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Although the decline in the manufacturing economy eliminated many good jobs for high school graduates, there are still 30 million good jobs in the U.S. that pay well without a BA. These good jobs have median earnings of $55,000 and are changing from traditional blue-collar industries to skilled-services industries.

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Using linked housing and tax records from Denmark combined with a major reform of the mortgage interest deduction in the late 1980s, we carry out the first comprehensive long-term study of how tax subsidies affect housing decisions. The reform introduced a large and sharp reduction in the mortgage deduction for top-rate taxpayers, while reducing it much less or not at all for lower-rate taxpayers. We present three main findings. First, the mortgage deduction has a precisely estimated zero effect on homeownership. This holds even in the very long run. Second, the mortgage deduction has a sizeable impact on housing demand at the intensive margin, inducing homeowners to buy larger and more expensive houses. Third, the largest effect of the mortgage deduction is on household financial decisions, inducing them to increase indebtedness. These findings suggest that the mortgage interest deduction distorts the behavior of homeowners at the intensive margin, but is ineffective at promoting homeownership at the extensive margin and any externalities that may be associated with it.        

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he Affordable Care Act (ACA) includes several provisions designed to expand insurance coverage that also alter the tie between employment and health insurance. In this paper, we exploit variation across geographic areas in the potential impact of the ACA to estimate its effect on health insurance coverage and labor market outcomes in the first two years after the implementation of its main features. Our measures of potential ACA impact come from pre- existing population shares of uninsured individuals within income groups that were targeted by Medicaid expansions and federal subsidies for private health insurance, interacted with each state’s Medicaid expansion status. Our findings indicate that the majority of the increase in health insurance coverage since 2013 is due to the ACA and that areas in which the potential Medicaid and exchange enrollments were higher saw substantially larger increases in coverage. While labor market outcomes in the aggregate were not significantly affected, our results indicate that labor force participation reductions in areas with higher potential exchange enrollment were offset by increases in labor force participation in areas with higher potential Medicaid enrollment

Report

It is clear that meeting the Paris climate target of not exceeding 2 degrees Celsius (2°C) (and making best efforts to reach 1.5°C) global warming over this century will require a radical (that is, to the root) restructuring of energy supply and transmission systems globally.1 Furthermore, the technologies assumed to populate the clean energy shift (wind, solar, hydrogen and electricity systems) are in fact significantly MORE material intensive in their composition than current traditional fossil-fuel-based energy supply systems (Vidal, Goffé, and Arndt 2013). Our analysis in Chapter 2 indicates a rapid rise in demand for relevant technologies and corollary metals between reaching a 4DS and 2DS climate objective. Relevant metals demand roughly doubles for wind and solar technologies, but the most significant upsurge occurs with energy battery storage technologies—more than a 1000 percent rise for metals required for that particular clean energy option. . . . However, there is also an increasing sensitivity that supplying clean technologies required for a carbon-constrained future could create a new suite of challenges for the sustainable development of minerals and resources. Simply put, a green technology future is materially intensive and, if not properly managed, could bely the efforts and policies of supplying countries to meet their objectives of meeting climate and related Sustainable Development Goals. It also carries potentially significant impacts for local ecosystems, water systems, and communities.

Report

In 1978, California adopted building codes designed to reduce the energy used for heating and cooling. Using a rich dataset of hourly electricity consumption for 158,112 California houses, we estimate that the average house built just after 1978 uses 13% less electricity for cooling than a similar house built just before 1978. Comparing the estimated savings to the policy’s projected cost, we conclude that the policy comfortably passes a cost-benefit test.   

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