SEARCH: economic policy

The Link Between Wages and Productivity Is Strong

  Much of the public debate in recent years suggests that wages are not primarily determined by productivity. Indeed, the argument that the link between compensation and productivity has been effectively severed is commonly made. In this paper, I first discuss the wage-setting process and the conceptual issues that are of critical importance to any […]

Causes, Consequences, and Policy Responses to Market Concentration

Overview: Measures of market concentration in many U.S. industries have been rising for nearly four decades. Since the early 2000s, these trends have coincided with a falling labor share of income, declining private investment, and rising corporate profit rates and markups (the difference between price and marginal cost). Philippon argues these patterns are unique to […]

Business Insider: The Math Is Clear: Universal Basic Income Is A Terrible Idea

Originally published on Business Insider. It’s not a new idea, but few could have predicted that talk about universal basic income (UBI) would be receiving as much attention as it is today — especially among candidates for president of the United States. Andrew Yang has made UBI the cornerstone of his campaign and is now […]

How Minimum Zoning Mandates Can Improve Housing Markets and Expand Opportunity

  Dramatic differences in income, productivity, and housing costs within the United States make geographic mobility important for spreading prosperity. But Americans’ ability to move to places like San Francisco, Boston, and New York in search of economic opportunities is limited by severe restrictions on new housing supply in these productive places. State-level Minimum Zoning […]

The Challenges of Leveraging Online Education for Economically Vulnerable Mid-Career Americans

  Economic and technological change has made lifelong learning more important than ever and partly explains the rise of online education, the flexibility of which appeals to mid-career Americans. Most existing online education appears to result, however, in poor learning and labor market outcomes. Promising models of low- cost, high-quality online education are only now […]

Can Innovation Policy Restore Inclusive Prosperity in America?

Overview: US productivity growth¬—the engine of long-run wage growth—has been lackluster for the past decade. Meanwhile, US public investment in research and development (R&D), is near historic lows. Although private sector R&D investment has increased over time private sector funding is insufficient to bring about desired gains in productivity growth and wages. Van Reenen argues […]

Economic Strategy Group Member Statement, December 2019

Aspen Economic Strategy Group (AESG) Member Statement December 2019 We, the undersigned members of the AESG, have collectively worked at the highest levels of the policy, business, government, academic, and civic communities. We believe that our nation’s economic policies need to be adjusted so that more people participate more fully in our economic success. We […]

Creating Economic Opportunity for More Americans Through Productivity Growth

  The U.S. economy in recent years has been characterized by slow average productivity growth and increasing productivity dispersion within industries. These trends have coincided with analogous changes in wages—slow average wage growth and greater wage inequality between workers. In this essay, I discuss research into the potential causes of these patterns and outline several […]

Policies to Reintegrate Former Inmates Into the Labor Force

  Incarceration rates in the United States have more than tripled in recent decades as rehabilitation has gradually taken a back seat to a policy agenda emphasizing punishment and incapacitation. This raises important questions about the effectiveness of state and federal prisons in the United States, and about whether the resources required for long prison […]

Wealth Taxation: An Overview of the Issues

Overview: Recent wealth tax proposals put forward by Democratic presidential candidates Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Bernie Sanders would impose an annual tax on the net worth of the wealthiest Americans. The proposed wealth tax rates are in the range of 2 to 8 percent per year. Although those tax rates might appear low, they […]