Category: National Trends

California COVID-19 Crop Yields

Among the many negative impacts that COVID-19 has had on health, the economy, and social well-being there has been one well-documented silver lining. As states and whole countries issue stay-at-home orders, air quality has increased markedly. In California, which is home to 10 of the 25 U.S. cities with the worst levels of air pollution,

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,

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

U.S. National Parks Lost Millions During Partial Government Shutdown

The absence of an appropriation bill enacted the Antideficiency Act which forces non-essential government operations, including the National Parks Service, to stop during the shutdown. The National Parks Conservation Association reports the Department of the Interior were able to employ just under 3,300 of the 20,000 NPS employees as “essential staff” to keep National Parks

Your Neighborhood’s Impact on Income

How Accessible is the Ladder in Your Neighborhood? In March of 2018, economists from Stanford and Harvard teamed-up with the U.S. Census Bureau to produce a longitudinal study investigating the relationship between race and economic opportunity in the United States. By tying de-identified IRS tax returns to Census Bureau data, the researchers were able to

The FED Looking Forward

Donald Trump has recently publicly expressed his displeasure with continued rate hikes by the Federal Reserve.  In both July and August he criticized the Fed for raising rates, declaring himself “not thrilled” and asserting they should be more accommodative.  Will such criticism affect the behavior of the Fed? There is a long and much-studied history