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  • Commentary posted April 18, 2014 by Salim Furth, Ph.D. Pay college athletes on the open market

    Division I college football players are professionals. They are given room, board and health care in exchange for their time, and served by tutors, coaches and trainers. They are paid only if they work. If a star receiver decided to focus on academics and scale back football practice, he would be dropped from the team and lose his scholarship. His “student” status is a…

  • Issue Brief posted January 10, 2014 by James Sherk, Salim Furth, Ph.D. Heritage Jobs Report: Unemployment Drop Is Coal in America’s Stocking

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the unemployment rate fell to 6.7 percent in December from 7.0 percent in November, but the change was caused by people who gave up looking for work. Employers created only 74,000 jobs, a depressing drop from the previous three months. Labor force participation dropped to 62.8 percent, matching the lowest rate since 1978. The…

  • Issue Brief posted December 6, 2013 by James Sherk, Salim Furth, Ph.D. Heritage Employment Report: Slow Recovery Continues in November

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the recovery continued at a steady pace in November. The unemployment rate fell 0.3 percentage point while employers created 203,000 jobs. Although the numbers are initially impressive, they partly reflect the return of federal employees furloughed during the October government shutdown. Labor force participation fell over the…

  • Issue Brief posted November 14, 2013 by Salim Furth, Ph.D. America’s Austerity: It’s the Tax Increases

    U.S. policymakers pursued deficit reduction (also called “fiscal consolidation” or “austerity”) twice in 2013. As economists have shown in dozens of papers, how a country goes about reducing deficits matters a lot in determining the economic impact of the deficit reduction. As Alberto Alesina of Harvard, Daniel Leigh of the International Monetary Fund, and Kevin Hassett…

  • Issue Brief posted November 8, 2013 by Salim Furth, Ph.D., Filip Jolevski, James Sherk Heritage Employment Report: What U.S. Can Learn from Canada’s Recession and Recovery

    The economy created 204,000 jobs in October, although labor force participation dropped to its lowest level in 35 years and unemployment ticked up to 7.3 percent. The labor market remained mediocre despite a monthly payroll survey that showed “no discernible impacts of the partial federal government shutdown on the estimates of employment, hours, and earnings.” The U.S.…

  • Backgrounder posted November 7, 2013 by James Sherk, Salim Furth, Ph.D. Supply and Demand: Why Job Growth Remains Sluggish

    According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the “Great Recession” officially ended four years ago. Nonetheless, job growth remains anemic. Many economists have struggled to explain its prolonged weakness.[1] Neither weak demand nor mismatches between workers’ skills and job requirements can fully account for it. An overlooked cause may contribute to the…

  • Working Paper posted October 24, 2013 by Alberto Alesina, Ph.D., Ryan Bourne, Salim Furth, Ph.D., David Howden, Ph.D., Filip Jolevski, Derrick Morgan, Miguel Marin, Matthew Melchiorre, Dalibor Rohac, Veronique de Rugy Europe’s Fiscal Crisis Revealed: In-Depth Analysis of Spending, Austerity, and Growth

    Edited by Salim Furth Preface Derrick Morgan Why would your time be well spent reading this special report on detailed economic data from Europe over the past half-dozen years?  It is very simple: Washington must learn from Europe’s mistakes, or be doomed to repeat them. Those who favor ever-increasing spending and loathe smaller government prefer to call any measures to…

  • Issue Brief posted September 6, 2013 by James Sherk, Salim Furth, Ph.D. Heritage Employment Report: Chilly Summer for Jobs

    The labor market remains one of the weakest aspects of the broadly mediocre economic recovery. Although the headline unemployment rate has gradually fallen to 7.3 percent, job creation has merely kept up with population growth, not regaining the ground it lost in the Great Recession. The unemployment rate has fallen because fewer Americans are looking for work. The…

  • Issue Brief posted August 13, 2013 by Salim Furth, Ph.D. CBO Should Measure Long-Term Obligations and Policy Impact

    Senators John Thune (R–SD) and Tim Kaine (D–VA) have introduced legislation to require the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to conduct long-term fiscal scoring and annual measurement of the fiscal gap.[1] Their effort is timely. Today, the largest fiscal questions facing Congress concern policies that will determine the health of America’s finances decades in the…

  • Issue Brief posted August 8, 2013 by Salim Furth, Ph.D. Research Review: What Can Be Learned from Local Multiplier Estimates?

    With a large economic downturn underway, the Administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama pushed for “stimulative” deficit spending in 2008 and 2009. According to Keynesian theories of economics, a dollar of deficit spending or tax rebates during a recession can increase gross domestic product (GDP) by more than a dollar. The results of those policies, and similar…

  • Issue Brief posted August 2, 2013 by Salim Furth, Ph.D. Heritage Employment Report: Labor Market Recovery Is Still on Vacation

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics employment report found steady but disappointing growth in the labor market in July. Employers added 162,000 net jobs, and the unemployment rate fell slightly to 7.4 percent. While this would be considered decent growth in normal economic times, it falls short of expectations for a recovery from a deep recession. However, part-time workers…

  • Testimony posted June 19, 2013 by Salim Furth, Ph.D. The Fiscal and Economic Effects of Austerity

    Statement of Salim Furth, Ph.D.  Senior Policy Analyst in Macroeconomics Before the Committee on the Budget of the United States Senate   Delivered June 4, 2013   “The Fiscal and Economic Effects of Austerity” Introduction My name is Salim Furth. I am Senior Policy Analyst in Macroeconomics in the Center for Data Analysis at The Heritage Foundation. I thank Chairman Patty…

  • Issue Brief posted June 12, 2013 by Salim Furth, Ph.D. Did Tax Increases or Spending Cuts Preface the 1990s Boom?

    Following Senate Budget Committee testimony, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D–RI) asked me seven “questions for the record.” The entire exchange will be publicly available, but a question about the U.S. economic boom of the 1990s deserves more attention. Senator Whitehouse asked, “Are you familiar with the U.S. experience in the 1990s, during which tax rate increases in 1993…

  • Testimony posted June 12, 2013 by Salim Furth, Ph.D. Questions for the Record Submitted by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse

    I am pleased to have the opportunity to respond to Senator Whitehouse’s extensive written and oral questions. In order to provide an overall summary of the data used and choices made in my testimony, I explain my sources, calculations, and choices in Appendix B. Regarding tax increases and…

  • Commentary posted June 7, 2013 by Salim Furth, Ph.D. Senator Whitehouse's Mistaken Austerity Addition

    On Tuesday I testified to the Senate Budget Committee about the effects of the debt on our country’s growth expectations. These tend to be dry, academic affairs, but this one had a bit of drama. At one point, Rhode Island’s junior senator, Sheldon Whitehouse, rose to question my numbers and to call me meretricious, which is an SAT word for lying. Turns out the mistake…