SCEPA's 25th Anniversary

Our Annual Report: A Look Back at 2020

February 25, 2021 Written by

As a part of our 25th anniversary, The Schwartz Center shares its 2020 annual reportThe report documents our efforts last year to continue turning our network’s mission-based research into policy proposals that improve the lives of the working class.

2020 was a year filled with difficulty for our country. Millions lost their jobs, businesses shuttered and, tragically, hundreds of thousands of lost their lives to Covid-19. We’ve also seen the pandemic amplify existing inequalities in our nation, with marginalized communities bearing the brunt of the economic and disease burden. At the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis, our team of engaged scholars based at The New School for Social Research in New York City met the challenge over the past year1 by providing insights to policymakers, the media, and the public to improve the lives and economic health of working families. Highlights include: 

  • The U.S. Congress’ Joint Economic Committee featured our research on the impact of the coronavirus recession on older workers, especially women and Black older workers. 
  • Our quarterly reports on older workers in the labor market received over 100 press hits in NPR, Yahoo Finance, Washington Post, CNBC, Marketwatch, Bloomberg, LA Times, and The New York Times, among others.
  • We issued a policy agenda for the Biden Administration on protecting older workers & strengthening retirement security, including calling on the Department of Labor to create an Older Workers Bureau. 
  • A new partnership with the Institute for the Study of Race and Political Economy at The New School, headed by leading stratification economist Darrick Hamilton.
  • Critical research on how New York City’s Hudson Yards development project could once again leave taxpayers on the hook in light of the Covid-19 recession. 
  • The World Bank commissioned a team of New School economists, led by Director of SCEPA’s Climate Change project Willi Semmler, to investigate fiscal policies that will help us move to a low-carbon economy while minimizing financial instability. 
  • A grant from the Ford Foundation for SCEPA’s project studying economic opportunity in a digital economy led by economist and affiliated researcher John Irons. The project investigates how the expansion of digital platforms and related technologies affects markets and potentially restricts economic opportunity. 
  • Lastly, SCEPA was among the first to host and develop a compendium of thoughts and policy recommendations from faculty and students in The New School for Social Research’s Economics Department in response to the coronavirus. 

Our research and writing aims to ensure working families’ security because equitable opportunities not only fuel the economy, but also create the foundation for a just and sustainable society. There is a long road to recovery ahead. However, as we celebrate our 25th anniversary, we are focused on the opportunity to build a more equitable future together.