Aspen Economic Strategy Group Releases New Book Examining Key Forces Shaping America’s Economic Future

December 10, 2020

The three-part book examines middle class growth, geographic disparities, and the economic costs of climate change

Contact: Amy Ganz
Economic Strategy Group | 202 736 5850

Washington, DC, December 10,  2020 —The Aspen Economic Strategy Group (ESG) today released its annual policy volume about current and long-term economic challenges facing the nation. This year’s volume, titled Securing our Economic Future, features nine chapters written by leading experts on several long standing economic challenges that have been intensified by the events of 2020, including the need to promote a more prosperous middle class, address deep geographic divides in economic opportunity, and mitigate the economic costs of climate change.

Co-chaired by Henry M. Paulson, Jr. and Erskine Bowles, the Economic Strategy Group brings together a diverse, bipartisan group of distinguished leaders and thinkers with the goal of promoting evidence-based solutions to the greatest challenges confronting American economic policy.   The 2020 policy volume is a culmination of the past year’s ESG research and series of meetings among its membership that fostered the bipartisan, evidence-based exchange of economic policy ideas.

The book is edited by Economic Strategy Group Director Melissa S. Kearney and Deputy Director Amy Ganz. Its chapters, written by leading economists and policy scholars, examine some of the fundamental questions about securing America’s economic future.  What are the limits of government policy in promoting a more vibrant and prosperous middle class?  What policies will expand opportunities across large geographic, social, economic, and racial disparities? How can we adjust our economic policies to guard against the worst effects of climate change?

The book release coincides with a public webinar (December 10th from 2:00pm to 4:20pm ET) hosted by Economic Strategy Group featuring several authors. More information about the event can be found at:

The three-part book examines issues that are critical to how we rebuild an economy that is more secure, equitable, and better insulated from the risks of the 21st century:


Middle-Class Redistribution: Tax and Transfer Policy for Most Americans By Adam Looney, Jeff Larrimore, David Splinter
Is the Decline of The Middle Class Greatly Exaggerated? By Bruce Sacerdote
Walking the Tightrope: Variable Income and Limited Liquidity Among the US Middle Class By Dan Silverman


The Faltering Escalator of Urban Opportunity By David Autor
Bringing Jobs to People: Improving Local Economic Development Policies By Timothy J. Bartik
A Renter Safety Net: A Call for Federal Emergency Rental Assistance By Ingrid Ellen Gould, Katherine O’Regan, Amy Ganz


Harnessing the Power of Markets to Solve the Climate Problem By Gilbert E. Metcalf
Climate Policy Enters Four Dimensions By David W. Keith and John Deutch
Climate Convexity: The Inequality of a Warming World By Trevor Houser

“Our country faces a number of critical economic challenges that we must address in order to strengthen our economy and improve our society. This was true before the pandemic, and even more so today,” said Economic Strategy Group director Melissa S. Kearney, the Neil Moskowitz Professor of Economics at the University of Maryland. “This book provides policymakers and the new administration with a set of timely observations and policy ideas that can help move our country forward toward a more secure future.”


The Economic Strategy Group (ESG), a program of the Aspen Institute, is composed of a diverse, bipartisan group of distinguished leaders and thinkers with the goal of promoting evidence-based solutions to significant U.S. economic challenges. Co-chaired by Henry M. Paulson, Jr. and Erskine Bowles, the Aspen ESG fosters the exchange of economic policy ideas and seeks to clarify the lines of debate on emerging economic issues while promoting bipartisan relationship-building among current and future generations of policy leaders in Washington. More information can be found at

The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the most important challenges facing the United States and the world. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, and an international network of partners. For more information, visit

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