A piece on ongoing parliamentary elections in India by Deepankar Basu, economics and Debarshi Das, states that past voting trends points that though the Mahagathbandhan will not decrease the BJP’s vote share, its seat tally will fall dramatically. This article attempts to predict the BJP’s performance in Uttar Pradesh in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections using past voting trends – both from the assembly election in 2017 and the previous Lok Sabha elections. (Wire, 4/28/19)
Deepankar Basu, economics, has co-authored an article about the 2019 general election in India, that predicts the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) performance in Uttar Pradesh in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, using past voting trends. (The Wire [India])
A new research paper co-authored by Arindrajit Dube, economics, and graduate student Doruk Cengiz, finds that minimum wage increases taking place over more than three-and-a-half decades have resulted in higher wages for low-skilled workers. They have also found that higher minimum wages have not caused higher unemployment or damage to the economy and have not caused a reduction in low-wage workers. The study also says most of the benefits go to workers who were employed before the minimum wage was raised. The authors say these findings hold for minimum wages that are up to about 60 percent of the prevailing median wage. (City Lab, 4/26/19)
Vamsi Vakulabharanam, economics, questions assertions made by Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley that the number of Indians living in poverty will drop below 15 percent in the next three years. (Deutsche Well, 4/26/19)
A news story about how Democratic presidential candidates are proposing to deal with student debt includes mention that Robert N. Pollin, Distinguished Professor in economics and co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute, estimates that a tax on financial transactions to pay for tuition-free public higher education would raise $300 billion per year. (WBUR, 4/25/19)
Gerald C. Friedman, economics, has estimated that the Medicare for All health insurance program being promoted by U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders would reduce national health care spending by $6.3 trillion over 10 years and new government spending would amount to $13.8 trillion over 10 years. Friedman’s calculations are included in a national news story looking at how the Sanders’ proposal would change health care for Americans. (NBC 10 [Boston], 4/24/19)
A story about national minimum wage proposals references research by Arindrajit Dube, economics, and colleagues that found raising the minimum wage is not a disincentive in hiring. (NPR, 4/23/19)
Something unusual has just happened. The current Economic Report of the President (March 2019; henceforth Economic Report) has devoted one full chapter to attacking socialism, under the title “Markets versus Socialism.”The only intellectually honest part of the Economic Report is the reason given for allocating no less than 45 pages to socialism writes E. Ahmet Tonak, economics.
A letter-to-the-editor in USA Today says despite arguments to the contrary made by advocates such as Gerald C. Friedman, economics, most American don’t support the idea of Medicare for All. The writer says the program is too expensive and would cause large tax increases. (USA Today, 4/21/19)
The lead opinion piece in The Hindu (Indian Newspaper), “The Governance Dashboard: The BJP Regime and its Promises,” makes visible the failures of BJP regime, writes Vamsi Vakulabharanam, economics and Sripad Motiram (UMass, Boston). This article draws from the recent book ” A Quantum Leap in the Wrong Direction?” edited by Rohit Azad, Shouvik Chakraborty (UMass PERI), Srinivasan Ramani and Dipa Sinha.