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Tag Archives: work

IPA’s weekly links

Guest post by Jeff Mosenkis of Innovations for Poverty Action IPA’s Peace and Recovery initiative, led on the academic side by Chris, has an open call for funding. We define peace and recovery pretty broadly:Reducing violence and promoting peaceReducing “fragility” (i.e. fostering state capability and institutions of decision-making)Preventing, coping with, and recovering from crises (focusing on conflict, but also including non-conflict humanitarian crises), It also funds a variety of types...

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Why labour markets don’t clear

This post originally appeared on Pieria in July 2014. Roger Farmer has a blogpost in which he shows that labour markets don’t clear. Specifically, employment varies with the business cycle, whereas the labour force participation rate and hours worked only show long-term secular trends. During cyclical downturns, therefore, we must conclude that there is more labour available than there are jobs. New Keynesians say that the reason for this is sticky wages. If only nominal wages could fall...

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Peter Cooper — Fairness and a ‘Job or Income Guarantee’

Of the various criticisms leveled at a combined ‘job or income guarantee‘, ones appealing to fairness usually go along the lines that it would be unfair for healthy individuals outside the workforce to receive an income while others are occupied in jobs. In considering this objection, a number of points come to mind: heteconomistFairness and a ‘Job or Income Guarantee’Peter Cooper

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Job guarantees for the disabled

It took me a while, but it has now dawned on me why job guarantees might be very popular in the U.S., even among the sick and disabled. The clue is in this response to a tweet from Nathan Tankus: It's not just a problem for the technically disabled. Health issues are the #1 reason why people miss work and lose jobs. Many are too weak or previously injured or old before their time. Until Medicare for all, JG with benefits would be a fantastic lift for many. — Bob Spencer (@binhkhe) August...

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A very British disease

The desire to judge people's motives rather than addressing their needs is a “British disease”. We have been suffering from it for hundreds of years, cycling endlessly through repeated cycles of generosity and harshness. Each cycle ends in public outrage and an abrupt reversal: but the memory eventually fades, and the disease reappears in a new form. In this post, I outline the tragic history of Britain's repeated attempts to "categorise the poor". For centuries, successive British...

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Productivity and Employment: A Cautionary Tale

Ah, productivity. Who knew that our whole prosperity was totally dependent on a concept as nebulous as this?To be sure, it doesn't sound nebulous. It is output per worker per hour. What is so difficult about that?The problem is how you define "output". Usually, we take this to mean GDP (gross domestic product), though we might use GNP (gross national product) or GVA (gross value added). In this post, I shall use GDP.As Diane Coyle has engagingly written, GDP is a deeply flawed measure....

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We need to talk about productivity

"We need to discuss the complete disconnect between the marginal product of labour and labour wages," said Sir Chris Pissarides, speaking on the closing panel of the Lindau Economics Meeting.I tweeted this comment. Laurie MacFarlane of the New Economics Foundation promptly responded with this chart that brilliantly illustrates Sir Chris's point: "Quite why marginal productivity theory is still taught as something which explains the real world is beyond me," commented Laurie. Marginal...

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IPA’s weekly links

Guest post by Jeff Mosenkis of Innovations for Poverty Action. Chris Blattman & Stefan Dercon have an op-ed in the New York Times, reporting on their study with IPA and the Ethiopian Development Research Institute. They randomly offered poor workers in Ethiopia who were applying for factory jobs the jobs they wanted or an alternative entrepreneurship opportunity. Turns out the jobs were pretty bad – most quit and those that stayed weren’t any better off than those who never god a job...

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A dangerous Eden

I have been going to the gym. Seriously. For about a couple of months now. I'm doing weight training for the first time in my life, and cardio exercises, including - wonder of wonders - short bursts of running. I'm even paying for a personal trainer. It's a shocking extravagance, but I'm likely to find any excuse under the sun not to do my workouts unless I have someone telling me what to do and shouting at me if I don't do it. As one of my school reports said, "Frances does not enjoy...

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