There’s an argument going around right now that forgiving the country’s student loan debt would have a stimulative effect on the economy. This online petition by Signon.org, an offshoot of Moveon.org, has nearly 300,000 signatures. Its basic argument is this:
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Forgiving the student loan debt of all Americans will have an immediate stimulative effect on our economy. With the stroke of the President’s pen, millions of Americans would suddenly have hundreds, or in some cases, thousands of extra dollars in their pockets each and every month with which to spend on ailing sectors of the economy. As consumer spending increases, businesses will begin to hire, jobs will be created and a new era of innovation, entrepreneurship and prosperity will be ushered in for all.
Bruce Sacerdote and James Feyrer, both of Dartmouth, have produced a paper that looks at how the stimulus package (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) affected employment, and which type of spending had the most (and least) amount of impact. It’s among the first detailed analyses of employment and earnings effects from the stimulus that uses actual employment outcomes. Here’s the abstract (full version here): Read More »
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources on July 28th ran what may be the first-ever online reverse auction for energy efficiency grants. The state allocated $3 million of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding in a series of three one-hour auctions by having 23 pre-qualified businesses bid on a $/kWh saved basis for projects that were expected to enhance energy efficiency. Grants with fixed dollar amounts were awarded to the bidders who promised the best (conservation) bang for the (grant) buck. Read More »
Justin Wolfers argues for more stimulus spending, highlighting a recent debate between himself and Reihan Salam on CNN. Read More »