Research and Policy Director
Areas of expertise
Macroeconomics • Globalization • Social insurance • Public investment
Josh Bivens is the Research and Policy Director at the Economic Policy Institute (EPI). His areas of research include macroeconomics, fiscal and monetary policy, the economics of globalization, social insurance, and public investment. He frequently appears as an economics expert on news shows, including the Public Broadcasting Service’s “NewsHour,” the “Melissa Harris-Perry” show on MSNBC, WAMU’s “The Diane Rehm Show,” American Public Media’s “Marketplace,” and programs of the BBC.
As a leading policy analyst, Bivens regularly testifies before the U.S. Congress on fiscal and monetary policy, the economic impact of regulations, and other issues. He has also provided analyses for the annual meeting of Project LINK of the United Nations and the Trade Union Advisory Committee (TUAC) of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Bivens is the author of Failure by Design: The Story behind America’s Broken Economy (EPI and Cornell University Press) and Everybody Wins Except for Most of Us: What Economics Really Teachers About Globalization (EPI). He is the co-author of The State of Working America, 12th Edition (EPI and Cornell University Press) and a co-editor of Good Jobs, Bad Jobs, No Jobs: Labor Markets and Informal Work in Egypt, El Salvador, India, Russia and South Africa (EPI).
His academic articles have appeared in the International Review of Applied Economics, the Journal of Economic Issues and the Journal of Economic Perspectives. Bivens has also provided peer-reviewed articles to several edited collections, including The Handbook of the Political Economy of Financial Crises (Oxford University Press), Public Economics in the United States: How the Federal Government Analyzes and Influences the Economy (ABC-CLIO), and Restoring Shared Prosperity: A Policy Agenda from Leading Keynesian Economists (AFL-CIO and the Macroeconomic Policy Institute).
Prior to becoming Research and Policy Director, Bivens was a research economist at EPI. Before coming to EPI, he was an assistant professor of economics at Roosevelt University and provided consulting services to Oxfam America. He has a Ph.D. in economics from the New School for Social Research and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland at College Park.
Ph.D., Economics, New School for Social Research
B.A., Economics, University of Maryland at College Park
Search publications by Josh Bivens
Recent volatility in stock markets in the U.S. and globally
has led many economic observers to conclude that the Federal Reserve is less likely to begin raising short-term interest rates at its September meetings. I’ve been on Team Don’t Raise for a while now, but I’m not excited about those joining the cause in light of recent stock market swings.
The stock market has taken a hit in the past few days, with concern over the Chinese economy driving a big selloff. How worried should we be? The short answer is: not very.
Catherine Rampell wrote a piece having some fun with the bidding war among GOP candidates about how much they can promise to raise economic growth rates.
In the Washington Post Fact Checker column today, Glenn Kessler got really exercised about Bernie Sanders’ totally accurate description of a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report on job losses that will occur if spending caps in the Budget Control Act (BCA) are not loosened in coming years.
Today’s report that gross domestic product (GDP) rose at a 2.3 percent rate in the second quarter of 2015 is clearly an improvement over the 0.6 percent growth in the first quarter, but it indicates that growth for 2015 is likely to be disappointing.
The Federal Reserve can contribute to closing gender and racial wage gaps by setting a clear target for wage growth and not considering an interest-rate hike until wage growth has strengthened.
The Fed’s priorities should be spurring full employment and creating space for healthy wage growth.
This paper by EPI Research and Policy Director Josh Bivens was written for the Full Employment Project of Policy Futures, a new initiative at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
The Environmental Protection Agency's proposed Clean Power Plan mandating reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants would likely lead to a net increase of roughly 360,000 jobs in 2020, with jobs added falling to roughly 15,000 in 2030.
Three separate sources have recently “fact-checked” claims that Martin O’Malley made about American wages in his recent speech announcing his candidacy for the Democratic nomination.
On June 1, EPI Research and Policy Director Josh Bivens presented a report at the Brookings Institution on how monetary policy influences income inequality.
In a recent working paper presented at a symposium at the Brookings Institution’s Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy, EPI Research Director Josh Bivens assesses claims that the Federal Reserve’s very low interest rates and large-scale asset purchases (LSAPs), commonly known as quantitative easing, increased inequality by driving up the price of stocks and other assets.
In today’s U.S. economy, trade deficit reductions engineered by ending currency management would boost U.S. output and employment, and trade deficit reductions will (all else equal) always and everywhere
boost manufacturing employment.
EPI Research and Policy Director Josh Bivens talks about creating a budget based on lessons of inequality in the past, recovery in the present, and priorities for the future.
The American economy continues to struggle after the end of the Great Recession and five years of historically austere federal spending during an economic recovery.
The New York Times’ Binyamin Appelbaum wrote an excellent piece yesterday on the costs and benefits of globalization. But because I’ve thought a lot about this topic, I have some hobby-horse issues concerning how economists characterize how large the gains from trade are and how its gains and losses are distributed.
As Jeff Faux notes, we seem to have reached the part of the debate over the TPP when facts and evidence have largely given way to table-pounding.
Recent debates over the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) have highlighted the failure of the treaty to include a provision to stop countries from actively weakening the value of their own currency in order to run trade surpluses.
Recent weeks have seen a raft of pretty bad economic news. Last month’s jobs report showed a marked slowdown in employment growth—with 126,000 new jobs reported in March, down from the 269,000 average pace of growth that had characterized the previous 12 months. And gross domestic product in the first quarter was essentially stagnant—rising at just a 0.2 percent annualized rate. March trade data showed an enormous rise in the trade deficit, which will likely drive the revised numbers on GDP into negative territory. Given this backdrop, there was a bit more at stake than usual in today’s monthly jobs report. So, what’s the verdict? Mixed.
Today’s employment report shows that the economy added 223,000 jobs in April while unemployment ticked down slightly. This provides some evidence that the fundamental pace of the recovery has likely not
significantly slowed since the end of 2014—but this is no cause for celebration.
The White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) released a report last Friday touting the benefits of international trade for the American economy.
The Commerce Department estimates that U.S. gross domestic product was near stagnant in the first three months of 2015, further evidence that the U.S. economy has not reached escape velocity. At a minimum, this means the Federal Reserve should put off interest rate increases for the rest of 2015.
President Obama has been vociferously defending the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) recently. He insists that it will be good for the American middle class and that TPP’s critics arguing otherwise are wrong.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership will likely constitute one more step toward using commercial agreements to maximize three things: (1) the damage done through global integration to the wages of most American workers; (2) the rents earned by those holding a monopoly on intellectual property claims; and (3) the influence that the preferences of global economic elites have on the policymaking of American trading partners.
Hardcore fans of EPI’s labor market indicators will notice a change today. Our estimate of the number of “missing workers”—potential workers who are no longer classified as in the labor force but who will likely be working or looking for work if the labor market improvement continues—has been revised.
As I’ve noted before, as trade agreements and other legislation (Trade Promotion Authority, or TPA) get debated, you’ll see more and more bad arguments in favor of them.
It was widely reported yesterday that the word “patient” was dropped from the Federal Reserve statement on monetary policy. But too much focus on this one word might lead one to miss the forest through the trees.
Update: Binyamin Appelbaum has made a useful change to his article that I comment on below, noting that Black workers do indeed stand to benefit disproportionately from any demand boost that keeps overall unemployment rates falling in coming years.