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

Costs of Commuting and How Public Transport Might Help

In the Road and Repair Accountability Act  (SB 1), California has pledged to increase its spending on state transportation infrastructure by $54 billion over the next decade for “fix it first” highway and road projects, bike and pedestrian infrastructure, and public transit. One aspect in which these investments can translate into public benefits are the

A Wave of Blue Money Sweeps US House Races in Southern CA to the Left

When the FEC released campaign finance data from the third quarter of 2018, Nate Silver of shifted his House predictions further in favor of the Democrats. Republicans were out-fundraised in the third quarter and that may cost them in key California elections and ballot measures. The national Republican Party began to pull money from

The Animal Spirits of Donkeys and Elephants

You may have heard that household spending decisions constitute 70% of total economic activity in the United States. Consequently, understanding how households currently view their present and future finances is critical to projecting the overall trajectory of the U.S. economy. Consumer sentiment indices are surveys of several hundred households that are then condensed into single-number

Prices From Oil to Gas to Wallet

How much is the price of oil affecting the price of gas and the Inland Empire’s wallets? Over the past twelve months, oil prices have risen from $60 per barrel to $80 per barrel. Robust global economic growth, continued supply disruption in Venezuela, and potential renewed sanctions on Iran all represent risk that prices could

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

California Gubernatorial Elections and Business Investment

On November 6th, 26 states, including California, will elect governors. How will election season affect business investment in the state of California? As head of the executive branch, the governor exercises considerable influence over legislation and considerable discretion over regulation and permitting. In a state where the identity of the future governor is in doubt,

Race and Place in Partisan Voting

Recent work by Jonathan Rodden and others has pointed to the importance of population density in predicting partisan voting patterns. As seen in this precinct-level map of partisan voting patterns, generated by Ryne Rohla and published by the New York Times, cities are azure islands surrounded by oceans of crimson countryside. In an influential article