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Is 2015 the year for a carbon tax?

David Zilberman, professor, agriculture and resource economics | January 5, 2015

Last year, during the holiday season the price of gasoline was at $3.57/gallon, which restricted the financial choices of everyday Americans. Actually from 2005 we consumers gradually adjusted to higher prices of oil. The adjustment wasn’t easy. Many lower-income individuals who purchased new homes far from work realized that they could not pay their mortgages, … Continue reading »

One step up and two steps back

Sylvia Allegretto, Economist, Co-Chair of the Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics | October 2, 2014

With the release of the (mostly) triennial Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) from the Federal Reserve, it is once again time to look at trends in wealth. The SCF is one of the best sources for data on net worth (assets minus liabilities) in the U.S. In this post I use the newly released 2013 … Continue reading »

Macroeconomic stimulus for Ukraine

Yuriy Gorodnichenko, associate professor of economics | July 24, 2014

After years of mismanagement and looting, Ukraine faces a number of economic challenges. The situation is so critical that weak economic performance in the next few years could undermine the very independence of the country. Just yesterday, President Poroshenko signed a degree setting up the National Council for Reforms to design and coordinate reforms in … Continue reading »

Economic prospects of Ukraine

Yuriy Gorodnichenko, associate professor of economics | June 3, 2014

Ukraine is living through most trying times: Maidan protests, snipers killing dozens of unarmed protesters, the fall of Viktor Yanukovych’s regime, near-default of the government, Russian annexation of Crimea, and Russian-sponsored separatist mutiny in Ukraine’s East. With the victory of the February revolution, the new government, and the new elected president Petro Poroshenko, Ukraine has … Continue reading »

Today’s jobs report and the Supreme Court’s McCutcheon debacle

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | April 4, 2014

What does the Supreme Court’s McCutcheon decision this week have to do with today’s jobs report, showing 192,000 new jobs for March? Connect the dots. More than five years after Wall Street’s near meltdown the number of full-time workers is still 4 million less than it was in December 2007, yet the working-age population of the … Continue reading »

Understanding and curing myopic voting: Why voters focus on the election-year economy

Gabriel Lenz, associate professor of political science | January 28, 2014

By Andrew Healy and Gabriel Lenz In the U.S., we — the voters — elect our presidents using a potentially problematic decision rule: we largely decide who will be president based on the election-year economy (1, 2, 3). If the economy is on an upswing before the election, we usually retain the president or his … Continue reading »

Battle in Seattle: Boeing’s demands bad for U.S. economy

Harley Shaiken, director, Center for Latin American Studies | January 14, 2014

At the heart of the recent hard-ball negotiations between Boeing and the International Association of Machinists (IAM) is a troubling paradox:  A company scores record profits and demands tough concessions from its workers. Something is clearly wrong with this picture.  While earning more and paying less may fatten the bottom line next quarter, it dampens … Continue reading »

Inequality update

Claude Fischer, professor of sociology | June 4, 2013

Inequality has become the new hot topic over the last several years – in the media and in the research community. This post briefly reports several recent studies of inequality that tell us what’s been happening, why, and to what effect. (It’s not a cheery story.) Before that, notice how rapidly public attention – if … Continue reading »

Wealth and motivations for saving

Carola Conces Binder, Ph.D. candidate, economics | March 24, 2013

In a recent column in the Atlantic called “Building the Wealth of the Poor and Middle Class,” Noah Smith suggests a few ways to improve the unequal distribution of wealth in America. He notes that “one obvious thing we could do to make wealth more equal is – surprise! -redistribution…Giving the poor and middle-class more income will … Continue reading »

The Great Recession and preferences for redistribution

Carola Conces Binder, Ph.D. candidate, economics | March 4, 2013

Differences in attitudes towards welfare and redistribution are an important source of political tension, especially during recessions. What factors shape people’s attitudes towards welfare and redistribution? There are two main strands of thought on this question in the literature. One strand emphasizes economic self-interest as a key determinant of attitudes toward welfare and distribution. According … Continue reading »

Pope Benedict XVI on crisis, development, and truth

Carola Conces Binder, Ph.D. candidate, economics | February 11, 2013

Today, Pope Benedict XVI announced that he will resign from his ministry at the end of the month, citing declining strength in his advanced age. His Papacy began in 2005 and many of his written messages reflect upon the global economic and financial crisis that characterized the world to which he ministered. Most notably, his 2009 encyclical Caritas in veritate (Charity … Continue reading »

Overheating and the Fed

Carola Conces Binder, Ph.D. candidate, economics | February 7, 2013

Governor Jeremy Stein of the St. Louis Federal Reserve gave a speech on February 7 called “Overheating in Credit Markets: Origins, Measurement, and Policy Responses.” Overheating is a term he uses to describe a credit market with low interest rates, lax lending standards, and high risk-taking by investors “reaching for yield.” The problem with overheating is that … Continue reading »

The fallout from the Great Recession continues

Sylvia Allegretto, Economist, Co-Chair of the Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics | September 22, 2011

Last week the U.S. Census Bureau released its annual report on income, poverty, and health insurance coverage for 2010. Data from the report represents that of the first full year into our economic recovery (which official started in June 2009). It is no surprise, given the focus of this report and the weak recovery, that … Continue reading »

Obama’s jobs plan better be big

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | September 8, 2011

Today,  President Obama unveils his jobs plan. He’ll choose either Plan A or Plan B. Plan A would be big enough to restart the economy (now barely growing) and reduce unemployment (which continues to grow). That means spending another trillion dollars over the next two years – rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure, creating a new WPA … Continue reading »