Risky Choices: Simulating Public Pension Funding Stress with Realistic Shocks

Risky Choices: Simulating Public Pension Funding Stress with Realistic Shocks. Brookings Institution.  James Farrell and Daniel Shoag. November 30, 2017

 Though they often fly under the radar in public discourse, state and local pension plans are among the most important institutions in the modern economy. They provide retirement benefits for nearly 10 million beneficiaries; have nearly 20 million members, and manage nearly $4 trillion in assets.[1] The huge scale of these plans means that seemingly obscure assumptions on investment returns and discount rates have enormous consequences. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 28 pages, 643.98 KB].

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After Brexit: Alternate Forms of Brexit and Their Implications for the United Kingdom, the European Union and the United States

After Brexit: Alternate forms of Brexit and their implications for the United Kingdom, the European Union and the United States. RAND Corporation. Charles P. Ries et al. December 11, 2017.

Whether Brexit is judged to be success or not will depend to some degree on its economic impact. Much of the debate in the UK around Brexit has been focused on a ‘hard’ or ‘soft Brexit’, which relates to whether the UK should leave the Single Market and the Customs Union. However, there are a range of different trade opportunities and arrangements that could happen between the UK and European Union (EU), and other countries, such as the U.S., post-Brexit.

RAND explored eight plausible post-Brexit trade scenarios involving the UK, EU and U.S. after Brexit. Game theory insights were also used to create a better understanding of how a variety of factors might affect the outcome of Brexit negotiations. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 159 pages, 1.31 MB].

Eleven Facts about Innovation and Patents

Eleven Facts about Innovation and Patents. Brookings Institution. Jay Shambaugh, Ryan Nunn, and Becca Portman. December 13, 2017

Improvement in living standards over time is not inevitable or automatic. Rather, it is made possible by increases in physical and human capital, technological progress that itself might require large investments, and well-designed institutions. In this set of eleven economic facts, the authors explore central features of the innovation system, including patents, research and development (R&D) investments, and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. Following this analysis, they highlight opportunities to enhance the effectiveness of the innovation system, thereby contributing to faster technological progress and economic growth. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 28 pages, 1.43 MB].

Evaluating Policies to Transform Distressed Urban Neighborhoods

Evaluating Policies to Transform Distressed Urban Neighborhoods. Urban Institute. Laura Tach, Christopher Wimer. October 24, 2017

This memo synthesizes research on place-based policy interventions that target urban neighborhoods in four policy areas: economic development, human capital, housing, and crime prevention. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 10 pages, 517.39 KB].

Will Corporate Tax Cuts Cause a Large Increase in Wages?

Will Corporate Tax Cuts Cause a Large Increase in Wages? Peterson Institute for International Economics. Policy Brief, 17-30. William R. Cline. November 2017

Proponents of lowering corporate taxes cite an estimate by the Trump administration’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) that cutting the corporate tax rate from 35 to 20 percent would raise average annual household income by $4,000 to $9,000, corresponding to an increase in wages ranging from 6 to 14 percent, respectively. The council’s conclusion is based on cross-country and cross-state statistical tests and are subject to weaknesses highlighted by Lawrence Summers and Jason Furman, among others. In contrast, Gregory Mankiw has pointed out that a simple aggregate production function approach could generate wage increases that substantially exceed the tax revenue loss. This Policy Brief examines the use of the production function approach and concludes that although Mankiw provides a useful reminder that a corporate tax cut could raise worker productivity and wages through its potential for providing more capital for labor to work with, the likely magnitudes of the gains are far smaller than the range claimed by the CEA. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 6 pages, 230.56 KB].

U.S. Natural Gas in the Global Economy

U.S. Natural Gas in the Global Economy. Center for Strategic & International Studies. Sarah Ladislaw et al. November 1, 2017

This report summarizes a one-day CSIS-International Energy Agency (IEA) workshop held in May 2017, with government, industry, and policy experts exploring the outlook for natural gas markets in the global energy landscape. The workshop addressed key issues concerning the role of natural gas in North America, as well as the evolving strategic role of U.S. natural gas exports and liquefied natural gas markets (LNG) in the global energy system. The workshop was the third in a three-part workshop series, with the first workshop examining key issues concerning the role of U.S. tight oil production in the global economy and the second workshop focusing on the societal and environmental risks associated with U.S. onshore oil and gas development. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 29 pages, 377.34 MB].

Digitalization and the American Workforce

Digitalization and the American Workforce. Brookings Institution. Mark Muro et al. November 2017

In recent decades, the diffusion of digital technology into nearly every business and workplace, also known as “digitalization,” has been remaking the U.S. economy and the world of work. The “digitalization of everything” has at once increased the potential of individuals, firms, and society while also contributing to a series of troublesome impacts and inequalities, such as worker pay disparities across many demographics, and the divergence of metropolitan economic outcomes.

In light of that, this report presents a detailed analysis of changes in the digital content of 545 occupations covering 90 percent of the U.S. workforce in all industries since 2001. The analysis categorizes U.S. occupations into jobs that require high, medium or low digital skills and tracks the impacts of rapid change.
The full report concludes with implications of the key findings and suggests ways communities can work with firms and workers to spread the benefits of digitalization while mitigating its potentially harmful effects. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 60 pages, 2.98 MB].