the number of hospitalizations and other costly medical procedures.

Congress has attempted to ensure that Americans have access to pharmaceuticals by enacting the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit as part of the Medicare Modernization and Prescription Drug Act of 2003 (MMA; P.L. 108-173) and expanding drug coverage under the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA; P.L. 111-148, as amended). Congress also has enacted laws to encourage manufacturing of lower-cost generic drugs, as well as cutting-edge biologics and biosimilars.

Americans are using more prescription drugs, and for longer periods of time, than in past decades. Still, access to prescription drugs remains a real issue for a number of consumers, particularly those without insurance; those prescribed expensive specialty drugs for treating serious or rare diseases; or those enrolled in private insurance or public health plans with high cost-sharing requirements, such as drug deductibles and coinsurance.

[PDF format, 37 pages, 1.14 MB].

The Importance of High Quality General Education for Students in Special Education

The Importance of High Quality General Education for Students in Special Education. Brookings Institution. Elizabeth Setren and Nora Gordon. April 20, 2017

Last month’s Supreme Court decision in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District sets a higher bar for the “free appropriate public education” (FAPE) guaranteed to students with disabilities by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). In the unanimous opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote: “every child should have the chance to meet challenging objectives. This standard is more demanding than the ‘merely more than de minimis’ test applied by the Tenth Circuit.” While the new standard may be vague, it has rejuvenated public discussion around special education policy and practice.

As policymakers and practitioners think about what changes may be required to meet the new standard, they should not overlook the role of general education. New evidence suggests that it’s possible for special education students to make large achievement gains without their traditional services in schools with high quality general education programs. This points to the importance of the quality of general education for students schools might place in special education. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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