Pico Rivera is a dusty working-class Latino suburb of Los Angeles. After the school district, Wal-Mart is the city’s largest employer and the source of 10 percent of its tax revenue. More than 500 families in the town depend on income from the store.
You often hear inequality has widened because globalization and technological change have made most people less competitive, while making the best educated more competitive. There’s some truth to this. The tasks most people used to do can now be done more cheaply by lower-paid workers abroad or by computer-driven machines.
The United States International Trade Commission (USITC) recently came out with projections on the economic effects of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal. The USITC’s report is the third major study on the TPP from the past two years.
Disgruntled Icelanders recently forced their prime minister to quit, and are threatening to hand power to self-styled pirates at an early election. But whereas other European voters are culling traditional parties out of weakness, Reykjavik’s are rebelling out of strength.
Companies could improve their profits by 2-10% each year by saving energy. That’s just one of the findings of ClimateWorks Australia’s Energy Productivity Index, a world-first attempt to assess companies' energy performance and help investors make better decisions.
Reproductive health isn’t just about abortions, despite all the attention they get. It’s also about access to family planning services, contraception, sex education and much else.
Faced by falling oil prices and plunging profits, big oil companies are investing in renewables and clean energy, but still focussing on fossil fuels.
The Federal Reserve Board's Open Market Committee (FOMC) decided not to raise interest rates at its meeting last week. However, the FOMC also made clear that a rate hike was still an option for its June meeting.
Marketers are supposed to be inventive folk – and attempting to interpret their thinking can sometimes invite a descent into the futility of literary criticism.
One key goal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was to lower health care costs by giving consumers more choice over their insurer. Economic theory suggests that when consumers make informed and active choices in a competitive market, companies respond by lowering prices and improving the quality of their offerings.
Recent debates about China have focused on its role in the gradual eastward shift in the global economy. This process was accentuated by the financial crisis of 2007-08 and ensuing recession in the West.
A new study by the Pew Research Center spurred a rash of headlines last week about “the dying middle class.” But the word “dying” might be more appropriate if we were watching the regrettable but inevitable effects of natural forces at work.
“How do we grow the economy?” is an obsolete question. Local initiatives across the world are looking for maturity instead as they rebuild caring, place-based communities and economies.
Many people might think that Donald Trump can only teach the country how to offend women, African Americans and a range of non-European ethnic groups. While that may be his area of expertise, it seems that his rants on dealing with debt may actually provide a teachable moment. As a result, the country, and possibly even the policy elites, may get a better understanding of when and how debt can pose a problem.
Any election demands knowledge, attention and wisdom from the whole electorate. When a campaign season does not seem to be going well, there’s often angst about whether the public has been sufficiently educated.
The 4th Largest Economy In The World Just Generated 90 Percent Of The Power It Needs From Renewables
On Sunday, for a brief, shining moment, renewable power output in Germany reached 90 percent of the country’s total electricity demand.
Losing jobs to technology is nothing new. Since the industrial revolution, roles that were once exclusively performed by humans have been slowly but steadily replaced by some form of automated machinery.
I met Claudio at a Midwestern truck stop just before the Great Recession. At the time, I was a sociology grad student trying to understand how long-haul trucking had gone from one of the best blue-collar jobs in the U.S.
During a Republican debate, Donald Trump declared people are pouring across the southern border. But here’s what Trump ignores: a recent Pew Report shows that more Mexicans are leaving...
I see Greg Mankiw used his NYT column to tell folks that politicians are spinning tales when they say the economy is rigged. I would say that economists spin tales when they tell you it is not. (Mankiw and I just ran through this argument on a panel in Boston last week.) Let's quickly run through the main points.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret about the Internet: Big cable companies hate it. That’s a bad thing because for most Americans big cable companies are the on-ramps to the wired world.
As profits and prices plummet, the oil conglomerates – some of the world’s biggest companies – have been warned they must change their ways or face extinction.
Despite North Dakota’s collapsing oil market, its state-owned bank continues to report record profits. This article looks at what California, with fifty times North Dakota’s population, could do following that state’s lead.
"The socioeconomic profile of a district is a powerful predictor of the average test score performance of students in that district," says Sean Reardon. "Nonetheless, poverty is not destiny: There are districts with similarly low-income student populations where academic performance is higher than others."
"Children do not kill careers, but the earlier children arrive the more their mother's income suffers. There is a clear incentive for delaying," says coauthor Raul Santaeulalia-Llopis.
The foreign aid arena in Africa has traditionally been dominated by the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. However, over the past three decades non-traditional donors such as China, have emerged.
Most small farms have to follow the same rules as big corporate ones. In Maine, flexible food ordinances have increased the number of small farmers.
There are few areas where there is more bipartisan support than the need to provide adequate health care for the country's veterans. While many of us opposed the war in Iraq and other recent military adventures, we still recognize the need to provide medical services for the people who put their lives at risk.
If you put water on the stove and heat it up, it will at first just get hotter and hotter. You may then conclude that heating water results only in hotter water. But at some point everything changes – the water starts to boil, turning from hot liquid into steam. Physicists call this a “phase transition.”
Exposing tax dodgers is a worthy endeavor, but the “limited hangout” of the Panama Papers may have less noble ends, dovetailing with the War on Cash and the imminent threat of massive bail-ins of depositor funds.
True innovation is hard to find, as few things come out of nothing. Take the now ubiquitous selfie, for example. The format may have changed but the concept of making self-portraits is hundreds, if not thousands of years old. The same is true of many inventions that we typically think of as modern.
As a chain of volcanic islands, Hawai‘i doesn’t have coal and natural gas readily available to generate electricity. The state depends on oil, shipped in by tanker, to generate electricity. In 2002, Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) became the first and only member-owned utility company in...
Tesla Motors has already established its electric cars as fast, well-sized and capable of competing with petrol cars in how far they can go without needing a recharge. Now, the US firm run by Elon Musk appears to have countered the final remaining negative perception of electric vehicles: price.
Limiting emissions to ensure the internationally-agreed 2°C temperature rise is not exceeded could still leave trillions of dollars of global financial assets at risk.
Economic inequality is now firmly on the public agenda as candidates and voters alike look for someone to blame for stagnant wages, entrenched poverty and a widening gap between rich and poor.
Patients with prostate cancer in England and Wales will now have early access to abiraterone, a drug which can delay the need for chemotherapy. The drug previously cost £3,000 a month, and was not considered “cost-effective” for the NHS until cancers were more advanced – even though patients in Scotland had access to it.
The Panama Papers is a treasure trove of information on the activities and clientele of a large, but not atypical law firm operating in an offshore financial centre. In this case, it is a firm called Mossack Fonseca, based in Panama. It follows a series of spectacular leaks by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, including the HSBC files
From chants of “Drill, Baby, Drill” to outrage over the BP oil spill, offshore drilling has been highly controversial in recent years. Some view it as a vastly underused revenue source, while others see it as a grave environmental threat. In parts of the Gulf of Mexico, drilling continues
When we think about disadvantages and challenges in the labor market, unemployment generally takes center stage, clearly exemplified by the monthly jobs report hype over one stat: the unemployment rate.
On Wednesday May 30, Emma Johnston, Nalini Joshi and Tanya Monro spoke at the National Press Club for a special Women Of Science event. Here they outline their views on how to promote greater participation by women at the top levels of science.
Income inequality in the United States has been a major flashpoint during the 2016 presidential election, with much debate focused on whether America is divided between “the 1 percent” who make up the wealthy elite and the lagging middle and working classes.
Despite appearances to the contrary, this year’s presidential follies have managed to feature at least a few policy discussions amid all the name-calling. Income inequality in particular has animated voters on both sides of the partisan divide, but the solutions advocated by candidates from each party are markedly different.
The tax cuts for the rich proposed by the two leading Republican candidates for the presidency – Donald Trump and Ted Cruz – are larger, as a proportion of the government budget and the total economy, than any tax cuts ever before proposed in history.
In 1983, the National Commission on Excellence in Education published A Nation At Risk: The Imperative for Educational Reform, which documented widespread academic underachievement at every level, concluding:
The association between life expectancy and postcodes, neighbourhood locations or train stations has been demonstrated in many different locations around the world. These include London and Glasgow in the UK and across the US including California.
The last few years have seen numerous studies pointing to a bleak future with technology-induced unemployment on the rise. For example, a pivotal 2013 study by researchers at the University of Oxford found that of 702 unique job types in the United States economy, around 47% were at high risk of computerisation.
If the U.S. moved to electric vehicles, there would be a substantial cut in air pollution – and health benefits to go with it.In Paris late last year, the countries of the world pledged to reduce emissions to keep global warming “well below a 2 degree Celsius” rise in global average temperatures compared with preindustrial levels.
These south side Chicago “explorers” had never seen anything comparable to the legendary Union League Club. The esoteric artwork, luxurious decor, and dapper club members were a far cry from the neighborhood where the group of African American teenagers grew up. And there was no mistaking the reaction on members’ faces: There goes the neighborhood.
America’s children are starting to recover from the worst effects of the Great Recession, although some ill effects remain, a comprehensive study on child well-being reports.
Intelligent machines are good at some jobs that were once done by humans. Recent alarmist headlines this week claim artificial intelligence (AI) will put half of us out of work.
Classrooms are becoming more diverse. So, why is music education focused on Western music?
Health disparities are common in developed countries, including the United States, but at what age those inequities take root and how they vary between countries is less clear.
The unfolding information about the Zika virus and saddening images of babies infected with microcephaly should really scare us all.
In what’s becoming an annual occurrence, we’re in the midst of a highly publicized debate over the lack of diversity among the Oscar-nominated performers and filmmakers. Outside groups, including the NAACP, are up in arms. Several celebrities – some of them Academy members – have announced their intention to boycott the big night.
A public health researcher explains why life expectancy in the United States is falling, and it has to do with income inequality rising.
Fifty years ago, Martin Luther King Jr. wrote “Why We Can’t Wait” to dispel the notion that African Americans should be content to proceed on an incremental course toward full equality under the law and in the wider society. King observed,
The idea of a basic income for every person has been popping up regularly in recent years. Economists, think tanks, activists and politicians from different stripes have toyed with the idea of governments giving every citizen or resident a minimum income off which to live. This cash transfer could either replace or supplement existing welfare payments.
The next Administration should make reducing work time a major focus. In addition to mandated paid sick days and paid family leave — proposals that have received some welcome attention thus far on the presidential campaign trail — policymakers should go much further and enact measures aimed at shortening workweeks and work years.
Post-apartheid South Africa provides ample evidence of the debilitating trajectory of the microcredit movement. The expansion of microcredit and the informal microenterprise sector was one of the policy responses of the first democratically elected government.
We just learned America’s rental affordability crisis is as bad as it’s ever been. Unfortunately, it’s about to get a whole lot worse.
Few events encapsulate our infatuation with a well-told story as much as Christmas. As a culture, we are dependent on stories as a tool with which to negotiate our daily lives and make sense of the world around us. In particular, we love magical ones because they allow us to temporarily suspend our disbelief and revel in the joys of doing so.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg believes personalised learning is the answer to many of education’s current woes, and is one of the four key areas that he and his wife Prescilla Chan’s US$45 billion Chan Zuckerberg Initiative will fund.
With the US Federal Reserve seemingly set on raising interest rates, it’s time to take stock of what low rates have done for the world. And what the prospects are when this era of low interest rates comes to an end.
American consumers have been enjoying Christmas since July – that is, July 2014, when the average price for all grades of gasoline peaked at US$3.75 per gallon, according to the Energy Information Administration.
The climate summit in Paris has shown that global big business is now also on board with the transition to a low-carbon economy. However, the most promising instruments in finance for promoting green investing, particularly green bonds, have been around for almost a decade now, starting with the European Investment Bank (EIB) Climate Awareness Bond in 2007.
In a growing number of school districts across the nation, students must wear a uniform. This is not the stereotypical school uniform associated with Catholic schools – pleated plaid skirt with a blouse for girls; a button-down shirt, a necktie and dark pants for boys. Instead, these are mostly khaki and blue or khaki and red shirt/blouse and skirt/pants uniforms.
The great American middle class has become an anxious class – and it’s in revolt. Before I explain how that revolt is playing out, you need to understand the sources of the anxiety.
Liveable communities and resilient cities are buzzwords of the moment. But exactly how do you define a “liveable” community or city? Our research focuses on this exact question.
Increasing poor families’ income can significantly improve their children’s psychological well-being, according to new research.
Women cardiologists often earn less than men—even when taking into account the different types of work they do—a new study suggests. Further, the ranks of women cardiologists remain disproportionally small compared to those in medicine overall.
A "Jubilee" initiative in Cincinnati aims to wipe out the debts of the city's poorest people. Theologian Walter Brueggemann explains the idea's biblical foundations.
I’ve just returned from three weeks in “red” America. It was ostensibly a book tour but I wanted to talk with conservative Republicans and Tea Partiers.
Ben Carson has now overtaken Donald Trump in the national polls as the GOP front-runner. As a black man, I’m not at all sure how I should feel about this.
Much of the national debate about widening inequality focuses on whether and how much to tax the rich and redistribute their income downward.
The digital divide in Australia is narrowing as more people become internet users. Three billion people globally are online today, with some eight new users every second.
Rewarding teachers financially for student achievement is an increasingly common practice, despite mixed evidence as to whether it improves results. Some scholars have instead suggested paying students.
No doubt surprising many of the people watching the Democratic presidential debate, Bernie Sanders cited Denmark as a role model for how to help working people. Hillary Clinton demurred slightly, declaring that “we are not Denmark,” but agreed that Denmark is an inspiring example.
With Trevor Noah debuting as host of The Daily Show, much of the conversation has centered on the 31-year-old South African’s race and age.
The Supreme Court twisted a 1925 law to undermine the interests of citizens, employees and small business. Companies, of course, hire arbitration firms that rule in favor of companies.
Studies have long shown that a college student’s odds of achieving financial security and a better quality of life improve when he or she earns a degree. But what are some of the obstacles that prevent degree attainment?
The Volkswagen emissions investigation looks set to be of one of the biggest corporate scandals in recent history – and we’ve seen quite a few.
As Labor Day approaches, we are likely to hear from a growing chorus of political, religious, academic, labor and business leaders who agree “America needs a raise” to reverse three decades of wage stagnation and rising income inequality.
In 1928, famed British economist John Maynard Keynes predicted that technology would advance so far in a hundred years – by 2028 – that it will replace all work, and no one will need to worry about making money.
Conventional wisdom has long held that sex sells in advertising. Advertisers often use sexual ads under the assumption that they attract attention and, therefore, are an effective way to promote products and services. Many continue to pursue this strategy for brands ranging from intimate wear (Victoria’s Secret) to fast food (such as Carl’s Jr).
College football is America’s national pastime. Tens of millions of fans will soon begin watching games each week, from the stands and on network and cable television.
Pope Francis’ revolutionary encyclical addresses not just climate change but the banking crisis. Interestingly, the solution to that crisis may have been modeled in the Middle Ages by Franciscan monks following the Saint from whom the Pope took his name.
Economists have tallied up how much it will likely cost to care for all Americans with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) this year: $268 billion. In 10 years that number is expected to climb to $461 billion, but they say it could top out at $1 trillion if ASD prevalence continues to increase.
Can’t remember the name of the two elements that scientist Marie Curie discovered? Or who won the 1945 UK general election? Or how many light years away the sun is from the earth? Ask Google.
A recent OECD report has shown that income inequality has increased in the majority of OECD countries – and in some, at historic speed.
None of us alive today had any direct involvement in slavery in America, but we continue to be affected by its legacy and could even be perpetuating it in subtle, everyday ways. One of the ways the legacy of slavery manifests is through the school system.
Virtually every American community has Chinese restaurants — and the story of how this came to be is fascinating and highly revealing about the often unintended impact of U.S. immigration rules. This ethnic food industry started to grow rapidly in the early 20th century, at a time when anti-Chinese sentiment was pervasive.
Health insurance for freelancers can be expensive. When employed by a company, health insurance is generally covered, but strike out on your own and you find yourself paying several hundred dollars or more per month for minimal coverage. As freelancers are expected to make up fifty percent of the U.S. workforce by 2020, one can’t help but think there has to be a better way—and there is.
For a new study, researchers measured telomere length of poor and moderate-income whites, African-Americans, and people of Mexican descent in Detroit neighborhoods to determine the impact of living conditions on health.
The push for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is reaching its final stages as the House of Representatives will soon take the key vote on fast-track trade authority which will almost certainly determine the pact’s outcome
When Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker put pen to paper to create America’s 25th right-to-work state last month, it became clear that the “labor question” is once again gnawing at the nation’s psyche. Do unions bring value to our economy or are they just obstacles to growth?
Although it has been over 60 years since the Brown v Board of Education decision, black students are still more likely to receive out-of-school suspensions for minor violations of the code of conduct. As a result, they are more likely to drop out of school or enter the juvenile justice system.
We might be living longer than ever before, but the government’s plan to keep older people in the workforce may not be that easy. The predictions are that by 2055 the nation will have a population of 39.7 million people with the number of people aged 65 and over expected to double, a testament to healthier lifestyles and medical science.
“Opt Out,” a civil disobedience movement against state-mandated testing in elementary and secondary education, is growing rapidly across the United States. Last year, Opt Out protests occurred in about half the states. This year, the movement has found support across all 50 states.