Brookings Economic Studies experts offer insights and recommendations on what lies ahead in 2014, while weighing in on the economic developments that made headlines in the past 12 months.
Check back through the end of the year as we add more topics.
The year in taxes started with the nation toppling, briefly, over the fiscal cliff. And it ended with some interesting policy proposals on tax reform though little political progress.
There is little doubt that with sufficient time and money, the initial administrative problems can be solved. But whether the Obama administration will be given the time and resources it will need to do the job remains unclear.
This was the year that social mobility broke out of the wonkosphere into mainstream political debate. Most of the thanks goes to President Obama, who has highlighted the challenge of stagnant social mobility in the U.S.
Reform of financial regulation continued with great intensity in 2013. U.S. regulators spent the year immersed in developing the detailed rules to implement the Dodd-Frank Act, as well as Basel III.
While the road is potentially bumpy ahead, in the fullness of time a more balanced monetary policy in the face of stronger economic growth has been good for the economy and financial markets.
The U.S. job market continued to eke out slow but steady gains in 2013. The labor market remains a long way from perfect health, but it is in better shape than it was a year ago.
The peak season for economic forecasting is here and the consensus outlook has been pretty upbeat.
The ranks of the long-term jobless have swelled to unprecedented levels; the proportion of the population participating in the labor market has shrunk, the real earnings of men have declined, and the poverty rate is at peak levels.
Suddenly, it appears that the warring parties have decided that government closings and potential defaults may not be the best policies.
Five years after the declared end of the recession, the economy is operating well below capacity and has made virtually no progress in narrowing the gap between actually and potential GDP.