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The Agonizing Trade-Offs That Must Be Made to Reduce Bias in the Hiring Process

August 23, 2017 Like many economists, I try to form opinions on the economy based on research and data, rather than anecdotes. And like many economists, I worry that occupational licenses do more harm than good. Obtaining a license requires people to take part in training and pay fees in order to work...

from govexec

Donald Trump’s Infrastructure Plan Won’t Work While He’s President

December 5, 2016 One of the first rules you learn in economics is there is no free lunch. But for the last several years many economists made an exception when it came to infrastructure spending. Interest rates have been so low that the potential long-term national economic benefit from improving US infrastructure, such...

from govexec

What a Trump Victory Means For Your Retirement

November 10, 2016 We are now in an uncertain world, and the markets are reacting accordingly. Dow futures fell 800 points overnight as the US presidential election was called for Donald Trump. But the markets quickly calmed themselves and then some; on the day after Election Day, the blue-chip index touched an all-time...

from govexec

Is the Collapse of Productivity in the Developed World Really Close at Hand?

October 27, 2016 The developed world may be facing another Malthusian moment. The first came at the end of the 18th century, when Thomas Malthus predicted dire consequences for humanity if population trends continued on their trajectory. But along came something no one predicted: technology that helped humans use resources more efficiently and...

Rising Suicides in Rural America

July 28, 2016 The state of the US economy has a lot to answer for these days, including a pervasive feeling of hopelessness, the perception that crime is rampant (even if it’s at near record lows), and Donald Trump’s poll numbers. But perhaps the most troubling trend is the toll the economy seems...

To Fix America’s Infrastructure, Local Economies Need to Be Saved First

March 14, 2016 If you make a habit of watching political chat shows, this scene is probably familiar: a famous economist (eyes closed, head shaking) making an impassioned plea for a federal revamp of America’s crumbling infrastructure. It’s hard to disagree—just look at the lead-tainted water in Flint, Michigan, and roads and bridges...

How US Military Structure Overcomes the Gender Pay Gap

December 14, 2015 On Dec. 3, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced his intention to open up all military occupations to women. The military isn’t typically thought of as leading the charge for women’s equality, but in at least one way it is. There is no pay gender gap, even if there are...

from govexec

Ladies, Join the Military For Equal Pay

December 14, 2015 On Dec. 3, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced his intention to open up all military occupations to women. The military isn’t typically thought of as leading the charge for women’t equality, but in at least one way it is. There is no pay gender gap, even if there are...

This Is Why Puerto Rico Matters

December 4, 2015 It was a nail-biter that went down to the last minute, but Puerto Rico managed to pay its creditors $354 million on Dec. 1. However, the Puerto Rican government raided its January payment to do so. Now, a default is expected next month, and it’s clear that Puerto Rico simply...

from govexec

Men Are Both More and Less Intelligent Than Women

July 9, 2015 At a recent cocktail reception in Manhattan, a friend sketched two bell curves, one much wider than the other. The narrower one placed slightly to the right. He explained to me they represented the distribution of male and female intelligence. He speculated that male intelligence was the wider curve—the implication...