Does a voucher threat make schools try harder? A recent Florida study said yes, but three analyses that replicate its methods show there’s no basis for that claim. Read the details of these evaluations and others in an advance Acrobat [PDF] copy of the book, Do School Vouchers Improve Student Performance? by Martin Carnoy.

A Tale of Two Tax Cuts

As slow growth continues in the U.S. economy, one of the questions policy makers are asking is whether tax cuts can be used to stave off a recession and, if so, how. The Bush Administration claims that its tax cut proposal is the best bulwark against an economic slowdown. But a close comparison of other attempts to fight recessions with tax cuts—one enacted by President Ford in 1975 and the other by President Reagan in 1981—shows that approaches that promote increased consumption by middle- and lower-income families have provided the biggest boosts to flagging economies. For a full analysis, read EPI’s Issue Brief A Tale of Two Tax Cuts.

New op-eds in Viewpoints

Look to Viewpoints for new op-eds by EPI economists, including Tax proposals good for rich, bad for poor by Max Sawicky, and Closing the wage gap by Heather Boushey.

Crash course

The President’s commission looking into Social Security privatization should take note: it can take years for a plummeting stock market, and the wealth lost with it, to recover. The implications for retirement
security are ominous, as detailed in the Issue Brief, What the Crash Means for Your Retirement.

No immediate recession, but problems persist

The U.S. economy appears to have avoided an all-out recession for now, as growth in the first quarter of 2001 was a higher-than-expected 2.0%, increasing from the low 1.0% rate of the fourth quarter of 2000. For an analysis of the GDP report from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, check out EPI’s GDP Picture.

Continuing problems with part-time work

While a handful of recent studies have attempted to explain away the inequities between full-time and part-time work arrangements, most research continues to find important differences in wages, benefits, and career prospects between full-time and part-time workers. Nearly one in every five workers is employed on a part-time basis, but choosing this work arrangement comes at a considerable cost to these workers. Read EPI’s latest Issue Brief, The Continuing Problems With Part-Time Work, for an insightful overview.