Economic Report of the President shows SIEPR scholars making a difference
Since 1950, every U.S. president outlines his economic agenda with an overview of the country’s current financial health. Think of it as the White House equivalent of a corporate annual report.
This year’s Economic Report of the President tackles a range of issues — from the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine to cryptocurrency and labor shortages — and their effects on the U.S. economy. Prepared by the Council of Economic Advisers and timed to the release of the president’s proposed budget, the report relies heavily on economic policy research.
The 2023 report from President Biden credits studies by more than two dozen SIEPR scholars, showcasing the way in which the institute’s research directly informs policy discussions and decisions.
Some of the research — such as Gopi Shah Goda’s estimates of how severe COVID illnesses may be contributing to declines in the U.S. labor supply — is new scholarship that dovetails perfectly with urgent policy questions. Other work is decades old but still relevant in today’s economy, such as Timothy Bresnahan’s 2002 paper on the Microsoft antitrust case that was cited in this year’s report dealing with competition in the digital age.
Following are more examples of SIEPR affiliates — including senior fellows and pre- and postdoctoral fellows — and their studies cited in the report:
- Hunt Allcott and Matthew Gentzkowon the economics of “fake news” and social media as a source of election news during the 2016 presidential election, and, along with Luca Braghieri, a former SIEPR graduate fellowship recipient, on the mental health and other benefits of staying off social media.
- Susan Athey on how a common practice used by technology platforms to reduce competition harms consumers and, along with Guido Imbens, on a better way of measuring social safety net effects.
- Eric Bettinger on problems in the college financial aid application process; on the earning prospects for different types of community college graduates; on the importance of providing community college students with information on labor market outcomes; on how student coaching improves college graduation rates; and, with Susanna Loeb, on difficulties faced by the least-academically prepared students who enroll in for-profit online schools.
- Jay Bhattacharya on the nutritional benefits to children of government-provided school breakfast.
- Nicholas Bloom on the mixed effects of rising Chinese imports on U.S. manufacturing jobs.
- Erik Brynjolfsson on how digital technologies like artificial intelligence will ignite a productivity boom; on a new measure of GDP that accounts for the value of digital markets; on quantifying the consumer value of online tools like internet searching and email services; on competitive pricing and consumer benefits in the early days of ecommerce; and, on the effects of COVID-19 on remote work at the start of the pandemic.
- Marshall Burke on climate-related declines in GDP; on the rising costs of floods; on the changing risk and societal burden of U.S. wildfires; on income inequities in wildfire smoke protection; on the mental health effects of rising temperatures; on the potential effects of sudden, climate-related price shocks on property values; and, on existing research into the role of climate change in armed conflicts.
- John Cochrane on his new theory of the role of government debt in inflation’s rise, as detailed in his new book, The Fiscal Theory of the Price Levels.
- Thomas Dee on understanding and addressing teacher shortages; on the effects of school ratings in early childhood education; and, on the benefits of a college degree.
- Rebecca Diamond on immigrants’ contributions to U.S. innovation, co-authored with, among others, Abhisit Jiranaphawiboon, a former SIEPR predoctoral research fellow, and Beatrice Pousada, a SIEPR graduate fellowship recipient.
- Mark Duggan on the interplay between the increase in Social Security Disability Insurance claimants and a decline in unemployment.
- Caroline Hoxby on how high-achieving, low-income students don’t apply to selective colleges; on the lack of better job opportunities or earnings advantages from online postsecondary education programs; on the direct link between education and economic growth; and, on how increases in government support during the Great Recession helped research and teaching at public universities.
- Matthew Gentzkow (in addition to research, with Allcott, cited above) on the value to consumers of access to free online news articles; and, on the absence of a direct link between higher rates of internet use and increased political polarization, co-authored with Levi Boxell, a former SIEPR predoctoral research fellow.
- Pete Klenow and Charles “Chad” Jones on how the increase in Black and white women and Black men in high-skilled jobs has played a key role in rising worker productivity.
- Charles Kolstad on his model for estimating the economic impacts of climate change.
- David Lobell on climate change’s harmful effects on agricultural productivity.
- Susanna Loeb (in addition to research, with Bettinger, cited above) on the large differences in quality among providers of early childhood education and on how high teacher turnover in low-performing schools exacerbates disparities in student achievement.
- Maya Rossin-Slater on the long-term payoffs for children who receive Food Stamp benefits before the age of five.
- Alan Sykes on how most economic arguments for regulating government subsidies to support industries are weak.
- Katherine Wagner, a former SIEPR postdoctoral fellow, on her SIEPR policy brief and related research analyzing the difficulties of reforming natural disaster insurance markets as the climate changes.
- Gavin Wright, co-editor-in-chief of — and contributor to — the millennial edition of the “Historical Statistics of the United States.”