Most-Read Research in 2012

Our top 10 most-read research publications and commentaries reflect the nation's policy priorities and legislative debates from health care and social security to unemployment, taxes, and recession.

  1. Toppling Off the Fiscal Cliff: Whose Taxes Rise and How Much?
    Roberton WilliamsEric ToderDonald MarronHang Nguyen
    The looming fiscal cliff threatens to boost taxes by more than $500 billion in 2013 when many temporary tax provisions are scheduled to expire. Nearly 90 percent of Americans would pay more tax, primarily because the temporary cut in Social Security taxes and many of the 2001/2003 tax cuts would expire.
  2. The Nonprofit Sector in Brief: Public Charities, Giving and Volunteering, 2012
    Amy Blackwood, Katie L. Roeger, Sarah L. Pettijohn
    The Nonprofit Sector in Brief summarizes and expands on The Nonprofit Almanac 2012, prepared by the National Center for Charitable Statistics and published by the Urban Institute Press. Both publications highlight the growth in the number and finances of 501(c)(3) public charities, as well as key findings on private charitable contributions and volunteering.
  3. How Big is the Federal Government?
    Donald MarronEric Toder
    The federal government is larger than conventional budget measures suggest. Many tax preferences are effectively spending programs. Adding these preferences to federal outlays and receipts makes the government appear about 4 percent of GDP larger.
  4. How Hard Is It to Cut Tax Preferences to Pay for Lower Tax Rates?
    Hang NguyenJim NunnsEric ToderRoberton Williams
    Some political leaders have proposed to lower individual income tax rates and make up the lost revenue by eliminating tax preferences. To help inform the discussion of such proposals, we examine illustrative revenue-neutral combinations of lower rates and cuts in tax preferences and their effects on the distribution of tax burdens.
  5. Opting Out of the Medicaid Expansion under the ACA: How Many Uninsured Adults Would not Be Eligible for Medicaid?
    Genevieve M. Kenney, Lisa Dubay, Stephen Zuckerman, Michael Huntress
    In this brief, Urban Institute researchers estimate the number of uninsured Americans in each state who could be eligible for Medicaid if every state takes the option of expanding Medicaid coverage. Of 22.3 million uninsured Americans who could be potentially eligible for Medicaid under the ACA, 67 percent (15.1 million) are adults not currently eligible for Medicaid. Of this group, 11.5 million have incomes below poverty and would not qualify for any other subsidized coverage.
  6. Making the Medicaid Expansion an ACA Option: How Many Low-Income Americans Could Remain Uninsured?
    Genevieve M. KenneyLisa DubayStephen ZuckermanMichael Huntress
    The Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act upheld the individual mandate and made the expansion of Medicaid coverage to nonelderly adults with incomes below 138 percent of the federal poverty level optional for states.
  7. Public Housing Transformation and Crime: Making the Case for Responsible Relocation
    Susan J. PopkinMichael J. RichLeah HendeyChristopher HayesJoe Parilla
    Our analysis indicates a complex relationship between public housing transformation and crime in Chicago and Atlanta, though the efforts led to small net decreases in crime over a study period where crime declined significantly.
  8. Measuring Effective Tax Rates
    Rachel M. JohnsonJoseph RosenbergRoberton Williams
    Effective tax rates (ETRs) measure how much people pay in taxes as a percentage of their pretax incomes. That seems simple, but there's an important complication: there are different ways to measure how much someone pays in taxes and how much he collects in pretax income.
  9. The Individual Mandate in Perspective
    Linda J. BlumbergMatthew BuettgensJudy Feder
    The \individual mandate\-the requirement that individuals either have health insurance coverage or pay a fine-is both the best known and the least popular component of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
  10. Child Poverty and Its Lasting Consequence
    Caroline RatcliffeSigne-Mary McKernan
    One in six newborns were born poor over the past 40 years, and nearly half remained poor half their childhoods. These persistently poor children are nearly 90 percent more likely than never-poor children to enter their 20s without completing high school and are four times more likely to give birth outside of marriage during their teenage years.