Promoting Refugee Integration in Challenging Times: The Potential of Two-Generation Strategies

Promoting Refugee Integration in Challenging Times: The Potential of Two-Generation Strategies. Migration Policy Institute. Mark Greenberg et al. December 2018.

The U.S. refugee resettlement program is facing unprecedented challenges, between the steep drop in refugee arrivals since fiscal year 2016 and reduced funding for reception and placement services. Some local resettlement offices have been forced to close, while others must figure out how to do more with less. As a result, it is more important than ever to think smartly about how to support refugee integration, including by forging new partnerships and improving the accessibility of mainstream services.
At the same time, human service agencies across the United States have shown a growing interest in “two-generation” strategies built around recognition of the fact that addressing the needs of children is important to their parents’ success, and vice versa. This report examines how this approach could be—and in some cases, already is—applied to support the integration of refugee families. Such a strategy may include programs that explicitly serve both adults and children, as well as those that focus on one or the other group in a way that supports the advancement of the whole family. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 57 pages].

Trans-Atlantic Scorecard – January 2019

Trans-Atlantic Scorecard – January 2019. Brookings Institution. January 18, 2019

Welcome to the second edition of the Trans-Atlantic Scorecard, a quarterly evaluation of U.S.-European relations produced by Brookings’s Center on the United States and Europe (CUSE), as part of the Brookings – Robert Bosch Foundation Transatlantic Initiative.
To produce the Scorecard, we poll Brookings scholars and other experts on the present state of U.S. relations with Europe—overall and in the political, security, and economic dimensions—as well as on the state of U.S. relations with five key countries and the European Union itself. We also ask about several major issues in the news. The poll for this edition of the survey was conducted January 7-10, 2019.
The experts’ analysis is complemented by a Snapshot of the relationship over the previous four calendar months, including a timeline of significant moments, a tracker of President Trump’s telephone conversations with European leaders, figures presenting data relevant to the relationship, and CUSE Director Thomas Wright’s take on what to watch in the coming months. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[HTML format, various paging].

Partners or Pirates? Collaboration and Competition in Local Economic Development

Partners or Pirates? Collaboration and Competition in Local Economic Development. Urban Institute. Megan Randall et al. December 20, 2018

In this report, the authors explore how and why local governments have turned to cooperation to boost economic development. They synthesize highlights from the literature, explore program features from two regional case studies, and share findings from interviews with local practitioners. Although research on the effectiveness of current practices is limited, they identify themes that can inform cooperative economic development. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 67 pages].

The U.S. Coal Sector: Recent and Continuing Challenges

The U.S. Coal Sector: Recent and Continuing Challenges. Brookings Institution. Howard Gruenspecht. January 2019

The 40 percent decline in U.S. coal-fired power generation over the last decade accounted for 75 percent of the total reduction of 800 million metric tons in U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions between 2005 and 2017. The shift away from coal was mainly driven by lower natural gas prices due to the shale revolution and stagnant U.S. electricity demand, and to a lesser extent by policy-supported growth in wind and solar generation. With power generation accounting for over 90 percent of U.S. coal use, there was a comparable reduction in U.S. coal production over the last decade. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 25 pages].

Small Business Mentor-Protégé Programs

Small Business Mentor-Protégé Programs. Congressional Research Service. Robert Jay Dilger. January 7, 2019

Mentor-protégé programs typically seek to pair new businesses with more experienced businesses in mutually beneficial relationships. Protégés may receive financial, technical, or management assistance from mentors in obtaining and performing federal contracts or subcontracts, or serving as suppliers under such contracts or subcontracts. Mentors may receive credit toward subcontracting goals, reimbursement of certain expenses, or other incentives.

The federal government currently has several mentor-protégé programs to assist small businesses in various ways. For example, the 8(a) Mentor-Protégé Program is a government-wide program designed to assist small businesses “owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals” participating in the Small Business Administration’s (SBA’s) Minority Small Business and Capital Ownership Development Program (commonly known as the 8(a) program) in obtaining and performing federal contracts. Toward that end, mentors may (1) form joint ventures with protégés that are eligible to perform federal contracts set aside for small businesses; (2) make certain equity investments in protégé firms; (3) lend or subcontract to protégé firms; and (4) provide technical or management assistance to their protégés. The Department of Defense (DOD) Mentor-Protégé Program, in contrast, is agency-specific. It is designed to assist various types of small businesses and other entities in obtaining and performing DOD subcontracts and serving as suppliers on DOD contracts. Mentors may (1) make advance or progress payments to their protégés that DOD reimburses; (2) award subcontracts to their protégés on a noncompetitive basis when they would not otherwise be able to do so; (3) lend money to or make investments in protégé firms; and (4) provide or arrange for other assistance.

[PDF format, 30 pages].

Progress Paradoxes and Sustainable Growth: Insights from the New Science of Well-being

Progress Paradoxes and Sustainable Growth: Insights from the New Science of Well-being. Brookings Institution. Carol Graham. December 19, 2018

The past century is full of progress paradoxes, with unprecedented economic development, as evidenced by improvements in longevity, health, and literacy. At the same time, we face daunting challenges such as climate change, persistent poverty in poor and fragile states, and increasing income inequality and unhappiness in many of the richest countries. Remarkably, some of the most worrisome trends are in countries with rapid economic growth and falling poverty. Not surprisingly, there is much debate about the sustainability of our future. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 26 pages].

Minimum Wages: What Does the Research Tell Us about the Effectiveness of Local Action?

Minimum Wages: What Does the Research Tell Us about the Effectiveness of Local Action? Urban Institute. John Marotta, Solomon Greene. January 16, 2019

As real wages stagnate, racial disparities grow, and housing prices soar in cities across the US, local governments are increasingly adopting laws and regulations that aim to reduce inequalities and improve access to economic opportunity for their residents. At the same time, states are increasingly enacting laws that limit or preempt local action in these areas, often relying on a thin or nonexistent evidence base to suggest that local regulation is inefficient or overly burdensome. Minimum wages are one domain that has become increasingly subject to state preemption, especially since 2013. Proponents of state preemption of minimum wages often cite concerns about having a patchwork of wage levels across the state, and claims that a higher local minimum wage puts the locale city or county at a competitive disadvantage relative to surrounding areas. Local minimum-wage laws can help ensure that workers can afford housing, food, and other basic necessities in locations where the cost of living is higher than in other parts of the country or state. In this brief, we synthesize the evidence on the effectiveness of minimum-wage laws and suggest areas in which further research could help policymakers, advocates, and the public improve local minimum-wage laws. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 13 pages].

Access to Justice

Access to Justice. American Academy of Arts & Sciences, Dædalus, Winter 2019.

“Access to Justice” – the first open access issue of Dædalus – features twenty-four essays that examine the national crisis in civil legal services facing poor and low-income Americans: from the challenges of providing quality legal assistance to more people, to the social and economic costs of an often unresponsive legal system, to the opportunities for improvement offered by new technologies, professional innovations, and fresh ways of thinking about the crisis. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[HTML format, various paging].

Work, Skills, Community: Restoring Opportunity for the Working Class

Work, Skills, Community: Restoring Opportunity for the Working Class. Brookings Institution. Oren Cass et al. November 26, 2018

In the wake of the 2016 election, Opportunity America convened a bipartisan study group, cosponsored by the American Enterprise Institute and the Brookings Institution, to consider the challenges facing working-class communities and craft a set of policy solutions. In November 2018, the group released its final report, Work, skills, community: Restoring opportunity for the working class – a slate of bipartisan proposals to create jobs, train and retrain workers and revitalize blue-collar communities. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 136 pages].

How to Design Carbon Dividends

How to Design Carbon Dividends. Urban Institute. Donald Marron, Elaine Maag. December 12, 2018

A robust carbon tax would generate considerable revenue. Some carbon tax advocates have suggested returning those revenues to Americans through direct payments, often called carbon dividends. We examine how to design these dividends considering two, sometimes conflicting, principles. Carbon dividends can be viewed as shared income from a communal property right, much as Alaskans share in income from the state’s oil resources. Dividends can also be viewed as rebating the carbon tax back to consumers. These views often have different implications for designing carbon dividends. Political and practical considerations are also important. With that in mind, we propose a carbon dividend design that combines beneficial features from both the communal property and tax rebate views. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 45 pages].