Category Archives: Low Wage Work

Mind the Gap?

My AFR op-ed today is on the economics and philosophy of inequality. Full text over the fold. I’ve hyperlinked the cited studies. Two others that I can also heartily recommend are a paper by Gary Burtless & Christopher Jencks, and … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education, Inequality, Low Wage Work | 8 Comments

Did Howard cut poverty? Absolutely (but not relatively)

Peter Siminski (who is coming to ANU for part of his sabbatical next year) has coauthored an interesting paper in the latest issue of the Australian Economic Review. Changes in Poverty Rates during the Howard Era (gated, alas) Joan R. … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics, Inequality, Low Wage Work | 1 Comment

Leisure Inequality

Economists spend a lot of time talking about money inequality, but here’s the flipside. The Increase in Leisure Inequality Mark Aguiar and Erik Hurst This paper examines the changing allocation of time within the United States that has occurred between … Continue reading

Posted in Inequality, Low Wage Work | 1 Comment

Some Negative Thoughts on Tax Reform

I gave a short talk today to a CEDA Tax Policy Directions Forum in Canberra. My title was “Yet Another Economist Advocating Negative Income Taxes”. My slides are here. (In discussion, I also mentioned that I couldn’t see any economic … Continue reading

Posted in Low Wage Work, Tax | 8 Comments

Do neighbourhoods matter?

My AFR oped today looks at social inclusion and neighbourhood disadvantage. Full text over the fold.

Posted in Inequality, Low Wage Work | 14 Comments

Freeman on Colbert

My former labour economics professor Richard Freeman appeared on the Colbert Report recently, to talk about unions. Tis enjoyable viewing, particularly if you know Richard.

Posted in Low Wage Work | 2 Comments

Making Work Pay

The Progressive Policy Institute has released a paper proposing an expansion of the US Earned Income Tax Credit, which happens to be one of my favourite policies. It also contains a useful discussion of the various presidential candidates’ proposals to … Continue reading

Posted in Low Wage Work | 32 Comments

Gold-plated tax cuts

The first announcement of the federal election is out, and it’s a juicy big package of tax cuts from the Coalition. My guess is that much of the commentary will focus on the inflationary impact of the cuts when the … Continue reading

Posted in Low Wage Work, Tax | 21 Comments

Minimum Wages and Wal-Mart

Professor David Neumark is presently visiting ANU. He’ll be giving two major lectures while in Australia – a talk at the Australian Fair Pay Commission on Friday 3 August about minimum wages, and a talk at ANU on Monday 6 … Continue reading

Posted in Low Wage Work | 10 Comments

It's all in the timing

Thanks to psychologists (and a few economists), we know that the way issues are framed can have a big difference on how they’re perceived. In a signal illustration of the importance of context, the Fair Pay Commission’s decision to raise … Continue reading

Posted in Low Wage Work | 17 Comments

What will it be, sir – fast productivity growth or tough market regulation?

This one should make the PM happy. A new Reserve Bank discussion paper shows that employment protection legislation lowers productivity growth. Productivity Growth: The Effect of Market Regulations Christopher Kent, John Simon This paper explores the effects of product and … Continue reading

Posted in Economics Generally, Low Wage Work | 8 Comments

Job Training Program, Meet Randomised Trial

There’s a reason policymakers do so few randomised evaluations of job training programs: they tend to show that the programs don’t work very well. The Labor Market Impacts of Youth Training in the Dominican Republic: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation David … Continue reading

Posted in Low Wage Work | 10 Comments

Economists for Minimum Wage Rises

According to a new article by Daniel Klein and Stewart Dompe in EconJournalWatch, 83.5% of US economists (and 78.8% of Australian economists) believe that “A minimum wage increases unemployment among young and unskilled workers”. But not all take this view. Klein … Continue reading

Posted in Low Wage Work | 2 Comments

How many would work for less than the minimum wage?

Somebody may well have written on this already. If so, I apologise. But I haven’t read anything on the topic, so perhaps it’s new to you too. Flipping through the HILDA dataset on the weekend (as you do), I stumbled upon an … Continue reading

Posted in Low Wage Work | 18 Comments

Minimum wages, US-style

The NYT discusses proposals to raise the US federal minimum wage by 40% (from $5.15 per hour to $7.25 per hour by 2009). Advocate Jared Bernstein estimates that it will directly affect about 6 million workers, and indirectly affect another 7 … Continue reading

Posted in Low Wage Work | 13 Comments

The New Leisure Crisis?

Nathan Lambert has posted a provocative Fabian essay on The New Leisure Crisis, in which he argues that: The idea that these people should ‘contribute to their communities’ is ignorant and Rousseauian. Whatever jobs they might have done are gone. … Continue reading

Posted in Low Wage Work | 33 Comments

Time Out

University of South Australia Professor Barbara Pocock has recently been delivering the Clare Burton memorial lecture around Australia. Here’s the text. Much better than most social scientists, the lecture melds lived experience and data, as well as taking account of both … Continue reading

Posted in Low Wage Work | 7 Comments

Wage inequality

In a discussion of minimum wages, Anthony says: Minimum wage adjustments in Australia also serve another purpose: when the AIRC and now the Fair Pay Commission adjusts minimum wages it does not simply raise the level of a single minimum … Continue reading

Posted in Inequality, Low Wage Work | 9 Comments

Does raising the minimum wage help the poor?

I gave a little presentation at Melbourne University last night, on the question “Does Raising the Minimum Wage Help the Poor?”, and thought some people might be interested in glancing at it. Here it is in Powerpoint and PDF. Basic … Continue reading

Posted in Low Wage Work | 5 Comments

Minimum Wages #3

Over at ControveryEcon CoreEcon, Joshua Gans thinks that the Australian Fair Pay Commission has been too generous. He points out that if they really only wanted to maintain the real incomes of minimum wage workers, they should’ve adjusted by less … Continue reading

Posted in Low Wage Work | 12 Comments

Minimum Wages #2

David Neumark and William Wascher have pulled together a blunderbuss of a minimum wage review. In 152 pages, the paper discusses over 90 recent studies on the effect of minimum wages on employment, including 4 studies from Australia. Their conclusions: Minimum … Continue reading

Posted in Low Wage Work | 17 Comments

Minimum Wages #1

Next Wednesday (Nov 15), I’ll be speaking at a Melbourne University forum on minimum wages, in the illustrious company of labour economists experts David Card and Mark Wooden. Details over the fold.

Posted in Inequality, Low Wage Work

Government Managing Risk

My colleague Professor Bruce Chapman has a new book out on income-contingent loans, entitled Government Managing Risk: Income-Contingent Loans for Social and Economic Progress. The book discusses ways in which the HECS model for student loans could be applied to … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics, Economics Generally, Low Wage Work, Sport, Universities | 3 Comments

The new Australian federal minimum wage is $511.86/week or $13.47/hour

The Australian Fair Pay Commission has handed down its first decision. The Australian Fair Pay Commission has announced its Federal Minimum Wage decision for October 2006. The Commission announced an increase of $27.36 per week for minimum wage rates up … Continue reading

Posted in Low Wage Work | 18 Comments

AFPC

The Australian Fair Pay Commission is handing down its decision on Thursday at 11am. The current minimum wage is $484.40 per week (or $12.75 per hour for a 38 hour week). The ACTU has asked for an increase of $30 … Continue reading

Posted in Low Wage Work | 8 Comments

Upping the Anti

I spoke this morning at a seminar organised by the Youth Coalition of the ACT, for Antipoverty Week. I argued that cutting effective marginal tax rates (or introducing a wage subsidy) is a better way of tackling poverty than raising … Continue reading

Posted in Inequality, Low Wage Work | 4 Comments

Novel idea: evidence-based criminal justice policymaking

According to the NYT, the US is running a randomised trial to test whether post-release employment programs improve the life chances of ex-prisoners. Hard problem, difficult to know without running the experiment what the answer will be. I’m looking forward to … Continue reading

Posted in Economics Generally, Low Wage Work

Where to learn about churn and burn

For one of the most interesting welfare debates in Australia this year, check out this thread at Club Troppo. It exhibits many of the things I love about the Ozblogosphere: contributions from people on both sides of the political fence, … Continue reading

Posted in Blogging, Inequality, Low Wage Work | 1 Comment

Sunday Reading

If you care about reducing poverty in developing countries and the United States, scrapping sweatshops and regulating Wal-Mart may not be the best strategies. it may sound silly to say that sweatshops offer a route to prosperity, when wages in … Continue reading

Posted in Economics Generally, Low Wage Work | 12 Comments

Legislating two-digit hourly wages

In a move that will make Barbara Ehrenreich happier than Jason Furman, Chicago has passed a new ordinance: After months of fevered lobbying and bitter debate, the Chicago City Council passed a ground-breaking ordinance yesterday requiring “big box” stores, like … Continue reading

Posted in Low Wage Work, US Politics | 5 Comments