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The Takeaway offers its readers concrete ideas to take away and integrate into their thinking about a policy problem or current event. It features concise, non-technical analysis, thoughtful policy discussion, and practical recommendations on the key issues facing decision makers.

Recent Submissions

  • Why We Need the USMCA (the agreement formerly known as NAFTA) 

    Robertson, Raymond (Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics & Public Policy, 2018-11)
  • Nonprofit Donor Motivation Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act 

    Taylor, Kenneth Anderson (Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics & Public Policy, 2018-09)
  • Not Enough Progress: Texas Still Leading in Health Uninsurance Rates 

    Thomas, Ashley (Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics & Public Policy, 2018-08)
  • Texas Groundwater: Dispelling Some Common Misconceptions 

    Griffin, James M. (Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics & Public Policy, 2018-04)
  • Understanding China's Currency Manipulation 

    Skaff, Rebecca; Webb, Lincoln; Clahane, Kyle (Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics & Public Policy, 2018-03)
  • Are There Benefits to a Higher Standard? The Effects of Raising the Standard Tax Deduction 

    Taylor, Lori L. (Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics & Public Policy, 2017-10)
  • IT Can Be Done: Reducing Payment Errors in Unemployment Insurance 

    Bullock, Justin; Greer, Robert (Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics & Public Policy, 2017-09)
    The United States Unemployment Insurance Program is a very complex system where mistakes are inevitable, but information technology and communication innovations at the Department of Labor (DOL) have been successful at ...
  • A Smart, Price-Based Energy Policy 

    Griffin, James M. (Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics & Public Policy, 2017-03)
    Energy policy in the United States is fatally flawed both in the process by which problems are identified and in the solutions that are chosen. It relies too heavily on subsidies, tax credits, grants, and mandates, when ...
  • The NAFTA Intellect Disconnect: Actual Costs and Benefits versus Popular Perceptions 

    Robertson, Raymond (Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics & Public Policy, 2016-12)
    The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which was initiated during the Republican administration of George H.W. Bush and completed during the Democrat administration of Bill Clinton, has been studied intensively ...
  • Phantom Capital: How Regulation Weakens Texas Groundwater Resources 

    Beckermann, Wayne R.; Parish, Mason Riley (Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics & Public Policy, 2016-06)
    Texans believe they own the water beneath their land and can freely sell or lease their water rights, but a patchwork of Groundwater Conservation Districts (GCDs) restrict such transactions. As a result, groundwater rights ...
  • Giving an “F” to the Franchise Tax: The Texas Franchise Tax Fails to Fund 

    Taylor, Lori L.; Cottingham, Erica; Shea, Allison (Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics & Public Policy, 2016-05)
    In 2006, Texas faced a fiscal double whammy. Not only had the Texas Supreme Court ordered the state to pick up more of the tab for K-12 education, but the legislature promised voters significant property tax relief. To ...
  • Striking a Workable Balance: Labor Provisions in the Trans-Pacific Partnership 

    Robertson, Raymond (Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics & Public Policy, 2015-12)
    Trade agreements have extended their reach far beyond simply reducing tariffs. One of the most controversial dimensions of modern trade agreements are labor standards. This brief explores the background and potential impact ...
  • Environmental Regulation: Can government regulate itself? 

    Teodoro, Manuel P.; Konisky, David M. (Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics & Public Policy, 2015-10)
    Leading theories of regulation assume that governments regulate profit-maximizing firms: governments set rules, to which firms respond rationally in ways that constrain their behavior. However, often the entities that ...
  • The Hidden Tax of Jury Service 

    Taylor, Lori L. (Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics & Public Policy, 2015-10-19)
    Not all taxes are conveniently labeled as such. For example, consider jury duty. Although it is seldom discussed in these terms, jury duty clearly fits the textbook definition of a tax—jurors are required to surrender a ...
  • When Equal is Not Equitable: Adjusting for Geographic Differences in Education Costs 

    Taylor, Lori L. (Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics & Public Policy, 2015-04)
    An educational dollar doesn’t stretch as far in some parts of the country as it does in others. School districts in high cost areas need additional dollars just to be able to purchase the same resources and hire the same ...
  • Fairer Trade, Removing Gender Bias in US Import Taxes 

    Taylor, Lori L.; Dar, Jawad (Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics & Public Policy, 2015-03)
    Tariff rates on most articles of imported apparel and footwear are classified by the gender of the intended user, and for some items the rates differ. In this issue of The Takeaway the authors describe the discriminatory ...
  • Bumpy Road Ahead: Bracing for Insolvency in the Highway Trust Fund 

    Dar, Jawad; Taylor, Lori L. (Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics & Public Policy, 2015-03)
    Funding for the federal Highway Trust Fund (HTF) is not keeping up with the deteriorating condition of America’s roads and bridges. HTF outlays have exceeded revenues in almost every year since 2001, and the fund faces an ...
  • Reaching More for Less: Modernizing US International Food Aid Programs 

    Natsios, Andrew (Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics & Public Policy, 2015-01)
    The Food for Peace program has saved millions of lives around the world for more than a half century and has been perhaps the most powerful and visible symbol of American generosity to those in need. The question is not ...
  • Water Use for Hydraulic Fracturing: A Texas Sized Problem? 

    LeClere, David (Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics & Public Policy, 2014-12)
    The state of Texas could face a 2.7 trillion gallon shortfall of water by 2060. Hydraulic fracturing (HF) requires large amounts of water for each well. Tax incentives should be offered to companies that substitute brackish ...
  • The War on Poverty Needs a New Map 

    Taylor, Lori L.; Dar, Jawad (Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics & Public Policy, 2014-12)
    Since the start of Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty, the federal government has spent vast sums of money trying to lower U.S. poverty rates. Yet, despite the repeated allocation of massive financial resources, overall ...

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