More in Global Economy


3 years

US Intergenerational Mobility: An International Perspective

Intergenerational economic mobility has two aspects. "Absolute" mobility refers to the difference between one generation and the next. In an economy that grows substantially over time, absolute intergenerational mobility can be widespread--that is, most adults currently in the workforce would have higher income than did their parents at the same age. In contrast, "relative" mobility refers to whether the ranking of current adults--say, whether they are in the top 10% or the bottom 10%--is correlated with the ranking of their parents.

3 years

What's Wrong with Macro? A Symposium from the Oxford Review of Economic Policy

Macroconomists were notorious for their disagreements before 2007. Such wrangling only increased with the carnage of the Great Financial Crisis and its aftermath. The Oxford Review of Economic Policy  has now devoted a special double issue (Spring-Summer 2018) to a symposium on the topic of "Rebuilding macroeconomic theory." Lots of big names (to economists!) are featured, and at least for now, all the papers are freely available and ungated.

3 years

What's the Value of a QALY?

QALY is an abbreviation for "quality-adjusted life-year." It refers to gains in health, which combine a time dimension and an adjustment for quality of life. Peter J. Neumann and Joshua T. Cohen offer a quick overview in "QALYs in 2018—Advantages and Concerns," a "Viewpoint" article written for the Journal of the American Medical Association (May 24, 2018). Thus, even if you strongly dislike the idea of a QALY, you might want to be aware that your doctors and health care administrators are paying attention to them.

3 years

The Salubrious US Labor Market

The US unemployment rate has been less than 4% for the last couple of months, which might seem sufficient reason for breaking out the champagne. But the sense of celebration has been generally restrained.

3 years

Italy and the Repricing of European Government Debt

The yield spread between 10yr BTPs and Bunds widened 114bp in May. Populist and anti-EU politics were the catalyst for this repricing of risk. Spain, Portugal and Greece all saw yields increase as Bund yields declined. The ECB policy of OMT should help to avoid a repeat of 2011/2012.

3 years

The Rising Importance of Soft Skills

What skills are most important for an employee to succeed at Google? Back in 2013, the company undertook Project Oxygen to answer that question. Cathy N. Davidson described the result in the Washington Post last month ("The surprising thing Google learned about its employees — and what it means for today’s students," December 20, 2017). She writes:

3 years

The Shifting Connections from Education to Job Skills

The Council on Foreign Relations has published The Work Ahead Machines, Skills, and U.S. Leadership in the Twenty-First Century, which is an Independent Task Force Report chaired by John Engler and Penny Pritzker,  Some of the discussion goes over familiar ground: innovation is needed, technology is changing work, economic growth is important, we should redesign unemployment assistance and sick leave for the modern work force, we should do more to assist displaced workers, and so on.  But I want to focus on one chapter of the report, "Education, Training, and the Labor Market," and its discussion of that how the interaction between education and job training has been shifting.