Research In Focus

What Should be Included in a State’s Sales Tax Base?

Tax policy researchers across the political spectrum agree that narrow, targeted policies (such as tax credits) are usually a better way to address the regressive nature of the tax than blanket exemptions. Current policies exempting services and partially exempting groceries are unlikely to effectively minimize the tax burden on Utah’s consumers. More targeted policies combined with a broad tax base and low tax rates may achieve the same levels of public revenue at a much lower fiscal and [...]

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How Does Occupational Licensing Affect U.S. Consumers and Workers?

This paper examines the existing research on the effects of occupational licensing and concludes with a discussion of possible reforms. Existing studies have yet to find a definitive link between licensing restrictions and their stated purpose of improving service quality. Several studies do find, however, that licensing requirements raise pay for licensed workers, but with a cost: reduced employment and higher consumer prices. Overall, the evidence suggests there may be gains from policy [...]

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How Do Refugees Impact Labor Markets in the United States?

Current crises around the world, from Syria to Venezuela, have displaced an estimated 25.4 million refugees. Historically, the United States has played a leading role in permanently resettling the world’s refugees, maintaining a refugee admission ceiling around 70,000 per fiscal year over the last two decades. However, the current ceiling has been lowered to 45,000 for fiscal year 2018, its lowest level in history. The global refugee population, by contrast, is growing.

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