Tuesday , October 15 2019
Home / Tag Archives: Inequality

Tag Archives: Inequality

Median income flattens

TweetSept. 10, 2019 —    Median real household income is the most useful single measure of the extent to which the typical American family has shared in GDP gains.  The latest annual number, released today by the Census Bureau, confirms the answer that many had suspected: the typical family has not experienced a statistically significant rise in income.  The gains have, rather, gone to those at the top of the income distribution.  Median household income did rise during 1993-2000 (during...

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Summers tweet stream on secular stagnation

Larry Summers has an interesting tweet stream (HT Marginal Revolution) on the state of monetary policy. Much I agree with and find insightful:Can central banking as we know it be the primary tool of macroeconomic stabilization in the industrial world over the next decade?...There is little room for interest rate cuts..QE and forward guidance have been tried on a substantial scale....It is hard to believe that changing adverbs here and there or altering the timing of press conferences or the...

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Inflation, and history

Phil Gramm and John Early have an excellent WSJ oped on inflation measurement. Many conventional inflation measures are  overstated by around 1% per year, because they don't capture quality change well. When the iPhone 22 comes out, and costs (say) the same as the iPhone 21, that looks like there is no inflation. But the iPhone 22 has dozens of new features, so you're really getting "more phone," and there is deflation. Think of all the things like mapping that are now free. It's not...

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Afternoon roundup, and around the traps

The worthies on the closing of the browser tabs.Nice comparison of vacant housing to transitional unemployment, in an American context. Filing this one away here for the next time somebody notices a few empty houses and decides that policy should do something about it. It comes up too often.  Susan Edmunds over at Stuff looks at household income distributions; the piece includes a short bit from me on AHC- and BHC- incomes.  Universities need to lift their darned game.  AUT not only caved at...

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Refreshing YIMBY at NYT

Farhad Manjoo writes an excellent YIMBY (yes in my back yard) essay in the New York Times, remarkably placing the blame squarely where it belongs -- progressive politics.Across my home state [California], traffic and transportation is a developing-world nightmare. Child care and education seem impossible for all but the wealthiest. The problems of affordable housing and homelessness have surpassed all superlatives — what was a crisis is now an emergency that feels like a dystopian showcase of...

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Clemens on minimum wage

Jeff Clemens offers a "roadmap for navigating recent research" on minimum wages in a nice CATO policy analysis.  A review and a doubt.He discusses the recent claims that minimum wages don't hurt low-skilled people. This is an impressive and readable account of a vast literature. It's not as easy as it seems to evaluate cause and effect in economics.  Evidence from small increases in the minimum wage over short time intervals in some locations in good economic times may not tell you...

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Two Videos

My Hoover colleague Russ Roberts just finished a nice video on inequality:Among other takeaways, he stresses that the people who were rich in 1980 are not the same people or even families who are rich now. It is not true that "the rich got richer." He also tracks individuals through time, and poor individuals got richer to.  There is a lot more economic mobility in the US than the standard talking points.The video is part of Hoover's Policy Ed initiative, and comes with lots of...

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Equality of opportunity is a choice

Tony Atkinson, the great British economist, encourages us to think of inequality as a choice, something that can be influenced by public policy. If this is the case for equality of outcomes, then it is surely also so for equality of opportunity; the significant differences in social mobility between the rich countries hinting at the role governments play in determining the degree to which family background is destiny, the rich raising the next generation of rich adults, the poor...

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Meer On Minimum Wage

David Henderson posts a thoughtful draft op-ed by Jonathan Meer on minimum wages. Two talents of  great economists are to recognize that averages hide big differences among people, and to imagine all the avenues of substitution and unintended effects of a regulation. The oped excels:Substitution:when the minimum wage is raised, employers offset increased labor costs by reducing benefits like the generosity of health insurance. Other benefits, like free parking or flexibility in...

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Left behind movements do not just reflect deindustrialisation, but also geography, inequality and lack of representation.

There was extensive analysisafter the UK EU referendum of the characteristics of those who voted for Brexit and those who didn’t. A robust finding was that those who voted for Brexit tended to be older and had less years of education. But some noted a link between a tendency to vote Leave and areas of deindustrialisation. The idea of the ‘left behind’ was born. It gained force when rest-belt states in the US swung to Trump in the same year. This characterisation of the left behind was...

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