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Our Mission

The Economic Roundtable is a non-profit, public benefit corporation organized to conduct economic, social and environmental research that contributes to the sustainability of individuals and communities.

The Economic Roundtable seeks to respect the needs and goals of all neighborhoods and communities of interest affected by its work.

Research findings are made readily available to public policy makers, affected communities, and the general public.

Recent Research

  • Raising the Minimum Wage: Economic Roundtable's Dan Flaming argues that it will help L.A.New
    The LA Times hosted a debate on raising the minimum wage, following Mayor Eric Garcetti's recent proposal to raise the minimum to $13.25 by 2016. The debate was between Dan Flaming, President of the Economic Roundtable (for it) and Edward Leamer, UCLA professor (against it). Dan wrote, "Los Angeles needs to be a place that works for everyone. I'm hopeful, as are many economists, that raising the minimum wage can be accomplished without dampening economic growth."

    URL [Read More]

  • Economic Impact of Hotel Workers' Minimum WageNew
    The Economic Roundtable was selected by the Los Angeles City Council as one of a panel of three economists to answer questions regarding the proposed hotel minimum wage ordinance.

    PDF [View and Download September 22, 2014 & September 3, 2014 Letters]

  • Economic Impact of Los Angeles Street VendorsNew
    Los Angeles has an estimated 10,000 street vendors, the ranks of which have grown since the Great Recession according the LA Times. Street vendors generate over $100 million in annual sales of food and merchandise. The Economic Roundtable analyzed the economic impacts that sales of food by street vendors had on the local economy for the LA Street Vendor campaign. We found that for every dollar earned by LA street vendors, $1.60 of economic benefits is realized.
    PDF [View and Download this Fact Sheet]

  • Sinking Underground: The Growing Informal Economy in California Construction

    Construction is a $152 billion industry in California, employing 895,000 workers. One out of six construction workers in the Golden State, that is 143,900, sank into the informal economy in 2011. Informal employment in the construction industry increased by 400 percent since 1972. Informal construction workers earn about half of what their formal counterparts bring home and their households are three times more likely to live in poverty. This impacts all Californians because of the $774 million informal tax gap.
    Download [Download]         Obtain hard-copy versions of reports [View Details]

  • The Public Cost of the Informal Economy to California
    California, named the Golden State to commemorate the discovery of gold, is now the home to 6.2 million who are out of work, underemployed, or dropped out of the labor force and no longer searching for a job, as reported in the Los Angeles Times on August 3, 2014. We are tied with Nevada as the states with the highest rate of labor underutilization in June 2014. How are 38 million Californian workers and families surviving, and at what cost to the Golden State? Read and download our latest fact sheet on the public cost of the informal economy in California.
    PDF [View and Download this Fact Sheet]

  • Repaying Hospitality: Economic Impacts of Raising Hotel Workers Wages and Benefits in the City of Los Angeles

    Repaying Hospitality report banner

    A $15.37 minimum wage for Los Angeles hotels with 100 or more rooms would affect over 5,000 low-wage hotel workers, including housekeepers, janitors, banquet servers, bellhops and desk clerks. The twenty year trend for hotel growth and rising hotel occupancy and revenue support the finding that the proposed new minimum wage is feasible for the hotel industry in Los Angeles. Underwritten by the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy.
    Download [Download]         Obtain hard-copy versions of reports [View Details]

  • Cap-and-Trade Investments Addressing Housing and Homeless Needs

    Repaying Hospitality report banner

    California’s legislature and governor are considering allocating a portion of the anticipated $3 to $5 billion annual revenue from the Cap-and-Trade Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund for affordable housing located near transit hubs in order to reduce automobile travel and accompanying emissions. Especially large reductions in GHG emissions can come from housing 10th decile homeless residents because 1) frequent trips in ambulances and police cars will be replaced by use of public transit when they are housed and 2) they spend a large amount of time in hospitals and jails, which are 50 times more energy-intensive per occupant than conventional housing. The accompanying letter to Governor Brown recommends setting aside ten percent or more of the affordable housing allocation for 10th decile homeless residents. California residents are requested to share this information with their legislators.
    PDF [View and Download this Letter]

  • Effects of a Fifteen Dollar an Hour Minimum Wage in the City of Los Angeles
    Walmart civil unrest Los Angeles

    The City of Los Angeles labor force creates over $200 billion in added value each year. Yet 46 percent of workers do not receive a sufficient share of the value they create to support a basic standard of living. Increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour will require reallocating just 4 percent of overall industry revenue in Los Angeles. This wage increase will generate $9.2 billion in increased local sales each year, creating 64,700 new jobs. Underwritten by the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO.
    Download [Download]         Obtain hard-copy versions of reports [View Details]

  • Getting Home: Outcomes from Housing High Cost Homeless Hospital Patients
    Getting Home banner

    This evaluation of outcomes for the first 163 patients screened with the triage tools found that every $1 dollar in local funds spent to house and support 10th decile patients reduces public and hospital costs for individuals who are housed by $2 in the first year and $6 in subsequent years. The most difficult problem is long delays in obtaining permanent supportive housing. Underwritten by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, UniHealth Foundation, the Corporation for National and Community Service, the Corporation for Supportive Housing, and the Economic Roundtable.
    Download [Download]         Obtain hard-copy versions of reports [View Details]

All of our older reports, many previously unavailable for download, are now on-line. View our publications.


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View Responses to our Survey of Frequent Readers conducted in April 2014. Their recommendations will help update the Economic Roundtable logo and web site.

Obtain hard-copy versions of reports View Survey Responses

National Social Innovation Grant awarded to Economic Roundtable Team to build a cross-sector network of health care and housing partners to identify, engage, and house the highest-need and highest-cost homeless residents of Los Angeles County, 2012-2014. This is the 10th Decile Project:

Obtain hard-copy versions of reports View Project Details

Who is in the 10th Decile? It is people - residents of our communities - who are homeless, disabled, and who have high levels of need (housing, accessing healthcare, and affording other basic needs), as well as high public costs from public assistance, recurring visits to emergency rooms, unpaid bills for health services, stints in the justice system, etc. They are also people for whom, once they are housed, we see the greatest reductions in their public costs.

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