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As the economy begins to show signs of strength, people naturally want to know, how long will the damage from the financial crisis linger? A new paper from the Bank of England suggests it may be much longer than we would like. If that’s right, then official economic projections remain too optimistic, even though they are more subdued than they were before the crisis.
T he unemployment rate remains stuck at more than 8 percent. More investment in roads, water systems, airports and other public infrastructure would bring both short- and long-term benefits. And state and local governments face ongoing deficits. So wouldn’t it be great if we could design an efficient way to channel tax subsidies to state and local governments to invest in infrastructure?
It’s the beginning of a new month, and that’s a good thing in America’s schools, because life seems to get worse there as a month goes by. Students get in more trouble toward the end of the month than at the beginning. New research suggests that’s especially true for students from families on food stamps, perhaps because life at home gets more stressful as benefits run out. Modifying the food-stamp program so that benefits are paid out twice, rather than once, a month could help eliminate these cycles.
A weak labor market, like the one we’ve experienced since the 2008 financial crisis, imposes enormous stress on people. Given the added anxiety created by a weak economy, you might think life expectancy would decline. Oddly, though, during recessions, exactly the opposite tends to happen: Life expectancy rises. It’s happening again now.