09/21/2021

News

The New Wave of Local Minimum Wage Policies: Evidence from Six Cities

This report advances the discussion of high local minimum wages by using both event study and synthetic control methods, and by expanding our analysis to the effects in six cities that were early movers: Chicago, District of Columbia, Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose and Seattle. At the end of 2016 (the last year in our […]

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2018 California Green Innovation Index

California is not an island. Even if we are to succeed in achieving all of our ambitious climate and clean energy goals, we are but one small part of a global problem, with just 1.1 percent of the world’s total emissions coming from our state. If we are to stave off the worst impacts of […]

Research & Studies
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Growth controls have caused the state’s housing shortage, yet a modest proposal to increase supply struggles to gain support.

Economic illiteracy has an astoundingly high cost. In Venezuela, children are dying of hunger but the country’s president, Nicolas Maduro, has a bizarre new idea for making food affordable again. His latest plan is to simply shave three zeros off of the currency to control hyperinflation, so that a dozen eggs will cost 250 bolivars […]

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Will the California Supreme Court Reform the “California Rule?”

Most pension experts believe that without additional reform, pension payments are destined to put an unsustainable burden on California’s state and local governments. Even if pension fund investments meet their performance objectives over the next several years, California’s major pension funds have already announced that payments required from participating agencies are going to roughly double […]

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Opinion: California’s city halls must take action on pensions

California’s pension problems are far from over. Even with the pension reforms of 2012, cities across the state will have to contend with mounting fiscal burdens for years to come, according to a League of California Cities report published earlier this year. In dollar amounts, city pension contributions are expected to grow by roughly 50 […]

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What Should We Make with CO2 and How Can We Make It?

In a world struggling to limit global temperature increases to below 2°C, we see a host of emerging technologies aiming to recycle CO2. They range from those nearing commercialization, such as electrocatalytic reduction, to technologies being explored in the lab environment, such as photocatalytic, CO2 polymerization, and biohybrids, to those only now being imagined, such […]

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Work and opportunity before and after incarceration

The tax code provides subsidies for employers to hire ex-felons, to promote employment among low-income workers, and to encourage economic opportunity in distressed areas. These incentives are motivated to different degrees by a belief that economic opportunity facilitates successful reintegration of ex-felons and deters entry into crime. In this paper, we offer a more comprehensive […]

Research & Studies
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It All Adds Up, The Cost of Housing Development Fees in Seven California Cities

Development fees—which cities levy to pay for services needed to build new housing or to offset the impacts of growth on the community—make up a significant portion of the cost to build new housing in California cities. On average, these fees continue to rise, while nationally fees have decreased. As the supply of housing in […]

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Gov. Brown’s plan to change community college funding to promote student success faces scrutiny

Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to link over $3 billion in funding for California’s community colleges to the number of low-income students they enroll and to student outcomes in general is coming under increasing scrutiny — and is likely to face more in the coming months. Currently California’s community colleges receive nearly all of what are […]

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It’s pricey to live in Southern California — here’s the proof

The Economic Policy Institute’s latest Family Budget Calculator shows that a family of two adults and two children in L.A. County need to earn $7,691 a month, or $92,295 a year, to meet all of its living expenses. That outstrips L.A. County’s median family income, which is just $66,203 per year, according to the U.S. […]

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Dan Walters: How would California’s next governor face the housing crisis?

Some of the candidates want even higher levels of construction. Newsom and Villaraigosa have talked about building 500,000 new units a year to attack the backlog of unmet needs. But that would mean coming up with $200 billion a year in construction funding. As last year’s housing finance legislation demonstrated, state and local governments can […]

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The Underrecognized, Undervalued, Underpaid, Unfunded Pension Liabilities

According to CalPERS own data, California’s cities that are part of the CalPERS system will make “normal” contributions this year totaling $1.3 billion. Their “unfunded” contributions will be 41% greater, $1.8 billion. As for counties that participate in CalPERS, this year their “normal” contributions will total $586 million, and their “unfunded” contributions will be 36% […]

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Who’s Really to Blame for OC’s Housing Affordability Crisis?

So who’s to blame? Homebuilders — in an industry that has fueled California’s economy for more than half a century — are as eager as ever to build the American Dream in the Golden State. But here’s the problem: lawmakers, regulators, local governments and anti-development activists — who already own their own home — won’t […]

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Why Sacramento County dumped 290 tons of recyclables in a landfill

For one week in early February, roughly one-third of all recyclables collected by Sacramento County — an estimated 290 tons — was packed into trucks and dumped at a county landfill. The amount of cardboard, newspapers, bottles and cans taken to the landfill totaled about 8.5 percent of the 3,400 tons of recyclables collected monthly, […]

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Do Ban the Box Laws Increase Crime?

Ban-the-box (BTB) laws, which prevent employers from asking prospective employees about their criminal histories at initial job screenings, have been adopted by 25 states and the District of Columbia. Using data from the National Incident-Based Reporting System, the Uniform Crime Reports, and the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997, this study is the first to […]

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