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Consumer and Mortgage Credit Revisited
Americans are awash in debt, and the U.S. economy is in trouble. Credit undergirds daily life more than ever it has become one of the defining aspects of American life, and the ramifications are becoming clearer by the day. The already considerable damage from a depressed housing market has been exacerbated by the subprime lender implosion, sending shock waves through the financial sector, international economies, and government at all levels. Most low- or moderate-income people borrow, but that should not be construed as uniformly poor judgment or lack of disciplines Americans are not borrowing merely to keep up with the Joneses, but too often simply to stay afloat.
In Borrowing to Live, the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University brings together a group of experts drawn from the best of academia, research, and public services. Together with editors Nicolas Retsinas and Eric Belsky, they dissect the worrisome current state of consumer and mortgage credit in the United States and help point the way out of the current struggles.
Contributors: Michael S. Barr, Eric S. Belsky, Raphael W. Bostic, Shawn Cole, Amy Crews Cutts, Kathleen C. Engel, Ren S. Essene, Elaine Kempson, Patricia A. McCoy, William A. Merrill, Sendhil Mullainathan, Anthony Pennington-Cross, Elizabeth Renuart, Eldar Shafir, Edna R. Sawady, Jennifer Tescher, John Thompson, Peter Tufano, Susan M. Wachter
Rethinking U.S. Immigration Policy
Many of America's greatest artists, scientists, investors, educators, and entrepreneurs have come from abroad. Rather than suffering from the "brain drain" of talented and educated individuals emigrating, the United States has benefited greatly over the years from the "brain gain" of immigration. These gifted immigrants have engineered advances in energy, information technology, international commerce, sports, arts, and culture. To stay competitive, the United States must institute more of an open-door policy to attract unique talents from other nations. Yet Americans resist such a policy despite their own immigrant histories and the substantial social, economic, intellectual, and cultural benefits of welcoming newcomers. Why?
In Brain Gain, Darrell West asserts that perception or "vision" is one reason reform in immigration policy is so politically difficult. Public discourse tends to emphasize the perceived negatives. Fear too often trumps optimism and reason. And democracy is messy, with policy principles that are often difficult to reconcile.
The seeming irrationality of U.S. immigration policy arises from a variety of thorny and interrelated factors: particularistic politics and fragmented institutions, public concern regarding education and employment, anger over taxes and social services, and ambivalence about national identity, culture, and language. Add to that stew a myopic (or worse) press, persistent fears of terrorism, and the difficulties of implementing border enforcement and legal justice.
West prescribes a series of reforms that will put America on a better course and enhance its long-term social and economic prosperity. Reconceptualizing immigration as a way to enhance innovation and competitiveness, the author notes, will help us find the next Sergey Brin, the next Andrew Grove, or even the next Albert Einstein.
Understanding Brazil's Changing Role in the Global Economy
In Brazil, the confluence of strong global demand for the country's major products, global successes for its major corporations, and steady results from its economic policies is building confidence and even reviving dreams of grandeza the greatness that has proven elusive in the past. Even as the current economic crisis tempers expectations of the future, the trends identified in this book suggest that Brazil will continue its path toward becoming a leading economic power in the future.
Once seen as an economic backwater, Brazil now occupies key niches in energy, agriculture, service industries, and even high technology. Yet Latin America's largest nation still struggles with endemic inequality issues and deep-seated ambivalence toward global economic integration.
Scholars and policy practitioners from Brazil, the United States, and Europe recently gathered to investigate the present state and likely future of the Brazilian economy. This important volume is the timely result. In Brazil as an Economic Superpower? international authorities focus on five key topics: agribusiness, energy, trade, social investment, and multinational corporations. Their analyses and expertise provide not only a unique and authoritative picture of the Brazilian economy but also a useful lens through which to view the changing global economy as a whole.
Anatomy of a Market Failure and a Policy Dilemma
As the Internet revolution continues to unfold and transform telecommunications, pressure is building for faster, less expensive, and more widely accessible broadband service. Such a development would facilitate improved and less expensive traditional applications such as voice telephony and web browsing. It would also enable new and useful applications such as Internet-based television, videoconferencing, and software distribution. Broadband has great potential to improve efficiency and productivity, even to improve national security in some cases. Broadband service and affordability, however, have consistently lagged well behind demand and progress in information technology, with damaging results. The Internet revolution remains incomplete and threatens to stagnate if the situation continues. In The Broadband Problem, economist and technology entrepreneur Charles H. Ferguson explains the causes and ramifications of this damaging bottleneck, and he offers suggestions on improving the current state of affairs. He asserts that current telecommunications law and policy have not provided sufficient levels of new entry, competition, and innovation in the local telecom market. The continuing dominance of ILECs (incumbent local exchange carriers) in that market impedes the healthy, and much-needed, development of an efficient broadband market. The result of these policy and market failures is inadequate technological progress, innovation, and productivity in advanced Internet services and telecommunication services generally. The broadband problem is holding us back, and thus must be addressed and solved. With this important volume, Charles Ferguson has contributed mightily to that mission.
2000 through current issue
Published twice a year, Brookings Papers on Economic Activity (BPEA) offers authoritative, in-depth research on economic development. For over thirty years, BPEA has been an indispensable source for scholars and policymakers seeking objective analysis of major macroeconomic issues.
2000 - 2007
Published annually, Brookings Papers on Education Policy (BPEP) analyzes policies intended to improve student performance. In each volume, analysts review the current situation in education and consider programs for reform.
2000 - 2008/2009
Brookings Trade Forum provides comprehensive analysis on current and emerging issues of international trade and macroeconomics. Practitioners and academics contribute to each volume, with papers that provide an in-depth look at a particular topic.
2000 - 2004
Brookings-Wharton Papers on Financial Services, an annual series from the Brookings Institution and the Financial Institutions Center at the Wharton School, provides timely and insightful analyses of the financial services industry.
2000 - 2009
Designed to reach a wide audience of scholars and policymakers, Brookings-Wharton Papers on Urban Affairs provides accessible research on urban areas and issues, including studies on urban sprawl, crime, taxes, education, poverty, and related subjects.
Defense and Security Spending Under Barack Obama
These are extraordinary times in U.S. national security policy. America remains engaged in both Iraq and Afghanistan while facing a global economic downturn. Homeland security concerns still abound in the wake of the September 11 attacks. Even as the financial crisis places considerable pressure on the U.S. budget, President Obama will have to spend a great deal of time and money on national security, hard power, and war. How should these competing demands be prioritized? How much money will be needed? How much will be available, and how should it be spent?
Budgeting for Hard Power continues the long and proud tradition of Brookings analysis on defense spending. As with previous volumes, this book examines the budgets of the Pentagon and the Department of Energy's nuclear weapons programs. But Michael O'Hanlon takes his analysis further, addressing the wide range of activities crucial for American security as a result of 9/11 and the ongoing wars. He considers homeland security resources and selected parts of the State Department and foreign operations budgets offering a more complete overall look at the elements that make up America's "hard power" budget, a concept that he and Kurt Campbell wrote about in Hard Power: The New Politics of National Security (2006).
With future federal deficits projected to top $1 trillion, O'Hanlon calls for Defense, State, and Homeland Security budgets to be as frugal as possible. At the same time, he recognizes that resources should be selectively increased in certain areas to compensate for years of systematic underfunding, especially in certain areas of homeland security, diplomacy, and foreign assistance. In his typically clear and concise manner, O'Hanlon shows policymakers how to wrestle with the resource allocation decisions affecting the national security of the United States.