Nell Abernathy

As Vice President, Strategy and Policy for the Roosevelt Institute, Nell Abernathy manages strategy and research priorities for the think tank, and focuses her own work on U.S. economic issues, including financial regulation and the gig economy. While at Roosevelt, Nell developed and managed the Inequality Project led by Chief Economist Joseph Stiglitz, and co-authored Rewriting the Ruleswith Professor Stiglitz. She has also managed the Next American Economy project with Senior Fellow Bo Cutter, and the Financialization Project with Fellow Mike Konczal.

Prior to joining Roosevelt, Nell worked on political campaigns and in government for President Barack Obama, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and Los Angeles City Councilwoman Wendy Greuel. In addition, she worked as an economics reporter in emerging markets, including Nigeria, Ghana, Turkey, China and Abu Dhabi. She holds an MA in International Finance and Economic Policy from Columbia University, and a BA from Brown University. Follow her @nellabernathy.

Despite individual policies polling better than conservative proposals—on health care, education, and taxes, for example—the public has yet to fully comprehend what progressives actually stand for. Progressive policymakers need a worldview that connects laundry lists of policy solutions to people’s daily lives, and a new issue brief by our colleagues offers just that. In “Increasing

America’s political landscape and economic thinking are shifting. The 2016 election—and the rise of powerful movements over the past decade—has shown us that Americans are calling for change. They want a diagnosis of our economy to help make sense of what’s gone wrong and to suggest ways to make things better. In New Rules for

Companies today are not working the way that most Americans, policymakers, or the media think that they do. To fight inequality, we need to rewrite the laws that guide corporations. We must first, however, change the way that people understand the role of the American firm in our economy and explore how we can deploy

Why This Matters is a series from Roosevelt staff connecting our individual work—from papers to reports and everything in between—to our broader vision of creating a better, more equitable economic and political system. This series will give readers the top takeaways from our latest writing and thinking, with a focus on why they matter as we

Presentation to the Congressional Antitrust Caucus, Panel Remarks February 16, 2018 Today, economists and average Americans are confused by the same puzzle: We see historically high corporate profits and low corporate investment. In a productive economy, high profits and low investment aren’t supposed to occur simultaneously. So how do we explain what is going on?

The growth of digitally mediated gig or “on-demand” work, such as driving for Uber or shopping for Instacart, has prompted a national conversation about how and when we work, how we are paid, and what obligations businesses and workers have to one another. The questions raised by on-demand work are, in fact, symptoms of much

Untamed: How to Check Corporate, Financial, and Monopoly Power outlines a policy agenda designed to rewrite the rules that shape the corporate and financial sectors and improve implementation and enforcement of existing regulations. This report, edited by Nell Abernathy, Mike Konczal, and Kathryn Milani, builds on recent analysis of economic inequality and on our 2015

Tagged under:

Despite some buzz about his proposals to raise taxes on hedge fund managers and to lower deductions, Jeb Bush’s tax plan is just another iteration of the same tired trickle-down policies conservatives have been pushing for decades. As our colleague Mike Konczal points out, removing the carried interest loophole is a good idea, but it

Inequality is a choice—one that we make with the rules we create to structure our society and economy. In this report, Roosevelt Chief Economist and Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz, joined by co-authors Nell Abernathy, Adam Hersh, Susan Holmberg, and Mike Konczal, exposes the link between the rapidly rising fortunes of America’s wealthiest citizens and increasing economic

Tagged under:

Conservatives who say getting a job is the answer to poverty fail to acknowledge the realities of low-income work. Les Misérables returned to Broadway last week, just in time for Victor Hugo’s tale of poverty and redemption to provide some context for thinking about the poverty report Rep. Paul Ryan released Monday. With a history

The Rediscovering Government Initiative takes a look back and a look ahead… The Bernard L. Schwartz Rediscovering Government Initiative had an active and rewarding second year. Our programs continue to be directed toward broadening the public discourse on the purposes of government, and in particular, countering the ideological anti-government attitudes that have so influenced discourse

Greg Gopman’s callous comments about San Francisco’s homeless demonstrate why we need government to support the most vulnerable Americans. So yet another Silicon Valley innovator is in trouble for publicly ranting about the horrifying experience of having to share San Francisco’s streets with our nation’s tired, poor, and huddled masses. Last week, AngelHack CEO Greg

Young people who aren’t in school or working aren’t beyond hope, but we need to invest more in the programs that will help them. The great recession has hit younger, less educated workers hardest, leaving 6.7 million young people between the ages of 16-24 out of work and out of school. These “Opportunity Youth” are

New York City public school students in lower-income neighborhoods suffer from very slow Internet speeds. Our next mayor can help. It’s clear that the Internet is a vitally important resource for education, innovation, and opportunity. And we know that 21st century kids need it to write papers, apply to colleges, and find jobs (not just to watch videos

The Bernard L. Schwartz Rediscovering Government Initiative is trying to understand how New York got so unequal. And we’re looking for solutions. So what is behind this big shift toward income inequality in New York? Income trends in the city represent an amplified version of our national problems: low-wage jobs without benefits are replacing middle-wage

New York City is as starkly divided along economic lines as it is connected by its famous subway lines.  The Roosevelt Institute is looking for solutions. Another fun/depressing/informative infographic on New York City’s stunning wealth divide: Back in April, before the election was heating up, the good people at The New Yorker plotted the diverging extremes

The New York City primary results show that the issue of rising inequality is striking a chord with voters. Here’s why.

The results are in and two (or three) candidates are one step closer to Gracie Mansion. What we know for certain is that along with winning international attention and prime seats at Yankee Stadium, New York’s next mayor will inherit a city that is more unequal in terms of income than any other major city in America.

The increasing polarization of wealth in New York has been a hot topic and served as the campaign centerpiece for one of yesterday’s big winners, Bill de Blasio. We are trying to resist pointing out that experts like our own Jeff Madrick were talking about this problem even before the drum circles of Zuccotti Park, but we’re happy that the city’s Sierra Leone-like inequality is at last making headlines.

Because we know that we can do better, and we hope our next mayor will at least try, the Roosevelt Institute’s Bernard L. Schwartz Rediscovering Government Initiative is taking a look back at some of the most compelling charts and graphs to surface on the long road to Election Day.

From James Parrott, at the Fiscal Policy Institute, who will be a panelist at our upcoming forum on inequality:

The top 1 percent are capturing a growing portion of the nation’s economy, and nowhere is that trend more pronounced than in New York.

The top 1 percent, in fact, pay less than their fair share of the tax burden:

Meanwhile, the poverty rate in New York City continues to rise: 

We will be back tomorrow with more infographics. To learn more about potential solutions to our growing wealth gap, join us for our panel discussion on Tuesday, September 24:

Inequality in New York: The Next Mayor’s Challenge
September 24, 2013
6:00 p.m. cocktail reception
6:30 – 8:00 p.m. panel discussion
Roosevelt House, Public Policy Institute at Hunter College
49 East 65th Street
New York, NY 10065

Nell Abernathy is the Program Manager for the Roosevelt Institute’s Bernard L. Schwartz Rediscovering Government Initiative.

The federal government has let New Orleans down in the past, but it can still provide equal opportunity for the city’s next generation. Our federal government has failed New Orleans more dramatically than any other U.S. city, and the growing number of unemployed and undereducated young adults is one more example of our failure to

TOP