Blog postings by CEPR staff and updates on the latest briefings and activities at the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

The current issue of the British Journal of Industrial Relations (BJIR) contains a revised version of an April 2006 CEPR briefing paper, "Changing Patterns in the Relative Economic Performance of Immigrants to Great Britain and the U.S., 1980-2000," (subscription required) that was written by CEPR economist John Schmitt and Jonathan Wadsworth. In the paper, they compare the relative labour market performance of immigrants in the USA and in Britain over the period 1980–2000, when the stocks of immigrants were rising in both countries alongside differential shifts in demand and changes to labor market institutions. Add a comment
Dean Baker was be the keynote speaker at the 24th annual meeting of the JOBS NOW Coalition on Friday, November 9th. The meeting ran from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Lakes & Plains Regional Council of Carpenters and Joiners, 710 Olive St., St. Paul, MN. For more information, please visit the JOBS NOW website. Add a comment

The D.C. Employment Justice Center organized a rally in support of The Paid Sick and Safe Days Act of 2007 (B17-0197). The bill would require employers operating in Washington, DC to provide 10 days of paid leave to their employees for the purposes of tending to physical or mental illness, preventive medical care, family care, parental leave, and absences associated with domestic violence or sexual violence. Speaking at the event on behalf of the legislation were several DC council members, a small business owner, several employees of locally operated businesses, as well as Ed Lazere of the DC Fiscal Policy Institute. The speakers depicted the legislation as invaluable for the health and well being of DC working people in addition to being advantageous to the interests of business.  Domestic Intern Joshua Lanier was in attendance.

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Senior economist, John Schmitt traveled to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he attended a conference on Wealth Inequality and the Eroding Middle Class. He spoke on a panel titled: Rising Wealth Inequality: Why We Should Care. The panel discussed domestic and global wealth inequality patterns and their implications. It was moderated by Lisa Keister, Professor of Sociology at Duke University and included Joel Handler (UCLA); Lingxin Hao (Professor, Johns Hopkins University); Mark Rank (Professor, Washington University in St. Louis), and Alan Reynolds (Senior Fellow, Cato Institute). Add a comment
Director of International Programs, Deborah James spoke on a panel on comparative constitutional reform in Latin America at the National Lawyers Guild Convention in Washington, D.C. Add a comment
Heather Boushey spoke on a panel that explored the trend of media stories that show working mothers as either leaving their careers or dreaming of doing so. The discussion was moderated by E.J. Graff, a senior researcher at Brandeis University, and also included Joan Williams, Distinguished Professor of Law, University of California; Ellen Bravo, author of Taking On the Big Boys: Why Feminism Is Good for Families and Business and the Nation; and Linda Hirshman, lawyer and professor emeritus at Brandeis University.
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Dean Baker live-blogged the Republican presidential debate for the New York Times, along with two other economists - Russell Roberts, professor of Economics at George Mason University, and William Niskanen, with the Cato Institute.
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While in London, Mark Weisbrot gave another talk titled "The Venezuelan Social Economy: The Optimistic Scenario" at Canning House, which is home to the Foreign Office, Latin American embassies and business journalists. More details on Mark's trip - including his time in Madrid, Spain - to come.

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Mark Weisbrot went to London, England where he spoke at the Annual General Meeting of Compass. Mark was on a panel with Neal Lawson, the founder of Compass and John Crudass, a Labor MP, and he spoke on issues including the lessons of economic progress and political change in Latin America, and the prospect for progressives in the forthcoming US Presidential election. Add a comment
Nobel Prize-winning economist James Heckman wrote a commentary in the journal "Capitalism and Society" praising Dean Baker and John Schmitt's work in a co-authored piece, "Are Protective Labor Market Institutions at the Root of Unemployment? A Critical Review of the Evidence". Add a comment
John Schmitt, Dean Baker, Mark Weisbrot, David Rosnick, and Ben Zipperer contributed CEPR publications to a new book, "Neoliberalism, Globalization and Inequalities: Consequences for Health and Quality of Life". Chapter titles include:
  • "Is Globalization Undermining the Welfare State? The Evolution of the Welfare State in Developed Capitalist Countries"
  • "The Scorecard on Development: 25 Years of Diminished Progress"
  • "Economic Efficiency versus Social Equality? The U.S. Liberal Model versus The European Social Model"
  • "Is the United States a Good Model for Reducing Social Exclusion in Europe?"
  • "Labor Markets and Economic Inequality in the United States Since the End of the 1970s"
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Dean Baker went to Charleston, West Virginia to talk with several members of the state House and Senate about the advantages of a state-run system of voluntary retirement accounts similar to the one that Washington State is implementing. Dean also testified before the U.S. Senate pension committee on the topic. In the evening, he spoke to an overflow crowd at a local bookstore about his book, The Conservative Nanny State: How the Wealthy Use the Government to Stay Rich and Get Richer.
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A new book, Bad Samaritans, by CEPR Senior Research Associate and Cambridge University professor Ha-Joon Chang sparked a debate on development and macroeconomic policies on the Financial Times website. Economists including Edmund Phelps, Nobel laureate in Economics, Anne Krueger, former First Deputy Managing Director of the IMF, and others wrote responses to a book review by Martin Wolf, Financial Times Chief Economics Commentator. Chang responded as well. Add a comment
Mark Weisbrot spoke on freedom of the press in Latin America as part of a panel at a National Press Club event that included journalists from Mexico and Venezuela and representatives from the Due Process of Law Foundation and the Washington Office on Latin America. Add a comment
Mark Weisbrot was invited to speak by the Heinrich Böll Foundation as part of the foundation's Summer School on Gender and Macroeconomics . He discussed the role of international financial institutions (IFI's) in the long-term economic failure of developing countries.
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Dean Baker debated C. Eugene Steuerle, senior fellow at the Urban Institute, on the questionable urgency of Social Security reform. The event, hosted by the Urban Institute, was very well attended and the two discussed such topics as spousal benefits, the role of health care costs, and increasing the age of retirement. Both agreed to promoting honesty and accuracy in the Social Security debate. Add a comment
Over 30 DC-area residents (and some of their children) attended a screening of "The Motherhood Manifesto" co-sponsored by CEPR. Steffany Stern, National Partnership for Women and Families, introduced the film and gave an overview of proposed state and national legislation to set a minimum number of paid sick days for workers. After the film, Liz Chimienti moderated a discussion with Karen Minatelli, DC Employment Justice Center, on local campaigns to improve work/family balance, including the Paid Sick and Safe Days Act of 2007. Add a comment

Heather Boushey testified in front of the DC City Council Workforce Development and Government Operations Committee on the impact of the Paid Sick and Safe Days Act of 2007, which would require employers to provide paid sick days to all workers in the District.

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At the annual meeting of the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics (SASE) in Copenhagen, Denmark, John Schmitt gave a talk on low-wage employment in the United States. The workshop he participated in, sponsored by the Russell Sage Foundation, compared low-wage work in the United States with the situation in Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. Over 500 academics from Europe and the United States took part in the SASE conference. Add a comment

Heather Boushey and Liz Chimienti traveled to Des Moines, IA where State Senator Jack Hatch and State Representatives Wayne Ford and Ako Abdul-Samad joined Elaine Ditsler of the Iowa Policy Project in releasing Bridging the Gaps in Iowa. Eight media outlets attended the press conference and stories have run in the Sioux City Journal, Quad City Times , Mason City Globe Gazette, Cedar Rapids Gazette, and Radio Iowa. Heather Boushey and Elaine Ditsler also discussed the findings in a meeting with state legislators and administrators, and in a workshop at the 2007 Iowa Community Action Annual Training Conference. A big thank you to Kristi Lohmeier of Iowa Policy Project for setting up these very successful meetings!

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Dean Baker gave a presentation on Corporate Taxes and Double Standards at the Taming the Giant Corporation conference organized by the Center for the Study of Responsive Law. He discussed how corporations and the wealthy have devised ways to avoid paying taxes and have changed the tax rules to their benefit — resulting in more taxes for everyone else. He was joined on his panel by Katie Redford, Co-Founder and US Office Director of EarthRights International, and Lucy Komisar, Founder of the Komisarscoop.com and co-chair of Tax Justice Network-USA. Add a comment