A holistic assessment of the labor market effects of minimum wage regulation requires understanding employer compliance. The economics literature has paid little attention to this issue. We investigate how minimum wage increases and the strength of enforcement regimes affect the prevalence of subminimum wage payments. We find strong evidence that higher minimum wages lead to a greater prevalence of subminimum wage payments. We consistently estimate that increases in measured underpayment following minimum wage increases average between 10 and 25 percent of realized wage gains. We interpret this as evidence that minimum wage evasion and avoidance are an important reality in the low-wage labor market. Finally, we find that enforcement regimes play an important role in shaping both baseline compliance rates and the response of compliance to increases in minimum wages.
Exploring the Taxation of New York’s New Paid Family Medical Leave Benefit by Richard Barnes :: SSRNJanuary 2, 2019
This article examines the taxation of benefits received under New York’s new Paid Family Leave Act. The article argues that New York’s Paid Family Leave Act is unique when compared to similar provisions enacted in other states to date and that benefits paid under the tax are excluded from federal gross income by operation of Internal Revenue Code Sections 104 and 105. Additionally, the article contends that New York’s Department of Taxation and Finance’s Notice N-17-12 errs in concluding that amounts paid under the Act are includible in federal gross income. The article contends that insurance policies issued in compliance with the Act are “health insurance” and that income replacement benefits paid under the Act are paid for “sickness” as described in Code Sections 104 and 105.
Last week, the Department of Justice surprised many by reversing its position on the Affordable Care Act—stating that it agrees with U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor that the ACA is unconstitutional, and won’t defend the law. Judge O’Connor’s December 2018 decision in Texas v. United States held that because the tax penalty that enforced the individual mandate had been reduced to $0 in Congress’s 2017 tax reforms, the rest of the ACA could not stand. The House of Representatives, along with several states, has intervened in the case to defend the ACA. Joining host Jeffrey Rosen to break down the case and the legal and constitutional arguments on both sides are ACA experts Abbe Gluck of Yale University and Tom Miller of the American Enterprise Institute.
If The Court Strikes Down Obamacare, How Bad Would That Be? – Goodman Institute for Public Policy ResearchApril 5, 2019
The Trump administration has decided to challenge the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) in court. Some Republicans in Congress and even some in the administration resisted this decision. Critics assume that if there is no Obamacare, we would revert to the pre-Obamacare health system. If so, how bad would that be?
“The Affordable Care Act touches the lives of most Americans. Some 21 million could lose health insurance if the Trump administration were to succeed in having the law ruled unconstitutional.”
Editor’s note: this article summarizes what Obamacare critic John Goodman has characterized as “Democratic talking points.” That said, it is a useful codification (and quantification) of the key concerns the law’s defenders have about its potential demise.
The government of a country with a good financial reputation could borrow from the international capital market and use the proceeds to endow a sovereign wealth fund that mainly invests in the world stock market. In expectation, this country would gain the equity risk premium multiplied by the size of the fund. This gain could be earmarked to a social dividend. This paper deals with the conditions under which such a policy is welfare‐improving, discusses the optimal size of such a fund, and proposes an institutional framework for the management of public stock ownership.
AEI Event | E-cigarette regulation: Teens and trade-offs Remarks from Iowa Attorney General Tom MillerFebruary 19, 2019
E-cigarettes offer adult smokers who are unable or unwilling to give up nicotine a healthier option than traditional tobacco products. However, new evidence has pointed to a significant and unwanted rise in teenage vaping. Policymakers must decide how to best structure balanced policy that curtails youth access while ensuring adult choice. The future of smokers’ access to safer alternatives depends on such a resolution.At this event, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller will offer remarks on e-cigarette policy, followed by a panel discussion with experts.
Too often, patients are surprised to find a bill from an out-of-network provider involved in their treatment who they had no control in choosing. Studies suggest that roughly 1 in 5 emergency room visits and 1 in 10 elective inpatient procedures result in the potential for a surprise out-of-network bill, most commonly when patient seek care at an in-network hospital but end up treated by certain emergency department or ancillary physicians (such as anesthesiologists, radiologists, pathologists, or assistant surgeons) who are outside their insurer’s provider network, and financial consequences can be devastating.In recent years, many states have moved to address surprise billing and a few federal proposals are floating around Congress. While there is broad bipartisan agreement that a problem exists, a solution can sometimes prove elusive. On Wednesday, February 20, 2019, the USC-Brookings Schaeffer Initiative for Health Policy will present new analysis detailing policy approaches to eliminate surprise out-of-network billing and bring together policymakers and stakeholders to discuss how to craft a solution.This event will be live webcast.