Weekend reading: “Diversity, discrimination, and wage gaps” edition

This is a weekly post we publish on Fridays with links to articles that touch on economic inequality and growth. The first section is a round-up of what Equitable Growth published this week and the second is the work we’re highlighting from elsewhere. We won’t be the first to share these articles, but we hope by taking a look back at the whole week, we can put them in context.

Equitable Growth round-up

Venture capital and other forms of finance in the United States has become more diverse in recent years. But, as Gabriel Matthews shows, the levels of diversity in the venture capital industry are still lagging society and gains in education.

On the week of Equal Pay Day, Bridget Ansel writes, “Narrowing the gender wage gap means addressing the choices women feel they must make, as well as the biases we have as a society.”

Inflation, according to some measures, is at or above 2 percent, the Federal Reserve’s target. Does this mean the central bank’s mission is accomplished? Perhaps it’s time to rethink the goals for inflation.

Gary Becker, famed University of Chicago economist, once argued that discrimination shouldn’t be a big problem in a free market as smart businesses would hire productive workers that are discriminated against. John Schmitt points to new evidence that this isn’t what happens at all.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released new data this morning on the labor market in March. Check out 5 key graphs from the report chosen by Equitable Growth staff.

Links from around the web

Researchers and policymakers are increasingly aware of the problems that high levels of economic concentration pose to the U.S. economy. Matthew Stoller reviews recent research on the impact of consolidation on the share of income that goes to labor. [vice]

Martin Wolf warns that trade is not the major concern for the world economy when it comes to China. As he writes, “As the Chinese authorities realize, but their western counterparts may not, the integration of China’s financial system into the global economy is fraught with peril.” [ft]

Speaking of China, its current account surplus (it’s trade surplus plus other factors) has recently declined quite a bit. Is the Chinese economy reducing its contribution to external imbalances? Brad Setser isn’t so sure. [follow the money]

Looking for a job isn’t just an activity for those without one. In fact, a group of economists show that job search among already employed workers is quite high. [liberty street economics]

Commenting on a recent speech from Bank of England chief economist Andrew Haldane on trust and central bankers, Claudia Sahm writes, “I get it that technocratic credibility and the independence it allows are crucial ingredients to monetary policy, but isn’t that earned by outcomes not words?” [claudiasahm]

Friday figure

Figure from “Equitable Growth’s Jobs Day Graphs: March 2017 Report Edition” by Equitable Growth staff

April 7, 2017


Nick Bunker
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