Research report

Federal, state, and local government officials are increasingly paying attention to reforms of fines and fees. These constitute a small share of total revenues, but they can be particularly harmful because of unjust policing and sentencing practices. This research report first explores how much...

January 13, 2022
Aravind BoddupalliLivia Mucciolo
Research report

Public benefit programs have the potential to help stabilize families when their income drops and can provide support as parents enter or reenter the workforce. As a family’s earnings rise, though, those earnings increases are often offset by declines in public...

January 11, 2022
Theresa AndersonAmelia CoffeyHannah DalyHeather HahnElaine MaagKevin Werner
Research report

State tax revenues saw large swings since the onset of the pandemic, in part because of government actions and behavioral responses to mitigate virus exposure.

States reported strong revenue growth in the second quarter of 2021, but that is largely because of the lower base in 2020. Still...

December 9, 2021
Lucy Dadayan
Research report

The child tax credit (CTC) has grown to become a core component of American family tax and welfare policy. Temporary expansions made the credit fully refundable in 2021 – even very low-income families could receive the maximum benefit. On a conceptual level, full...

December 2, 2021
Samuel HammondElaine Maag
Research report

Mainstream public finance research has largely ignored racial issues. This paper calls on public finance economists to explore racial issues more extensively. The obvious reasons are to understand the effects of inequitable and inefficient policies, help develop remedies,...

November 4, 2021
William G. Gale
Research report

This paper makes two key points. First, coal production is no longer a reliable source of revenue to fund the Black Lung Program. Second, the problem is going to get worse fast, and policymakers should promptly prepare for that and ensure that coal workers are not left behind. As the coal...

September 24, 2021
Siddhi DoshiAdele C. Morris
Research report

The 2021 temporary expansion of the Child Tax Credit (CTC) is unprecedented in its reach and is predicted to cut American child poverty by more than half. The expanded CTC provides families with $3,600 for every child in the household under the age of six and $3,000 for every child between the...

September 22, 2021
Leah HamiltonStephen RollMathieu DespardElaine MaagYung Chun
Research report

This study uses the Urban Institute’s Dynamic Simulation of Income Model to project the share of Social Security beneficiaries whose retirement incomes fall below 75 percent of preretirement income, a common benchmark for a secure retirement. Absent significant Social Security reforms, we...

October 4, 2021
Karen E. SmithC. Eugene Steuerle
Research report

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) instituted the most substantial changes in taxation in decades and was designed to boost the economy via supply-side incentives. This paper reviews these changes and examines the impacts on economic aggregates through 2019. The Act clearly reduced revenue...

July 6, 2021
William G. GaleClaire Haldeman
Research report

Interest rates on government debt have fallen in many countries over the last several decades, with markets indicating that rates may stay low well into the future.  It is by now well understood that sustained low interest rates can change the nature of long-run fiscal...

September 23, 2021
Alan J. AuerbachWilliam G. Gale