The brookings panel on Economic Activity held its seventy-seventh
conference in Washington, D.C., on March 25 and 26, 2004. This issue of
Brookings Papers on Economic Activity includes the papers and discussions
presented at the conference. The first paper analyzes the experience
of single mothers since the welfare reforms of the mid-1990s. The second
paper offers a diagnosis of the persistence of poverty in sub-Saharan Africa
and outlines a long-run program of assistance to promote sustained development.
The third paper models the relationship between long-run demographic
swings and long-run returns to equities. The fourth paper reports
on a survey of Americans’ opinions on, and knowledge about, economic
policy issues and assesses how self-interest, political ideology, and other
factors relate to those opinions.