California Consumer Confidence Craters 

Economic data arrive with a lag. In any recession, it is a challenge to forecast the present and recent past, let alone the future. Because gubernatorial executive orders have essentially shut down large swaths of the economy, the onset of the Covid–19 induced recession has been unprecedentedly swift, making out-of-date data unhelpful in assessing the

A Case for Convergence in California

Are California’s poorer counties catching up to the richer ones? Analysis of California county growth from the Lowe Institute finds that the oft-debated theory of economic convergence should not be discounted.  In classical economics, the theory of economic convergence proposes that weaker economies grow at a faster rate than more developed economies, eventually catching-up or

California Average State Tax Rates on Personal Income from 1980 to 2015

The Lowe Institute calculated the average personal income state tax rates for various income brackets from 1980 to 2015. We find that, in this most visible category of taxation, California has increasingly leaned on the 1% in the twenty-first century. In October, economists Gabriel Zucman and Emmanuel Saez of University of California, Berkeley published their

Do Driver’s License Restrictions for Elders Work?

One of the best ways to prevent car crashes is to keep unsafe drivers off the road. Following this logic, many states institute restrictions on the renewal of elderly persons’ driver’s licenses. The Lowe analyzed whether or not three of the most popular restrictions are correlated with a decrease in fatal car accidents involving elders.

A Look at California’s Changing Demographics Over the Past 40 Years

California counties are becoming more diverse, but not uniformly across the state. Data visualization by student researchers at the Lowe Institute illustrates the geographic heterogeneity in the rapidity of this process. The increasing prevalence of Hispanics in the agricultural central valley and Asians in the Bay Area, the early diversity of the Los Angeles area,

The Hidden Cost of Avocados

The Hidden Cost of America’s Trendiest Fruit   The U.S. – Mexican avocado trade has proven to be a lucrative business, with some estimates for the total avocado earnings as high as two billion dollars. Roderic Camp, Philip M. McKenna Professor of the Pacific Rim at Claremont McKenna College, emphasized the new role of organized

Drought of the Century: Examining the Legacy of Prohibition

In this article we examine Prohibition’s legacy to understand the 115 U.S. counties that remain dry to this day. 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of prohibition. Enshrined as the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, the law prohibited the production, sale, and transport of alcohol within the United States. Originally promoted by the

College Chief: A Changing Role?

College presidents and chancellors are in a unique position. They are the chief executive of organizations employing as many as tens of thousands of people, but unlike a corporation of similar size, their stated goals traditionally transcend profit maximization. Several presidents’ webpages boast visions to “boldly go,” driving “student-centered,” “service-oriented” missions. Hiring statements often emphasize

1-Year Anniversary of California’s Pet Store Law

January 1st, 2020 will not only mark a new decade, but for animal rights enthusiasts it will mark the one-year anniversary of the enactment of California’s Assembly Bill No. 485, which requires all dogs, cats, and rabbits sold in California pet stores to be sourced from animal shelters or rescue groups. Although California is not