Region: United States
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The evaluation was funded by a grant from the U. S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (R305E090009). It was designed to determine whether the children who participate in the TN‐VPK program make greater academic and behavioral gains in areas that prepare them for later schooling than comparable children who do not participate in the program. It is the first prospective randomized control trial of a scaled up state‐funded, targeted pre‐kindergarten program that has been undertaken.
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Tax and transfer programs can create significant bonuses and penalties for low- and moderate-income cohabiters with children. We find that federal tax laws can create marriage penalties that reach almost 10 percent of earnings for our hypothetical couples earning $40,000 or $50,000 a year. In contrast, a prototypical couple earning $20,000 a year could receive a marriage bonus in excess of 10 percent of earnings. Because the transfer programs we consider largely treat cohabiting parents the same as married couples, they create neither significant marriage penalties nor bonuses; however, there may be instances in which couples are misclassified and receive transfer benefits as separate households when cohabiting which could lead to marriage penalties from those programs.
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This analysis addresses the growing problem of marriage penalties created by the increased size and coverage of means-tested social-welfare benefits. Depending on the relationship between cohabiters (whether or not they have children in common and whether or not they share food or utility expenses) and their combined and relative earnings, getting married can result in bonuses of as much as 11 per­cent of their combined income or penalties of more than about 32 percent of their combined income.
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Today Common Good released Two Years, Not Ten Years: Redesigning Infrastructure Approvals, our new report on the costs of delaying infrastructure permits. The report concludes that a permitting delay of six years on public projects costs the nation over $3.7 trillion, more than double the $1.7 trillion needed through the end of this decade to modernize America’s decrepit infrastructure.
Report
Productivity growth is central to a range of economic questions from the slowdown in middleclass incomes in recent decades to the outperformance of employment over output in the current recovery. Looking forward, productivity growth is essential to understanding how quickly wages can grow, how fast the economy can grow, and the magnitude—and potentially even the existence—of a long-term fiscal gap.
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