The Economic Policy Institute’s mission has led to the publication of many books on a wide range of topics. Our authors have included a diversity of scholars, all making important contributions through these volumes to the research and policies that can lead to better living standards for America’s working families. The rigorous analysis found in EPI’s books is relied upon by policymakers, journalists, researchers, and teachers around the world. We thank you for your interest in our work.

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Featured Publications

The State of Working America?12th Edition
by Lawrence Mishel, Josh Bivens, Elise Gould and Heidi Shierholz
An ongoing analysis published since 1988 by EPI, includes a wide variety of data on family incomes, wages, jobs, unemployment, wealth, and poverty that allow for a clear, well-documented, and comprehensive understanding of the economy’s effect on the living standards of working Americans.
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Value-Added Immigration: Lessons for the United States from Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom
by Ray Marshall
In?Value-Added Immigration, Ray Marshall details how three major U.S. trading partners — Canada, Australi and the United Kingdom — developed their immigration policies, how these policies work, and what specific features can be adapted for the creation of a high-value-added U.S. immigration policy. Marshall,?professor emeritus at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin, served as secretary of labor in the Carter administration.
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Failure by Design: The Story Behind America’s Broken Economy
by Josh Bivens
In?Failure by Design, the Economic Policy Institute’s Josh Bivens takes a step back from the acclaimed?State of Working America?series, building on its wealth of data to relate a compelling narrative of the U.S.?economy’s struggle to emerge from the Great Recession of 2008. Bivens explains the causes and impact on working Americans of the most catastrophic economic policy failure since the 1920s.
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Redesigning Teacher PayRedesigning Teacher Pay–A System for the Next Generation of Educators
by Susan Moore Johnson and John P. Papay
The second volume in EPI’s Series on Alternative Teacher Compensation Systems, Redesigning Teacher Pay provides a simple framework for designing and evaluating performance pay plans for teachers. This new book offers four case studies of performance pay in action and proposes a simple, yet powerful plan for reforming compensation for the next generation of teachers.
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Teachers, Performance Pay, and AccountabilityTeachers, Performance Pay, and Accountability — What Education Should Learn From Other Sectors
by Scott J. Adams, John S. Heywood & Richard Rothstein
This first book in EPI’s Series on Alternative Teacher Compensation Systems brings expert analysis to the debate over performance-based pay in America’s public schools, and as a starting point includes one of the first systematic analyses of pay-for-performance practices in the private sector. Teachers, Performance Pay, and Accountability provides important lessons from other industries on designing and implementing such systems in education at a time when states and school districts are contemplating how to evaluate teacher performance.
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Immigration for Shared ProsperityImmigration for Shared Prosperity — A Framework for Comprehensive Reform
by Ray Marshall
This new EPI book proposes solutions for our broken immigration system, which has created a large population of immigrants residing in the United States with no legal right to work but working nevertheless, at great risk to themselves and their families.
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A Plan to Revive the American EconomyA Plan to Revive the American Economy
With grim economic news coming from many directions, it’s easy to get discouraged about our ability to repair the damage of years of failed economic policies. And yet, there are pragmatic solutions to our biggest challenges, including ways to restore health care and retirement security, to create family-supporting jobs, and to reestablish a leadership role in the global economy. Collaborating with some of the nation’s top progressive thinkers, EPI researchers have been exploring and refining solutions for the better part of two years. Now, just in time for national debates on economic direction, EPI has compiled the best of these proposals into a small, easy-to-read Policy Handbook called A Plan to Revive the American Economy.
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State of Working AmericaThe State of Working America 2008/2009
by Lawrence Mishel, Jared Bernstein, and Heidi Shierholz
Prepared biennially since 1988, The State of Working America scrutinizes family incomes, jobs, wages, unemployment, wealth, poverty, and health care coverage, describing the economy’s effect on our nation’s standard of living.
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Organizing ProsperityOrganizing Prosperity
by Matt Vidal with David Kusnet
Using twelve case studies from a variety of industries, including nursing, meatpacking and janitorial, the authors of this new EPI book show how unions benefit workers and communities while making workplaces more efficient and productive. They also illustrate the real and extensive damage inflicted when union representation is removed.
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Everybody wins, except for most of usEverybody Wins… Everybody Wins, Except for Most of Us — What Economics Teaches about Globalization
by Josh Bivens
EPI’s new book, Everybody Wins, Except for Most of Us, explains the great irony of today’s globalization debate in American politics: the economics textbook actually argues that globalization can indeed harm the majority of American workers. In short, it is precisely those angst-ridden about globalization-
as-currently-practiced who have the firmer grasp of textbook economics than those who brandish it to support the contention that trade helps everybody.
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Grading EducationGrading Education: Getting Accountability Right
by Richard Rothstein, Rebecca Jacobsen, and Tamara Wilder
We should hold public schools accountable for effectively spending the vast funds with which they have been entrusted. But instead of grading a school’s progress in just math and reading (No Child Left Behind), we should hold schools accountable for the broad outcomes we expect from public education — basic knowledge and skills, critical thinking, an appreciation of the arts, physical and emotional health, and preparation for skilled employment — and then develop the means to measure, and ensure, schools’ success in achieving them. Richard Rothstein’s new book, Grading Education, describes a new kind of accountability plan for public education, one that relies upon both higher-quality testing and professional evaluation.
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CrunchCrunch: Why Do I Feel So Squeezed? (And Other Unsolved Economic Mysteries)
by
Jared Bernstein
In his latest book, Crunch: Why Do I Feel So Squeezed? (And Other Unsolved Economic Mysteries), senior economist Jared Bernstein answers a multitude of questions about the economy and discusses the phenomenon of rising inequality and the fact that most workers have not benefited from recent economic growth.
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The Case for Collaborative School Reform: The Toledo ExperienceThe case for collaborative school reform: The Toledo experience
by Ray Marshall
The Case for Collaborative School Reform
argues that the most successful school reforms will be undertaken collaboratively between teachers, school district officials, and union leaders. The study focuses on the superior results of the reform efforts of the Toledo School District and the Toledo Federation of Teachers, an innovative and collaborative teachers union in a representative urban school district. Toledo’s experience not only demonstrates the value of union-management collaboration to focus the parties’ attention and efforts on school reform, but also illustrates the evolution of school policies toward a greater focus on student achievement.
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The Teaching Penalty: Teacher Pay Losing Ground
by Sylvia Allegretto, Sean P. Corcoran, and Lawrence Mishel
For decades, researchers have asked whether teacher compensation has kept pace without side job opportunities, and whether compensation is sufficiently competitive to attract the quality of instructors desired. While the popular view is that teacher pay is relatively low and has not kept up with comparable professions over time, new claims suggest that teachers are actually well compensated when work hours, weeks of work, or benefits packages are taken into account.

The Teaching Penalty reviews recent analyses of relative teacher compensation and provides a detailed analysis of trends in the relative weekly pay of elementary and secondary school teachers. It finds that teacher compensation lags that of workers with similar education and experience, as well as that of workers with comparable skill requirements, like accountants, reporters, registered nurses, computer programmers, clergy, personnel officers, and vocational counselors and inspectors. Incorporating benefits into the analysis does not alter the general picture of teachers having a substantial wage/pay disadvantage that eroded considerably over the last 10 years.
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Vouchers and Public School PerformanceVouchers and Public School Performance
by Martin Carnoy, Frank Adamson, Amita Chudgar, Thomas Luschei, and John Witte

School choice and vouchers have become an increasingly important part of that educational reform policy debate. The debate is rooted in ideological differences between market proponents, who attach greater importance to individual choice, and supporters of a publicly run educational system, who place greater importance on equity, commonality, and public accountability. In a new book, Vouchers and Public School Performance, authors Martin Carnoy, Frank Adamson, Amita Chudgar, Thomas Luschei, and John Witte ask whether there is evidence that increased competition among schools introduced by a large-scale voucher plan in an urban school district, Milwaukee, resulted in improved student performance in public elementary schools. The study uses data from an extensive choice reform in Milwaukee’s Public School District, a district with the typical educational problems of an American urban center, but unusual in that it has had a voucher plan targeted at low-income students since 1990—the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program.
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Enriching Children, Enriching the NationEnriching Children, Enriching the Nation
by Robert Lynch
Research is increasingly demonstrating that the policy of investing in high-quality prekindergarten programs provides a wide array of significant benefits to children, families, and society as a whole, including job creation, inequality reduction, education and health care improvement, and reduced crime rates. In a new EPI book, Enriching Children, Enriching the Nation: Public Investment in High-Quality Prekindergarten, Robert G. Lynch examines the costs and benef
its of both a targeted and a universal prekindergarten program and shows the positive impact of these programs on the economy, federal and state budgets, crime, and the educational achievement and earnings of children and adults.
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Talking Past Each Other Talking Past Each Other
by David Kusnet, Lawrence Mishel, Ruy Teixeira
In a series of focus groups in 2005 and 2006, EPI asked middle-class Americans to discuss their economic insecurities. The discussions revealed not only a profound ambivalence about the economy, but also a widening gap between the ways that everyday Americans and influential elites talk about the economy. Co-authored by David Kusnet, Lawrence Mishel, and Ruy Teixeira, Talking Past Each Other: What Everyday Americans Really Think (and Elites Don’t Get) About the Economy discusses that gap and how to bridge it, allowing for changing economic, social, and political conditions. The study includes a special section that offers 12 suggestions for how to ‘speak American’ when talking about economics.
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