Tax credits for higher education don’t help

“There are many ways a society can finance college, and over time the US has tried almost all of them.”  Thus begins a new paper, “Tax Benefits for College Attendance,” by Susan Dynarski and Judith Scott-Clayton. American governments currently subsidize higher education in three ways.  First, state and federal governments directly fund a variety of higher education institutions, including … [Read more...]

How does government spending affect the private economy?

Source: Flikr Creative Commons The Great Recession revived economists’ interest in fiscal policy, i.e. the use of government spending and tax policy to affect the economy (especially in the short run.) This isn’t surprising given the large increases in spending and transfer payments along with significant tax cuts enacted by the Bush administration in 2008 and the Obama administration in 2009.  … [Read more...]

Ch-Ch-Changes: Men, women, and college degrees

Source: Flikr Creative Commons Economists, demographers, and social scientists of all stripes get excited when the data from Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC) to the Current Population Survey (CPS) start arriving from the Census Bureau.  (Yes, we’re data nerds.)  The recent release on educational attainment is chock full of cool stuff. Let’s start with this picture: Educational … [Read more...]