Found 19 article(s) for author 'Robert Lawrence'

Five Reasons Why the Focus on Trade Deficits Is Misleading

Five Reasons Why the Focus on Trade Deficits Is Misleading. Robert Lawrence, March 2018, Opinion, “President Trump has asserted that trade balances are a key measure of a nation’s commercial success and that large US trade deficits prove that past trade approaches have been flawed. But trade deficits are not in fact a good measure of how well a country is doing with respect to its trade policies. Many of the assumptions on which the administration’s beliefs rest are not supported by the evidence. This Policy Brief argues that trade deficits are not necessarily bad, do not necessarily cost jobs or reduce growth, and are not a measure of whether foreign trade policies or agreements with other countries are fair or unfair. Efforts to use trade policy and agreements to reduce either bilateral or overall trade deficits are also unlikely to produce the effects the administration claims they will and instead lead to friction with US trading partners, harming the people the policies claim to help.Link

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Trade deficits caused by foreign borrowings; Harvard economist at Sri Lanka forum

Trade deficits caused by foreign borrowings; Harvard economist at Sri Lanka forum. Robert Lawrence, February 9, 2018, Video, “Trade and current account deficits are a result of foreign borrowings, a US economist told a forum in Sri Lanka as US President Donald Trump mistakenly attacked trade deficit based on false Mercantilist doctrine. Exporting more will not reduce a trade deficit, Robert Lawrence, a professor at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Business told an economic forum organized by Advocata Institute, a Colombo-based think tank.Link

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Recent US Manufacturing Employment: The Exception that Proves the Rule

Recent US Manufacturing Employment: The Exception that Proves the Rule. Robert Lawrence, November 2017, Paper, “This Working Paper challenges two widely held views: first that trade performance has been the primary reason for the declining share of manufacturing employment in the United States, and second that recent productivity growth in manufacturing has actually been quite rapid but is not accurately measured. The paper shows that for many decades, faster productivity growth interacting with unresponsive demand has been the dominant force behind the declining share of employment in manufacturing in the United States and other industrial economies. It also shows that since 2010, however, the relationship has been reversed and slower productivity growth in manufacturing has been associated with more robust performance in manufacturing employment.” Link

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Manufacturing and Inclusive Growth: The Experience in the Rest of the World

Manufacturing and Inclusive Growth: The Experience in the Rest of the World. Robert Lawrence, 2017, Paper, “This report describes some of the results from the second phase of the research project on the role of manufacturing in inclusive growth. The first phase of the project examined the US experience. In the second phase, undertaken by Robert Lawrence and Danial Lashkari – a graduate student in the Harvard Department of Economics, the scope of the analysis has broadened to explore the experience of manufacturing employment growth in the rest of the world.Link

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Making US Trade and Investment Policies Work for Global Development

Making US Trade and Investment Policies Work for Global Development. Robert Lawrence, , Paper, “In an interconnected world, sustainable and inclusive economic growth in less developed countries helps to secure US interests and values. Economic development nurtures peaceful societies, reduces refugee flows, ameliorates humanitarian crises, expands markets for US exports, and safeguards human rights and other core US aspirations. Well-designed trade and investment policies are indispensable tools to achieve these objectives.Link

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Does Productivity Still Determine Worker Compensation? Domestic and International Evidence

Does Productivity Still Determine Worker Compensation? Domestic and International Evidence. Robert Lawrence, 2016, Book Chapter. “The American dream is that each generation should live twice as well as the previous one, and this requires that incomes rise at an annual rate of around 2 percent per year. At this pace, incomes will double every 35 years. Between 1947 and 1970, average real compensation in the US increased at annual rate of 2.6 percent—a pace that was actually faster than required to achieve the dream. But since 1970, the average real compensation of US workers has grown at less than 1 percent per year, and at that pace it would take almost a lifetime to see incomes double.Link

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Adjustment and Income Distribution Impacts on the TPP

Adjustment and Income Distribution Impacts on the TPP. Robert Lawrence, April 2016, Book Chapter. “Like all free trade agreements, the Trans-Pacifi c Partnership (TPP) will yield gains to the economy in general but force difficult adjustments on some workers and businesses. Peter A. Petri and Michael G. Plummer (2016) find that the agreement will benefi t the United States as a whole, raise real wages of both skilled and unskilled workers, and increase the real return to capital. It will, however, hurt some workers. In particular, some workers will be displaced by imports and lose income from being unemployed or earning less in their new jobs.Link

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What the WTO can learn from Paris climate talks

What the WTO can learn from Paris climate talks. Robert Lawrence, December 7, 2015, Opinion. “For many years, negotiators at the annual conferences of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change looked longingly at how the World Trade Organization was able to negotiate effective international agreements. Ironically, the Paris climate talks that are scheduled to conclude on Friday and the WTO negotiations, which will take place next week in Nairobi, lead to the opposite conclusion. Trade negotiators should emulate the progress made in the climate change agreements by moving away from a simplistic division between developed and developing countries. For years, global climate change policy was hobbled by this division. In the Kyoto Protocol — the international agreement to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions — only developed countries committed to mandatory emissions reduction. Developing countries had no obligations. … Link

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China’s Rise and American Welfare

China’s Rise and American Welfare. Robert Lawrence, September 1, 2015, Book Chapter. “The strong performance of China over the past decade—and forecasts that it could be sustained in the decades ahead—does not meet acclaim in all quarters, especially the United States. US international economic policy has traditionally presumed that foreign economic growth is in the United States’ economic interest (as President John F. Kennedy once put it, “a rising tide lifts all boats”). When it comes to China’s rise, however, many are not so certain. The US public is worried primarily about jobs. When emerging economies grow rapidly…” Link

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Recent Declines in Labor’s Share in US Income: A Preliminary Neoclassical Account

Recent Declines in Labor’s Share in US Income: A Preliminary Neoclassical Account. Robert Lawrence, June 2015, Paper. “As shown in the 1930s by Hicks and Robinson, the elasticity of substitution is a key parameter that captures whether capital and labor are gross complements or substitutes. Establishing the magnitude of s is vital, not only for explaining changes in the distribution of income between factors but also for undertaking policy measures to influence it. Several papers have explained the recent decline in labor’s share in income by claiming that (elasticity of substitution) is greater than 1 and that there has been capital deepening…” Link

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