Brad DeLong: Worthy reads on equitable growth, June 22-28, 2018

Worthy reads on Equitable Growth:

  1. A very nice paper concluding, among other things, that geographic mobility in the United States is the friend and not the foe of increases in the minimum wage as an equitable growth policy—it is the individuals who are able to move across state lines to opportunity who appear to benefit the most. Read Kevin Rinz and John Voorheis: “The distributional effects of minimum wages: Evidence from linked survey and administrative data,” in which they find that “states and localities are increasingly experimenting with higher minimum wage…”
  2. Brad DeLong: “The lack of Federal Reserve maneuvering room is very worrisome.”
  3. Karen Dynan joins Equitable Growth Steering Committee.”
  4. It is worth stressing that motherhood penalties—and work-gap penalties more generally—appear present throughout and beyond the Global North. Labor market institutions and expectations are still as if designed for a male-dominated paid workforce in which women exit the paid labor force upon marriage or pregnancy and do not return. Read Eunjung Jee, Joya Misra, and Marta Murray-Close: “Motherhood penalties in the U.S., 1986–2014,” in which they note that “mothers earn less than childless women…”
  5. I have long thought it unwise that feminist economics is not a much larger and more prominent subfield. The past century and a half, after all, has seen the typical woman go from eating for two for 20 years—spending those years either pregnant or breastfeeding—to eating for two for only four years. That is a huge change, with mammoth and fascinating implications and consequences within and far beyond economics—yet remarkably few (male) economists seem to care. Read Kate Bahn: “Reporting from the International Association for Feminist Economics Conference, in which she writes—“Great presentation on ‘Bridging Theory and Action: Digital Platforms as an Opportunity for Feminist Economics’ by @leezagavronsky and @Bilguis92…. We need to move beyond the online/offline binary, since it often leads activism out in the world. Economists don’t need to dumb things down, but present things in a more inclusive manner, with less jargon that obfuscates what we are actually trying to say…”


Worthy reads not on Equitable Growth:


  1. Maxine Berg (1980): “The Machinery Question and the Making of Political Economy 1815–1848.”
  2. Austin Frakt: “Reagan, Deregulation and America’s Exceptional Rise in Health Care Costs,” in which he writes—“why did American health care costs start skyrocketing compared with those of other advanced nations starting in the early 1980s?…”
  3. Will Wilkinson: “Liberaltarianism: Back the Future,” in which he examines “Misean economics,… filtered through Ayn Rand and Murray Rothbard’s peculiar views of rights and coercion…”
  4. Peter Jensen, Markus Lampe, Paul Sharp, and Christian Skovsgaard, in “The role of elites for development in Denmark,” ask and answer this—”How did Denmark get to Denmark?… Hundreds of butter factories could spring up in a few years in the 1880s… dominance in agricultural exports could be so rapidly consolidated… why this happened in Denmark and not elsewhere…”

June 28, 2018


Brad DeLong
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