U.S. Direct Investment Abroad: Trends and Current Issues

U.S. Direct Investment Abroad: Trends and Current Issues. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. James K. Jackson. June 29, 2017

The United States is the largest direct investor abroad and the largest recipient of foreign direct investment in the world. For some Americans, the national gains attributed to investing overseas are offset by such perceived losses as offshoring facilities, displacing U.S. workers, and lowering wages. Some observers believe U.S. firms invest abroad to avoid U.S. labor unions or high U.S. wages, but 74% of the accumulated U.S. foreign direct investment is concentrated in high-income developed countries. In recent years, the share of investment going to developing countries has fallen. Most economists argue that there is no conclusive evidence that direct investment abroad as a whole leads to fewer jobs or lower incomes overall for Americans. Instead, they argue that the majority of jobs lost among U.S. manufacturing firms over the past decade reflect a broad restructuring of U.S. manufacturing industries responding primarily to domestic economic forces.

[PDF format, 18 pages, 855.61 KB].

The Case for an American Productivity Revival

The Case for an American Productivity Revival. Peterson Institute for International Economics. Policy Brief, 17-26. Lee G. Branstetter and Daniel Sichel. June 2017

Labor productivity in the United States has been dismal for more than a decade. But productivity slowdowns are nothing new in the United States, and, like all its predecessors, the current slowdown will also come to an end as a new productivity revival takes hold. Four developments have the potential to contribute to faster productivity growth in the United States: improvements in the healthcare system, the increasing use of robots, a revolution in e-learning, and the globalization of invention. The authors gauge the potential productivity impact of these developments and suggest that US labor productivity growth would likely rise from the 0.5 percent average rate registered since 2010 to a pace of 2 percent or more. This outcome is more likely to depend on a supportive policy environment. The federal government should expand its support of basic scientific research; allow more immigration by highly skilled scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs; and preserve America’s longstanding commitment to open trade and investment policies. It should also strengthen the safety net rather than pare back support for workers displaced by the innovations that will drive future productivity growth. If they avoid policy errors, President Trump or his successor could have the good fortune of presiding over a productivity revival. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 11 pages, 248.47 KB].

The Price of Graduate and Professional School: How Much Students Pay

The Price of Graduate and Professional School: How Much Students Pay. Urban Institute. Sandy Baum, Patricia Steele. June 20, 2017

Graduate and professional school tuition prices vary not only by sector and degree type, but also by subject area. Subject and level of program, time to complete, and funding available to graduate students all influence the prices students pay. In addition, institutional aid covers much of the tuition for many research doctoral student. This brief examines how graduate degree prices have changed overtime and provides detailed information on published and net prices for graduate and professional degree students. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 20 pages, 1.98 MB].

How Progressive Is School Funding in the United States?

How Progressive Is School Funding in the United States? Brookings Institution. Matthew M. Chingos. June 15, 2017

Policymakers, advocates, and the public have long been concerned with inequities in funding levels between schools attended by students from low-income families and their more affluent peers. School funding has received increased attention in recent years as multiple high-quality studies have found that school funding reforms initiated by courts and state legislatures improved the outcomes of disadvantaged students, both in terms of academic achievement (test scores) and attainment (high school graduation and college enrollment). [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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Implementation Guide for Utilities: Designing Renewable Energy Products to Meet Large Energy Customer Needs

Implementation Guide for Utilities: Designing Renewable Energy Products to Meet Large Energy Customer Needs. World Resources Institute. Priya Barua. June 2017

Large-scale corporate energy buyers are seeking renewable energy as a central element of their overall energy strategy. In a few states, these commercial and industrial (C&I) customers have collaborated with their utilities to create new opportunities to buy renewable energy in ways that deliver more value to the customer.

Building on that experimentation, this guide provides a synthesis of the ways utilities can meet the renewable energy demand of large-scale energy buyers.

The paper first describes some of the existing green tariff designs, addresses why some of the country’s largest shareholder utilities are offering green tariff options, and concludes by outlining the considerations necessary to build an attractive and pragmatic green tariff offering based on learnings to date. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 20 pages, 659.4 KB].

Impacts of Onshore Oil and Gas Development: Managing Societal and Environmental Risks

Impacts of Onshore Oil and Gas Development: Managing Societal and Environmental Risks. Center for Strategic & International Studies. Frank A. Verrastro et al. June 27, 2017

This note provides highlights from a one-day CSIS workshop held April 26, 2017, with government, state regulators, industry, and policy experts exploring ongoing efforts to minimize and manage upstream environmental, health, safety, and societal risks associated with U.S. onshore oil and gas production. The workshop was the second in a three-part workshop series, with the first part covering key issues concerning the role of U.S. tight oil production in global markets and the final installment to target global natural gas markets. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 15 pages, 395.88 KB].

Meet The Out-Of-Work: Local Profiles of Jobless Adults And Strategies to Connect Them to Employment

Meet The Out-Of-Work: Local Profiles of Jobless Adults And Strategies to Connect Them to Employment. Brookings Institution. Martha Ross and Natalie Holmes. June 22, 2017

Even in the midst of a prolonged economic expansion with a low national unemployment rate, jobs are not always available and not everyone who wants work can find it. Both job availability and demographics vary markedly around the country, yielding diverse local populations wanting and/or needing work.

This analysis aims to deepen understanding of out-of-work Americans, and support local officials in their efforts to help these individuals find jobs. The authors provide a unique perspective on adults ages 25-64 who are out of work in each of 130 large cities and counties across the United States, using cluster analysis to segment the out-of-work population into distinct groups based on factors such as educational attainment, age, work history, disability, English language proficiency, and family status. They present detailed information on these groups accompanied by information on appropriate and effective workforce development programs in order to help local officials, funders, and other stakeholders develop, strengthen, or diversify strategies to connect their residents to employment. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 48 pages, 2.87 MB].