Labor economists have traditionally focused on worker-side characteristics, such as education, as the crucial causal variable for explaining outcomes like earnings, unemployment, and inequality. But that point of view depends on labor markets remaining competitive, so workers can earn their marginal product of labor—because if they earned less, they’d leave for another job. What a

Larry Fink’s annual letter to CEOs is making waves for its pronouncement that “companies must benefit all of their stakeholders, including shareholders, employees, customers, and the communities in which they operate.” Fink is the head of $6.3 trillion dollar asset manager BlackRock and the leader of a rising chorus calling on companies to stop focusing

The Feds Side Against Alt-Labor

Last week, the Federal Trade Commission voted 2-0 to join the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division in an amicus brief to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, siding with the Chamber of Commerce against the City of Seattle’s grant of collective bargaining rights to “independent contractors” working as drivers for Uber, Lyft, taxis, and other ride-sharing

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Presentation to the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Opening Remarks October 5, 2017 Amazon recently bought Whole Foods, following a pro-forma approval by the Federal Trade Commission. Amazon touted its plans to cut prices on popular items on the very day the merger closed, and it advertised those discounts as resulting from the merger. It was as

“Market Power Rising” Panel on Antitrust in the Labor Market, Opening Remarks September 25, 2017 Antitrust policy has typically viewed monopsony power in the labor market as arising from an essentially competitive context—if it exists at all. The maintained assumption in the antitrust orthodoxy has been that the economy is on or near its production

Fighting Short-Termism With Worker Power asks, “Can Germany’s co-determination system fix American corporate governance?” Prioritizing immediate increases in share price and payouts at the expense of long-term business investment and growth—a behavior we refer to as short-termism—has driven the inequality crisis in America and weakened our economy. By comparing the German stakeholder system of co-determination

Progressives should embrace employee ownership as one of the best ways to challenge corporate power from the bottom up and put supporting the growth of worker-owned firms in the center of our strategy. As the economy becomes Uber-ized and dominant firms in all sectors take up more and more market share, structural reforms like better

Boeing! Bombardier!! Bears!!!

From a casual look at today’s business headlines, you’d think the Commerce Department had declared war on the world. “The Commerce Department will slap stiff tariff on Bombardier’s new jet” “Bombardier hit with 219% duty on sale of jets to Delta Air Lines” “UK warns Boeing over Bombardier trade row” “Bombardier stock watchers bracing for

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Despite energetic conversations around stagnant wages and job creation, few consider that the financialization of America’s public corporations has contributed just as much to economic inequality as more commonly-cited factors. The debate seems well-settled: scholars point to globalization[1], skill-biased technical change[2], and the decline of union density[3]. Others point to the “rise of the robots”[4],

Washington State workers got a Labor Day reprieve when the World Trade Organization sided with the U.S. over the state’s aircraft subsidies. But — after years of the U.S. trying to throw its weight around in the Geneva court — the result may be more mixed than it appears at first glance. What They Found Today’s decision reverses a

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