Commentary | Trade and Globalization

Responding to Brad and Alan

Share this page:

Opinion pieces and speeches by EPI staff and associates.

[ THIS PIECE WAS ORIGINALLY POSTED IN TPM CAFE BLOG ON APRIL 11, 2008. ]

Responding to Brad and Alan

By Jared Bernstein

The Great Merit Debate: OK, OK…mea culpa re the ambiguity of “merit.” I’m not trying to be elusive. I’m just trying to find words that work for lots of different readers from different walks of like.

Let me be, I hope, totally clear: for Brad, Alan, and any other economist, merit=marginal product. Thus, principle one is very simply arguing that while a central tenet of economics is that your income is equal to the marginal value you add to the economy, reality is otherwise. Your bargaining power—your ability to claim more than your marginal product or get stuck with less—is an ever-increasing determinant of economic outcomes.

Read the rest of this piece here.

Jared Bernstein is senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, D.C.

[ POSTED TO VIEWPOINTS ON JULY 15, 2008. ]


See related work on Trade and Globalization

See more work by Jared Bernstein