The Outdoor Recreation Economy

The Outdoor Recreation Economy. Congressional Research Service. Anne A. Riddle. October 22, 2019

Congress plays an overarching role in shaping outdoor recreation throughout the nation through legislation and oversight. As Congress continues to debate outdoor recreation issues—including provision of federal resources, planning efforts, and funding—data on the size, distribution, and relative importance of the outdoor recreation economy may inform these debates. Both historical and recent legislative and executive efforts centered on outdoor recreation have identified the economic importance of outdoor recreation. In 2016, Congress passed the Outdoor Recreation Jobs and Economic Impact Act (P.L. 114-249), which directed the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) in the Department of Commerce to create an account that would measure the outdoor recreation economy. BEA released the first official Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account (ORSA) statistics in September 2018 and updated them in September 2019. 

[PDF format, 20 pages].

European Union Tries Rebooting the Economy

European Union Tries Rebooting the Economy. YaleGlobal. Joergen Oerstroem Moeller. January 27, 2015.

The European Central Bank announced dramatic expansion of its monetary stimulus plan to purchase asset-backed securities and bonds through September 2016 for a total of at least €1 trillion. On the surface, the move has similarities to U.S. stimulus measures in play since late 2008, with the U.S. Federal Reserve purchasing billions of dollars in mortgage-backed securities, bank debt and treasury notes. Europe’s plan will cover private-sector and public bonds, with about 20 percent of the additional asset purchases to be subjected to risk-sharing. Success could depend on how assets are targeted. Economist Joergen Oerstroem Moeller reviews the European Union’s ambitious 2020 strategy on employment, innovation, education, social inclusion and climate/energy, which emphasizes resource efficiency as a tool of competition. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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Few See Quick Cure for Nation’s Political Divisions

Few See Quick Cure for Nation’s Political Divisions. Pew Research Center. December 11, 2014.

As 2014 draws to a close, the public is deeply pessimistic about the prospects for healing the nation’s deep political divisions. And most Americans think continued partisan gridlock would wreak significant damage on the country.

Perceptions of the current level of political division continue at record levels: 81% say the country is more politically divided these days than in the past. While that is little changed from two years ago, it is as high a percentage expressing this view as at any point over the past decade. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 34 pages, 623.37 KB].

What is the Current State of the Economic Recovery?

What is the Current State of the Economic Recovery? Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. CRS Insights. Craig K. Elwell. December 1, 2014.

The U.S. economy’s recovery from the 2007-2009 recession has been steady but historically slow. From the recession’s end in mid-2009 through the third quarter of 2014, as measured by real GDP growth (i.e., gross domestic product adjusted for inflation), the economy’s average annual rate of growth has been about 2.2%, compared to the 4.5% pace typical of previous post-WWII recoveries. After a temporary setback in the first quarter of 2014, growth rebounded above the recovery’s slow average pace over the next two quarters with gains of 4.2% and 3.9%, respectively.

[PDF format, 2 pages, 56.82 KB].

The Climate Policy Dilemma

The Climate Policy Dilemma. National Bureau of Economic Research. Robert S. Rindyck. July 2012.

Climate policy poses a dilemma for environmental economists. The economic argument for stringent GHG abatement is far from clear. There is disagreement among both climate scientists and economists over the likelihood of alternative climate outcomes, over the nature and extent of the uncertainty over those outcomes, and over the framework that should be used to evaluate potential benefits from GHG abatement, including key policy parameters. The author argues that the case for stringent abatement cannot be based on the kinds of modeling exercises that have permeated the literature, but instead must be based on the possibility of a catastrophic outcome. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 28 pages, 609 KB].