Presentation to the Congressional Antitrust Caucus, Panel Remarks February 16, 2018 Today, economists and average Americans are confused by the same puzzle: We see historically high corporate profits and low corporate investment. In a productive economy, high profits and low investment aren’t supposed to occur simultaneously. So how do we explain what is going on?

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

In the six weeks since the passage of the GOP tax plan, officially known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, businesses have been lauded for announcements of wages and bonuses. Yet it’s corporate stock buybacks—the practice of companies spending their cash on buying back their own shares in order to raise share prices overall—that

The Levy Institute recently released a research paper I co-wrote with Stephanie Kelton, Scott Fulwiler, and Catherine Ruetschlin that models the macroeconomic impact of cancelling all of the student debt that is currently outstanding in the United States—just over $1.4 trillion, held by between 40 and 50 million borrowers. The federal government would write off

On Tuesday night, President Trump spent a good portion of his first State of the Union address boasting about the economy. He talked about the stock market, which is on an unprecedented nine-year run; he talked about low unemployment, which sits near a historic low; and he talked about wages, which are starting to rise

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

Why This Matters is a series from Roosevelt staff connecting our individual work—from papers to reports and everything in between—to our broader vision of creating a better, more equitable economic and political system. This series will give readers the top takeaways from our latest writing and thinking, with a focus on why they matter as we

The ability of workers to bargain for a greater share of a firm’s corporate profits has eroded over decades, and one of the growing drivers of this reality is the financialization of the corporate sector. Corporate financialization can be summed up as two behaviors: firms (like Walmart or Pfizer) increasingly earning profits from financial activity

There is much to be concerned about in America today: a growing political and economic divide, slowing growth, decreasing life expectancy, an epidemic of diseases of despair. The unhappiness that is apparent has taken an ugly turn, with an increase in protectionism and nativism. Trump’s diagnosis, which blames outsiders, is wrong, as are the prescriptions

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On Wednesday a handful of U.S.-based corporations, with AT&T leading the way, announced that, in light of the recently passed tax bill, they will be giving their employees a one-time bonus. Before anyone else begins claiming that this tax bill is going to spur business investment and favor the working class, let’s remember a few