If America’s contemporary leaders are serious about reducing racial inequality, they must push for simple, bold measures, such as doubling the federal minimum wage. Otherwise, the country may miss an opportunity, after the largest protests for racial equality in U.S. history, to improve the lives of millions of people of color.
The COVID-19 crisis thrust the US higher education system into virtualized instruction, essentially overnight. Despite the limitations inherent in online education — including the revenue impact on institutions from reduced tuition — it brings students both access and scalability. Further, the combination of online and in-person education into “blended learning” can extend the reach of higher education, without compromising efficacy as a number of academic studies have shown.
How can we assess COVID-19 policies? For example, how much should we restrict economic activity in light of the pandemic? How do we balance health risks with the costs of shutting down the economy? Living requires taking risks. To guide choices, it is useful to translate benefits, costs and risks into monetary terms. An early … Continue reading »
The pandemic offers a teachable moment in which we can evaluate the moral underpinnings of our economy — and give more value to low-income workers who provide essential human care.
Lately, the press has had a field day pointing out just how wrong epidemiology models can be. This shouldn’t be news, especially since most modelers never hid the fact that they had made some very bold assumptions. But it’s still important to ask just where the estimates went wrong. Most of the errors, it turns … Continue reading »
The coronavirus pandemic is putting America’s deepening class divide into stark relief. Four classes are emerging. All need protection or sickness and death will continue to spread indefinitely.
The US economy is in a free fall. Businesses have closed and people have been laid off. Unemployment could reach 30 percent in some parts of the country, and if it does there are predictions that an additional 15 percent of the population will fall into poverty. Inequality may grow with a significant impact on … Continue reading »
The debate over whether to save lives or save the economy should not be presented as a binary choice. What are some reasonable tradeoffs?
Following the COVID-19 economic freeze, the governor should aggressively restructure consumer contracts for loans, rent and utilities to provide relief to consumers.
A bold, creative solution is required in order to keep the labor market as close to intact as possible. The government should guarantee payrolls and benefits. The unemployment insurance system simply is not prepared, nor built for such a catastrophe.
We are in an unfortunate period where ideology is attempting to overrule knowledge, handicap our economic security, and personal safety with underinvestment in public goods like health care and science.
The impact of reduced earnings through layoffs, loss of employer sponsored health insurance and displacement due to the COVID-19 pandemic will fall disproportionately on low-wage workers, immigrants and workers of color, who are least able to absorb financial and health shocks.
During an unprecedented health crisis, Congress must bring urgency, energy and resources to support the early care and education industry.
For consumers, buying a gift certificate is a means to support their hairdresser, nail salon, restaurant or other local service. At the same time, if a business goes under, the consumer would have donated to a local business owner during their time of need.
Co-authored with Emmanuel Saez, professor of economics Coronavirus threatens the world’s economic life, and current proposals from governments around the globe are failing to match the scale of the crisis. Today, the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, [UK Chancellor of the Exchequer] announced £330 billion of loans and that some companies would not have to pay business … Continue reading »
In these very anxious times, it can be helpful to remember that the work we are all doing matters. Epidemiology is rightly at the front of everyone’s mind right now. But we should also be worried about the major effects that the Covid-19 pandemic will have beyond those directly infected. As a labor economist, I’m … Continue reading »
Berkeley’s annual Big Give launches today with the purpose of encouraging giving to Cal’s many academic schools. departments, and programs. With the increasing seriousness of the coronavirus, the presidential election, and a plunge in the stock market taking most of the bandwidth of Californians, we might hope that donors, large and small in net … Continue reading »
When I was young, I was fascinated by leaders like Churchill, Ben-Gurion, Gandhi, and even the two Roosevelts, who changed history. As I grew up, I realized that leadership occurs in business, academia, sports, and family life. When we started the BEAHRS Environmental Leadership Program, we targeted up-and-coming training leaders and needed to develop a … Continue reading »
Avoidance, social distancing and panic may have enormous economic consequences
The Democratic presidential candidates’ competing higher education plans got valuable airtime in the December debate. The fact that all of them are making affordable higher education a campaign issue is good news, but the fine print makes all the difference. Any proposal to spend federal dollars on higher education should concentrate on those who actually … Continue reading »