The Pension Crisis: State and Local Pension Challenges

Nov 8, 2019, 3:30pm – 7:00pm, Swift Hall, 3rd floor Lecture Hall, (1025 E 58th St, Chicago, IL 60637)

Participants: Edward Glaeser (Harvard University), Byron Lutz (Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System), Carol Portman (Taxpayers’ Federation of Illinois), Joshua Rauh (Stanford University), and C. Eugene Steuerle (Urban Institute)

Hosted by Lars Peter Hansen and James Heckman

The Macro Finance Research Program (MFR), Center for the Economics of Human Development (CEHD) will host the second installment of the University of Chicago Policy Forum on November 8, 2019. This second forum will focus on the topic of, “the Pension Crisis: State and Local Pension Challenges.”

This forum is intended to inform the debate on the state and local pension crisis, its dimensions, economic ramifications and potential solutions. We hope to address various issues including the scope and magnitude of the fiscal challenges, the role of property taxes and their implications for property values, the continued need to encourage new businesses while addressing the necessity for more revenue in the future, and a better understanding of the political environment and process that gave rise to the challenges faced in the city of Chicago, the state of Illinois, as well as in other states and municipalities around the country.

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Economics is judged ultimately by how well it helps to understand the world and how well we can help improve it."
- Gary Becker

Program and Resources

Facts Session

  • C. Eugene Steuerle, Fellow and Chair, the Urban Institute, Resources: Download Slides, To be added to Steuerle's various Urban mailing lists, please contact him at
  • Carol Portman, President, the Taxpayers’ Federation of Illinois, Resources: Download Slides.
  • Byron Lutz, Assistant Director and Chief of Fiscal Analysis, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Resources: Download Slides.

  • Moderated by Lars Peter Hansen, David Rockefeller Distinguished Professor, The University of Chicago
  • Joshua Rauh, Ormond Family Professor of Finance at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business
  • Edward Glaeser, Professor of Economics and Director of the Taubman Center for State and Local Government, Harvard University
  • James Heckman, Henry Schultz Distinguished Service Professor and Director of the Center for the Economics of Human Development, The University of Chicago