Will the tobacco settlement payments go up in smoke?
In December 1995, Massachusetts attorney general Scott Harshbarger filed a civil suit against the tobacco industry. The Commonwealths lawsuit charged that the tobacco industry had conducted research into the addictive properties of nicotine and used this research to willfully manipulate the nicotine level of cigarettes in order to addict smokers and increase cigarette sales. The lawsuit asked the court for damages to compensate the Commonwealth for expenditures paid to treat smoking-related illnesses. At the time this litigation was filed, Massachusetts was the fifth state in the nation to ...
The shrinking of Connecticut's big cities
Reforming Connecticut’s Education Aid Formula to Achieve Equity and Adequacy across School Districts
Connecticut’s public K–12 education system relies heavily on local funding, resulting in substantial disparities between affluent districts and low-income districts with a large proportion of socioeconomically disadvantaged students whoare more costly to educate. Despite recent improvements, the existing state aid formula has been criticized for failing to provide sufficient funding to districts with the fewest resources and the highest education costs. To help improve state aiddistribution, this report estimates a “cost-capacity gap,” which measures the difference between a ...
Perspectives on the Eventual Economic Recovery
The past year with the pandemic has been grueling. Eleven months after the initial outbreak, economic outcomes for individuals and businesses still remain closely tied to finding and implementing effective public health policy. However, with the successful development of multiple vaccines, it is now possible to imagine much better macroeconomic outcomes ahead. My view is that policymakers must work to ensure that the benefits of the eventual recovery are widely shared. As I’ve mentioned, I believe that as we think about recovery from the pandemic, we should take the time to look for ways ...
Comments on 2000 benchmark revisions to regional employment data
Statecraft: economic ambitions in Connecticut
New ways of evaluating state unemployment insurance
Comparisons among state unemployment insurance systems can be misleading. Frequently quoted indicators of the generosity of their benefits, competitiveness, and adherence to the experience-rating principal are influenced by states' relative economic conditions, thereby obscuring underlying structural differences. Moreover, because the indicators are statewide averages, they obscure important intrastate differences in tax and benefit treatment across types of firms and workers. This article offers alternative indicators based on a simulation approach designed to alleviate these problems. The ...
Comments on 2001 benchmark revisions to regional employment data
In March 2002, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released revised state and regional employment data based on the 2001 benchmark, affecting data for 2000 and 2001. Contrary to the employment boost shown in last year's revisions, the 2002 revisions increased New England's measured employment levels slightly for 2000 and reduced them in nearly all states and industries for 2001. Furthermore, the revisions show that the recession that began in 2001 had a deeper impact on employment in the region than in the nation, as New England's year-end employment decreased for the first time in a ...