• Awarded Scholar:
    • Alicia Munnell, Boston College

    The recent political battles over the pension and health benefits of state employees are sometimes portrayed in the press as a consequence of greedy public-sector unions winning overly generous concessions from short-sighted state legislators willing to promise unsustainable future benefits to solve immediate political problems.

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  • Awarded Scholars:
    • Howard Chernick, CUNY Graduate Center
    • Cordelia Reimers, Hunter College

    As a result of the Great Recession, state and local budgets are facing severe fiscal pressure. A recent study showed an unprecedented two-year decline in state spending, and the trend does not seem likely to end soon. Tax revenues were down 12 percent in 2009, and only slightly less in 2010.

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  • Awarded Scholar:
    • Andrea Louise Campbell, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    The Great Recession and its aftermath have put enormous fiscal pressures on the American states, which must bear the triple burden of steeply declining tax revenues, exploding costs for social assistance programs, and large investment losses in state pension funds. The aggregate budgetary shortfall experienced by the states amounted to some $430 billion between 2009 and 2011.

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