Companies today are not working the way that most Americans, policymakers, or the media think that they do. To fight inequality, we need to rewrite the laws that guide corporations. We must first, however, change the way that people understand the role of the American firm in our economy and explore how we can deploy

For nearly half of a century, America’s public corporations have been driven by a shareholder primacy approach to corporate governance, increasingly prioritizing shareholder payments over other, more productive uses of corporate resources. Over the same period, employee bargaining power has decreased and wages for nonexecutive workers have remained flat across sectors. In Ending Shareholder Primacy in Corporate Governance,

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 14, 2019 CONTACT: Ariela Weinberger, aweinberger@rooseveltinstitute.org   Roosevelt Senior Economist Explores Corporate Prosperity and the Decline of Employee Bargaining Power Research finds that the rise of shareholder primacy has contributed to America’s high-profit, low-wage economy   NEW YORK, NY – Today, the Roosevelt Institute, a New York-based think tank that promotes

Three years ago, I worked with Roosevelt Fellows and economists Darrick Hamilton and Sandy Darity to demonstrate how intergenerational transfers are central components of wealth building and integral to the persistence of racial wealth inequality. Using the metaphor Umbrellas Don’t Make it Rain, we attempted to flip the script on the traditional narrative that education and income alone are the key

Today, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA) introduced the STOP Walmart Act, which prohibits large companies from engaging in stock buybacks unless they make serious investments in their workers. While the act takes aim at Walmart, the country’s largest private employer, it highlights the theme of my work: that excessive giveaways to

Last week, Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) introduced a sweeping, bold economic policy idea: the LIFT the Middle Class Act. The LIFT (Livable Incomes for Families) Act would essentially be a dramatic expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), making it much larger and available to many more Americans. A few days later, the conservative

Recently, The New York Times published a report about women who, while working in physically demanding jobs, lost their pregnancies after requests for less-strenuous assignments were denied. The profile is a tragic example of the steep toll levied on women, and particularly women of color, who face economic and social rules that are rigged against

Corporations today operate according to a model of corporate governance known as “shareholder primacy.” This theory claims that the purpose of a corporation is to generate returns for shareholders, and that decision-making should be focused on a singular goal: maximizing shareholder value. This single-minded focus—which often comes at the expense of investments in workers, innovation,

Editor’s Note: On August 15, 2018, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) introduced the Accountable Capitalism Act, legislation that would require corporations to consider the interests of all stakeholders within the firm—not only shareholders—in company decisions. Corporations are made up of a wide range of stakeholders: workers, managers, executives, and shareholders. Currently, only executives and shareholders have the

Banks today are increasingly consolidating branch locations, while also moving away from low-cost financial services to high-profit activities, leaving marginalized Americans underserved and left behind in today’s economy. Without access to basic banking services, such as checking and savings accounts or small loans, consumers are vulnerable
to a host of financial abuses. To foster a more