Topic: Economic Growth and Productivity


How to simplify the complicated process of applying for federal student aid

By Sandy Baum and Judith Scott-Clayton  ::  April 1st, 2015

The Pell Grant program is the nation’s largest need-based college scholarship program, providing nearly $35 billion a year to over 9 million students, including about 4 million recent high school graduates . Although the program has been around for over 40 years, too many prospective students and their parents don’t have any idea how to get […]

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High costs may explain crumbling support for US infrastructure

By Tracy Gordon and David Schleicher  ::  March 31st, 2015

This post originally appeared on With the nation’s Highway Trust Fund projected to go broke at the end of this summer and Congress unable to agree on a permanent fix, it is an opportune time to reexamine the so-called consensus on infrastructure funding—that we need more of it and now. Focusing on how much […]

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How foundation grants change over the economic cycle, and why it matters

By Ellen Steele  ::  March 11th, 2015

Foundations are the backbone of the charitable sector, providing grants that support new programming, research, scholarships, and infrastructure. Though foundation spending accounts for just 0.3 percent of GDP, it can still make a big difference in stabilizing nonprofits during downturns—a crucial time when individual donations fall and demand for services goes up. However, many foundations […]

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Bipartisan support emerges for expanding apprenticeship

By Robert Lerman  ::  February 27th, 2015

Republican and Democratic leaders have long agreed on the goals of expanding economic opportunity and upward mobility and of rapid economic growth. Now, both sides are finding common ground on one of the best means to achieving these goals—expanding apprenticeships. This week, Senators Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) and Tim Scott (R-South Carolina) introduced a bill […]

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Philanthropy and government underscore a framework for resilience in the face of disaster

By Matthew Johnson  ::  February 19th, 2015

When disaster strikes, the affected communities don’t want to get caught unprepared for the recovery ahead, said philanthropy and government leaders speaking at an Urban Institute event held at the National Building Museum on Thursday. And building the resilience to recover from disaster requires thinking about physical as well as social dimensions, they added. “These […]

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Las Vegas in 2030: Exploring the possibilities for population growth and change

By Allison Stolte  ::  February 10th, 2015

The US population grew by almost 1 percent each year over the first decade of the millennium, and will continue to grow in the future. But what does this growth actually look like? And how will it affect our future? The story is different across local areas. Between 2000 and 2010, for example, the Las Vegas […]

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Breaking down barriers to help boys and young men of color succeed

By Margaret Simms  ::  February 4th, 2015

Boys and young men of color constitute 46 percent of all males under the age of 25 in the United States. As such, they should be considered a precious resource since they are or will be a significant part of our labor force and the fathers of the next generation of children. However, in many […]

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Could the president’s budget put us on an optimistic path for long-term growth?

By Zach McDade  ::  February 3rd, 2015

With the release of President Obama’s fiscal 2016 budget proposal, much of the conversation inside the Beltway will be about politics: specifically, how Republican control of Congress may have affected what’s in the budget and whether the proposals have even a chance of passing. At Urban Institute’s 26th annual Roundtable on the President’s Budget, economic […]

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Can Washington, DC be a little more like Utah?

By Rolf Pendall  ::  February 2nd, 2015

Back in the mid-1990s, a group of civic leaders in Salt Lake City looked out over the Wasatch Front and worried about what they saw. Even though economic growth had created many opportunities for Utahns and attracted unprecedented numbers of migrants from other states and nations, there were also costs. Traffic was becoming unbearable. Air […]

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