Econobytes

EconoBytes is a quick daily economic roundup for journalists, sponsored by the Roosevelt Institute and compiled by Fenton Communications. We bring together blogs, analyses, and studies by progressive economists, policy experts, and think tanks on the most pressing issues in the current public economic debate. To subscribe to EconoBytes, email econobytes@fenton.com.

Today, Inequality and the Great Recession Part 2

Friday, January 17, 2014
 
In this second of a two-part EconoBytes series,  Steven Fazzari, Professor of Economics and Associate Director of the Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government, and Public Policy at Washington University in St. Louis continues his discussion of the ways in which rising income inequality since 1980 set the stage for the Great Recession and is holding back the recovery.

In this series’ first part, Prof. Fazzari discussed the paradox that the share of aggregate income spent on consumption increased at a time when income inequality rose (we would expect the opposite if well-off people spend a smaller share of their income). The key to resolving the paradox is to recognize that the bottom 95% of the income distribution drew down savings and greatly increased borrowing, chiefly against the value of their homes. In this EconoByte, he begins...

search for econobytes

Today, Inequality and the Great Recession Part 2

Friday, January 17, 2014
 
In this second of a two-part EconoBytes series,  Steven Fazzari, Professor of Economics and Associate Director of the Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government, and Public Policy at Washington University in St. Louis continues his discussion of the ways in which rising income inequality since 1980 set the stage for the Great Recession and is holding back the recovery.

In this series’ first part, Prof. Fazzari discussed the paradox that the share of aggregate income spent on consumption increased at a time when income inequality rose (we would expect the opposite if well-off people spend a smaller share of their income). The key to resolving the paradox is to recognize that the bottom 95% of the income distribution drew down savings and greatly increased borrowing, chiefly against the value of their homes. In this EconoByte, he begins...

Today, Inequality and the Great Recession

Thursday, January 16, 2014
 
In the next two editions of EconoBytes, Steven Fazzari, Professor of Economics and Associate Director of the Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government, and Public Policy at Washington University in St. Louis, discusses the ways in which rising income inequality since 1980 set the stage for the  Great Recession and is holding back the recovery.

His analysis, with accompanying charts, focuses on factors that are often overlooked in the current policy debates:

  1. The potentially devastating consequences for growth and job creation of wage stagnation for the bottom 95% of the income distribution were largely ignored prior to the crash as their effect on consumption and economic growth were masked because households compensated for slow wage...

Today, Technology Isn’t Major Driver of Wage Inequality Part 3

Monday, December 2, 2013

Third and final Byte in our series: Economists Lawrence Mishel and Heidi Shierholz of the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), and economist John Schmitt of the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) discuss data showing that technology is not the primary driver of the increase in wage inequality since the late 1970s. The influential “skill-biased technological change” (SBTC) explanation claims that technology raises demand for educated workers, thus allowing them to command higher wages, and a more recent SBTC explanation focuses on computerization’s role in creating “job polarization.” 

 

An expanded demand for low-wage service occupations is not a key driver of wage trends.

...

Today, Technology Isn’t Major Driver of Wage Inequality Part 2

Wednesday, November 27, 2013
 
Part Two (of three) of our series: Economists Lawrence Mishel and Heidi Shierholz of the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), and economist John Schmitt of the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) discuss data showing that technology is not the primary driver of the increase in wage inequality since the late 1970s. The influential “skill-biased technological change” (SBTC) explanation claims that technology raises demand for educated workers, thus allowing them to command higher wages, and a more recent SBTC explanation focuses on computerization’s role in creating “job polarization.” 


...

Today, Technology Isn’t Major Driver of Wage Inequality

Monday, November 25, 2013


In the next three editions of EconoBytes, economists Lawrence Mishel, Heidi Shierholz, and John Schmitt of the Economic Policy Institute discuss data showing that technology is not the primary driver of the increase in wage inequality since the late 1970s. The influential “skill-biased technological change” (SBTC) explanation claims that technology raises demand for educated workers, thus allowing them to command higher wages, and a more recent SBTC explanation focuses on computerization’s role in creating “job polarization.”

No currently available technology-based story can adequately explain key wage patterns over the last three decades, including the 2000s.

  • The early version of the “skill-biased technological change” (SBTC) explanation of wage...

Today, State by State Impact of Potential Federal Unemployment Benefit Cuts

Thursday, November 21, 2013
 
Emergency unemployment benefits are set to expire at the end of 2013. If they do, 3.1 million Americans will lose benefits in the coming months, particularly in states with above-average unemployment. In today’s edition, Sarah Ayres of the Center for American Progress with a new interactive graphic showing how many workers in each state will lose unemployment benefits if federal benefits are not extended:

...

Today, women are still 3.6 million jobs short of full recovery

Friday, November 15, 2013
 
During the Great Recession and its aftermath, women lost more than 2.7 million jobs. Women have since gained back close to 2.9 million jobs, which means a net gain of 171,000 jobs over the pre-recession level. In today’s edition, economist Heidi Shierholz of the Economic Policy Institute explains how, despite these apparent gains, American women are still not out of the jobs deficit created by the recession:
  


Despite surpassing their pre-recession employment level, women are still 3.6 million jobs in the hole.

  • Due to normal population growth, the labor market needs to add jobs each month...

Today, “Forty Hours is Full Time Act” Creates More Part-Time Work
 
Thursday, November 14, 2013
 
A small bipartisan group of senators has asked Senate Budget Committee leaders to include their Forty Hours Is Full Time Act in a final fiscal year 2014 budget resolution.  In today’s edition, economist Paul N. Van de Water of the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities discusses how raising the threshold for full-time work under health reform from 30 to 40 hours a week may, in fact, lead to more part-time work:
...

Today, Wall Street user fees could relieve 1/3 of sequester cuts

Wednesday, November 13 , 2013

In today’s edition, as the House-Senate conference committee prepares to meet to negotiate the 2014 budget on Wednesday, Nicole Woo of the Center for Economic and Policy Research discusses raising Wall Street user fees to avoid one third of sequester cuts:

A workable idea like a Wall Street user fee deserves serious consideration

  • Currently, the Securities and Exchange Commission's annual budget of about $1.7 billion is funded by a fee of less than 2 cents per every $1000 of stock transactions.
  • If that fee were...

Today, new census data: safety net programs cut poverty in half in 2012

Thursday, November 7, 2013
 
In today’s edition, Arloc Sherman of the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities with a new analysis of Census data showing that safety net programs cut poverty nearly in half in 2012: 

The data illustrate the effectiveness of a broad range of government assistance programs, such as Social Security, rent subsidies, and tax credits for working families.

http://www.offthechartsblog.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/11-6-13pov2.png

Counting all...