The Price Is Wrong: Getting the Market Right for Working Families in Philadelphia

Bruce Katz and
Bruce Katz Founding Director of the Nowak Metro Finance Lab - Drexel University
Matt Fellowes
Matt Fellowes Former Brookings Expert, CEO and Founder - United Income

April 1, 2005

Thousands of dollars are currently drained from the budgets of Philadelphia’s working families through higher prices for everyday goods and services. These higher prices—higher than those paid by better off families for the exact same goods and services—hold back all aspiring middle class families, undermining the city’s innovative efforts to combat decades of decline.

This report delves into these higher prices for necessities, revealing what causes these costs, and recommending a number of policy approaches—including reducing risks to business, giving consumers more marketplace information, and curbing market abuses—to make the market work better for low-income families, bolstering the ladder to the middle class.