Weekend reading: “Inequality and mobility” 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

In an op-ed in The Washington Post, Equitable Growth’s Executive Director and chief economist Heather Boushey explains that the debate over the relative newcomer economic theory of modern monetary theory is a distraction from addressing the biggest economic challenge facing the United States: the rise in economic inequality.

In the latest installment of Equitable Growth’s In Conversation series, Heather Boushey chats with Harvard University economist and founding member of the Equitable Growth Steering Committee Raj Chetty about his research into opportunity in the United States, including who becomes an inventor and the impact of race and place on economic mobility.

Catch up on Brad DeLong’s latest worthy reads from Equitable Growth and around the web.

Links from around the web

U.S. Gross Domestic Product numbers for the first quarter of the year were released this morning by the Commerce Department, which showed that the economy grew 3.2 percent. But as Equitable Growth’s Executive Director and chief economist Heather Boushey tells NPR’s Scott Horsley, these GDP numbers don’t tell us where all of the income from this growth is actually going and who is feeling that growth. For that, we would need to break down GDP to understand how the economy is performing for Americans of different income levels, different regions of the country, and more. [npr]

As the federal minimum wage hasn’t been raised in 10 years and remains at $7.25/hour, increases in it at the city and state level mean that the federal minimum wage only applies to little more than 10 percent of minimum-wage employees in the United States, explains Ernie Tedeschi in The New York Times’ Upshot. [nyt]

Increasing concerns that rising economic inequality could spur populist political backlash have caused some business leaders to reconsider support for more progressive economic policies. [ft]

The Open Market Institute’s legal director Sandeep Vaheesan explains why T-Mobile US Inc.’s proposed acquisition of Sprint Corp. would result in bad outcomes not just for consumers but also workers. [ft alphaville]

Courtney Martin unpacks some of the reasons behind the racial wealth gap in the first of an upcoming three-part series. [nyt]

Friday Figure

Figure is from Equitable Growth’s, “Are today’s inequalities limiting tomorrow’s opportunities?” by Elisabeth Jacobs and Liz Hipple.

April 26, 2019


Liz Hipple
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