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Sports, Economics, and Politics

David Zilberman, professor, agriculture and resource economics | February 20, 2021

I’ve loved sports since I was young. My parents were both religiously traditional and not well off, so taking me to watch professional sports events on the Sabbath wasn’t an option. In high school, I got a job at a nearby basketball arena so I could watch professional basketball games. After I finished setting up … Continue reading »

Trump is history. America’s future is now in Biden’s hands

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | February 14, 2021

Trump has left Republicans badly fractured and on the defensive. The party is imploding. Big business no longer has a home in the crackpot GOP. This political void is allowing Biden and the Democrats, who control the White House and both houses of Congress, to respond boldly to the largest social and economic crisis since the Great Depression.

The U.S. wealth gap was appalling before the pandemic. Now, it’s worse

Sylvia Allegretto, Economist, Co-Chair of the Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics | December 15, 2020

The divvying up of the “wealth pie” portrays a picture of profound inequality. In 2019, the Top 1% held one-third of all wealth. The next 9% controlled another 38%. Together they make up the Top 10%—a small group with a very large slice (71%) of the wealth pie. This left less than one-third (29%) to … Continue reading »

If you support racial equality, push for doubling the federal minimum wage

Claire Montialoux, economist and assistant professor of public policy | November 25, 2020

If America’s contemporary leaders are serious about reducing racial inequality, they must push for simple, bold measures, such as doubling the federal minimum wage. Otherwise, the country may miss an opportunity, after the largest protests for racial equality in U.S. history, to improve the lives of millions of people of color.

The virtues of virtual higher education

Shomit Ghose, Lecturer, Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology | July 9, 2020

The COVID-19 crisis thrust the US higher education system into virtualized instruction, essentially overnight. Despite the limitations inherent in online education — including the revenue impact on institutions from reduced tuition — it brings students both access and scalability. Further, the combination of online and in-person education into “blended learning” can extend the reach of higher education, without compromising efficacy as a number of academic studies have shown.

COVID-19 and Tradeoffs between Life and Treasure

David Zilberman, professor, agriculture and resource economics | June 2, 2020

How can we assess COVID-19 policies? For example, how much should we restrict economic activity in light of the pandemic? How do we balance health risks with the costs of shutting down the economy? Living requires taking risks. To guide choices, it is useful to translate benefits, costs and risks into monetary terms. An early … Continue reading »

COVID: What the Epidemiology Models Are Missing

Stephen Maurer, Adj. Em. Prof. of Public Policy | May 7, 2020

Lately, the press has had a field day pointing out just how wrong epidemiology models can be. This shouldn’t be news, especially since most modelers never hid the fact that they had made some very bold assumptions. But it’s still important to ask just where the estimates went wrong. Most of the errors, it turns … Continue reading »

Higher Education is Key for the Post-COVID-19 Economic Recovery

John Aubrey Douglass, Senior Research Fellow - Public Policy and Higher Education, Center for Studies in Higher Education | April 27, 2020

The US economy is in a free fall. Businesses have closed and people have been laid off. Unemployment could reach 30 percent in some parts of the country, and if it does there are predictions that an additional 15 percent of the population will fall into poverty. Inequality may grow with a significant impact on … Continue reading »

Critical policy choices to keep the labor market intact

Sylvia Allegretto, Economist, Co-Chair of the Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics | April 2, 2020

A bold, creative solution is required in order to keep the labor market as close to intact as possible. The government should guarantee payrolls and benefits. The unemployment insurance system simply is not prepared, nor built for such a catastrophe.

Babies don’t do social distancing

Lea J.E. Austin, co-director, Center for the Study of Child Care Employment |

During an unprecedented health crisis, Congress must bring urgency, energy and resources to support the early care and education industry.