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Allison Schrager

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Even With Similar Qualifications, Women Spend Time on Tasks That Lead to Lower Pay Than Men

July 21, 2018 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Since most pay raises happen in the first 15 years of your career, landing the right job early on is critical. But just getting your foot in the door is not enough. The tasks you do at work, and the skills you learn early on, determine your pay trajectory for...

Social Security Numbers Are Unsafe and Outdated. So Why Do Americans Use Them?

April 18, 2018 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The world has changed faster than our infrastructure or policymakers can keep up with. Case in point: the American Social Security number. What was once a simple administrative number is now an antiquated form of national identification that has become dangerously risky to use in the digital age. It wasn’t...

H.R. McMaster and Donald Trump: A Partnership That Was Never Meant To Be

March 19, 2018 Herbert R. McMaster is the ideal National Security Advisor—for any administration but this one. In some ways, McMaster seemed perfect: He’s a decorated general with a history of winning big battles (paywall). He is also known for successfully challenging groupthink and for taking chances that pay off. Unfortunately, the qualities...

The Agonizing Trade-Offs That Must Be Made to Reduce Bias in the Hiring Process

August 23, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Like many economists, I try to form opinions on the economy based on research and data, rather than anecdotes. And like many economists, I worry that occupational licenses do more harm than good. Obtaining a license requires people to take part in training and pay fees in order to work...

Donald Trump’s Infrastructure Plan Won’t Work While He’s President

December 5, 2016 One of the first rules you learn in economics is there is no free lunch. But for the last several years many economists made an exception when it came to infrastructure spending. Interest rates have been so low that the potential long-term national economic benefit from improving US infrastructure, such...

What a Trump Victory Means For Your Retirement

November 10, 2016 We are now in an uncertain world, and the markets are reacting accordingly. Dow futures fell 800 points overnight as the US presidential election was called for Donald Trump. But the markets quickly calmed themselves and then some; on the day after Election Day, the blue-chip index touched an all-time...

Is the Collapse of Productivity in the Developed World Really Close at Hand?

October 27, 2016 The developed world may be facing another Malthusian moment. The first came at the end of the 18th century, when Thomas Malthus predicted dire consequences for humanity if population trends continued on their trajectory. But along came something no one predicted: technology that helped humans use resources more efficiently and...

Rising Suicides in Rural America

July 28, 2016 The state of the US economy has a lot to answer for these days, including a pervasive feeling of hopelessness, the perception that crime is rampant (even if it’s at near record lows), and Donald Trump’s poll numbers. But perhaps the most troubling trend is the toll the economy seems...

To Fix America’s Infrastructure, Local Economies Need to Be Saved First

March 14, 2016 If you make a habit of watching political chat shows, this scene is probably familiar: a famous economist (eyes closed, head shaking) making an impassioned plea for a federal revamp of America’s crumbling infrastructure. It’s hard to disagree—just look at the lead-tainted water in Flint, Michigan, and roads and bridges...

How US Military Structure Overcomes the Gender Pay Gap

December 14, 2015 On Dec. 3, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced his intention to open up all military occupations to women. The military isn’t typically thought of as leading the charge for women’s equality, but in at least one way it is. There is no pay gender gap, even if there are...