Ed Dolan's Econ Blog

Category Archive: Income and poverty

  • Questions for GOP Healthcare Reformers

    Republicans do not yet have a full replacement for the Affordable Care Act (ACA or “Obamacare”), but the outlines of one are emerging. The Policy Brief on Repeal and Replace issued by House Republicans on February 16 points the way toward a three-tier system. It promises to provide  “coverage protections and peace of mind for […]

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  • The Conservative Case for Carbon Dividends: A Bad Marriage of Two Good Ideas?

    As a firm supporter of both carbon taxes and a universal basic income (UBI), you would think that I would be thrilled by the new report, The Conservative Case for Carbon Dividends, released Wednesday by the Climate Leadership Council (CLC).  It puts a price on carbon like a good carbon tax should, and it gives […]

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  • Trade and Jobs: Why the Protectionist Cure Could be Worse Than the Globalization Disease

    Dramatic promises to restrict international trade were a signature element of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. So far, he seems to be following through, with an early reaffirmation of his intent to withdraw US participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). An aggressive stance on trade played a key role in gaining the support of working class […]

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  • Does the Social Safety Net Provide Enough Incentive to Work?

    One of the most common criticisms of social safety net programs is that they discourage work. As House Speaker Paul Ryan has put it, they risk becoming a “hammock that lulls able-bodied people to lives of dependency and complacency,  that drains them of their will and their incentive to make the most of their lives.” […]

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  • Voters are Angry about Free Trade. What is the Right Policy Response?

    The two most watched candidates of this presidential election season, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, have put anger over the effects of free trade at the center of their campaigns. In doing so, they have won millions of votes. Many of the arguments they use in their stump speeches are overly simplistic, but the anger […]

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  • How Is Inequality Linked to Climate Change, and What to Do About It?

    Progressives see climate change and economic inequality as two of the big problems of our time. As the global aid organization Oxfam points out in a recent media briefing paper, “Extreme Carbon Inequality,” the two are “inextricably linked.” But just what is the nature of the linkage? Does inequality cause climate change? Does climate change […]

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  • Universal Basic Income vs. Unemployment Insurance: Which is the Better Safety Net?

    A universal basic income (UBI) and unemployment insurance (UI) are two possible forms of social insurance for an economy in which job loss is a significant risk. Which works better? How generous should either program be? Would a combination of the two be best of all? These are the questions that Alice Fabre, Stéphane Pallage, […]

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  • A Universal Basic Income and Work Incentives. Part 2: Evidence

    In Part 1 of this series, I outlined some basic economic theory regarding a universal basic income (UBI) and work incentives. By a UBI, I mean an income support policy that provides a set monthly benefit to every citizen. A UBI, as I define it, would to everyone, regardless of income, wealth, or employment status. […]

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  • A Universal Basic Income and Work Incentives. Part 1: Theory

    Everywhere you look, it seems, people are talking about a Universal Basic Income (UBI)—a monthly cash benefit paid to every citizen that would replace the existing means-tested welfare system. Supporters maintain that a UBI would not only provide income support to people in need, but would also increase work incentives. That is because, unlike the […]

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  • How Many Miles Can You Drive on an Hour’s Wages? 100 Years in One Chart

    Recently I came across this assertion in a comment box on one of my favorite websites: “The cost to fuel your car has never been higher as a percentage of disposable income.” Really? I know gasoline prices are high, but you just can’t make that assertion without looking at incomes and fuel economy, too. I […]

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