Employment, Education, and the Time Use of American Youth

Employment, Education, and the Time Use of American Youth. Brookings Institution. Lauren Bauer et al.  September 5, 2019

The labor force participation rate is a key measure of economic health. While the decline in prime-age workers’ labor force participation receives much attention from policymakers, it is far outpaced by the decline in participation among younger workers. In this analysis we show how changing employment and school enrollment patterns have contributed to declining labor force participation among youth, aged 16 to 24. Youth today are not disengaged; rather, declines in youth labor force participation primarily reflect a long-term but accelerating shift toward schooling and spending more time on education-related activities. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 26 pages].

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Consumer Credit Reporting, Credit Bureaus, Credit Scoring, and Related Policy Issues

Consumer Credit Reporting, Credit Bureaus, Credit Scoring, and Related Policy Issues. Congressional Research Service.  Cheryl R. Cooper, Darryl E. Getter.  Updated July 26, 2019

The consumer data industry—generally referred to as credit reporting agencies or credit bureaus—collects and subsequently provides information to firms about the behavior of consumers when they participate in various financial transactions. Firms use consumer information to screen for consumer risks. For example, lenders rely upon credit reports and scores to determine the likelihood that prospective borrowers will repay their loans. Insured depository institutions (i.e., banks and credit unions) rely on consumer data service providers to determine whether to make available checking accounts or loans to individuals. Some insurance companies use consumer data to determine what insurance products to make available and to set policy premiums. Some payday lenders use data regarding the management of checking accounts and payment of telecommunications and utility bills to determine the likelihood of failure to repay small-dollar cash advances. Merchants rely on the consumer data industry to determine whether to approve payment by check or electronic payment card. Employers may use consumer data information to screen prospective employees to determine the likelihood of fraudulent behavior. In short, numerous firms rely upon consumer data to identify and evaluate potential risks a consumer may pose before entering into a financial relationship with that consumer.

[PDF format, 22 pages].

Inequality as a Multidimensional Process

Inequality as a Multidimensional Process. Daedalus: Journal. Summer 2019.

Rising inequality is one of our most pressing social concerns. And it is not simply that some are advantaged while others are not, but that structures of inequality are self-reinforcing and cumulative; they become durable. The societal arrangements that in the past have produced more equal economic outcomes and social opportunities – such as expanded mass education, access to social citizenship and its benefits, and wealth redistribution – have often been attenuated and supplanted by processes that are instead inequality-inducing. This issue of Dædalus draws on a wide range of expertise to better understand and examine how economic conditions are linked, across time and levels of analysis, to other social, psychological, political, and cultural processes that can either counteract or reinforce durable inequalities. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[HTML format, various paging].

The National Trails System: A Brief Overview

The National Trails System: A Brief Overview.  Congressional Research Service. Mark K. DeSantis, Sandra L. Johnson. Updated June 10, 2019

The National Trails System was created in 1968 by the National Trails System Act (16 U.S.C. §§1241-1251). The system includes four types of trails: (1) national scenic trails (NSTs), which display significant physical characteristics of U.S. regions; (2) national historic trails (NHTs), which follow travel routes of national historical significance; (3) national recreation trails (NRTs), which provide outdoor recreation accessible to urban areas; and (4) connecting or side trails, which provide access to the other types of trails. As defined in the act, NSTs and NHTs are longdistance trails designated by acts of Congress. NRTs and connecting and side trails may be designated by the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture with the consent of the federal agency, state, or political subdivision with jurisdiction over the lands involved. 

[PDF format, 17 pages].

Digital Trade and U.S. Trade Policy

Digital Trade and U.S. Trade Policy. Congressional Research Service.  Rachel F. Fefer, Wayne M. Morrison, Shayerah Ilias Akhtar. May 21, 2019

As the global internet develops and evolves, digital trade has become more prominent on the global trade and economic policy agenda. The economic impact of the internet was estimated to be $4.2 trillion in 2016, making it the equivalent of the fifth-largest national economy. The digital economy accounted for 6.9% of current‐dollar gross U.S. domestic product (GDP) in 2017. Digital trade has been growing faster than traditional trade in goods and services.  Congress has an important role to play in shaping global digital trade policy, from oversight of agencies charged with regulating cross-border data flows to shaping and considering legislation implementing new trade rules and disciplines through trade negotiations. Congress also works with the executive branch to identify the right balance between digital trade and other policy objectives, including privacy and national security.

[PDF format, 45 pages].

Understanding the Effects of the US Stress Tests

Understanding the Effects of the US Stress Tests. Brookings Institution. Donald Kohn and Nellie Liang.  July 11, 2019

Concurrent stress tests—testing all major banks with the same macroeconomic and market scenarios at the same time—were a key innovation growing out of the financial crisis of 2007-09. Their original intent in 2009 was to identify the capital needed by banks to continue functioning in a deep recession and require them to raise the capital, from private sources or the government, to support the economy. The stress tests have evolved considerably since 2009, but the underlying rationale remains to assure that major banks can continue to supply credit to households and businesses in circumstances of deep economic and financial distress. The tests allow policymakers to assess the adequacy of capital buffers and to require remediation when necessary through modifications to institutions’ capital plans. They are a strong microprudential tool, with important macroprudential elements.

In this paper, Donald Kohn and Nellie Liang of the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy at Brookings focused on assessing some of the effects of this new prudential tool as implemented in the United States, and contributing to the Federal Reserve Board’s review of its supervisory stress tests. They analyzed the data that are publicly disclosed about the stress tests for their implications for bank capital requirements and risk management, and marshaled the evidence from existing studies on the effects of stress tests on credit rather than undertaking new efforts. In addition, they interviewed a number of people knowledgeable about the stress tests to get their views on their effects. These included current and former supervisors and Federal Reserve economists (some of whom are now at consultancies advising banks on stress tests or at interest groups), current and former bankers involved in the stress tests at the banks, and other interested observers. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 30 pages].

Energy in America: Energy as a Source of Economic Growth and Social Mobility

Energy as a Source of Economic Growth and Social Mobility.  Center for Strategic & International Studies. Sarah Ladislaw, Jesse Barnett. June 25, 2019

The CSIS Energy Program assessed the existing academic literature, commissioned new research papers, convened an expert summit, and compiled the findings to produce Energy in America: Energy as a Source of Economic Growth and Social Mobility. This report analyzes the ways energy contributes to the challenges and opportunities facing ordinary Americans, covering the impacts of production, distribution, and consumption of energy products in the United States.

The report highlights the new, extra-energy objectives that energy policy is increasingly expected to advance and evaluates their historical efficacy. The authors conclude that while deliberate U.S. energy policy interventions have hitherto achieved mixed results, there are promising developments and best practices that decisionmakers ought to consider. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 55 pages].