Research and Policy Director
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January 10, 2017 | By Josh Bivens | BlogThe closing days of the Obama years give us a chance to assess the president and his administration across a range of issues.
December 14, 2016 | By Josh Bivens | Press ReleasesToday’s decision by the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates another 0.25 percent is a mistake. The point of raising rates should be to slow an economy that has been growing too fast—putting too much downward pressure on unemployment and empowering workers to demand and achieve wage gains in excess of productivity.
How the Fed can fix one way the economy really is rigged: Restore the pursuit of full employment as their job number one
December 12, 2016 | By Josh Bivens | BlogThe election of Donald Trump alerted many to what should have been obvious long ago: the U.S. economy has failed to deliver the goods to vast swathes of American families for decades.
December 8, 2016 | By Josh Bivens | BlogLast week I argued that the Trump-brokered deal with Carrier industries to keep 700 jobs in Indiana shouldn’t be treated as a triumph, but instead as a sellout of those unlucky workers who hadn’t managed to make themselves useful as PR props for Trump.
The moral of the Trump/Carrier deal is clear: if you’re useful to Trump, he might be willing to throw other workers overboard to help you
December 1, 2016 | By Josh Bivens | BlogDonald Trump is getting lots of mileage out of the alleged deal that has been struck to keep a Carrier plant from moving to Mexico from Indiana.
November 23, 2016 | By Josh Bivens | BlogAcross a broad range of crucial issues, the incoming Trump administration appears likely to betray the promises he made to the American middle class. Here’s a rough sketch of how.
Fed should hold steady—the economy had “room to run” over past year and may well have more in the next year
October 31, 2016 | By Josh Bivens | BlogThe Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) will debate again this week whether or not they should raise interest rates to slow the economic recovery in an effort to forestall potential inflation.
October 28, 2016 | By Josh Bivens | Economic IndicatorsData released by Bureau of Economic Analysis today showed that gross domestic product (GDP)—the widest measure of economic activity—grew at a 2.9 percent (annualized) rate in the third quarter of 2016.
September 27, 2016 | By Josh Bivens | BlogThere’s obviously plenty to criticize regarding Donald Trump’s claims and characterizations about the problems facing the U.S. economy during last night’s debate.
September 20, 2016 | By Josh Bivens | BlogThis week the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) will meet to decide whether or not to raise interest rates. By now this is a familiar debate.
August 30, 2016 | By Josh Bivens | VideoJosh Bivens talked about his recent Economic Policy Institute report on U.S. economic recovery. He asserted that Republican policymakers are to blame for what he said is one of the slowest economic recoveries in recent history.
August 23, 2016 | By Josh Bivens | BlogThere’s no reason today to think we can’t replicate the outcome of the 1990s tight labor markets, we just need to make sure these tight labor markets rest on a solid foundation.
August 11, 2016 | By Josh Bivens | ReportWe are enduring one of the slowest economic recoveries in recent history, and the pace can be entirely explained by the fiscal austerity imposed by Republican members of Congress and also legislators and governors at the state level.
June 17, 2016 | By Josh Bivens | BlogGlobalization and secular stagnation make a sustained, coordinated fiscal expansion necessary for restoring growth to the global economy. Current politics in both the Unites States and Europe make this impossible in the short run. This means it’s likely to be a long time before we have a decent global economy, and that’s a real problem.
June 16, 2016 | By Josh Bivens | BlogJames Sherk at the Heritage Foundation has written a piece claiming that there has been no gap between growth in productivity and growth in pay. It’s written largely as an attempted debunking of our work, but since there’s not actually any bunk in this work, the attempt fails.
June 15, 2016 | By Josh Bivens | Press ReleasesToday’s decision by the Federal Reserve to keep interest rates unchanged was the right one. There is no sign in the economic data that a durable acceleration in inflationary pressures is brewing and needs to be stopped by the Fed beginning to slow the economy.
Progressive redistribution without guilt: Using policy to shift economic power and make U.S. incomes grow fairer and faster
June 9, 2016 | By Josh Bivens | ReportSince the late 1970s, American economic growth has been slow and unequal relative to the period after World War II. This suggests that there was very little payoff to overall growth from rising inequality, and that there will be no growth penalty from strong efforts to check or reverse inequality. In fact, far from being in direct conflict, faster overall growth and progressive redistribution are likely complementary. What is even clearer is that an agenda that explicitly confronts rising inequality will unambiguously raise living standards growth for the bottom 90 percent. Actually, such an agenda is necessary for securing decent living standards growth for these households.
June 3, 2016 | By Josh Bivens | BlogSome policy makers and observers have urged raising interest rates in June. Proponents argue that some inflation measures show faster growth than the Federal Reserve’s preferred measure and that a potential bubble in the commercial real estate market justifies a rate increase. Ultimately, both arguments hinge on thinking that too-slow growth in real estate construction should be solved by raising rates. Here’s why that is not convincing.
May 26, 2016 | By Josh Bivens | BlogSalaried workers not eligible for overtime often do not receive “current wages” for hours worked in excess of 40. Instead they often earn nothing. That is, a worker was paid a salary based on a 40-hour work week, but was then forced by employers to put in 45 or 50 or 55 hours of actual work with no additional compensation. If such a worker has the hours they’re forced to work cut from 45 to 40 but keeps the same weekly pay, then it is really silly to label this an increase in “underemployment,” and no economist worth their salt would do this.
May 26, 2016 | By Josh Bivens | BlogFederal budget season came and went this year without any budget proposal hitting the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.
May 20, 2016 | By Josh Bivens | BlogWeak data had convinced many that the Federal Reserve was unlikely to raise interest rates in June, but in recent days multiple Fed policymakers have suggested that an increase should be on the table in the near future. What’s unclear is why.
April 29, 2016 | By Josh Bivens | BlogNeil Irwin wrote a piece on productivity growth in the New York Times that’s making the rounds. It’s a good piece, definitely worth reading.