Found 326 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.

A Short-term Intervention for Long-term Fairness in the Labor Market

A Short-term Intervention for Long-term Fairness in the Labor Market. Lily Hu, Yiling Chen, November 30, 2017, Paper, “The persistence of racial inequality in the U.S. labor market against a general backdrop of formal equality of opportunity is a troubling phenomenon that has significant ramifications on the design of hiring policies. In this paper, we show that current group disparate outcomes may be immovable even when hiring decisions are bound by an input-output notion of “individual fairness.” Instead, we construct a dynamic reputational model of the labor market that illustrates the reinforcing nature of asymmetric outcomes resulting from groups’ divergent access to resources and as a result, investment choices…Link

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How to Win the Battle of the Sexes Over Pay (Hint: It Isn’t Simple.)

How to Win the Battle of the Sexes Over Pay (Hint: It Isn’t Simple.). Claudia Goldin, November 10, 2017, Opinion, “When Billie Jean King won the United States Open singles tennis title in 1972, her reward was a meager $10,000. Ilie Năstase, her male counterpart, won $25,000. Ms. King fought hard for equal rights and, on the tennis court, she won. By 1973, men and women received the same prizes at the Open. That still can’t be said of all tennis tournaments, but despite some ill-natured male grousing recently, equal pay is still the rule at the United States Open, at least.Link

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Thailand in a Larger Universe: The Lingering Consequences of Crypto-Colonialism

Thailand in a Larger Universe: The Lingering Consequences of Crypto-Colonialism. Michael Herzfeld, November 2, 2017, Paper, “The present parochialism of Thai studies, although partial, suggests parallels with the situation of Modern Greek studies in the early 1970s. The cultural and political conditions attendant on both in the respective time periods—especially the prudery, emphasis on bourgeois notions of respectability, and restrictions on the scope and content of scholarship—suggest that a comparative framework, already emergent, would benefit both Thailand and Thai studies today. Thailand and Greece both represent conditions of “crypto-colonialism,” in which the combination of adulation and resentment of powerful Western nations produces a distinctive set of attitudes.Link

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Deals and Development – The Political Dynamics of Growth Episodes

Deals and Development: The Political Dynamics of Growth Episodes. Lant Pritchett, 2017, Book, “Provides a novel framework for understanding how growth episodes emerge and when growth is maintained for a sustained period. Draws on country specific examples to ground theory in practice. Explains actionable methods of intervention to improve a country’s chance at achieving transformative economic growth. Uses a clear layout and unified approach to help the reader find the information they need. An open access title available under the terms of a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 International licence.Link

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Assessing the Distribution of Impacts in  Global Benefit‐Cost Analysis 

Assessing the Distribution of Impacts in Global Benefit‐Cost Analysis. Lisa A. Robinson, James K. Hammitt, October 2017, Paper, “There is widespread agreement that benefit‐cost analyses should be supplemented with information on how the impacts are distributed across individuals with different characterics (such as income) . Yet reviews of completed analyses suggest that such information is rarely provided. The goal of this paper is therefore relatively simple: to encourage analysts to provide information on the distribution of net benefits throughout the population in addition to assessing the overall impacts of the policy.Link

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Efficient Welfare Weights

Efficient Welfare Weights. Nathaniel Hendren, October 2017, Paper, “How should we measure economic efficiency? The canonical measure is an unweighted sum of willingnesses to pay. In contrast, this paper provides efficient welfare weights that implement the Kaldor-Hicks tests for efficiency but account for the distortionary cost of taxation. The shape of the income distribution yields bounds on these weights that suggest it is efficient to weight surplus to the poor more than to the rich. Point estimates suggest surplus to the poor should be weighted 1.5-2x more than surplus to the rich. I illustrate how to use these weights to evaluate the efficiency of government policy changes.” Link

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The IMF, Gender Equality and Labour

The IMF, Gender Equality and Labour. Martha Chen, October 2017, Book, “Recent research from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) recognizes that macroeconomic policies can help to redress gender inequalities by creating more fiscal space for key public investments in infrastructure, education and health. Such investments reduce the time women spend on domestic chores and caring for their families, giving them more opportunities to engage in paid work. For women home-based workers, who produce goods and services from their own homes, basic infrastructure services make their homes more productive workplaces.” Link

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Political institutions and economic growth in Africa’s ‘Renaissance’

Political institutions and economic growth in Africa’s ‘Renaissance’. Robert H. Bates, October 11, 2017, Paper, “In the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, many African states replaced authoritarian political regimes with competitive electoral systems; the economies of many also began to grow, some for the first time in decades. We argue that democratic reform led to economic growth, as did Acemoglu, Naidu, Restrepo and Robinson in an earlier paper. Our approach differs from theirs in that while we to seek to identify a causal relationship between democracy and development, we build our analysis around the qualitative accounts of regional specialists and the reasoning of political economists. Where others test for the existence of a causal account, we test for the existence of specific casual mechanisms.Link

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Rethinking Macroeconomic Policy: International Economy Issues

Rethinking Macroeconomic Policy: International Economy Issues. Gita Gopinath, October 10, 2017, Paper, “In this paper I make the following ten remarks on the topics of exchange rate policy, capital flow management, protectionism, and global cooperation: 1) The gains to exchange rate flexibility are worse than you think; 2) The ‘Trilemma’ lives on; 3) The U.S. dollar exchange rate drives global trade prices and volumes; 4) Gross capital flows matter as much as net flows, and global banks have internationalized U.S. monetary policy. 5) Emerging markets tilt away from foreign currency to local currency debt reduces their exposure to global risk factors; 6) Low interest rate environments can lead to misallocation of resources and lower productivity; 7) The relationship between global imbalances, reserve accumulation, and currency manipulation is not well identified. 8) Uniform border taxes are not neutral; 9) Trade is not the main driver of earnings inequality, but at the same time policy has failed to address its redistributive consequences. 10) Global coordination of financial regulation is essential alongside country level macroprudential polices. Reserve accumulation and currency swap lines do not substitute for the lender of last resort role of the IMF.” Link

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