Systemic risk and the pursuit of efficiency
In this essay, senior economist Kartik Athreya identifies systemic risk with the presence of linkages between market participants, where problems for one directly create problems for others. He argues that such situations can arise from the use of contractual arrangements, especially debt that requires frequent refinancing and liquidation in the event of an inability to repay. The presence of spillover effects can, in turn, lead to outcomes in the wake of shocks that can be improved via policy intervention. Nonetheless, he cautions against taking this as a license to intervene after the fact, ...
Falling Short: Why Isn't the U.S. Producing More College graduates?
Why is the United States not producing more college graduates, especially in light of the large and persistent wage gap between workers who graduate from college and those who do not? Senior policy economist Urvi Neelakantan and economics writer Jessie Romero consider several factors that may help answer the question, including inadequate preparation during students' K-12 years. They discuss how K-12 preparation varies with socioeconomic status and how "school-choice" initiatives are intended to give more children access to high-quality schools.
Understanding Urban Decline
Senior policy economist Santiago Pinto and economics writer Tim Sablik discuss the forces that drive urbanization and the factors that determine where firms and households locate within cities. Pinto and Sablik also evaluate a variety of place-based and people-based policy responses to urban decline. Because every city is different, the authors caution that revitalization efforts that worked for one city may not work for another.