Reflections on Our First Round of Grants: Thursday Focus for July 24, 2014

Washington Center for Equitable Growth Announces Inaugural Class of Grantees: "Equitable Growth will award $481,000 to 15 grantees... ...with additional funding for two of those grantees provided by the Russell Sage Foundation.... “Motivating academic economists to investigate whether and how structural changes in the U.S. economy, particularly those related to the distribution of wealth and the provision of opportunity, affect economic growth is exceedingly important,” says Heather Boushey, executive director and chief economist at Equitable Growth.... Philip Cohen... economic inequality [and] women’s employment patterns.... Ariel... More >

Things to Read at Night on July 24, 2014

Should-Reads: Aida Caldera Sánchez et al.: Improving Well-Being in the United States: "Life is quite good in the United States compared to other OECD countries, thanks to strong economic growth and technological progress having lifted average income to high levels. Nonetheless, there is evidence that the benefits from growth have not been sufficiently broad based. Self-reported happiness increases with income, an issue particularly resonant in a country with among the highest levels of income inequality in the OECD and a pattern of inequality that appears... More >

Lunchtime Must-Read: Ezra Klein: Paul Ryan’s Poverty Plan

Ezra Klein: Paul Ryan's Poverty Plan: "P The most important idea in Paul Ryan's poverty plan... ...reverses the most important idea in Paul Ryan's budgets. Those budgets... [made] deep cuts to spending on programs for the poor the cornerstone of Republican fiscal policy... cut spending on the programs that fight poverty. Ryan's poverty plan is... a sharp break with his budgets... an attempt to change the Republican Party's view--a view driven, in large part, by Paul Ryan and his budgets--of what to do with programs for... More >

Morning Must-Read: Brian Buetler: The Adler-Cannon Halbig v. Burwell Argument Is a Fraud—Just Ask Scott Brown

Brian Buetler: The Adler-Cannon Halbig v. Burwell Argument Is a Fraud--Just Ask Scott Brown: "It is now an article of faith on the right that Congress meant to condition the subsidies... an inducement to states, but overestimated the power of that inducement. I suspect many of the people advancing this claim realize that it is false, and are engaged in an elaborate gaslighting campaign. Others have probably convinced themselves that they are correct.... They need both an elaborate theory of legislative intent, and judges... More >

Morning Must-Read: Guido Matias Cortes et al.: The Micro and Macro of Disappearing Routine Jobs: A Flows Approach

Guido Matias Cortes et al.: The Micro and Macro of Disappearing Routine Jobs: A Flows Approach: "The U.S. labor market has become... ...increasingly polarized since the 1980s, with the share of employment in middle-wage occupations shrinking over time. This job polarization process has been associated with the disappearance of per capita employment in occupations focused on routine tasks. We use matched individual-level data from the CPS to study labor market flows into and out of routine occupations and determine how this disappearance has played out... More >

Morning Must-Read: James Pethokoukis: The Weird Obsession That’s Ruining the GOP

James Pethokoukis: The weird obsession that's ruining the GOP: "Call it doomsday prepper economics... ...For more than five years, many Republicans and conservatives have warned that catastrophe is nigh. Washington's deficit spending and the Federal Reserve's excessive money printing will lead to a financial crisis worse than the Great Recession, they prophesied. Inflation will skyrocket, the dollar will collapse, and the Chinese will dump treasuries, they swore. As Ron Paul, the libertarian former GOP congressman and presidential candidate, said back in 2009: 'More inflation is... More >

Nighttime Must-Read: Eric Chemi and Ariana Giorgi: For CEOs, Correlation Between Pay and Stock Performance Is Pretty Random

Eric Chemi and Ariana Giorgi: For CEOs, Correlation Between Pay and Stock Performance Is Pretty Random: "With all the public chatter about exorbitant executive compensation and income inequality...’s useful to look at the relationship between chief executive officer pay and corporate performance. Typically, when the subject of their big pay packages arises, CEOs—usually through their spokespeople—say they are paid for performance. Does data back that up?... Equilar ranked the salaries of 200 highly paid CEOs. When compared to metrics such as revenue, profitability, and... More >

Additional Dimensions of Inequality: Wednesday Focus for July 23, 2014

Lawrence Summers: Advantages the Rich Have That Money Cannot Buy: "The primary reason for concern about inequality is that lower- and middle-income workers have too little... ...not that the rich have too much... the criterion should be... [the] impact... on the middle class and the poor.... Important aspects of inequality are unlikely to be transformed just by limited income redistribution. Consider... health and... opportunity for children. Barry Bosworth and his colleagues... [the] cohort[s]... born in 1920 and... 1940.... The richest men gained roughly six years... More >

Things to Read on the Evening of July 23, 2014

Should-Reads: Tim Jost:Will Was the ACA Dicision Based on a Mistake?: "In a recent blog post, Cato scholar Michael Cannon admitted that he and his colleague, Case Western University professor Jonathan Adler, had made a mistake in an amicus brief they submitted to the courts in the Halbig and King cases.... This mistake... goes to the central argument that he and Jonathan have relied on.... Cannon’s error is one of a flood of misstatements that the opponents of the ACA have propagated, from 'death panels'... More >

Evening Must-Read: Mike Konczal: Dodd-Frank Reforms Are Finally Paying Off

Mike Konczal: Dodd-Frank Reforms Are Finally Paying Off: "This past year has seen significant advances... ...with at least four major wins. And crucially, the battles that still remain are coming clearly into focus. First, banks are now required by regulators to hold higher levels of capital.... Last fall, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission oversaw the launch of the exchanges for trading derivatives.... Part of the goal of this reform was to enforce price transparency.... Another win was the ruling on the Volcker Rule.... There will... More >