Archive for December, 2010

1/20 Lunch: Robert Lerman, Urban Institute and American University

Monday, December 27th, 2010

Strengthening the Economy by Expanding Housing Demand Equitably and Efficiently

Battered home prices and weak demand for owner-occupied housing continue to act as a major drag on the U.S. economy. Job and output losses have been concentrated in the construction industry; depressed home prices continue to expose banks and taxpayers to massive obligations; and healthy recoveries have nearly always involved an expanding housing sector. In this talk, I propose a plan to create 1 million homeownership vouchers patterned after the section 8 rent voucher program. I explain and justify why this approach can significantly expand the demand for owner-occupied housing in ways far more equitable and far less costly than recent policies. In the discussion, we can consider various program design options as well as the likely positive feedback on the economy.

12/16 Lunch: Zoltan Acs, Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Public Policy and University Professor, George Mason University

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

Entrepreneurship and the Great Recession

For 20 years since 1982, the US economy created millions and millions of jobs. During this time we had limited theory and little data to guide us, but good policy. Today the economy is in a deep recession and we are creating almost no new net jobs. We have no better theory but much better data to understand the role of firm but not very good policy.