Income Distribution: Equal Opportunity vs. Equal Results

Income distribution has become less equal in many countries in recent decades, and prominent economists and politicians have advocated policies that would reverse the change in inequality. Some advocates of greater equality have acknowledged a trade-off between greater equality and higher total income. However, Paul Krugman (2014) and Alan Blinder (2014) have recently denied that […]

Income Distribution: Equal Opportunity vs. Equal Results

Income distribution has become less equal in many countries in recent decades, and prominent economists and politicians have advocated policies that would reverse the change in inequality. Some advocates of greater equality have acknowledged a trade-off between greater equality and higher total income. However, Paul Krugman (2014) and Alan Blinder (2014) have recently denied that […]

Income Inequality and its Sources

It is generally recognized that the distribution of income in the United States and within many other countries has become less equal since the 1980s. Increased inequality has been popularly interpreted as a negative development, and many proposals have been offered to reverse or offset the change in inequality. However, the interpretation of increased inequality […]

Skill Mismatches in the U.S. Labor Market

The slow recovery in the United States from the Great Recession has been characterized by an unusually high unemployment rate. Observers have disagreed about the relative importance of skill mismatch and insufficient aggregate demand as causes of high unemployment. The two explanations are not mutually exclusive, but Paul Krugman (2014) has taken a strong position […]

Limits on the Efficacy of Russia’s Economic Weapon

The United States and European allies responded to the Russian annexation of Crimea by announcing targeted economic sanctions against a list of Russia individuals (plus one bank) and threatening to impose stronger sanctions in the future. The sanctions included travel restrictions and asset freezes for the listed individuals. On March 24, the Group of 8 […]

Does the West Have Economic Levers to Influence Russian Foreign Policy?

The financial markets have reacted frantically to Russia’s invasion of Crimea – the rouble has weakened despite the Central Bank of Russia intervening massively to prop it up, share prices on the Moscow stock exchange have collapsed and there are reports of significant capital flight from Russia. The West has decided on a travel ban […]

The U.S. Faces an Unusual Opportunity to Expand Trade

The United States faces an opportunity to improve its own prosperity and that of major European and Asian partners. The U.S. is currently negotiating separate trade agreement with the European Union and with Trans-Pacific partner countries from a rapidly growing region of the world. Both sets of negotiations have proceeded in spite of protectionist pressures […]