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EPI’s work on federal fiscal policy analyzes revenues, spending and deficits, but always within the context of the overall economy. EPI believes that the federal budget is the embodiment of our nation’s priorities, but recognizes that the state of budget balance is simply a tool to meet larger economic goals, not an end-goal in itself.
EPI’s research on economic growth assesses how policymaking and economic institutions either help or hinder efforts to insure that the U.S. economy is operating at full employment and to generate sustainable growth in average living standards as rapidly as possible.
EPI documents impacts of social and economic inequality on student achievement, and suggests policies, within school and out, to narrow outcome gaps between middle class and disadvantaged students. EPI research refutes false assumptions behind politically inspired attacks on public education, teachers, and their unions.
EPI’s research in this arena focuses on the role that public investment, regulation, and tax policy play in making the economy more sustainable and equitable.
EPI’s Health Policy Research team analyzes the U.S. health care system through the lens of low- and moderate income families’ living standards, with special attention to employer-sponsored health insurance, the burden of health costs, and disparities in access and outcomes.
EPI proposes comprehensive immigration reform that improves wages for American workers while helping address the needs of U.S. employers during shifting labor market conditions.
As the United States recovers from the Great Recession, EPI’s research in this area examines the increasing levels of economic inequality in connection with decreasing levels of economic mobility and rising levels of poverty.
EPI’s thorough research in this area is as critical as ever and focuses on understanding the intricacies and impact of the slow recovery in the U.S. labor market, including our persistent high unemployment, near-record long-term unemployment, mass underemployment, and weak labor force participation.
The minimum wage is a critical labor standard meant to ensure a fair wage for this country’s lowest paid workers. EPI researchers have examined how the minimum wage affects workers and the economy, who benefits from the minimum wage, and how the declining value of the federal minimum wage over time has contributed to the growth in U.S. income inequality.
EPI’s Program on Race, Ethnicity and the Economy works to advance policies that ensure racial and ethnic minorities participate fully and benefit equally as workers in the American economy.
Launched in 2011, EPI’s Regulatory Policy Research program debunks claims that regulations impede job creation and addresses attempts to roll back laws that protect the environment and guarantee worker protections.
EPI’s retirement program examines the inequities in the current system and promotes initiatives that protect Social Security and lead to universal, secure and adequate retirement policies.
In August 2011, EPI published a report, Debt ceiling deal threatens deep job losses and lower long-run economic growth (Issue Brief #331), showing that the premature austerity, deep cuts to public investment, and other features of the Budget Control Act (BCA) threatened to depress economic growth and employment in the near term and hinder U.S. competitiveness in the long run. As sequestration spending cuts created by the BCA look increasingly likely to take effect March 1, 2013, our analysis from 2011 remains fundamentally unchanged: No economic good could possibly come of the BCA’s discretionary spending caps and sequestration cuts. Following are summaries of and links to numerous EPI analyses of the economic folly of the Budget Control Act, the “fiscal cliff,” and looming sequestration cuts.
EPI’s research focuses on workers and measures how they are impacted by free trade, globalization, and the depression of wages borne from international agreements and policies.
Strong unions and employees’ rights to organize foster a strong middle class, and all workers—union and non-union alike—benefit from high, effectively enforced labor standards.
EPI’s extensive work in this area is as critical as ever and focuses on sluggish wage growth in the U.S. labor market, income trends, and wealth disparities.