Found 396 article(s) in category 'Q2: Inequality?'


Inequality has been rising both within and between countries in recent years. The posts collected here define the different dimensions of inequality and how they manifest, examine its causes, and discuss the extent to which we should be worried. In addition to diagnosing the problem, the posts offer policy options to address it.

Place-specific Determinants of Income Gaps: New Sub-National Evidence from Chiapas, Mexico

Place-specific Determinants of Income Gaps: New Sub-National Evidence from Chiapas, Mexico. Ricardo Hausmann, 2018, Paper, “The literature on income gaps between Chiapas and the rest of Mexico revolves around individual factors, such as education and ethnicity. Yet, twenty years after the Zapatista rebellion, the schooling gap between Chiapas and the other Mexican entities has shrunk while the income gap has widened, and we find no evidence indicating that Chiapas indigenes are worse-off than their likes elsewhere in Mexico. We explore a different hypothesis. Based on census data, we calculate the economic complexity index, a measure of the knowledge agglomeration embedded in the economic activities at a municipal level in Mexico. Economic complexity explains a larger fraction of the income gap than any individual factor. Our results suggest that chiapanecos are not the problem, the problem is Chiapas. These results hold when we extend our analysis to Mexico’s thirty-one federal entities, suggesting that place-specific determinants that have been overlooked in both the literature and policy, have a key role in the determination of income gaps.Link

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Universal Basic Incomes vs. Targeted Transfers: Anti-Poverty Programs in Developing Countries

Universal Basic Incomes vs. Targeted Transfers: Anti-Poverty Programs in Developing Countries. Rema Hanna, August 2018, Paper, ” Developing country governments are increasingly implementing cash assistance programs to combat poverty and inequality. This paper examines the potential tradeoffs between targeting these transfers towards low income households versus providing universal cash transfers, also known as a Universal Basic Income. We start by discussing how the fact that most households in poor countries do not pay income taxes changes how we conceptually think about Universal Basic Incomes. We then analyze data from two countries, Indonesia and Peru, to document the tradeoffs involved.Link

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The Slavery Incentive

The Slavery Incentive. Ricardo Hausmann, August 31, 2018, Opinion, “By restricting the workers’ outside options, employers may get them to accept terms that freer individuals would reject. That may be a reason why there is so little urgency in solving the problem of undocumented immigrants in the US, and why many countries protect citizens differently than foreigners.Link

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The Development Century – A Global History

The Development Century – A Global History. Erez Manela, 2018, Book, “This anthology offers a cutting-edge perspective on how development has shaped the history of the modern world. Stephen J. Macekura and Erez Manela have gathered together leading historians to examine development on the international, regional, and national levels, as well as local manifestations of development initiatives and transnational organizing on behalf of alternative approaches. Themes include the relationship between empire and development, the role of international institutions, the influence of the Cold War, decolonization and post-colonial development strategies, reform and resistance to development, development and global health, and the ecological effects of development.Link

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The real reason you’re not getting a pay raise

The real reason you’re not getting a pay raise. Jason Furman, July 31, 2018, Opinion, “Wages are growing much more slowly than the last time we had sustained low unemployment rates, the late 1990s. This is the notorious “wage puzzle,” a topic that has been the subject of much speculation by everyone from Federal Reserve Chair Jay Powell to pretty much every economist I follow on Twitter.Link

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Poverty in America: New Directions and Debates

Poverty in America: New Directions and Debates. Matthew Desmond, Bruce Western, July 2018, Paper, “Reviewing recent research on poverty in the United States, we derive a conceptual framework with three main characteristics. First, poverty is multidimensional, compounding material hardship with human frailty, generational trauma, family and neighborhood violence, and broken institutions. Second, poverty is relational, produced through connections between the truly advantaged and the truly disadvantaged. Third, a component of this conceptual framework is transparently normative, applying empirical research to analyze poverty as a matter of justice, not just economics. Throughout, we discuss conceptual, methodological, and policy-relevant implications of this perspective on the study of extreme disadvantage in America.Link

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