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Economy

April 16, 2015

Making Retail Jobs Good for Women - Ruetschlin & Hiltonsmith, Demos

In April 2015, Walmart implemented a $9 an hour minimum wage for all of its 1.3 million U.S. workers, and committed to pay all current workers at least $10 per hour by February 201...

April 10, 2015

The End of Asymmetric Information? - Tabarrok & Cowen, Cato Unbound

Might the age of asymmetric information – for better or worse – be over?  Market institutions are rapidly evolving to a situation where very often the buyer and th...

April 8, 2015

Obama Spurns Liberals With a Trade Deal - Danny Vinik, The New Republic

Last month, at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, D.C., AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka gave a 29-minute speech in opposition to the Trans...

April 7, 2015

How the Rich and Poor Earn and Spend Money - Josh Zumbrun, WSJ

For many Americans, the rise in food and housing prices is a tough squeeze. That’s because—even in an era with low overall inflation—low-income Americans spend a ...

April 7, 2015

The Recession and Long-Term Unemployment - Nancy Cook, CityLab

The number of Americans who have been out of work for six months or more steadily declined within the last year by 1.1 million people. The national unemployment rate fell, too, to&...

March 27, 2015

Middle Class Jobs Are Still Lagging - Ben Casselman, FiveThirtyEight

The U.S. economy is starting to create more good-paying jobs. But the middle class is still lagging behind in both job growth and wages....

Most Recent Articles

March 27, 2015

Suburban Sprawl Is Stifling the Economy - Danielle Kurtzleben, Vox

As the nation's metro areas grow ever larger, the sprawling suburbs can come with all sorts of problems: endless commutes, growing pollution, and unwalkable neighborhoods, to name ...

March 24, 2015

Unions Are Powerless; Workers Are Not - Megan McArdle, Bloomberg View

The long-simmering dispute between West Coast port owners and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union had already been settled, but everywhere I went at the Inter...

March 23, 2015

Beyond Free Trade vs. Protectionism - Michelle Wein, RealClearPolicy

There was a glimmer of hope as the year began that President Obama and Congress might be able to find common ground on trade policy, if on nothing else. In his State of the Union a...

March 21, 2015

The Agenda to Raise America's Pay - Economic Policy Institute

There is now widespread agreement across the political spectrum that wage stagnation is the country’s key economic challenge. Wages for the vast majority of American workers have...

March 20, 2015

Why Workers Won't Unite - Kim Phillips-Fein, The Atlantic

On a gusty April morning in 1914, a gun battle broke out between Colorado National Guardsmen and a group of striking coal miners. The strikers had been living in tents in...

March 18, 2015

Stagnant Wages: Fact or Fiction? - Salim Furth, Heritage Foundation

Wages have grown over the past few years at rates similar to historical trends. Even when including the Great Recession, the average annual growth rate has been positive. The frequ...

March 17, 2015

Are Men's Earnings Really Declining? - Scott Winship, Forbes

Over at Demos’s Policyshop blog, Matt Bruenig has a post up on whether the declining economic fortunes of men lower down the earnings distribution is behind the dec...

March 16, 2015

How to Survive a Robot Uprising - Robin Hanson, Reason

Martin Ford, author of Rise of the Robots, doesn't like the recent increase in U.S. wage inequality. So he wants to tax the rich more, to fund a basic income guarantee for the...

March 16, 2015

Unemployment Programs Exclude Many - Will Kimball & Rick McHugh, EPI

The Great Recession and its aftermath created severe challenges for unemployment insurance (UI) programs in the United States and for jobless workers relying upon them. In this bri...

March 14, 2015

Modeling the Foreclosure Crisis - Chatterjee & Eyigungor, Philadelphia Fed

The authors present a model of long-duration collateralized debt with risk of default. Applied to the housing market, it can match the homeownership rate, the average foreclosure r...

March 13, 2015

A Better Gauge of Labor Slack - Eric Morath, Wall Street Journal

The unemployment rate has fallen to a level that has some economists suggesting the U.S. is nearing “full employment,“ but the spread between that number and ...

March 10, 2015

Why Economic Policy Isn't Dynamc - Noah Smith, Bloomberg View

Samuel Johnson, the 18th-century English writer, once declared that “patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” But that was before there was such a thing as an eco...

March 10, 2015

Free-Market Economics Is Discredited - Jeff Madrick, American Prospect

Despite the practical failures of free-market economics, too many mainstream economists have continued to embrace simplistic ideas about how the economy works. Such ideas are often...

March 9, 2015

Is the Recovery Helping the Least Educated Most? - Dean Baker, CEPR

We all know that robots are making it impossible for people without a college degree to get jobs. That's a basic fact about the economy known to all right-thinking people. And, jus...

March 9, 2015

A Trade Deal Must Work for the Middle Class - Lawrence Summers, FT

Over the next few months the question of US participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal is likely to be resolved one way or the other. It is, to put it mild...

March 7, 2015

No College Degree? You'd Better Know Excel - Max Nisen, Quartz

For all the focus on the job environment for college grads, millions of US workers have “middle skill jobs,” roughly categorized as jobs for those with m...

March 7, 2015

Five Takeaways From the Jobs Report - Kathleen Madigan, Wall St. Journal

On the surface it’s hard to put a bad spin on a February jobs report that shows employment grew by almost 300,000 and the jobless rate fell to the lowest in almost ...

March 6, 2015

How Living Standards Have Changed - Megan McArdle, Cato Institute

Rare is the public policy panel where someone does not bring up the fading grandeur of America’s middle class, and when they do, rare is the participant who does not sorrowfu...

March 5, 2015

When Incomes Stagnated - Robert VerBruggen, RealClearPolicy

It's a common refrain that America's median household income has hardly risen since the 1970s -- and has even declined recently. But what if, instead of lumping every household in ...

March 5, 2015

Why Aren't Workers Getting Raises? - Matt O'Brien, Washington Post

Are wages stagnant because the economy was bad yesterday or because it's bad today? Yes....

March 4, 2015

Do Place-Based Policies Matter? - David Neumark & Helen Simpson, FRBSF

Place-based policies such as enterprise zones offer economic incentives to firms to create jobs in economically challenged areas. Evidence on the effectiveness of enterprise zones ...

February 26, 2015

The Link Between Institutions and Shared Growth - David Howell, WCEG

Increasing inequality in the United States and its relationship to economic growth is getting a lot of attention lately. It is now clear that sharply rising inequality is not neces...

February 25, 2015

Who Is Working Less? - Salim Furth, Heritage Foundation

Labor force participation in the past few years has been lower than at any time since the 1970s. Heritage Foundation research using Current Population Survey (CPS) data finds that ...

February 21, 2015

Wage Stagnation Continues - Elise Gould, Economic Policy Institute

Last year was yet another year of poor wage growth for American workers. With few exceptions, real (inflation-adjusted) hourly wages fell or stagnated for workers across the wage s...

February 21, 2015

Middle-Class Economics: A Brief History - Jason Furman, VoxEU

The US economy has strengthened considerably in recent years, presenting an opportunity to address the 40-year stagnation in incomes for the middle class. This column provides hist...

February 20, 2015

2015 Economic Report of the President - Council of Economic Advisers

This morning, the Council of Economic Advisers released the 69th-annual Economic Report of the President, which reviews the United States’ accelerating recovery and...

February 19, 2015

Obamacare Transforms the Job Market - Dean Baker, Al Jazeera

Last year the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a detailed analysis of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that projected it would reduce the number of hours worked by...

February 19, 2015

Education Won't Fix Wage Stagnation - Lawrence Mishel, Prospect

There was a time where it was plausible to argue that more education and innovation were the primary solutions to our economic problems. But that time has passed. You cannot tell t...

February 17, 2015

The Future of Work - Kearney & Hershbein, Hamilton Project

Recent developments in technology, including the proliferation of smart machines, networked communication, and digitization, have the potential to transform the economy in groundbr...

February 16, 2015

Our Economic Forecasting Record - Congressional Budget Office

For nearly four decades, the Congressional Budget Office has prepared economic forecasts that underlie the agency’s projections for the federal budget and cost estimates for ...

February 16, 2015

America's Hereditary Meritocracy - The Economist

“MY BIG fear,” says Paul Ryan, an influential Republican congressman from Wisconsin, is that America is losing sight of the notion that “the condition of your bir...

February 12, 2015

What We 'Know' About Recessions - Noah Smith, Bloomberg View

What are business cycles? Many people think that booms naturally lead to busts -- that excesses built up during good times lead inevitably to a crash. Today’s economists don&...

February 11, 2015

Did Affordable Housing Tank the Economy? - Robert VerBruggen, RCB

What were people thinking? That's the question the housing bubble and resulting financial crisis immediately bring to mind. Lenders offered loans that borrowers plainly could not a...

February 11, 2015

Are Better Wages Finally on the Way? - Robert Kuttner, Huffington Post

The good news about the economy's improved job creation dominated the weekend's headlines. Many commentators concluded that the economy is finally shaking off the effects...

February 10, 2015

Workers Stay Home Despite Job Creation - Diana Furchtgott-Roth, e21

The good news is that the economy is creating more jobs than ever. Just consider—257,000 more jobs in January, 329,000 in December, and 423,000 in November. The bad news is t...

February 10, 2015

Toward a Pigovian State - Jonathan S. Masur & Eric A. Posner, SSRN

Most economists believe that the government should impose Pigovian taxes on firms that produce negative externalities like pollution, yet regulatory agencies hardly ever use their ...

February 7, 2015

The Unemployment Rate Is Not a Lie - Matt O'Brien, Washington Post

Gallup CEO Jim Clifton has discovered a shocking secret about unemployment: its definition....

February 6, 2015

Everyone Supports Redistribution - E.J. Dionne, Washington Post

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) values his reputation as a serious policy analyst and a genial soul. But he’s not above name-calling, and he insists that President Obama’s budg...

February 4, 2015

Unemployment Changed, Benefits Didn't - Ben Casselman, FiveThirtyEight

When Michelle Wilson lost her job at a Baltimore logistics company in July, unemployment benefits provided her with a vital lifeline. At $430 a week, the payments didn’t come...

February 3, 2015

Persistent Overoptimism About Growth - Lansing & Pyle, FRBSF

Since 2007, Federal Open Market Committee participants have been persistently too optimistic about future U.S. economic growth. Real GDP growth forecasts have typically started hig...

February 3, 2015

Blurry Line Between Competition, Cooperation - Timothy Taylor, Econlib

What is the opposite of "competition"? If you fear that this is a trick question and run off to check a synonym/antonym dictionary, you will find an answer that probably came to mi...

February 3, 2015

2 Percent Growth Is the New 4 Percent - Bill McBride, Calculated Risk

For amusement, I checked out the WSJ opinion page comments on the Q4 GDP report. As usual, the WSJ opinion is pure politics - but it does bring up an excellent point (that the WSJ ...

January 31, 2015

A Blueprint for Middle-Class Economics - Barack Obama, Huffington Post

America's resurgence is real. With a growing economy, shrinking deficits, bustling industry, and booming energy production, we have risen from recession freer to write our own futu...

January 31, 2015

The Goldilocks Approach to Unemployment - Megan McArdle, Bloomberg

A new working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research argues that extended unemployment benefits probably raised the unemployment rate by about 50 basis point...