Growthpolicy Exclusives: Interviews with Harvard Faculty on Jobs, Inequality & Preventing the Next Financial Crisis. Link

Growthpolicy Exclusives: Interviews with Harvard Faculty on Jobs, Inequality & Preventing the Next Financial Crisis: * Jeffry Frieden (January 2020) * John Campbell (September 2019) * William Hogan (August 2019) * Pol Antràs (August 2019) * Paul Reville (July 2019) * Robert Stavins (July 2019) * Jeffrey Frankel (June 2019) * Benjamin Friedman (June 2019) * […]

Jeffry Frieden on Globalization, the Rise of Populism, and the Future of Democracy January 2020. GrowthPolicy’s Devjani Roy interview Jeffry Frieden, Chair of the Department of Government at Harvard and Stanfield Professor of International Peace, on globalization, the rise of populism, and the future of democracy. | Click here for more interviews like this one. […]

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Baystate Business: Right-to-Repair. Gabriel Chodorow-Reich, January 10, 2020, Audio, “Harvard economist Gabriel Chodorow-Reich on his proposal for the government to use restaurant coupons as a way to combat the next recession (9:43) ” LInk

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Looking Back at Fifty Years of the Clean Air Act. Joseph Aldy, January 2020, Paper, “Since 1970, transportation, power generation, and manufacturing have dramatically transformed as air pollutant emissions have fallen significantly. To evaluate the causal impacts of the Clean Air Act on these changes, we synthesize and review retrospective analyses of air quality regulations. The geographic heterogeneity in regulatory stringency common to many regulations has important implications for emissions, public health, compliance costs, and employment. Cap-and-trade programs have delivered greater emission reductions at lower cost than conventional regulatory mandates, but policy practice has fallen short of the cost-effective ideal. Implementing regulations in imperfectly competitive markets have also influenced the Clean Air Act’s benefits and costs.Link

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Why Firms Offer Paid Parental Leave: An Exploratory Study. Claudia Goldin, January 2020, Paper, “Why do competitive firms in the US provide paid parental leave (PPL)? Which firms do and to what extent? We use several firm- and individual-level data sets to answer these questions. These include the BLS-Employee Benefit Survey (EBS) for 2010 to 2018 and an extensive firm-level data collection that we compiled. Our work is undergirded by a two-period model with competitive firms whose workers vary by their optimal firm-specific training and the probability that each will remain on the job after PPL is taken. We find that firm-provided PPL has greatly increased in the last two decades and generally covers new fathers. The levels of provision differ greatly by the industry, firm size, and the degree of firm-specific training. But even the top-of-the-line firm in the US provides fewer fully paid parental weeks than does the median OECD nation.Link

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Do Americans really need to be more thrifty? Lawrence Summers, January 7, 2020, Opinion, “Few economic virtues are more universally applauded than thrift. Going back at least to Ben Franklin, Americans have equated greater thriftiness with greater worthiness. Progressives decry the limited saving and wealth accumulation of middle-income families and express alarm over the widely reported “fact” that 40 percent of Americans cannot come up with $400 in an emergency. Conservatives applaud thrift as an aspect of self-reliance and propose ideas such as health-savings accounts to help families prepare for emergencies. Moderates believe universal social insurance programs such as Social Security and Medicare, which they label as entitlements, should be modest or even curtailed out of fiscal prudence.Link

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Rising inequality is not balanced by intergenerational mobility. Jason Beckfield, January 7, 2020, Opinion, “The United States currently exhibits more economic inequality than any peer nation, and surveys of US adults support the idea that inequality is acceptable if it is balanced by mobility. Many are untroubled if doctors make 10 or 20 times what janitors make, as long as janitors’ sons have opportunities to become doctors. In an era of rising income and wealth inequality in the United States since the 1970s, that balance of inequality and mobility grows in salience. Enter Song et al.’s paper, “Long-term decline in intergenerational mobility in the United States since the 1850s” (1), which uses linked household and population records on the occupations of generations of US-born white men, along with data from several representative surveys, to describe how social mobility in the United States has changed since before the Civil War and before industrialization transformed economic production. Comparing the occupations of sons to the occupations of their fathers, Song et al. (1) paint a troubling picture of rising intergenerational persistence in occupational status. One’s social class of origin—the class one is born into—has become “stickier” since 1850. That is, sons’ occupations are increasingly predictable from fathers’ occupations. The headline finding is that sons born after 1940—the Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, and Millennials of today—are significantly less likely to surpass their fathers in occupational attainment. Fewer janitors’ sons are becoming doctors today.Link

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Why Governments Should Not Wait for Godot. Ricardo Hausmann, December 31, 2019, Opinion, “To ensure that anticipated foreign investment actually arrives, governments need organizational capabilities that go beyond Adam Smith’s maxim that they must do no more than ensure “peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice.” They need to do at least three additional things.Link

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The Dilemma of Gender Equality: How Labor Market Regulation Divides Women by Class. Torben Iversen, 2019, Paper, “Women shoulder a heavier burden of family work than men in modern society, preventing them from matching male success in the external labor market. Limiting working hours is a plausible way to level the playing field by creating the possibility of less gendered roles for both sexes. But why then are heavily regulated European labor markets associated with a smaller share of women in top management positions compared with liberal market economies such as in the United States? We explain this puzzle with reference to the difficulty of ambitious women to signal their commitment to high-powered careers in regulated markets.Link

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