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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Balkans Forward: A New US Strategy for the Region. Atlantic Council

Balkans Forward: A New US Strategy for the Region. Atlantic Council. Damir Marusic, Sarah Bedenbaugh, and Damon Wilson November 28, 2017 

 The Western Balkans were supposed to be a solved problem. The United States has mostly watched from afar in recent years, thinking that the Europeans had these matters mostly in hand. US diplomats have played crucial roles in key moments; yet, the region continued to slide down the US political agenda. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 26 pages, 2.50 MB].

 

The Future of Undergraduate Education, The Future of America

The Future of Undergraduate Education, The Future of America. American Academy of Arts and Sciences. December 2017.

 What was once a challenge of quantity in American undergraduate education, of enrolling as many students as possible, is increasingly a challenge of educational quality—of making sure that all students receive the education they need to succeed, that they are able to complete the studies they begin, and that they can do all of this affordably, without mortgaging the very future they seek to improve. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 112 pages, 1.59 MB].

 

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].

Improving Child Welfare Outcomes: Balancing Investments in Prevention and Treatment

Improving Child Welfare Outcomes: Balancing Investments in Prevention and Treatment. RAND Corporation. Jeanne Ringelet al. December 13, 2017.

To provide objective analyses about the effects of prevention and treatment programs on improve child welfare outcomes, RAND researchers built a quantitative model that simulated how children enter and flow through the nation’s child welfare system. They then used the model to project how different policy options (preventive services, family preservation treatment efforts, kinship care treatment efforts, and a policy package that combined preventive services and kinship care) would affect a child’s pathway through the system, costs, and outcomes in early adulthood. This study is the first attempt to integrate maltreatment risk, detection, pathways through the system, and consequences in a comprehensive quantitative model that can be used to simulate the impact of policy changes. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 69 pages, 1.86 MB].

Child and Dependent Care Tax Benefits: How They Work and Who Receives Them

Child and Dependent Care Tax Benefits: How They Work and Who Receives Them. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Margot L. Crandall-Hollick. October 26, 2017

Two tax provisions subsidize the child and dependent care expenses of working parents: the child and dependent care tax credit (CDCTC) and the exclusion for employer-sponsored child and dependent care.
The child and dependent care tax credit is a nonrefundable tax credit that reduces a taxpayer’s federal income tax liability based on child and dependent care expenses incurred. The policy objective is to assist taxpayers who work or who are looking for work. A taxpayer must meet a variety of eligibility criteria including incurring qualifying child and dependent care expenses for a qualifying individual and have earned income.

[PDF format, 20 pages, 842.02 KB].

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].