Michael R. Strain

Director, Economic Policy Studies; Arthur F. Burns Scholar in Political Economy

American Enterprise Institute

MICHAEL R. STRAIN is Director of Economic Policy Studies and Arthur F. Burns Scholar in Political Economy at the American Enterprise Institute. An economist, Dr. Strain’s research focuses on labor economics, public finance, and social policy, and his papers have been published in academic and policy journals. He is the author of the recently published book, “The American Dream Is Not Dead: (But Populism Could Kill It),” which examines longer-term economic outcomes for workers and households. He is the editor of the book “The US Labor Market: Questions and Challenges for Public Policy” and the coeditor the book “Economic Freedom and Human Flourishing: Perspectives from Political Philosophy.” He is a research fellow with the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in Bonn. He was a member of the AEI-Brookings Working Group on Poverty and Opportunity, which published the report “Opportunity, Responsibility, and Security: A Consensus Plan for Reducing Poverty and Restoring the American Dream.” He also writes frequently for popular audiences, and his essays and op-eds have been published by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, and National Review, among others. He is a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion. A frequent guest on radio and television, Dr. Strain is regularly interviewed by broadcast news networks, including CNBC, MSNBC, and NPR. He has testified before Congress and speaks often to a variety of audiences. Before joining AEI, Strain worked at the U.S. Census Bureau and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from Cornell, and lives in Washington.


The Link Between Wages and Productivity Is Strong

In this chapter, author Michael R. Strain first discusses the wage-setting process and the conceptual issues that are of critical importance to any empirical investigation of the link between compensation and productivity. He then highlights some recent evidence suggesting that, contrary to the current narrative in some policy circles, the link between productivity and wages is strong.