SEARCH: Employment & Wages

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.

Maintaining the Strength of American Capitalism

The essays contained in this volume seek to clarify the lines of debate on some of the greatest economic policy challenges of our time and present evidence- based analysis on how to address them. It examines the hypothesis that growing market concentration is inhibiting a dynamic and competitive economy.

Securing Our Economic Future: Introduction

The United States is currently gripped by deep uncertainty and economic anxiety. At the time of this writing, the United States is six months into the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 190,000 Americans have died from COVID (CDC 2020); more than 13 million Americans remain unemployed (Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020); and tens of thousands of businesses remain closed (Grossman 2020). Meanwhile, protests against racial injustice continue across the country, and in a number of tragic instances, they have been overtaken by violence. Wildfires rage through the northern Pacific states. In Oregon, 40,000 people have been evacuated and more than 1,500 square miles have burned. California has already experienced three of the top four largest wildfires in its history in this year alone. Perhaps more than any time in recent memory, the economic future of our country feels uncertain.

Economic Strategy for Higher Wages and Expanded Labor Participation

In this chapter, authors Jason Furman and Phillip Swagel propose two alternative policy options for promoting increased earnings and employment of low-income households: expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) among childless workers, and implementing a wage subsidy for low-income workers that would be administered through employers.

A Policymaker’s Guide to Labor Force Participation

This chapter aims to provide policy makers with a useful framework for thinking about the question: “Why are so many people deciding that seeking work isn’t worth it?” After reviewing relevant facts and trends about labor force participation in the United States, we consider plausible explanations for the causes of decline.

Creating Economic Opportunity for More Americans Through Productivity Growth

The U.S. economy in recent years has been characterized by slow average productivity growth and increasing productivity dispersion within industries. In this essay, author Chad Syverson discusses research into the potential causes of these patterns and outlines several policy changes that would yield expected productivity and wage benefits under general conditions.

Expanding Economic Opportunity for More Americans

Over the course of the past year, the Aspen Economic Strategy Group collected policy ideas to address the barriers to broad-based economic opportunity and identified concrete proposals with bipartisan appeal. These proposals are presented here.

Securing Our Economic Future

The Economic Strategy Group's third annual policy volume focuses on the economics of the middle class, geographic disparities in economic opportunity, and U.S. policy options to address climate change.