Author Archives: rebeccaschwa

In the most recent issue of the Journal of Economic Literature, Rachel Kranton (James B. Duke Professor of Economics at Duke University) wrote a stellar review of Samuel Bowles’s 2016 book, The Moral Economy, with great recognition of how much he has changed Economics.

The Devil Is in the Details: Implications of Samuel Bowles’s The Moral Economy for Economics and Policy Research
by Rachel Kranton
All economists should buy and read The Moral Economy by Samuel Bowles. The book challenges basic premises of economic theory and questions policies based on monetary incentives. Incentives not only crowd out intrinsic motivations, they erode the ethical and moral codes necessary for the workings of markets. Bowles boldly suggests that successful policies must combine incentives and moral messages, exploiting complementarities between the two. This essay argues that to achieve this objective, economists must study the local institutions and social context and engage untraditional data to uncover the interplay of incentives and identity.

An analysis of costs of the proposed Green New Deal quotes Robert Pollin, Distinguished Professor of economics, who says that he thinks it’s possible for the U.S. to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

An analysis of costs of the proposed Green New Deal quotes Robert Pollin, Distinguished Professor of economics, who says that he thinks it’s possible for the U.S. to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 by spending about 2 percent of the gross national product each year, or around $18 trillion in total. Pollin says that the goal of getting to net zero in a decade — by 2030 — is completely unrealistic. (NBC 10 Boston, 3/14/19)

Gerald Epstein, economics, says universities should be more careful when their faculty engage in outside business activities.

Gerald Epstein, economics, says universities should be more careful when their faculty engage in outside business activities. His comments are in an article examining the role that some faculty at other institutions have had in working with, and investing in, companies that sell controversial reverse mortgages. (Los Angeles Times, 3/14/19)

There is continued international coverage of the appointment of Andrajit Dube, economics, by the U.K. Treasury department to lead a review of the U.K.’s minimum wage policies.

There is continued international coverage of the appointment of Andrajit Dube, economics, by the U.K. Treasury department to lead a review of the U.K.’s minimum wage policies. Dube’s academic work focuses on the effects of minimum wage on employment and income inequality. (Financial Times, 3/13/19; The Sun [U.K.], 3/14/19)

Arindrajit Dube, economics, writes an opinion piece in The Hill where he says using wage boards at the state and national level would be a tool to deal with income inequality.

Arindrajit Dube, economics, writes an opinion piece in The Hill where he says using wage boards at the state and national level would be a tool to deal with income inequality. He says the boards would set industry standards for pay and that would help boost the pay of middle-income workers, much the same way that increasing the minimum wage helps low-wage workers. Dube has also been named by the U.K. Treasury Department to conduct a review of the international evidence on the impacts of minimum wages, with a particular focus on innovative and ambitious minimum wage models. The goal is to assess whether and how much the U.K. “national living wage” can be increased beyond the 60 percent of median wage target. (The Hill, The Telegraph [U.K.], 3/13/19)

In a GradHacker blog post, UMass Ph.D. candidate Neelofer Qadir notes that two other UMass economics graduate students, Devika Dutt and Narayani Sritharan, are part of a team that launched the “Diversify and Decolonise Economics” collective.

In a GradHacker blog post, UMass Ph.D. candidate Neelofer Qadir notes that two other UMass economics graduate students, Devika Dutt and Narayani Sritharan, are part of a team that launched the “Diversify and Decolonise Economics” collective. (Inside Higher Ed, 3/13/19)

Douglas Cliggott, a lecturer in economics, writes a column where he discusses why he thinks a tax on financial transactions would not only raise a lot of revenue, but it might also improve markets by reducing wasteful trading.

Douglas Cliggott, a lecturer in economics, writes a column where he discusses why he thinks a tax on financial transactions would not only raise a lot of revenue, but it might also improve markets by reducing wasteful trading. He says a $1 tax on each $1,000 traded and a 0.1 percent tax on actual payments made on derivatives contracts, would raise about $775 billion over 10 years. That’s an amount that could do a lot of social good, he says. (Bloomberg, 3/8/19)

A news story about legislation to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 per hour that is moving through Congress includes a comment from Arindrajit Dube, economics.

A news story about legislation to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 per hour that is moving through Congress includes a comment from Arindrajit Dube, economics, who has studied how minimum wage increases have affected employment. “I think the weight of evidence to date suggests the employment effects from minimum-wage increases in the U.S. have been pretty small – much smaller than the wage increases,” Dube says. “Thirty years ago, most economists expressed confidence that minimum wages had a clear negative impact on jobs. This is no longer true today.” (NPR, 3/6/19)

Robert N. Pollin, Distinguished Professor in economics and co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute, comments in a news story about the Green New Deal legislation.

Robert N. Pollin, Distinguished Professor in economics and co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute, comments in a news story about the Green New Deal legislation introduced in Congress that calls for “net-zero greenhouse gas emissions” through a 10-year “national mobilization” and the political controversy it has generated. He says it is good that this series of interrelated issues are being brought up but also says to accomplish these goals requires financial aid and retraining for people working in the fossil-fuel industries, which would shrink. “It needs to be done, and it can be done. But it needs to be done judiciously,” Pollin says. (The New Yorker, 3/4/19)