Peterson Institute for International Economics

Roubini Topic Archive: Labor Markets and Productivity

  • Stop Sticking Our Heads in the Sand! A Plan for Action on Jobs

    Despite the claim that previous weeks’  jobs numbers were “better than expected,” they were in fact an abysmal indictment of US economic policy over the past two years. The unemployment rate has remained near or above 9 percent for 28 consecutive months, a policy failure not seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Unfortunately, […]

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  • Why Portugal Needs a Bailout in One Chart

    With Portuguese interest rates above the 7 percent level at which their sovereign debt—even if it is considerably lower than that of say Greece—becomes unsustainable, the point in time at which the country will be forced to accept an EU-IMF financial assistance package looks imminent.

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  • 10 Reasons Why the Russian Economy Will Recover

    Op-ed in the Moscow Times

    November 25, 2010

    In my September 3, 2008, column titled “10 Reasons Why the Russian Economy Will Falter,” I saw no reason why economic growth would continue. At the time, most economic analysts argued that Russia was a safe haven and predicted growth of 7 percent to 8 percent in 2009. Instead, gross domestic product plummeted by 8 percent in 2009.

    During the past two years, the mood in Russia has changed profoundly. Euphoria and complacency have been replaced with cynicism and pessimism. A broad conviction has spread that the country is condemned to a growth rate of, at most, 3 percent to 4 percent a year.

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  • Estimating the Impact of the Exchange Rate on the Trade Balance and Jobs

    As pressure mounts on China to let the value of its currency appreciate, a debate has occurred among some economists over the potential effect of such a revaluation on the US current account deficit—or on the number of jobs in the United States. In recent congressional hearings, C. Fred Bergsten (2010), director of the Peterson Institute for International Economies, testified that a correction of China’s exchange rate undervaluation would produce approximately 500,000 American jobs. The purpose of this note is to set forth calculations that provided part of the basis for this estimate, in particular, and to further clarify estimations of the impact of the exchange rate on trade and jobs more generally.

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  • Why Labor Mayhem in France Could Benefit Sarkozy

    French labor unions are preparing to block President Nicolas Sarkozy’s proposal to raise the French retirement age by two years.1 They plan open-ended strikes to shut down France’s transport and energy infrastructure, hoping to repeat their success in 1995 when street protests forced President Jacques Chirac and Prime Minister Alain Juppe to abandon their proposals to reform the public pension system and government finances more broadly. This time, however, the unions are certain to lose. In fact they could actually end up strengthening the reelection chances of President Sarkozy.

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  • If It’s a Recovery, Where Are the Jobs?

    Howard F. Rosen explains how the recession has exposed and exacerbated long-term structural trends hampering employment growth in the United States.

    Edited transcript, recorded September 1, 2010. © Peterson Institute for International Economics. Steve Weisman: With Labor Day approaching, the United States is experiencing a jobless recovery, if you could call it a recovery. This is Steve Weisman at the Peterson Institute for International Economics with Howard Rosen, a specialist on labor issues at the Peterson Institute, to talk about why we aren’t recovering and why the jobs aren’t coming back. Thanks, Howard.

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  • Is the Economic Recovery Sputtering to a Close?

    Michael Mussa says the latest disappointing economic numbers indicate a slower pace of growth and a possible rise in unemployment, and that a return to recession cannot be ruled out.

    Edited transcript, recorded August 20, 2010. © Peterson Institute for International Economics.

    Steve Weisman: Is the recovery in the United States sputtering to a close? Michael Mussa, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, is here today with me, Steve Weisman, at the Institute to tell us how to interpret the latest numbers on the economy on August 20. Mike, thanks for joining me.

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  • India’s Growth Paradox

    On August 15, India celebrated 63 years of independence. Many hail it as an economic powerhouse but also point to the lopsidedness of its growth. Despite being home to some of the world’s leading technology companies, poverty is still widespread, physical and social infrastructure still woefully inadequate, employment opportunities still limited, and access to basic and higher education still insufficient. Nearly 40 percent of the population is still illiterate, and 25 percent is below the poverty line. India ranks 133rd (out of 183 countries) on the World Bank’s ease of doing business index—169th on starting a business and 182nd on enforcing contracts—way behind several countries in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America. As Edward Luce observed in his In Spite of the Gods: The Rise of Modern India, “India finds itself higher on the ladder than one would expect it to be. It is just that most of its people are still sitting at the bottom.”

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  • World Trade and the American Economy

    Keynote address at the World Trade Week Kickoff Breakfast in Los Angeles, California May 3, 2010

    I am delighted to help launch this 84th annual World Trade Week in Los Angeles, which is truly the “capital of the Pacific Rim” as last year’s keynote speaker suggested. I congratulate the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the city of Los Angeles, and the state of California for their leadership in promoting an active and constructive trade policy in the United States.

    Trade and World Economic Growth

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  • Germany’s Virtuous Economy: How Much is It to Blame?

    Angel Ubide argues that Germany should rebalance its growth, allow wages to grow, and encourage domestic demand to help countries like Greece, Spain, Portugal, and Italy.

    Edited transcript, recorded March 15, 2010.

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