working-age population

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pages: 566 words: 163,322

The Rise and Fall of Nations: Forces of Change in the Post-Crisis World by Ruchir Sharma

Asian financial crisis, backtesting, bank run, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, BRICs, business climate, business cycle, business process, call centre, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, colonial rule, Commodity Super-Cycle, corporate governance, creative destruction, crony capitalism, currency peg, dark matter, debt deflation, deglobalization, deindustrialization, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Freestyle chess, Gini coefficient, hiring and firing, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, inflation targeting, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, lateral thinking, liberal capitalism, Malacca Straits, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, mass immigration, megacity, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, mittelstand, moral hazard, New Economic Geography, North Sea oil, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, Peter Thiel, pets.com, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price stability, Productivity paradox, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, secular stagnation, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Kuznets, smart cities, Snapchat, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, The Future of Employment, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, trade route, tulip mania, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, unorthodox policies, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, working-age population

The 2 Percent Population Pace Test To get a better handle on how demographics will limit national economies in coming years, I studied population trends in the countries on my list of postwar growth miracles—the fifty-six cases in which a country sustained an average economic growth of at least 6 percent for at least a decade. I found that during these booms the average growth rate of the working-age population was 2.7 percent. In other words, a significant part of the growth in these miracle economies could be explained by the fact that more and more young people were reaching working age. This clear connection between a population explosion and an economic miracle has played out in dozens of cases, from Brazil in the 1960s and ’70s to Malaysia from the 1960s through the 1990s. As for how fast the working-age population needs to grow to raise the likelihood of an economic boom, it turns out 2 percent is a good benchmark. In three out of four of the miracle economies, the working-age population grew at an average pace of at least 2 percent a year during the full duration of a decade-long boom.

Today no country can expect a similar boost, not when commodity prices are falling and political unrest is spreading. This does not bode well for the emerging world, where more and more countries face the prospect of weak or even negative population growth. Over the course of the 2010s, all the major emerging economies are projected to have working-age population growth rates below the 2 percent mark, including India, Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, and Thailand. Already the working-age population is actively contracting in three large emerging countries: Poland, Russia, and most important, China. There the working-age population growth rate hovered under 2 percent as recently as 2003, then dropped steadily until it turned negative for the first time in 2015. Population decline is now high on the list of reasons, alongside its heavy debts and excessive investments, to doubt that China can sustain rapid GDP growth.

For a nation’s economic prospects, the key demographic question is: Is the talent pool growing? The first part of the rule for finding the answer is to look at the projected growth of the working-age population over the next five years, because workers (more than retirees or schoolchildren) are the drivers of growth. The second part of the rule is to look at what nations are doing to counteract slower population growth. One way is to try to inspire women to have more babies, an approach with a spotty record at best. The other is to attract adults—including retirees, women, and economic migrants—to enter or reenter the active labor force. The big winners will come from among those countries that are blessed with strong growth in the working-age population or are doing the best job of bringing fresh talent into the labor force. The 2 Percent Population Pace Test To get a better handle on how demographics will limit national economies in coming years, I studied population trends in the countries on my list of postwar growth miracles—the fifty-six cases in which a country sustained an average economic growth of at least 6 percent for at least a decade.


pages: 515 words: 142,354

The Euro: How a Common Currency Threatens the Future of Europe by Joseph E. Stiglitz, Alex Hyde-White

bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, business cycle, buy and hold, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, cashless society, central bank independence, centre right, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, currency peg, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fiat currency, financial innovation, full employment, George Akerlof, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, Growth in a Time of Debt, housing crisis, income inequality, incomplete markets, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, investor state dispute settlement, invisible hand, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, light touch regulation, manufacturing employment, market bubble, market friction, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, neoliberal agenda, new economy, open economy, paradox of thrift, pension reform, pensions crisis, price stability, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, the payments system, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, transaction costs, transfer pricing, trickle-down economics, Washington Consensus, working-age population

So, too, the structural reforms imposed on Greece and Spain and the other crisis countries were supposed to increase productivity. Because working-age populations (ages 15 to 64) in different countries have grown at different rates—Japan’s working-age population has been shrinking at the rate of around 1 percent a year while the United States’ has been increasing at 0.7 percent a year, and Germany’s has been decreasing at 0.3 percent a year12—it is perhaps more meaningful to compare real (inflation-adjusted) growth per person of working-age GDP than just GDP. One expects Japan’s growth to be lower than that of the United States’, simply because there are fewer workers. If Japan’s growth per working-age population is higher, it tells us something important: it is either finding more jobs for those of working age or it is increasing their productivity.

This likely changed, of course, as Greece became the main recipient of refugees from Syria and elsewhere in the last couple of years, though this is a different kind of migration altogether—refugees choose Greece as a gateway to Europe and not because it is the most attractive destination for settlement. 10 Greece’s working-age population as percentage of total population fell from 66.7 percent in 2007 to 64.6 percent in 2015. Thus, the share of the declining population that was of working-age population decreased by more than 2 percentage points. Even if the unemployment rate had been unchanged and even if productivity had remained the same, GDP on this account alone would have fallen by more than 4 percent, reducing the country’s ability to pay back its debts. 11 Government expenditure converted to real terms using GDP deflator using IMF data. 12 World Bank data. 13 Eurostat data. 14 And well below that of the much maligned Japan, whose real GDP per working age population exceeds by a considerable amount both Europe and the United States.

If Japan’s growth per working-age population is higher, it tells us something important: it is either finding more jobs for those of working age or it is increasing their productivity. The eurozone has not been doing well when viewed from this perspective—for the eurozone as a whole, GDP per working-age person has increased by just 0.6 percent during 2007–2015, while for non-eurozone European countries, there has been a 3.9 percent increase.13 The comparison with the United States looks even more unfavorable: while by 2011, US growth in GDP per working-age population had largely returned to precrisis levels, the eurozone area’s number was markedly below—in fact, well below not only that of the United States but of the world and high-income countries.14 In the crisis countries, performance has predictably been even worse. If there has been any increase in productivity, that effect has been overwhelmed by the increase in unemployment. In Greece, output per working-age person has decreased by about 23 percent since 2007.


pages: 233 words: 64,479

The Big Shift: Navigating the New Stage Beyond Midlife by Marc Freedman

airport security, Berlin Wall, David Brooks, follow your passion, illegal immigration, Isaac Newton, longitudinal study, McMansion, RAND corporation, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, transcontinental railway, working poor, working-age population

Goldstone starts off reciting the usual numbers of people who will be over sixty in the developed world. The article contains statements like this one: “As workers born during the baby boom of 1945–1965 are retiring they are not being replaced by a new cohort of citizens of prime working age (15–59 years old). Industrialized countries are experiencing a drop in their working age populations.” Or this assertion, “By 2050, in other words, the entire working-age population will barely exceed the 60-andolder population.” To be fair, Goldstone goes on to suggest that policy makers take advantage of the longevity bonus and make it easier for individuals to work beyond sixty. Still, the notion that the “prime working years” are fifteen to fifty-nine and that sixty and beyond are no longer the “working years” leads to great distortions.

One sees these kinds of predictions littered throughout the popular press and the pundit ranks where the “aging of the boomers,” the “retirement of the boomers,” and various predictions of population bombs, silver tsunamis, gray quakes, and other longevity- and demography-born disasters are repeated as fact because at one time in history sixty-year-olds were a prime market for walkers. A stock in trade of this thinking is the dependency ratio, built on anachronistic ideas like a working-age population that’s fifteen to fifty-nine or sixty-five and notions of “retirement age” that simply no longer apply. Demographers likewise talk in grave tones about the “elder share,” the segment of a nation’s population over sixty, using this share as a marker of how decrepit the population is. It’s no surprise that these books and essays are usually overcome with lament for America’s lost youth, including much mourning about how the future will be far worse than our past, as we head over the hill as a nation.

He goes on to show the obsolescence of much that’s accepted as hard reality by many economists and demographers today. When Social Security was enacted, Americans moving beyond sixty-five were considered “beyond the productive period,” based on mortality risk. Just as we’d never consider equating 1935 dollars with 2010 dollars, should we expect 1935 ages to mean the same thing as those same indicators three-quarters of a century later? We need to longevity-adjust the meaning of ideas like the working-age population, just as we inflation-adjust currencies, in Shoven’s compelling perspective. Shoven’s Stanford colleague, Center on Longevity founder Laura Carstensen, registers a companion point: All those years that have been added to life spans haven’t simply been tacked onto the end. They have been contributed to the middle—mostly to the second half of life where health and capacity after fifty are being dramatically stretched.


pages: 371 words: 98,534

Red Flags: Why Xi's China Is in Jeopardy by George Magnus

3D printing, 9 dash line, Admiral Zheng, Asian financial crisis, autonomous vehicles, balance sheet recession, banking crisis, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business process, capital controls, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, cloud computing, colonial exploitation, corporate governance, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial repression, fixed income, floating exchange rates, full employment, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, high net worth, hiring and firing, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of movable type, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, land reform, Malacca Straits, means of production, megacity, money market fund, moral hazard, non-tariff barriers, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, old age dependency ratio, open economy, peer-to-peer lending, pension reform, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, reserve currency, rising living standards, risk tolerance, smart cities, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, special economic zone, speech recognition, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, total factor productivity, trade route, urban planning, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, working-age population, zero-sum game

The only country that came close to China’s investment metrics was South Korea, which had an investment share of 41 per cent in 1991. High investment rates reflect high savings rates, and the Chinese save a great deal. Household savings rose from about 5 per cent of disposable income in the late 1970s to about 38 per cent in 2016, or just over 25 per cent of GDP. Savings by companies are also elevated, amounting to about 17 per cent of GDP in 2016. High household savings reflect China’s demographics, the rise in the working-age population, and the continuing weaknesses in the social security system. An inadequate level of social welfare is a problem specifically for China’s 150 million or so internal migrants without ‘hukou’, or urban registration. They are denied access to a wide range of public housing, education and social services and benefits. The social security system as a whole is becoming broader in terms of coverage, but benefit levels remain relatively low, and Chinese people still have to pay a lot towards healthcare.

In the next few years, successful economic rebalancing will have to entail a willingness to accept four important things: markedly slower economic growth; an active and sustained campaign to reduce leverage in the economy and the financial system; a focus on reducing income inequality and strengthening the social safety net; and the adoption of economic incentives and regulations to move the economy’s balance away from investment and towards consumption and new service-producing industries. Support for the consumer sector could be strengthened by creating new jobs in services and building up the social security and healthcare coverage safety nets. Such policies would most likely help to lower household savings, accelerating a change that will probably happen anyway over time as China ages. The working-age population is now in decline, and the old-age dependency ratio is predicted to double between 2017 and 2030. Social benefits should rise and be extended to all working people and their families. The growth in services should be actively encouraged, both in megacities such as Beijing or Shanghai, which are already well -served, but also and importantly in other cities, especially those inland, which are not.28 Modern service industries, which remain relatively closed, could be deregulated and opened up, for example in a wide range of communication, professional, business, entertainment and information services.

It arises because of the unique combination in human history of weak or falling fertility and rising life expectancy. In fact, while rising life expectancy is self-evidently something we do both celebrate and worry about when it comes to care, it isn’t actually the core issue in ageing. Rather, it is low fertility. Low fertility means we don’t produce enough children to become workers to fully replace those reaching retirement. As a result, the size and the growth rate of the working-age population (WAP), typically defined as those aged fifteen to sixty-four, are going to stagnate or decline. Low or falling fertility is pretty much a global issue. In Denmark, France, Russia, Singapore, South Korea and Spain, cash or other incentives have been tried to get women to have more children. In Mexico, there was once a programme to hand out free viagra to older men. None of these programmes or gimmicks has worked.


pages: 550 words: 124,073

Democracy and Prosperity: Reinventing Capitalism Through a Turbulent Century by Torben Iversen, David Soskice

Andrei Shleifer, assortative mating, augmented reality, barriers to entry, Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, central bank independence, centre right, cleantech, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, colonial rule, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, deindustrialization, deskilling, Donald Trump, first-past-the-post, full employment, Gini coefficient, hiring and firing, implied volatility, income inequality, industrial cluster, inflation targeting, invisible hand, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, liberal capitalism, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, means of production, mittelstand, Network effects, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, non-tariff barriers, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, open borders, open economy, passive investing, precariat, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, RFID, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Silicon Valley, smart cities, speech recognition, The Future of Employment, The Great Moderation, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, too big to fail, trade liberalization, union organizing, urban decay, Washington Consensus, winner-take-all economy, working-age population, World Values Survey, young professional, zero-sum game

Taiwan and South Korea have since become democracies with powerful electoral lobbies for advanced capitalism. Singapore has only slowly moved in a fully democratic direction, but its commitment to education and open trade has been unwavering; it is in fact the only advanced country that is (still) not fully democratic. FIGURE 1.2. Number of patents per one million people (logged) in the working-age population, 2015 vs. 1976. The data are from the US Patent and Trademark Office and show the total number of patents granted as a share of working-age population in millions, by the country of residence of the inventor. Countries all the way to the left received zero patents in 1976 and have been assigned an arbitrarily low value (since numbers are logged). Source: OECD.Stat. Data extracted on March 3, 2018, 02:19 GMT. The difficulty of breaking into the rich ACD club is known in the economic literature as the “middle-income trap” (e.g., Kharas and Kohli 2011).

Online Database Edition. http://www.oecd.org/social/expenditure.htm. 3. Since Switzerland has a collective executive that is not the result of coalition bargaining, we exclude it from the analysis. It has no effect on the substantive results. Chapter 3: Appendix 1. These controls are only relevant for total spending because unemployment and ALMPs only apply to the working-age population. 2. Automatic unemployment disbursement is defined as the first difference in unemployment as a percent of the working-age population times the net replacement rate in the previous year, which is the ratio of net unemployment insurance benefits to net income for an unmarried single person earning the average production worker’s wage. Chapter 4: Knowledge Economies and Their Political Construction 1. Intel’s first microprocessor, the 4004, was conceived by Ted Hoff and Stanley Mazor.

Key Indicators of Skill Systems 233 A5.1. Factor Analysis with Varimax Rotation (Numbers Are Eigenvalues) 254 A5.2. Individual Level Regression Results 255 A5.3. The Determinants of Populist Voting in Six Countries with Significant Populist Parties 256 Figures 1.1 Measures of Distribution of Income, 2010 vs. 1985 24 1.2 Number of Patents per One Million People in the Working Age Population 27 1.3 The Distribution of Income in Advanced Democracies Compared to Nonadvanced Countries 36 2.1 Protocorporatist States and Industrial Relations Structuring 70 3.1 Average Union Density Rates and Wage Coordination in 18 Advanced Democracies 106 3.2 Average Density and Collective Bargaining Coordination in Four Advanced Democracies 107 3.3 The Vote Shares of Social Democratic and Center Parties 116 3.4 Male Wage Inequality 118 3.5 Average Industrial Employment as a Share of Total Civilian Employment in 18 Advanced Democracies 119 3.6 Central Bank Independence in 18 OECD Countries 122 3.7 The Responsiveness of Governments to Adverse Shocks in Different Political Systems 126 3.8 Voter Support for Populist Parties 130 4.1 Percent with Tertiary Degrees, by Age Group 147 4.2 Capital Market Openness and the Stock of FDI in Advanced Democracies 148 4.3 Financialization of Advanced Economies 150 4.4 Inflation Rates before and after Adoption of Inflation Targeting 153 4.5 The Strengthening of Product Market Competition Policies in ACDs 154 4.6 Number and Depth of Trade Agreements 155 4.7 A Strategic Complementarities Game of Reforms 162 4.8 Support for Government Intervention in Economy, by Policy Area 166 4.9 Summary of Causal Linkages in Big-City Agglomerations 200 5.1 The Great Gatsby Curve 221 5.2 The Link between the Transition to the Knowledge Economy and Populism 227 5.3 The Difference in Populist Values between the Old and New Middle Class 240 5.4 Educational Opportunity and Populist Values 242 5.5 The Rise of Populist Voting 245 5.6 The Difference in Populist Vote between the Old and New Middle Class 247 6.1 The Symbiotic Relationship 259 PREFACE This book started from our discussions of a paradox.


pages: 482 words: 117,962

Exceptional People: How Migration Shaped Our World and Will Define Our Future by Ian Goldin, Geoffrey Cameron, Meera Balarajan

Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, conceptual framework, creative destruction, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, endogenous growth, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Gini coefficient, global pandemic, global supply chain, guest worker program, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, labour mobility, Lao Tzu, life extension, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, Malacca Straits, mass immigration, microcredit, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, old age dependency ratio, open borders, out of africa, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, Richard Florida, selection bias, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, spice trade, trade route, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, women in the workforce, working-age population

Many developing countries will be experiencing a “youth bulge” in the coming decades, and the growth in working-age populations will contribute to greater migration pressure. Growing Working-Age populations in Developing countries In forecasting future population trends, the concept of the “demographic transition” can explain why the age distribution within nations and regions changes over time. The demographic transition is the movement of a country—over several decades—from a pattern of high mortality and high fertility to one of low mortality and low fertility. Death rates typically drop faster than birth rates (which may actually increase due to better maternal health),50 and as a result, countries beginning the transition experience a population bulge. The age distribution becomes younger at this first stage of the demographic transition, and the working-age population increases annually—with more people entering the workforce than are leaving it. 51 These population changes are linked to broader socio-economic processes of development and urbanization—which improve incomes and access to health care and education—that lead mortality rates to fall.

Gains in schooling: comparing gross enrollments at origin and abroad Figure 6.6. Comparing the educational attainment of migrant fathers and their children in Canada, by source region, 2008 Figure 7.1. Falling tariffs in three regions, 1950-2000 Figure 7.2. Gini coefficient: Unweighted intercountry inequality, 1950-1998 Figure 7.3. Percentage of regional and world populations living in cities, 1950-2050 Figure 7.4. Long-term trend in size of the working-age population in sub-Saharan Africa by level of educational attainment, 1970-2050 Figure 7.5. Population aged 15-64, medium variant projections, 1950-2050 Figure 7.6. Population growth and age distribution in South Africa and Nigeria Figure 7.7. Total fertility rates (average number of children per woman), medium variant projections, 1950-2050 Figure 7.8. Percentage aged 65 or over, medium variant projections, 1950-2045 244 Figure 7.9.

The pressure to migrate arises from the push and pull factors (whether economic, social, or political) that make migration attractive, whereas the propensity to migrate is related to individuals' ability and willingness to bear the costs of moving.18 Historical trends help to identify areas that produce migration pressure, and future forecasts illustrate how these areas will evolve in the coming half-century. We highlight six interrelated factors that can be expected to foster a growing supply of potential migrants: persistent intercountry inequality and wage disparities; economic growth in the poorest countries; rural displacement and urbanization; rising education standards in developing countries; growing working-age populations in developing countries; and environmental stress. These factors, in themselves, will not launch people over borders to seek their fortune in distant lands, primarily because migration is still heavily influenced by national regulatory regimes. Given the opportunity, however, more and more people will be prepared to assume the risks and costs of migration. While we expect the future to be characterized by a growing supply of people looking to move, we do not subscribe to fear-mongering approaches that depict overwhelming poverty in developing countries leading to a “flood” of poor people moving to rich countries.


pages: 165 words: 45,129

The Economics of Inequality by Thomas Piketty, Arthur Goldhammer

"Robert Solow", affirmative action, basic income, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, deindustrialization, endogenous growth, Gini coefficient, income inequality, low skilled workers, means of production, moral hazard, Pareto efficiency, purchasing power parity, Simon Kuznets, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, very high income, working-age population

In 1995, 1.5 million individuals were incarcerated in US prisons, compared with 500,000 in 1980; it is estimated that 2.4 million will be incarcerated in 2000 (Freeman, 1996). This aspect of underemployment, entirely neglected in official unemployment statistics, is not a minor matter, since these 1.5 million prisoners represented 1.5 percent of the US working age population in 1995. In France, by comparison, the prison population was just 60,000, or 0.3 percent of the working age population. It would of course be simplistic to suggest that the growth of crime in the United States since 1970 can be explained entirely by the evolution of wage inequality. Clearly, however, it was more difficult to be a model proletarian in the United States in 1995 than it was in 1970, given that the wage of the tenth centile fell by nearly 50 percent compared with that of the ninetieth centile.

Is it really possible to draw a clear distinction between the English-speaking countries, where rising income inequality is supposedly a matter of increasing wage inequality, and other countries, where it is supposedly a matter of unequal risk of unemployment? Official figures might seem to support this view: the 1996 unemployment rate was 5.6 percent in the United States and 7.5 percent (and rapidly declining) in the United Kingdom, compared with 10.3 percent in Germany, 12.1 percent in Italy, and 12.2 percent in France (where 3 million people were unemployed in a working-age population of around 25 million [OECD, 1996, A24]). High growth in the late 1990s significantly reduced unemployment everywhere but left the geographical variation intact: in 2000, the unemployment rate was 4 percent in the United States and 10 percent in France (OECD, 2000). The problem with this type of comparison, however, is that the notion of unemployment is not an adequate measure of the phenomenon of underemployment.

It is therefore tempting to conclude that underemployment is in fact as high in the United States as in the European countries where unemployment is high. This is misleading, however, since the phenomenon of hidden underemployment is unfortunately not limited to the United States. It takes other forms in Europe, less visible perhaps but no less significant. Consider, for example, the fact that only 67 percent of the working age population is classified as belonging to the active population in France in 1996, compared with 77 percent in the United States, 75 percent in the United Kingdom, and only 68 percent in Germany and 60 percent in Italy (OECD, 1996, A22). This indicator, known as the labor market participation rate, is highly imperfect because it mixes together a wide range of phenomena, such as the female participation rate and the percentage of early retirees, but it nevertheless points to a real problem.


pages: 385 words: 111,807

A Pelican Introduction Economics: A User's Guide by Ha-Joon Chang

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Berlin Wall, bilateral investment treaty, borderless world, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, colonial rule, Corn Laws, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, discovery of the americas, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, experimental economics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, George Akerlof, Gini coefficient, global value chain, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Gunnar Myrdal, Haber-Bosch Process, happiness index / gross national happiness, high net worth, income inequality, income per capita, information asymmetry, intangible asset, interchangeable parts, interest rate swap, inventory management, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, liberation theology, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market clearing, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, Nelson Mandela, Northern Rock, obamacare, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open borders, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, post-industrial society, precariat, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Scramble for Africa, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, sovereign wealth fund, spinning jenny, structural adjustment programs, The Great Moderation, The Market for Lemons, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trade liberalization, transaction costs, transfer pricing, trickle-down economics, Vilfredo Pareto, Washington Consensus, working-age population, World Values Survey

However, this is actually not how we define and measure unemployment in practice. There are some people who are too young or too old to work. So we consider only the working-age population when we calculate unemployment. All countries exclude children from the working-age population, but the definition of children differs across countries; fifteen is the most frequently used threshold, but it could be as low as five (India and Nepal).10 Some countries also exclude old people from the working-age population; the most frequently used threshold ages are sixty-four and seventy-four, but it could be as low as sixty-three or as high as seventy-nine. Even among those who belong to the working-age population, not everyone who is not working is counted as unemployed. Some of them, such as students or those who are engaged in unpaid household work or care work for their family or friends, may not want a paid job.

Some of them, such as students or those who are engaged in unpaid household work or care work for their family or friends, may not want a paid job. In order to be classified as unemployed, the person should have been ‘actively seeking work’, which is defined as having applied for paid jobs in the recent past – usually in the preceding four weeks. When you subtract those who are not actively seeking work from your working-age population, you get the economically active population. Only those who are economically active (that is, actively seeking paid jobs) but are not working are counted as unemployed. This definition of unemployment, known as the ILO definition, is used by all countries (with minor modifications), but is not without serious problems. One is that ‘working’ is defined rather generously as doing more than an hour’s paid work per week. Another is that, by requiring that people should have actively looked for work to be counted as unemployed, it excludes the so-called discouraged workers (people who have given up looking for work due to repeated failures in their job applications, even though they still want to work) from the unemployment statistics.11 REAL-LIFE NUMBERS Unemployment rates in the rich countries have risen a lot since the Golden Age During the Golden Age, unemployment rates in Japan and the Western European countries were 1–2 per cent, compared to 3–10 per cent typically found in the periods before that.

In many poor countries, a lot of children below the threshold age work. Their employment is often not recognized in the official employment/unemployment statistics. 11. In order to deal with the difficulties created by discouraged workers, economists sometimes look at the labour force participation rate, which is the share of the economically active population (the employed and the officially unemployed) in the working-age population. A sudden fall in that rate is likely to indicate that there has been an increase in the number of discouraged workers, who are not counted as unemployed any more. CHAPTER 11: LEVIATHAN OR THE PHILOSOPHER KING?: THE ROLE OF THE STATE 1. Some economists, including myself, go even further and argue that, in industries that require large capital investments for productivity growth (e.g., steel, automobile), ‘anti-competitive’ arrangements among oligopolistic firms – such as cartels – can be socially useful.


pages: 295 words: 90,821

Fully Grown: Why a Stagnant Economy Is a Sign of Success by Dietrich Vollrath

"Robert Solow", active measures, additive manufacturing, American Legislative Exchange Council, barriers to entry, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, central bank independence, creative destruction, Deng Xiaoping, endogenous growth, falling living standards, hiring and firing, income inequality, intangible asset, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, labor-force participation, light touch regulation, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, old age dependency ratio, patent troll, Peter Thiel, profit maximization, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, total factor productivity, women in the workforce, working-age population

We are in the middle of a significant shift in the relationship of the number of workers to the total number of people. Figure 5.3 shows this in what are termed dependency ratios. The solid line near the top of the graph shows the number of kids, age 0–20, as a percentage of the total number of working-age people, age 20–64. The effect of the baby boom is visible around 1960, as the number of kids exploded to equal almost 80% of the working-age population. At the same time, the old-age dependency ratio, which is the number of people 65 and older as a percentage of the working-age population, was less than 20%. From 1960 to almost 2010, as fertility declined so did the youth dependency ratio. It is now around 45%, almost half its peak in 1960. And for much of that same period, the old-age dependency ratio also stayed constant at around 20%. This means that the ratio of workers to total population rose throughout the twentieth century and into the twenty-first.

This means that the proportion of workers to total population, which had already begun to drop because of the rise in the old-age dependency ratio in the early 2000s, will continue to fall. Figure 5.3. Dependency ratios over time Note: Data is from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development population statistics database. Youth dependency is the ratio of people age 0–20 to the working-age population, 20–64. Old-age dependency is the ratio of those age 65 and older to the working-age population, 20–64. I attributed this all to a decline in fertility, but of course changes to mortality rates have played a role as well. In 1960, life expectancy in the United States was roughly age 70, but by 2015 it had reached age 79. Life expectancy works a lot like total fertility rate, in that it captures a snapshot of the mortality rates acting on people of different ages in a given year.

The shares were calculated by the author. In 1960, the average age of a worker was about 42, but that had fallen to 40.5 by 1980. After that, it rose again, reaching just over 43 in 2010, and it will probably increase a little further by 2020. These do not look like monumental changes, but we can see something a little more dramatic if we consider the distribution of workers by age in more detail. In 1960, about 36% of the working-age population was between 20 and 34 years of age. By 1980, that share rose to 46%, but by 2010 it was back down to 34%. For several decades in the late twentieth century, the US economy had a relatively young and inexperienced workforce, compared to both the twenty-first century and the period not long after World War II. Depending on just how experience affects human capital, this will help determine how the entire stock of human capital moved over time.


Once the American Dream: Inner-Ring Suburbs of the Metropolitan United States by Bernadette Hanlon

big-box store, correlation coefficient, deindustrialization, desegregation, edge city, feminist movement, housing crisis, illegal immigration, informal economy, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, manufacturing employment, McMansion, New Urbanism, Silicon Valley, statistical model, The Chicago School, transit-oriented development, urban sprawl, white flight, working-age population, zero-sum game

In the case of the Midwest, on average, half the population of these suburbs was non-Hispanic black in 1980, increasing to almost 70 percent by 2000. Declining Inner-Ring Suburbs / 75 TABLE 6.3 DESCRIPTIVE STATISTICS FOR HIGH-POVERTY INNER-RING SUBURBS Average percentage Population that was in poverty, 1980 Population that was in poverty, 2000 Working-age population that was not in the labor force, 1980 Working-age population that was not in the labor force, 2000 Working-age population that was unemployed, 1980 Working-age population that was unemployed, 2000 Northeast Midwest South West 20 26 22 31 18 27 20 27 47 44 38 39 46 45 43 45 11 19 9 17 10 15 11 12 Workers who were in manufacturing, 1980 Workers who were in manufacturing, 2000 34 15 30 17 15 11 33 21 Population that was white, 1980 Population that was white, 2000 71 49 41 25 55 25 34 14 Population that was black, 1980 Population that was black, 2000 19 31 57 69 32 47 20 14 Population that was other, 1980 Population that was other, 2000 1 4 1 3 1 3 4 7 Population that was Hispanic, 1980 Population that was Hispanic, 2000 8 17 2 3 12 25 42 66 Population that was immigrant, 1980 Population that was immigrant, 2000 10 14 3 3 12 25 25 39 The Northeast’s high-poverty suburbs experienced widespread social change over the two decades.


pages: 393 words: 91,257

The Coming of Neo-Feudalism: A Warning to the Global Middle Class by Joel Kotkin

Admiral Zheng, Andy Kessler, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bernie Sanders, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, clean water, creative destruction, deindustrialization, demographic transition, don't be evil, Donald Trump, edge city, Elon Musk, European colonialism, financial independence, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, gig economy, Gini coefficient, Google bus, guest worker program, Hans Rosling, housing crisis, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, land reform, liberal capitalism, life extension, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, megacity, Nate Silver, new economy, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, Parag Khanna, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-industrial society, post-work, postindustrial economy, postnationalism / post nation state, precariat, profit motive, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, Richard Florida, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Sam Altman, Satyajit Das, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart cities, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, superstar cities, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, trade route, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, We are the 99%, Wolfgang Streeck, women in the workforce, working-age population, Y Combinator

Department of Health and Human Services, https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr051.pdf. 16 John Fleming, “Gallup Analysis: Millennials, Marriage and Family,” Gallup, May 19, 2016, https://news.gallup.com/poll/191462/gallup-analysis-millennials-marriage-family.aspx; Gretchen Livingston, “More than a million Millennials are becoming moms each year,” Pew Research Center, May 4, 2018, http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/05/04/more-than-a-million-millennials-are-becoming-moms-each-year/; Russell Heimlich, “Parenting a Priority,” Pew Research Center, March 24, 2010, http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2010/03/24/parenting-a-priority/. 17 Greg Ip, “For Economy, Aging Population Poses Double Whammy,” Wall Street Journal, August 3, 2016, https://www.wsj.com/articles/for-economy-aging-population-poses-double-whammy-1470249965. 18 James Pethokoukis, “On economic growth and the decline in US births,” American Enterprise Institute, June 2, 2016, http://www.aei.org/publication/on-economic-growth-and-the-decline-in-us-births/; Robin Harding, “Japan’s elderly care bill soaks up worker pay rises,” Financial Times, May 29, 2018; Bryan Harris, “Rise in Older Workers Challenges South Korea,” Financial Times, March 13, 2018; Eleanor Warnock, “Numbers of Japanese Elders in Workforce Soar,” Wall Street Journal, November 28, 2016, https://www.wsj.com/articles/numbers-of-japanese-elders-in-workforce-soar-1480393642; Andrea Thomas, “In Spite of Thrifty Image, Germany Races to Raise Pensions,” Wall Street Journal, November 25, 2016, https://www.wsj.com/articles/in-spite-of-thrifty-image-germany-races-to-raise-pensions-1480084689; “Germany faces huge shortage of skilled workers,” Deutsche Welle, August 30, 2017, https://www.dw.com/en/germany-faces-huge-shortage-of-skilled-workers/a-40294450. 19 Alejandro Macarrón Larumbe, Demographic Suicide in the West and half the world: Either more births or catastrophe? (Scotts Valley, Calif.: CreateSpace, 2017), 33, 50, 60; “Winning: No Country For Old Men Or New Mothers,” Strategy Page, November 13, 2018, https://strategypage.com/htmw/htwin/articles/20181113.aspx. 20 Joe Myers, “China’s working-age population will fall 23% by 2050,” World Economic Forum, July 25, 2018, https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/07/china-working-ageing-population/. 21 U.S. House of Representatives, “Genocide: China’s Missing Girls,” Hearing Before the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, 114th Congress, February 3, 2016 (U.S. Government Publishing Office), https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CHRG-114hhrg99772/html/CHRG-114hhrg99772.htm. 22 John Dale Gover, “Xi’s China Dreams Will Not Age Well,” Real Clear World, November 9, 2017, https://www.realclearworld.com/articles/2017/11/09/xis_china_dreams_will_not_age_well_112625.html. 23 Robinson Meyer, “A Terrifying Sea-Level Prediction Now Looks Far Less Likely,” Atlantic, January 4, 2019, https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/01/sea-level-rise-may-not-become-catastrophic-until-after-2100/579478/; Roger Pielke, Jr., “Some Good News—About Natural Disasters, of All Things,” Wall Street Journal, August 3, 2018, https://www.wsj.com/articles/some-good-newsabout-natural-disasters-of-all-things-1533331596; Nicholas Fondacaro, “NYT Reporter Demands You Become ‘Hysterical’ About Climate Change,” NewsBusters, November 25, 2018, https://www.newsbusters. org/blogs/nb/nicholas-fondacaro/2018/11/25/nyt-reporter-demands-you-become-hysterical-about-climate. 24 Steven E.

These workers suffer conditions that have led to illegal strikes and suicides; workers often claim they are treated no better than robots.8 From Proletariat to Precariat In the old working-class world, unions often set hours and benefits, but many low-status workers today are sinking into what has been described as the “precariat,” with limited control over their working hours and often living on barely subsistence wages.9 One reason for this descent is a general shift away from relatively stable jobs in skill-dependent industries or in services like retail to such occupations as hotel housekeepers and home care aides.10 People in jobs of this kind have seen only meager wage gains, and they suffer from “income volatility” due to changing conditions of employment and a lack of long-term contracts.11 This kind of volatility has become more common even in countries with fairly strong labor laws. In Canada, the number of people in temp jobs has been growing at more than triple the pace of permanent employment, since many workers who lose industrial jobs fail to find another full-time permanent position.12 The same patterns can be seen in traditionally labor-friendly European countries. From 20 to 30 percent of the working-age population in the EU15 and the United States, or up to 162 million individuals, are doing contract work.13 A similar trend shows up in developing countries such as Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Vietnam, Malaysia, and the Philippines.14 Even in Japan, long known as a country of secure long-term employment, the trend is toward part-time, conditional work. Today, some 40 percent of the Japanese workforce are “irregular,” also known as “freetors,” and this group is growing fast while the number of full-time jobs is decreasing.

Already in the United States, workforce growth has slowed to about one-third the level in 1970 and seems destined to fall even more.17 The demographic transition is even more marked in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and much of Europe, where finding younger workers is becoming a major problem for employers and could result in higher costs or increased movement of jobs to more fecund countries. As the employment base shrinks, some countries have raised taxes on the existing labor force to pay for the swelling ranks of retirees.18 In certain places, the prospect of an inexorable depopulation looms: in Russia between 1991 and 2011, around 13 million more people died than were born.19 China’s working-age population (those between 15 and 64 years old) peaked in 2011 and is projected to drop 23 percent by 2050.20 This decline will be exacerbated by the effects of the now discarded one-child policy, which led to the aborting of an estimated 37 million Chinese girls since it came into force in 1980.21 These grim statistics have created an imbalance between the sexes that could pose an existential threat to President Xi’s “China dream,” and perhaps to the stability of the Communist state.22 Getting Beyond Dogma Given the likely effects of greenhouse gas emissions on the world’s future climate, it will probably be necessary to change how we live, produce energy, and get around—even if such changes have significant economic costs.


pages: 290 words: 84,375

China's Great Wall of Debt: Shadow Banks, Ghost Cities, Massive Loans, and the End of the Chinese Miracle by Dinny McMahon

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, bank run, business cycle, California gold rush, capital controls, crony capitalism, dark matter, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, eurozone crisis, financial innovation, fixed income, Gini coefficient, if you build it, they will come, income inequality, industrial robot, invisible hand, megacity, money market fund, mortgage debt, new economy, peer-to-peer lending, Ponzi scheme, Ronald Reagan, short selling, Silicon Valley, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, urban planning, working-age population, zero-sum game

Traveling around the countryside, even the casual observer can see that many villages are filled with no one but children and their elderly guardians, the working-age population having already moved to the cities. All developing economies, if they develop fast enough and for long enough, eventually get to a point where the flood of new workers looking for urban factory jobs slows to a trickle. That’s clearly happening in China. Where China differs is that, at the same time, the overall pool of workers is shrinking. Demography As Destiny In 2012, the number of Chinese between the ages of fifteen and fifty-nine started declining, shrinking by more than 3 million people. According to the United Nations Population Division, China’s working-age population (currently about 1 billion people) will fall by 45 million people between 2015 and 2030, and then will lose a further 150 million people by 2050.

Most importantly, a declining workforce means that wages will rise, not because workers are more productive but because employers must pay more to secure their services. That’s what makes Lou Jiwei, who until late 2016 was China’s finance minister, so pessimistic about the country’s growth prospects. “In the next five to ten years, the chance of China sliding into the middle-income trap is extremely high. I put the odds at 50–50,” Lou said in a speech to Tsinghua University students in mid-2015. “Why? . . . Because society is aging and the working-age population is shrinking too fast.” The middle-income trap is an idea first conceived by World Bank economists who found that, of the 101 developing economies that, in 1960, could be classified as having been “middle income” (that is, they weren’t stuck in poverty, but they didn’t qualify as developed nations either), only 13—a group that includes Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Israel, and Ireland—managed to become rich nations by 2008.

Sirkin, Michael Zinser, and Justin Rose, “The Shifting Economics of Global Manufacturing,” BCG Perspectives, August 19, 2014, https://www.bcgperspectives.com/content/articles/lean_manufacturing_globalization_shifting_economics_global_manufacturing/. because of rising costs: Michael Schuman, “Is China Stealing Jobs? It May Be Losing Them, Instead,” New York Times, July 22, 2016, https://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/23/business/international/china-jobs-donald-trump.html?referer=https://www.google.com/. half as expensive: Ibid. 3 million people: Liyan Qi, “China’s Working Age Population Fell Again in 2013,” Wall Street Journal, January 21, 2014, https://blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2014/01/21/chinas-working-population-fell-again-in-2013/. in the United States: “The Rising Cost of Manufacturing,” New York Times, August 2, 2015, http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/07/31/business/international/rising-cost-of-manufacturing.html. porches to dry: Spinners Committee, “Travel Report, China 2014,” International Textile Manufacturers Federation, 2014, http://www.itmf.org/images/dl/reports/sc-travel-reports/SpinCom_Report-China-2014.pdf.


pages: 389 words: 87,758

No Ordinary Disruption: The Four Global Forces Breaking All the Trends by Richard Dobbs, James Manyika

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, access to a mobile phone, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, autonomous vehicles, Bakken shale, barriers to entry, business cycle, business intelligence, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, cloud computing, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, demographic dividend, deskilling, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, distributed generation, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial innovation, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global village, hydraulic fracturing, illegal immigration, income inequality, index fund, industrial robot, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, inventory management, job automation, Just-in-time delivery, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, Lyft, M-Pesa, mass immigration, megacity, mobile money, Mohammed Bouazizi, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, old age dependency ratio, openstreetmap, peer-to-peer lending, pension reform, private sector deleveraging, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, recommendation engine, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, spinning jenny, stem cell, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, The Great Moderation, trade route, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, uber lyft, urban sprawl, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, working-age population, Zipcar

Based on current trends and definitions, the annual growth rate of the global labor force is set to weaken from around 1.4 percent annually between 1990 and 2010 to about 1 percent to 2030.31 In 1964, the working-age group (fifteen to sixty-four) accounted for 58 percent of the total population, reaching a peak of 68 percent in 2012.32 In the next fifty years, however, the working-age population is expected to drop to 61 percent, while the share of elderly (sixty-five and up) in the total population could increase to 23 percent, from 9 percent in 2012.33 In China, some 70 percent of the population works today, one of the highest such shares in the world. But in January 2013, China’s National Bureau of Statistics announced that the country’s working-age population actually fell in 2012. And as the country’s population ages, the proportion of Chinese who are working should fall to 67 percent by 2030. We estimate that developed economies will add about thirty million workers by 2030, only a 6 percent increase from 2010.34 Moody’s predicts that between 2015 and 2030, the world’s working-age demographic will grow at only half the rate it did between 2001 and 2015.35 Most of the growth will be in a handful of countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada.

Many of the long-standing trends that made life so pleasant for investors and managers during the Great Moderation have broken decisively. After nearly three decades of declining interest rates, the cost of capital cannot get cheaper, and it could rise over the next twenty years. After a prolonged period of falling and steady prices for natural resources, the cost of everything from grain to steel is becoming more volatile. The demographic surplus the world enjoyed as working-age populations grew and China joined the global trading system is likely to turn into a demographic deficit as population growth grinds to a halt and the world’s labor force ages. Although inequality between countries continues to shrink, in many parts of the world, individuals—particularly those with low job skills—are at risk of growing up poorer than their parents. That’s just the beginning. A radically different world is forming.

Things haven’t quite come to that, but in nearly every European country, the fertility rate is below the replacement rate. Across the European Union (EU), the population is expected to increase by 5 percent until 2040 and then start to shrink.16 In Germany (2014 fertility rate: 1.4), which has long stood out for its weak population growth, the European Commission believes the population could shrink by 19 percent by 2060.17 The country’s working-age population is expected to fall from fifty-four million in 2010 to thirty-six million in 2060.18 Proportion of elderly in global population is increasing rapidly NOTE: Old age dependency ratio = Population aged 65+ over population 15-64 SOURCE: McKinsey Global Institute analysis, UN population data Germany has been able to mask its decline by attracting immigrants from Russia, Turkey, Africa, and elsewhere.


pages: 352 words: 107,280

Good Times, Bad Times: The Welfare Myth of Them and Us by John Hills

Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, credit crunch, Donald Trump, falling living standards, full employment, Gini coefficient, income inequality, income per capita, longitudinal study, mortgage debt, pension reform, plutocrats, Plutocrats, precariat, quantitative easing, Right to Buy, unpaid internship, very high income, We are the 99%, working-age population, World Values Survey

Looking at just the cash side of this and putting both sides of the equation together, households aged from 25 to 64 were net losers on average from the combination of taxes and social spending (some of their net loss funding other forms of public spending, including health and education), but older households were net gainers, particularly the oldest ones. This means that there was much less variation in disposable incomes than there was in the market incomes shown in Figure 3.4. Figure 3.6 shows ‘disposable’ incomes by age. These are after adding in cash (but not in kind) benefits, and after deducting direct taxes (Income Tax and NICs). As can be seen, disposable incomes were lower than market incomes for the working-age population, but higher for those over 60. The combination of taxes and benefits smoothed out a large part of the variation between age groups. The highest disposable incomes – about £28,000 – were still for those in their late forties, but state pensions and other benefits raised average income for the older age groups to above £17,000, nearly two-thirds of the maximum rather than less than one-third.

But only 2 per cent of those aged 18–59 had been receiving the main out-of-work benefits (excluding those on long-term disability benefits) of different kinds for more than three years out of the four years up to 2008 (some of whom will have had periods in work, or at least off benefits). This had jumped to 3.3 per cent by 2012, with the onset of the recession, but again does not bear out a picture of most people on benefits being there permanently.23 If those who are receiving long-term disability and incapacity benefits are included, the proportion of the working-age population receiving out-of-work benefits for most of a four-year period rises to 8 per cent, but that is including many who have effectively already retired for health or disability reasons. Again, the picture reflects substantial turnover. Looking at households (of working age), between 16 and 17 per cent were ‘workless’ for any reason (not just unemployment) at any particular moment between the late 1990s and late 2000s.

The evolution of pensions at the time implied inadequate pensions for many, and an increasingly unequal distribution of pension rights.25 The Commission identified a whole series of problems with the UK system: • The state pension system was – and still is – one of the least generous in the industrialised world,26 and had evolved into one of ‘unique complexity’.27 • While occupational pensions provided more for some workers, only about half of the working-age population were building up an occupational pension, or had a partner who was doing so.28 • The value of the basic state pension, the foundation of the system, had been adjusted only in line with prices, rather than earnings, since the early 1980s, and so had become much less valuable in relation to current incomes. It was then assumed by government that this would continue, allowing state pension spending to remain the same share of national income, even as the number of pensioners is set to increase rapidly in future decades


pages: 497 words: 150,205

European Spring: Why Our Economies and Politics Are in a Mess - and How to Put Them Right by Philippe Legrain

3D printing, Airbnb, Asian financial crisis, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Basel III, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business cycle, business process, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, centre right, cleantech, collaborative consumption, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, debt deflation, Diane Coyle, disruptive innovation, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, eurozone crisis, fear of failure, financial deregulation, first-past-the-post, forward guidance, full employment, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, Growth in a Time of Debt, hiring and firing, hydraulic fracturing, Hyman Minsky, Hyperloop, immigration reform, income inequality, interest rate derivative, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Irish property bubble, James Dyson, Jane Jacobs, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, liquidity trap, margin call, Martin Wolf, mittelstand, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open economy, peer-to-peer rental, price stability, private sector deleveraging, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, Richard Florida, rising living standards, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Gordon, savings glut, school vouchers, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart grid, smart meter, software patent, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, total factor productivity, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, working-age population, Zipcar

Everyone who is going to reach the age of fifteen by then has already been born – and they are greatly outnumbered by the baby-boomers who are going to reach sixty-five (or die) over that period.557 That is true even in the UK, which has a better demographic profile than most.558 In the absence of migration, Eurostat projects that the EU’s working-age population will fall by 0.5 per cent a year between 2015 and 2020 and by 0.7 per cent a year between 2020 and 2030. Barring a pandemic or other disaster, the number of Europeans aged sixty-five and over is set to soar as the baby boomers retire and people generally live longer. In the absence of migration, Eurostat projects that their numbers will leap from 87 million in 2010 to 122.7 million in 2030.559 By then, they would account for a quarter of the EU population, up from 17.4 per cent in 2010.560 Since, in the absence of migration, the working-age population is going to shrink while (barring a disaster) the number of over-65s is set to soar, society will change dramatically in all sorts of ways, from attitudes to risk to voting patterns.

People might choose to work less because taxes on labour income are punitive – or more, in order to achieve their desired income. In any case, the lower taxes on working are, the less distorted people’s decisions will be. A bigger issue is that far fewer people work in some European countries than elsewhere. For now, this divergence is not due to demography.93 The main problem is that a smaller share of the working-age population is employed. Some European countries do much better than America. In Iceland and Switzerland, the employment rate was just shy of 80 per cent in 2012, followed by Norway and the Netherlands, where three in four people of working age work. Then comes a cluster of northern European countries – Sweden, Germany and Denmark – in the low 70s. Britain is at 70.1 per cent, the US at 67.1 per cent.

European governments also need to raise the official retirement age, with exceptions for people in particularly physically demanding work. This should start as soon as possible, so that baby boomers also participate. For example, the official retirement age could rise by three months each year until it reaches the age of seventy. So in Britain, where the retirement age is sixty-five in 2014, this would reach seventy by 2029. In the absence of migration, the working-age population is set to shrink. Without reform, ever fewer workers will have to sustain ever more pensioners. Radical reforms to get more people into work could partly offset these demographic trends, especially in southern European countries where employment rates are low. In northern European countries where employment rates are generally higher, the biggest boost would come from raising people’s actual retirement age (see footnotes for detailed calculations).576 Foreign youth While boosting employment and encouraging people to retire later would make a big difference, migration would also help smooth the adjustment in several ways.


pages: 126 words: 37,081

Men Without Work by Nicholas Eberstadt

business cycle, Carmen Reinhart, centre right, deindustrialization, financial innovation, full employment, illegal immigration, jobless men, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, mass immigration, moral hazard, post-work, Ronald Reagan, secular stagnation, Simon Kuznets, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working-age population

Further, by the metric of prime-age male unemployment, the pace of recovery from the “Great Reces sion” looks to have been more rapid and dynamic than many recessions in the postwar era. But the unemployment rate was created in an age when mass withdrawal of working-age men from the workforce was inconceivable. Consequently, it takes no account of the very group that has been growing most rapidly within America’s postwar male working-age population: a group that now vastly outnumbers those formally unemployed. Yes, the unemployment rate still has its uses. Administrators, for example, still need to know how many unemployment insurance checks to mail out each month. But it no longer serves as a reliable predictor for the numbers or proportions of persons who are not working—or, for that matter, for those who are working. The relationship between the work rate and the unemployment rate for prime-age men has eroded over in the postwar era, and this erosion markedly accelerated after 1965.

Near Full Employment, Some Slack Remains,” Bloomberg, April 7, 2016, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-04-07/yellen-says-u-s-close-to-full-employment-some-slack-remains. 9.Note that the workforce is officially defined as the sixteen-plus population (more or less is the age you legally can get out of school); historically it was the fourteen-plus population. In this study, I use three measures working age population: twenty-plus, twenty-to-sixty-four, and the “prime working” ages of twenty-five-to-fifty-four. 10.While the U.S. Great Depression is conventionally dated as lasting from 1929 to 1939, in part to concord with the eruption of World War II that ended any peacetime economic slumps besetting European powers, unemployment data suggest that the effects of the Depression continued on into 1940 and 1941—indeed almost to our entry into that same conflict.


pages: 179 words: 43,441

The Fourth Industrial Revolution by Klaus Schwab

3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, clean water, collaborative consumption, commoditize, conceptual framework, continuous integration, crowdsourcing, digital twin, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, future of work, global value chain, Google Glasses, income inequality, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of the steam engine, job automation, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, life extension, Lyft, mass immigration, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, more computing power than Apollo, mutually assured destruction, Narrative Science, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, personalized medicine, precariat, precision agriculture, Productivity paradox, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, reshoring, RFID, rising living standards, Sam Altman, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart contracts, software as a service, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, supercomputer in your pocket, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, The Spirit Level, total factor productivity, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, working-age population, Y Combinator, Zipcar

Birth rates are falling below replacement levels in many regions of the world – not only in Europe, where the decline began, but also in most of South America and the Caribbean, much of Asia including China and southern India, and even some countries in the Middle East and North Africa such as Lebanon, Morocco and Iran. Ageing is an economic challenge because unless retirement ages are drastically increased so that older members of society can continue to contribute to the workforce (an economic imperative that has many economic benefits), the working-age population falls at the same time as the percentage of dependent elders increases. As the population ages and there are fewer young adults, purchases of big-ticket items such as homes, furniture, cars and appliances decrease. In addition, fewer people are likely to take entrepreneurial risks because ageing workers tend to preserve the assets they need to retire comfortably rather than set up new businesses.

These habits and patterns may change of course, as ageing societies adapt, but the general trend is that an ageing world is destined to grow more slowly unless the technology revolution triggers major growth in productivity, defined simply as the ability to work smarter rather than harder. The fourth industrial revolution provides us with the ability to live longer, healthier and more active lives. As we live in a society where more than a quarter of the children born today in advanced economies are expected to live to 100, we will have to rethink issues such the working age population, retirement and individual life-planning.16 The difficulty that many countries are showing in attempting to discuss these issues is just a further sign of how we are not prepared to adequately and proactively recognize the forces of change. Productivity Over the past decade, productivity around the world (whether measured as labour productivity or total-factor productivity (TFP)) has remained sluggish, despite the exponential growth in technological progress and investments in innovation.17 This most recent incarnation of the productivity paradox – the perceived failure of technological innovation to result in higher levels of productivity – is one of today’s great economic enigmas that predates the onset of the Great Recession, and for which there is no satisfactory explanation.


pages: 561 words: 87,892

Losing Control: The Emerging Threats to Western Prosperity by Stephen D. King

Admiral Zheng, asset-backed security, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business cycle, capital controls, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, credit crunch, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Diane Coyle, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial innovation, fixed income, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, G4S, George Akerlof, German hyperinflation, Gini coefficient, hiring and firing, income inequality, income per capita, inflation targeting, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, liberal capitalism, low skilled workers, market clearing, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, Naomi Klein, new economy, old age dependency ratio, Paul Samuelson, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, price stability, purchasing power parity, rent-seeking, reserve currency, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, sovereign wealth fund, spice trade, statistical model, technology bubble, The Great Moderation, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, The Market for Lemons, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transaction costs, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, working-age population, Y2K, Yom Kippur War

These increases present major challenges – China, famously, will be the first country to grow old before it grows rich – but they do not alter the underlying fact that the ageing process in the developed world is much more advanced – in fact, thirty years earlier – than in most other countries.5 An alternative approach is to consider the changing supply of workers (aged fifteen to sixty-five) by region over time. In 1950, the population of working age in the developed nations stood at 494 million out of a global total of 1.4 billion, a share of 33.8 per cent. In 2000, the working-age population in the developed nations had increased to 743 million but the global total had increased much more, reaching 3.7 billion, leaving the developed nation share down at 20.3 per cent. By 2050, the UN estimates the working-age population in the developed world will have declined to just 662 million, a share of only 12.4 per cent in a global total which, by then, may be as high as 5.3 billion, a reflection of continued population increases in the emerging world and a rapid population acceleration in the world’s most impoverished nations.

(i) Wills Moody, Helen (i) Wimbledon (i), (ii), (iii) Winder, Robert (i) wine (i), (ii), (iii) WIR see World Investment Report Wolf, Martin (i) women’s vote (i) wool industry (i), (ii) workers see also labour nationalism (i) running out of workers (i) command over limited resources (i) demographic dividends and deficits (i) demographic dynamics (i) infant mortality (i) Japan: an early lesson in ageing (i) not the time to close the borders (i) pensions and healthcare (i) a renewed look at migration (i) scarcity (i) working-age population (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), (vi) World Bank (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v) WorldCom (i) World Development Indicators (i) World Economic Forum (i), (ii) World Economic Outlook (i) World Financial Center, Shanghai (i) World Investment Report (WIR) (i) World Trade Organization (WTO) (i), (ii), (iii) Wright Brothers (i) The Writing on the Wall (Hutton) (i), (ii) WTO see World Trade Organization Wu, Ximing (i), (ii) xenophobia (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v) Y2K threat (i) yen (i), (ii), (iii) Yom Kippur War (i) Yugoslavia (i) Yu Zhu (i) Zaidi, S.


pages: 409 words: 125,611

The Great Divide: Unequal Societies and What We Can Do About Them by Joseph E. Stiglitz

"Robert Solow", accounting loophole / creative accounting, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, computer age, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, deindustrialization, Detroit bankruptcy, discovery of DNA, Doha Development Round, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial innovation, full employment, George Akerlof, ghettoisation, Gini coefficient, glass ceiling, global supply chain, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, income inequality, income per capita, information asymmetry, job automation, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, labor-force participation, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, market fundamentalism, mass incarceration, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, obamacare, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, Paul Samuelson, plutocrats, Plutocrats, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, The Chicago School, the payments system, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transaction costs, transfer pricing, trickle-down economics, Turing machine, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, urban sprawl, very high income, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, We are the 99%, white flight, winner-take-all economy, working poor, working-age population

On the surface, it does look as if there’s been sluggish growth. In the first decade of this century, Japan’s economy grew at a measly average annual rate of 0.78 percent from 2000 to 2011, compared with 1.8 percent for the United States. BUT JAPAN’S SLOW growth does not look so bad under close examination. Any serious student of economic performance needs to look not at overall growth, but at growth related to the size of the working-age population. Japan’s working-age population (ages 15 to 64) shrank 5.5 percent from 2001 to 2010, while the number of Americans of that age increased by 9.2 percent—so we should expect to see slower GDP growth. But even before Abenomics, Japan’s real economic output, per member of the labor force, grew at a faster rate over the first decade of the century than that of the United States, Germany, Britain, or Australia.

Meanwhile, its failure to do what it could and should have done to make the financial market work better for ordinary Americans—to ensure competition, to restrict the excessive fees that credit and debit cards charge to merchants that ultimately get paid by consumers, to restore lending to small and medium-size enterprises, to create a mortgage market that serves Americans rather than the interests of the banks—has hurt those in the middle and bottom at the same time that it has enriched the coffers of the banks. Yellen is right, too, to point out (as I have done in this book) the limits to monetary policy. It is hard-pressed to restore the economy to full employment on its own. Indeed, it may be contributing to the jobless recovery that we are experiencing (the percentage of the working-age population that is employed, though it has rebounded slightly since the crisis, is still lower than at any time since 1984). Low interest rates encourage firms, when they invest, to invest in very capital intensive technologies—replacing unskilled workers with machines makes no sense in an era in which so many unskilled workers are striving to find jobs. In some areas of policy the impacts on the poor are almost obvious.

Still, “Japan Should Be Alert” points to the dangers of increasing inequality.3 Large changes in Japan’s economy have occurred over the past quarter-century, and Japan has been under pressure to make some of the “market reforms” that contributed to the growth of inequality elsewhere. There are signs of a troubling increase in inequality—and matters could get worse. Nonetheless, on balance, I believe “Japan is a model—not a cautionary tale.” The image of Japan’s lackluster growth is distorted by the decline of its labor force (working-age population). If one takes that into account, in the past decade or so Japan has been toward the top of the league tables—hard as that is for many to believe, given the criticisms that have been leveled at Japan. Even more, as I mentioned earlier, it has so far been able to manage more inclusive growth than America has. This article was written not long after Shinzo Abe became prime minister. I went to Tokyo twice in the early months of his administration, to discuss with him and his advisers the policies that have come to be called Abenomics.


pages: 466 words: 127,728

The Death of Money: The Coming Collapse of the International Monetary System by James Rickards

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, Ayatollah Khomeini, bank run, banking crisis, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, bitcoin, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, BRICs, business climate, business cycle, buy and hold, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, complexity theory, computer age, credit crunch, currency peg, David Graeber, debt deflation, Deng Xiaoping, diversification, Edward Snowden, eurozone crisis, fiat currency, financial innovation, financial intermediation, financial repression, fixed income, Flash crash, floating exchange rates, forward guidance, G4S, George Akerlof, global reserve currency, global supply chain, Growth in a Time of Debt, income inequality, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, invisible hand, jitney, John Meriwether, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, Lao Tzu, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, market bubble, market clearing, market design, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mutually assured destruction, obamacare, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open economy, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price stability, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, reserve currency, risk-adjusted returns, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, Stuxnet, The Market for Lemons, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, trade route, undersea cable, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, working-age population, yield curve

China has put itself in this position because of its one-child-per-family policy adopted in 1978, enforced until recently with abortion and the murder of millions of girls. That drop in population growth beginning thirty-five years ago is affecting the adult workforce composition today. The results are summarized in a recent report produced by the IMF: China is on the eve of a demographic shift that will have profound consequences on its economic and social landscape. Within a few years the working age population will reach a historical peak, and will then begin a precipitous decline. The core of this working age population, those aged 20–39 years, has already begun to shrink. With this, the vast supply of low-cost workers—a core engine of China’s growth model—will dissipate, with potentially far-reaching implications domestically and externally. Importantly, when labor force participation levels off, technology is the only driver of growth. The United States also faces demographic headwinds due to declining birth rates, but it is still able to expand the labor force 1.5 percent per year, partly through immigration, and it retains the potential to grow even faster through its technological prowess.

Although this is a difficult and painful adjustment, the shift is sustainable, and it leaves Europe well positioned to be a globally competitive manufacturing base and magnet for capital inflows. The Economist, along with many others, has cited adverse demographics as a major hurdle in the way of more robust European growth. Europe does have a rapidly aging society (as do Russia, Japan, China, and other major economies). Over a twenty-year horizon, the demographics of working-age populations are rigid in a closed society, which can be a large determinant of economic outcomes, but this view ignores forms of flexibility even in a closed society. A working-age population is not the same as a workforce. When unemployment is high, as it is in much of Europe, new entrants can come into the workforce at a much higher rate than population growth, assuming jobs are available. The pools of well-educated unemployed are so large in Europe today that demography places no short-term constraints on productive labor factor inputs.


pages: 357 words: 95,986

Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work by Nick Srnicek, Alex Williams

3D printing, additive manufacturing, air freight, algorithmic trading, anti-work, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, basic income, battle of ideas, blockchain, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, business cycle, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, centre right, collective bargaining, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, deskilling, Doha Development Round, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ferguson, Missouri, financial independence, food miles, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, future of work, gender pay gap, housing crisis, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, intermodal, Internet Archive, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kickstarter, late capitalism, liberation theology, Live Aid, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, market design, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, mass incarceration, means of production, minimum wage unemployment, Mont Pelerin Society, neoliberal agenda, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, patent troll, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, Philip Mirowski, post scarcity, post-work, postnationalism / post nation state, precariat, price stability, profit motive, quantitative easing, reshoring, Richard Florida, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Slavoj Žižek, social web, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, surplus humans, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, wages for housework, We are the 99%, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population

., p. 5. 38.Giovanni Arrighi, Terrence Hopkins and Immanuel Wallerstein, Antisystemic Movements (London/New York: Verso, 1989), pp. 45–7. 39.Ibid. 40.Peter Starr, Logics of Failed Revolt: French Theory After May ’68 (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1995). 41.Grant Kester, ‘Lessons in Futility: Francis Alÿs and the Legacy of May ’68’, Third Text 23: 4 (2009). 42.Gilbert, Anti-Capitalism and Culture, pp. 23–4. 43.Daniel Yergin, The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1991); Barry J. Eichengreen, Global Imbalances and the Lessons of Bretton Woods (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2007). 44.Geoffrey Barlow, The Labour Movement in Britain from Thatcher to Blair (Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 2008). 45.As an indication of the success of the neoliberal project to crush union power definitively, the proportion of the total working-age population belonging to unions fell in seventeen out of twenty-one OECD nations in the period 1980–2000, and fell again in nineteen out of twenty-one in the period 2000–07. OECD, ‘Trade Union Density’, OECD Stat Extracts, at stats.oecd.org. 46.David Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), pp. 11–14. 47.Ibid., p. 13. 48.Colin Crouch, Post-Democracy (Cambridge: Polity, 2004), Chapter 1. 49.Tim Jordan, Activism!

If one works for an hour mowing a lawn, makes a few dollars selling homemade wares on a street, or has a doctorate and works in a call centre, the ILO counts this as employment. In other words, part-time workers, informal workers and underemployed workers all count as employed. The ILO definition of unemployment also improves when people drop out of the labour force: a smaller workforce means lower unemployment. A more meaningful measure is therefore the level of employment among the working-age population, according to which the ILO estimates that over 40 per cent of the world’s population is not employed. ILO, Global Employment Trends 2014, p. 18. In a similar measure, they estimate that only half the global labour force is in waged or salaried work. ILO, World Employment and Social Outlook: The Changing Nature of Jobs (Geneva: International Labour Organization, 2015), p. 28. But these measures still overestimate the number of people employed, and so other measures have attempted to overcome these deficiencies.

Gallup, for instance, defines ‘employment’ as formal work for thirty hours or more per week – and concludes that 74 per cent of the global labour force fails to meet this definition. State of the Global Workplace: Employee Engagement Insights for Business Leaders Worldwide, Gallup, 2013, pdf available at ihrim.org, p. 27. Another study, based on ILO data on the unemployed, vulnerably employed and economically inactive, estimates the surplus population at 61 per cent of the total working-age population (calculated from data by Neilson and Stubbs, ‘Relative Surplus Population, p. 444). The conclusion to draw from these alternative measures is simple: the global surplus population is massive, and in fact outnumbers the formal working class. 45.Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth, transl. Constance Farrington (London: Penguin Classics, 2001), Chapter 2; Patricia Connelly, Last Hired First Fired: Women and the Canadian Work Force (Toronto: The Women’s Press, 1978). 46.Cleaver here uses the term ‘Lumpen’ to refer to what we have called the ‘proletariat’ condition.


pages: 344 words: 93,858

The Post-American World: Release 2.0 by Fareed Zakaria

affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, airport security, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, central bank independence, centre right, collapse of Lehman Brothers, conceptual framework, Credit Default Swap, currency manipulation / currency intervention, delayed gratification, Deng Xiaoping, double entry bookkeeping, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, global reserve currency, global supply chain, illegal immigration, interest rate derivative, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), knowledge economy, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Wolf, mutually assured destruction, new economy, oil shock, open economy, out of africa, Parag Khanna, postindustrial economy, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South China Sea, Steven Pinker, The Great Moderation, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, trade route, Washington Consensus, working-age population, young professional, zero-sum game

America, on the other hand, is creating the first universal nation, made up of all colors, races, and creeds, living and working together in considerable harmony. Surprisingly, many Asian countries—with the exception of India—are in demographic situations similar to or even worse than Europe’s. The fertility rates in Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Hong Kong, and China* are well below the replacement level of 2.1 births per female, and estimates indicate that major East Asian nations will face a sizable reduction in their working-age population over the next half century. The working-age population in Japan has already peaked; in 2010, Japan had three million fewer workers than in 2005. Worker populations in China and Korea are also likely to peak within the next decade. Goldman Sachs predicts that China’s median age will rise from thirty-three in 2005 to forty-five in 2050, a remarkable graying of the population. By 2030, China may have nearly as many senior citizens sixty-five years of age or older as children under fifteen.

Japan faces a large prospective worker shortage because it can neither take in enough immigrants nor allow its women to fully participate in the labor force. The effects of an aging population are considerable. First, there is the pension burden—fewer workers supporting more gray-haired elders. Second, as the economist Benjamin Jones has shown, most innovative inventors—and the overwhelming majority of Nobel laureates—do their most important work between the ages of thirty and forty-four. A smaller working-age population, in other words, means fewer technological, scientific, and managerial advances. Third, as workers age, they go from being net savers to being net spenders, with dire ramifications for national saving and investment rates. For advanced industrial countries—which are already comfortable, satisfied, and less prone to work hard—bad demographics are a killer disease. The native-born, white American population has the same low fertility rates as Europe’s.


pages: 382 words: 100,127

The Road to Somewhere: The Populist Revolt and the Future of Politics by David Goodhart

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, assortative mating, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, borderless world, Boris Johnson, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, central bank independence, centre right, coherent worldview, corporate governance, credit crunch, deglobalization, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, Etonian, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, falling living standards, first-past-the-post, gender pay gap, gig economy, glass ceiling, global supply chain, global village, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, job satisfaction, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, low skilled workers, market friction, mass immigration, mittelstand, Neil Kinnock, New Urbanism, non-tariff barriers, North Sea oil, obamacare, old-boy network, open borders, Peter Singer: altruism, post-industrial society, post-materialism, postnationalism / post nation state, race to the bottom, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, shareholder value, Skype, Sloane Ranger, stem cell, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, ultimatum game, upwardly mobile, wages for housework, white flight, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population, World Values Survey

, Harvard University and Centre for Economics Policy Research discussion paper, http://drodrik.scholar.harvard.edu/files/dani-rodrik/files/who-needs-the-nation-state.pdf 15.Ibid. 16.Barry Eichengreen, ‘Spinning Beyond Brexit’, Prospect, November 2016. 17.Lawrence Summers, ‘Voters deserve responsible nationalism not reflex globalism’, Financial Times, 10 July 2016, https://www.ft.com/content/15598db8–4456–11e6–9b66–0712b3873ae1 18.Hugo Young, This Blessed Plot: Britain and Europe from Churchill to Blair, London: Macmillan, 1998. 19.Brendan Simms, Britain’s Europe: A Thousand Years of Conflict and Cooperation, London: Allen Lane, 2016. 20.David Owen, Europe Restructured: The Eurozone Crisis and the UK Referendum, London: Methuen, 2012. David Goodhart, ‘The Path Not Taken’, Demos Quarterly, Issue Two April 2014 http://quarterly.demos.co.uk/article/issue-2/the-path-not-taken/ 21.Multiple sources: a.[EU working age population] b.[UK working-age population born in another EU country] Table 1.2, 2015 data, ‘Dataset: Population of the United Kingdom by Country of Birth and Nationality’, Office for National Statistics, 25 August 2016, https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/internationalmigration/datasets/populationoftheunitedkingdombycountryofbirthandnationality c.[EU citizens working in low skilled jobs in UK] ‘Number and proportion of people in employment: by country of birth, nationality, occupation and industry, ages 16 and over, April 2015 to March 2016’, Office for National Statistics, 14 July 2016, https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/adhocs/005913numberandproportionofpeopleinemploymentbycountryofbirthnationalityoccupationandindustryages16andoverapril2015tomarch2016, calculated using the Migration Advisory Committee’s 2014 definition of low skilled occupations.

The Immigration Story How, then, with no strong economic rationale and the opposition of a clear majority of the country did we become a country of mass immigration in the last twenty years? Having absorbed, not without friction, the post-colonial wave in the decades after the 1950s, Britain in the mid-1990s had become a multiracial society with an immigrant and settled minority population of around 4 million, or about 7 per cent. Britain was not at that stage a mass immigration society with persistently large inflows. Today it is. About 18 per cent of today’s working age population was born abroad and in the past generation Britain’s immigrant and minority population (including the white non-British) has trebled to about 12 million, or over 20 per cent (25 per cent in England).15 Some of this is an open society success story—consider the increasingly successful minority middle class.16 But to many people the change is simply too rapid, symbolised by the fact that many of our largest towns, including London, Birmingham and Manchester—where more than half the minority population live—are now at or close to majority–minority status.


pages: 173 words: 53,564

Fair Shot: Rethinking Inequality and How We Earn by Chris Hughes

"side hustle", basic income, Donald Trump, effective altruism, Elon Musk, end world poverty, full employment, future of journalism, gig economy, high net worth, income inequality, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, job automation, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, oil rush, payday loans, Peter Singer: altruism, Potemkin village, precariat, randomized controlled trial, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, TaskRabbit, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, traveling salesman, trickle-down economics, uber lyft, universal basic income, winner-take-all economy, working poor, working-age population, zero-sum game

TaskRabbiters pitch in to assemble furniture, rake leaves, or even stand in line to buy theater tickets or a newly released iPhone. In some cases, these contract jobs are a godsend because they help workers who only get part-time hours elsewhere to supplement their income, as laborers have done since the beginning of time. We often think of millennials in these jobs, the masters of the art of the “side hustle,” but the numbers show it isn’t just millennials doing contingent work. A quarter of the working-age population in the United States and Europe engage in some type of independently paid gig, some by choice, but many out of necessity. People who find work through apps like Lyft and TaskRabbit get a lot of attention, but they are the tip of the iceberg. The instability that characterizes their work has spread throughout the economy as the class of low-quality jobs has grown. If you include not only independent gigs, but part-time workers, temps, and on-call workers, the number of people working in contingent jobs balloons to over 40 percent of all American workers.

See Wartzman, “Populists Want to Bring Back the Blue-Collar Golden Age”; and Oxfam America and Economic Policy Institute, “Few Rewards.” 45 “For workers, the American corporation used to act as a shock absorber”: Wartzman, End of Loyalty, 5. 46 the numbers show it isn’t just millennials doing contingent work: Baab-Muguira, “Millennials Are Obsessed with Side Hustles.” 46 A quarter of the working-age population in the United States and Europe engage in some type of independently paid gig: Manyika et al., “Independent Work.” 46 the number of people working in contingent jobs balloons to over 40 percent of all American workers: Pofeldt, “Shocker: 40% of Workers Now Have ‘Contingent’ Jobs.” 46 of all the jobs created between 2005 and 2015, 94 percent of them were contract or temporary: Katz and Krueger, “Rise and Nature of Alternative Work Arrangements.” 46 Many of these jobs of the new economy pay poorly: Dews, “Charts of the Week”; Vo and Zumbrun, “Just How Good (or Bad) Are All the Jobs Added?”


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How Asia Works by Joe Studwell

affirmative action, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, borderless world, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, central bank independence, collective bargaining, crony capitalism, cross-subsidies, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, failed state, financial deregulation, financial repression, Gini coefficient, glass ceiling, income inequality, income per capita, industrial robot, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, land reform, land tenure, large denomination, liberal capitalism, market fragmentation, non-tariff barriers, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, passive investing, purchasing power parity, rent control, rent-seeking, Right to Buy, Ronald Coase, South China Sea, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, urban sprawl, Washington Consensus, working-age population

In the background In terms of influences on economic development that are not directly addressed by the policy focus on agriculture, manufacturing and finance in this book, the most important is probably demographics. The size and age profile of a country’s population has a huge impact on its developmental potential. Labour is an input into an economy – a form of ‘capital’ – just like money, and a large working-age population relative to the cohorts of children and retired people increases the possibilities for fast growth. Rapidly declining death rates – particularly for children – and rapidly rising working-age populations have been a big part of the east Asian developmental story since the Second World War. These demographic trends, largely the result of advances in medicine and sanitation, have facilitated unprecedented growth. The phenomenon is sometimes referred to as the ‘demographic dividend’. The flip side of this dividend is that it is followed by the faster ageing of populations – by which we really mean the increase of retired people relative to workers.

The flip side of this dividend is that it is followed by the faster ageing of populations – by which we really mean the increase of retired people relative to workers. After a tipping point, workforces start to shrink quickly, and older people consume their savings, devouring what were previously funds for investment. Japan’s problems since the 1980s have been bound up with acute demographic challenges in an only recently matured industrial economy. In China, the very fast growth of the working-age population that accompanied economic take-off is peaking already, and the country’s demographic headwinds will slowly increase this decade. Demographics are important. However, a certain demographic profile has been part and parcel of the developmental experience of all east Asian states. In this sense the demographic story is a given. The only attempt to manage demographics as an element of economic policy occurred in China, but this has not been a major determinant of that country’s performance.

Then Deng Xiaoping and his successors put the brakes on the birth rate, which was already slowing, with an often brutally enforced policy to limit child-bearing. Yet despite the misery induced by these Brave New World-style interventions, China’s developmental performance has been shaped by the same policy choices in agriculture, manufacturing and finance that have made the difference elsewhere. In the end the size of your working-age population is still less important to your developmental progress than what you do with that population. The other influence on development that is given only a background role in this book is education. Here, the reason is that the evidence of a positive correlation between total years of education and GDP growth is much weaker than most people imagine.11 The strongest evidence globally concerns primary schooling, but even with respect to that formative period of education when people learn basic literacy and numeracy skills there are states like South Korea and Taiwan that took off economically with educational capital that was well below average.


pages: 267 words: 79,905

Creating Unequal Futures?: Rethinking Poverty, Inequality and Disadvantage by Ruth Fincher, Peter Saunders

barriers to entry, ending welfare as we know it, financial independence, full employment, Gini coefficient, income inequality, income per capita, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, marginal employment, minimum wage unemployment, New Urbanism, open economy, pink-collar, positional goods, purchasing power parity, shareholder value, spread of share-ownership, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, urban planning, urban renewal, very high income, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population

(Botwinik 1993, pp. 111 and 113) 204 PDF OUTPUT c: ALLEN & UNWIN r: DP2\BP4401W\MAIN p: (02) 6232 5991 f: (02) 6232 4995 36 DAGLISH STREET CURTIN ACT 2605 204 BEYOND IMPOVERISHED VISIONS OF THE LABOUR MARKET Table 7.1 Comparison between static and dynamic accounts of the labour market, Australia, mid-1990s Static account Category Dynamic account % Unemployment rate (per cent of labour force) Incidence of long-term unemployment (per cent of unemployed) Marginally attached to the labour force (per cent of labour force) 9 33 8 Casualisation rate 25 (per cent of employees) Source: Category % Looking for work during the year (per cent of those in working age population) Job search periods lasting more than a year (per cent of all jobseekers) Period of absence from the labour market (per cent of those in working age population) Working in jobs that were not permanent (per cent of all wage & salary paying jobs) 23 46 27 39 Static from ABS Labour Force Surveys (except for marginally attached which comes from unpublished ABS Survey of Training and Education 1993). Dynamic from ABS (1997c) Australia’s Employment and Unemployment Patterns 1994–1996, Cat. no. 6286.0, p. 4.

Unlikely to obtain employment anywhere, the migrants in Fitchen’s study were attracted to their rural destinations by cheap rental housing there, left behind by those seeking employment elsewhere. In Australia, Wulff and Bell (1997) have described the migration patterns of low-income groups, especially social security recipients, using unpublished census data, finding these groups contributing greatly to the redistribution of the working-age population around the country. For example, between one-third and a half of the net outflow of population from Sydney and Melbourne between 1986 and 1991 was of households with annual incomes of less than $16 000, and about one-quarter of those 162 PDF OUTPUT c: ALLEN & UNWIN r: DP2\BP4401W\MAIN p: (02) 6232 5991 f: (02) 6232 4995 36 DAGLISH STREET CURTIN ACT 2605 162 MOVING IN AND OUT OF DISADVANTAGE leaving were unemployed (Wulff and Bell 1997, p. 33).


pages: 219 words: 63,495

50 Future Ideas You Really Need to Know by Richard Watson

23andMe, 3D printing, access to a mobile phone, Albert Einstein, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, BRICs, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, clean water, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, computer age, computer vision, crowdsourcing, dark matter, dematerialisation, digital Maoism, digital map, Elon Musk, energy security, failed state, future of work, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, germ theory of disease, global pandemic, happiness index / gross national happiness, hive mind, hydrogen economy, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, life extension, Mark Shuttleworth, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, peak oil, personalized medicine, phenotype, precision agriculture, profit maximization, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Florida, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, semantic web, Skype, smart cities, smart meter, smart transportation, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, strong AI, Stuxnet, supervolcano, telepresence, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, Turing test, urban decay, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, women in the workforce, working-age population, young professional

If current trends don’t bend, Russia’s population will be about the size of Yemen’s by the year 2050. In the north of India, the population is booming due to high fertility rates, but in the south, where most economic development is taking place, fertility is falling rapidly. In a further twist, fertility is highest in poorly educated rural areas and lowest in highly educated urban areas. In total, 25 percent of India’s working-age population has no education whatsoever. In 2030, a sixth of the country’s potential workforce could be totally uneducated. As for Japan, the fertility rate is approximately 35 percent below the necessary replacement level and this has huge implications for productivity and public debt. Western Europe is not quite in this position, but the region is expected to experience population stagnation, with Germany—the region’s economic powerhouse—experiencing population decline.

The American model One solution is obviously to import foreign workers via immigration, but this has been problematic for some nations, especially Japan. As for the USA, it is almost unique among OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) nations in having a population that is expected to grow by 20 percent from 2010–2030. Moreover, the USA has a track record of successfully assimilating immigrants. As a result it’s likely to see a rise in the size of its working-age population and to witness strong economic growth over the longer term. Of course, all these estimates could be wildly off the mark. Perhaps another great famine, global pandemic or a world war could kill off billions of people, or maybe people will suddenly start having much larger families for reasons of economic survival or for status. In theory, demographic forecasting is a relatively scientific field, but in reality it can be subject to the vagaries of the future just like anything else.


pages: 239 words: 62,311

The Next Factory of the World: How Chinese Investment Is Reshaping Africa by Irene Yuan Sun

barriers to entry, Bretton Woods, capital controls, clean water, Computer Numeric Control, deindustrialization, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, European colonialism, floating exchange rates, full employment, global supply chain, invisible hand, job automation, low skilled workers, M-Pesa, manufacturing employment, means of production, mobile money, post-industrial society, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Skype, special economic zone, structural adjustment programs, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, union organizing, Washington Consensus, working-age population

African nations already have some of the highest unemployment rates in the world.14 In Nigeria, the official rate is 12.1 percent, but the government recognizes an additional 19.1 percent of the working-age population as underemployed.15 For young people, the situation is much worse: a distressingly high 42.2 percent.16 In addition, continent-wide, 77.4 percent of those lucky enough to be employed have what the International Labour Organization calls “vulnerable jobs”—those without formal working arrangements and likely to lack decent working conditions and job security.17 According to the World Bank, 90 percent of the jobs created in Africa today are in the informal sector—the very ones that lead to vulnerability rather than a stable path to the middle class.18 Add in the demographic bulge that will double Africa’s working-age population, and it’s easy to see that the continent is facing an acute need for formal job creation of the sort that factories bring.


pages: 596 words: 163,682

The Third Pillar: How Markets and the State Leave the Community Behind by Raghuram Rajan

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airline deregulation, Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, banking crisis, barriers to entry, basic income, battle of ideas, Bernie Sanders, blockchain, borderless world, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Build a better mousetrap, business cycle, business process, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, central bank independence, computer vision, conceptual framework, corporate governance, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, currency manipulation / currency intervention, data acquisition, David Brooks, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, deskilling, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, facts on the ground, financial innovation, financial repression, full employment, future of work, global supply chain, high net worth, housing crisis, illegal immigration, income inequality, industrial cluster, intangible asset, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, race to the bottom, Richard Thaler, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Sam Peltzman, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, superstar cities, The Future of Employment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, trade route, transaction costs, transfer pricing, Travis Kalanick, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, Walter Mischel, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working-age population, World Values Survey, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

ADDRESSING THE CONSEQUENCES OF POPULATION AGING THROUGH IMMIGRATION As nations get wealthier, women have fewer children, and have them later. Wealthy populations are, therefore, aging. As the population ages, the labor force shrinks, and fewer and fewer workers support more and more retirees. Forty countries now have shrinking working-age populations, including China, Japan, and Russia.2 Fear naturally sets in as middle-aged citizens wonder who will pay for their retirement. Japan is in the forefront of population aging, with its working-age population falling at 1 percent per year, and nearly four hundred schools shutting every year.3 Thus far, it has adapted in two ways. Its workers are staying in the workforce longer, beyond the normal retirement age, and women are working outside the home at a greater rate. At some point, these additional sources of labor will reach their limits.

Campbell and Ratner, “China Reckoning.” CHAPTER 9: SOCIETY AND INCLUSIVE LOCALISM 1. George Megalogenis, “Powering Australia’s Economic Surge,” The New York Times, November 1, 2016, https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/02/opinion/powering-australias-economic-surge.html. 2. “Gone in Their Prime: Many Countries Suffer from Shrinking Working-age Populations,” The Economist, May 5, 2018, https://www.economist.com/international/2018/05/05/many-countries-suffer-from-shrinking-working-age-populations?frsc=dg%7Ce. 3. “Concentrate!: A Small Japanese City Shrinks with Dignity,” The Economist, January 11, 2018, https://www.economist.com/news/asia/21734405-authorities-are-focusing-keeping-centre-alive-small-japanese-city-shrinks-dignity?frsc=dg%7Ce. 4. “Japan’s Foreign Minister Says Country to Open to Foreigners,” The New York Times, September 13, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2018/09/13/world/asia/ap-as-vietnam-japan-migration.html [inactive]. 5.


pages: 399 words: 116,828

When Work Disappears: The World of the New Urban Poor by William Julius Wilson

affirmative action, business cycle, citizen journalism, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, declining real wages, deindustrialization, deliberate practice, desegregation, Donald Trump, edge city, ending welfare as we know it, fixed income, full employment, George Gilder, ghettoisation, glass ceiling, Gunnar Myrdal, income inequality, informal economy, jobless men, labor-force participation, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, manufacturing employment, mass immigration, new economy, New Urbanism, pink-collar, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, school choice, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Chicago School, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban renewal, War on Poverty, working poor, working-age population, Works Progress Administration

In this system plenty of blue-collar jobs were available to workers with little formal education. Today, most of the new jobs for workers with limited education and experience are in the service sector, which hires relatively more women. One study found that the U.S. created 27 clerical, sales, and service jobs per thousand of working-age population in the 1980s. During the same period, the country lost 16 production, transportation, and laborer jobs per thousand of working-age population. In another study the social scientists Robert Lerman and Martin Rein revealed that from 1989 to 1993, the period covering the economic downturn, social service industries (health, education, and welfare) added almost 3 million jobs, while 1.4 million jobs were lost in all other industries. The expanding job market in social services offset the recession-linked job loss in other industries.

The proportion of male workers in the prime of their life (between the ages of 22 and 58) who worked in a given decade full-time, year-round, in at least eight out of ten years declined from 79 percent during the 1970s to 71 percent in the 1980s. While the American economy saw a rapid expansion in high technology and services, especially advanced services, growth in blue-collar factory, transportation, and construction jobs, traditionally held by men, has not kept pace with the rise in the working-age population. These men are working less as a result. The growth of a nonworking class of prime-age males along with a larger number of those who are often unemployed, who work part-time, or who work in temporary jobs is concentrated among the poorly educated, the school dropouts, and minorities. In the 1970s, two-thirds of prime-age male workers with less than a high school education worked full-time, year-round, in eight out of ten years.


pages: 411 words: 114,717

Breakout Nations: In Pursuit of the Next Economic Miracles by Ruchir Sharma

3D printing, affirmative action, Albert Einstein, American energy revolution, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, BRICs, British Empire, business climate, business cycle, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, cloud computing, collective bargaining, colonial rule, corporate governance, creative destruction, crony capitalism, deindustrialization, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, eurozone crisis, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, housing crisis, income inequality, indoor plumbing, inflation targeting, informal economy, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, land reform, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, market bubble, mass immigration, megacity, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, Nelson Mandela, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open economy, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, quantitative easing, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, software is eating the world, sovereign wealth fund, The Great Moderation, Thomas L Friedman, trade liberalization, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, working-age population, zero-sum game

The government owns less stock but still controls the company. The way the Kremlin is dealing with perhaps the worst aging problem in the emerging world offers another example of how even good news has a way of disappointing in the end. Russia’s working-age population will fall by about 870,000 people per year between 2010 and 2015. That’s a loss of close to 1 percent of the working population each year, double the European average, and the only example of demographic decay among the largest emerging markets. In the same 2010–2015 period the working-age population in India will rise nearly 2 percent per year, and in China 0.5 percent (after which China’s labor force, too, will begin to decline). The one clear solution to the graying-population problem is immigration—letting in more young families from abroad—but it’s a solution Russia resisted for nearly two decades after the fall of the Soviet Union.

How Unification Could Play Out in South Korea’s Favor Despite the growing differences, Taiwan and South Korea still share certain similarities. Their basic growth paths have been strikingly similar for the past five decades. They both have rapidly aging populations, which threaten to undermine the prospects for an Asian century. The fertility rates of South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan rank 218th, 219th, and 220th in the world, respectively, all clustered around 1.2 children per woman, well below the replacement rate of 2.1. With working-age populations on the verge of rapidly shrinking, tensions between workers and retirees are bound to increase. South Korea and Taiwan also share an unusual status as the richer part of divided nations, a factor that played no small role in their relentless focus on economic growth. At the end of World War II, South Korea was divided from North Korea, and Taiwan separated from mainland China. For years both have faced the perceived threat of invasion—reason enough to stay vigilant in pursuit of economic and military strength.


The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World (Hardback) - Common by Alan Greenspan

"Robert Solow", addicted to oil, air freight, airline deregulation, Albert Einstein, asset-backed security, bank run, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, business cycle, business process, buy and hold, call centre, capital controls, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, Corn Laws, corporate governance, corporate raider, correlation coefficient, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, cuban missile crisis, currency peg, Deng Xiaoping, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Doha Development Round, double entry bookkeeping, equity premium, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fiat currency, financial innovation, financial intermediation, full employment, Gini coefficient, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, income per capita, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, labor-force participation, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, Long Term Capital Management, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, market bubble, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, Nelson Mandela, new economy, North Sea oil, oil shock, open economy, Pearl River Delta, pets.com, Potemkin village, price mechanism, price stability, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, random walk, reserve currency, Right to Buy, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, stocks for the long run, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, trade route, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, urban renewal, working-age population, Y2K, zero-sum game

In Japan, the population share of those at least sixty-five years of age climbed from 13 to 21 percent in the past decade, and United Nations demographers expect it to reach 31 percent by 2030. The Japanese working-age population is already declining and is projected to fall from eighty-four million in 2007 to sixty-nine million by 2030. Europe's working-age population is also anticipated to recede, though less than Japan's. The changes projected for the United States are not as severe, but nonetheless present daunting challenges. Over the next quarter century, the annual growth rate of the working-age population in the United States is anticipated to slow, from 1 percent today to about 0.3 percent by 2030. At the same time, the percentage of the population that is over sixty-five will rise markedly. Though the overall population is expected to continue to age, much of the aging of the labor force has already occurred with the aging of the baby-boom generation.

A German job recruitment executive told the Financial Times (November 28, 2006): "The battle for workers has already begun, and given the demographic trends in Germany and in parts of southern and eastern Europe, it is about to get a lot worse." This tectonic shift is truly a twenty-first-century problem. Retirement is a relatively new phenomenon in human history; average life expectancy a century ago for much of the developed world was only forty-six years. Relatively few people survived long enough to experience retirement. The ratio of the dependent elderly to the working-age population has been rising in the industrialized world for at least 150 years. The pace of increase slowed markedly with the birth of the baby-boom generation after More ebooks visit: http://www.ccebook.cn ccebook-orginal english ebooks This file was collected by ccebook.cn form the internet, the author keeps the copyright. T H E AGE OF T U R B U L E N C E World War II. But dependency of the elderly will almost certainly rise more rapidly as that generation reaches retirement age.

In the United States, Congress may pass, and the president may sign, legislation that, for example, provides an entitlement, upon retirement, to a specified level of health care. But who assures that the hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, physicians, nurses, and medical infrastructure generally will be in place to convert a paper promise into valuable future medical services? A simple test for any retirement system is whether it can assure the availability of promised real resources to retirees without overly burdening the working-age population. By that measure, America may be on a collision course with reality. The oldest baby boomers become eligible for Social Security in 2008. By 2030, according to UN projections, people sixty-five years of age and older will account for more than 23 percent of the adult population, compared with 16 percent today. This huge population shift will expose all our financial retirement systems to severe stress and will require adjustments for which there are no historical precedents.


pages: 286 words: 79,305

99%: Mass Impoverishment and How We Can End It by Mark Thomas

"Robert Solow", 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, additive manufacturing, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, autonomous vehicles, bank run, banks create money, bitcoin, business cycle, call centre, central bank independence, complexity theory, conceptual framework, creative destruction, credit crunch, declining real wages, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, fiat currency, Filter Bubble, full employment, future of work, Gini coefficient, gravity well, income inequality, inflation targeting, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, Kickstarter, labour market flexibility, laissez-faire capitalism, light touch regulation, Mark Zuckerberg, market clearing, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Nelson Mandela, North Sea oil, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, Own Your Own Home, Peter Thiel, Piper Alpha, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit maximization, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, Steve Jobs, The Great Moderation, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, wealth creators, working-age population

• Migrants contribute significantly to labour-market flexibility, notably in Europe. The public purse: • Migrants contribute more in taxes and social contributions than they receive in benefits. • Labour migrants have the most positive impact on the public purse. • Employment is the single biggest determinant of migrants’ net fiscal contribution. Economic growth: • Migration boosts the working-age population. • Migrants arrive with skills and contribute to human capital development of receiving countries. • Migrants also contribute to technological progress. These points are true but, as a summary of the impact of migration, they are incomplete to the point of being misleading. In December 2015, Stephen Nickell and Jumana Saleheen of the Bank of England published a working paper that concluded: We find that the immigrant-to-native ratio has a small negative impact on average British wages.

Since the wealth of society is related to the total value of the goods and services it produces, in order to ensure abundance for all we need only to make sure that two things are true: • sufficient valuable goods and services will be produced; • there will be an equitable distribution of the value of these goods and services. For both of these, there are grounds for optimism. ENSURING THAT SUFFICIENT VALUABLE GOODS AND SERVICES ARE PRODUCED Sufficient valuable goods and services will be produced if there is capacity to produce them (supply) and enough demand for them – and if supply and demand are able to find each other. The world’s working-age population continues to grow, so the supply of labour should not on its own be an obstacle. In any case, new technology, as we saw in Chapter 5, will enable the world to produce everything it produces today with half the workforce so that even in societies with ageing populations, shortage of workers is unlikely to produce supply constraints. New sources of energy and end-use efficiency measures are being developed,2 as are new materials.3 There are no readily apparent obstacles to continued growth in the wealth of society.


pages: 462 words: 129,022

People, Power, and Profits: Progressive Capitalism for an Age of Discontent by Joseph E. Stiglitz

"Robert Solow", affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, barriers to entry, basic income, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, central bank independence, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, deglobalization, deindustrialization, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, Firefox, Fractional reserve banking, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, George Akerlof, gig economy, global supply chain, greed is good, income inequality, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, labor-force participation, late fees, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, new economy, New Urbanism, obamacare, patent troll, Paul Samuelson, pension reform, Peter Thiel, postindustrial economy, price discrimination, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Robert Mercer, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, secular stagnation, self-driving car, shareholder value, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, The Great Moderation, the market place, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, two-sided market, universal basic income, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, War on Poverty, working-age population

It took a decade, but ten years after the onset of the Great Recession the US was finally near full employment. (In September 2018, only 3.7 percent of the labor force was without jobs.) These statistics, though, give too rosy a picture: only 70 percent of the working-age population has jobs, far lower than in other countries, such as Switzerland and Iceland, where it is 80 and 86 percent, respectively.23 And many in the United States—some 3 percent—are working part-time involuntarily because they can’t get a full-time job. America’s unemployment rate might be still higher if it were not that so many people were in jail—almost 1 percent of the working-age population, far larger than in any other country.24 A reflection of the weakness in the labor market is that real wages have been increasing slowly—even after years of stagnation during the Great Recession, in 2017 they increased only 1.2 percent for full-time workers over sixteen, and even then, they were still below their 2006 level.25 Fiscal policy Even when monetary policy fails, fiscal policy can stimulate the economy.

Given the stagnation of incomes in the middle and bottom that I have described—compounded by the enormous losses of jobs and homes that marked the Great Recession—none of this should be a surprise.35 A decline in life expectancy of this magnitude unrelated to war or a pandemic (like HIV) had happened only once before in recent memory: among citizens of the former Soviet Union after it broke up, where there was a collapse of the economy and society itself, with GDP falling by almost a third. Obviously, a country where there is such despair, where so many are on drugs or drinking too much alcohol, won’t have a healthy labor force. A good measure of how well society does in creating good jobs and healthy workers is the fraction of working-age population that is participating in the labor force and working. Here, the US does far worse than many other countries. At least some of our poor labor force participation can be directly linked to our poor health statistics. A recent study by Alan Krueger, former chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, found that nearly half of “prime-age men” not in the labor force suffer from a serious health condition, and two-thirds of those are also taking some prescription pain medication.36 But America’s poor health is not the result of an unhealthy climate, nor is it because sickly people have migrated to these shores.


EuroTragedy: A Drama in Nine Acts by Ashoka Mody

"Robert Solow", Andrei Shleifer, asset-backed security, availability heuristic, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, book scanning, Bretton Woods, call centre, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, centre right, credit crunch, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, debt deflation, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, forward guidance, George Akerlof, German hyperinflation, global supply chain, global value chain, hiring and firing, Home mortgage interest deduction, income inequality, inflation targeting, Irish property bubble, Isaac Newton, job automation, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Johannes Kepler, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, liberal capitalism, light touch regulation, liquidity trap, loadsamoney, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, low-wage service sector, Mikhail Gorbachev, mittelstand, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage tax deduction, neoliberal agenda, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open borders, pension reform, premature optimization, price stability, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, Republic of Letters, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, short selling, Silicon Valley, The Great Moderation, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, transaction costs, urban renewal, working-age population, Yogi Berra

The longer low-​inflation expectations continued, the harder it was for the BOJ to change those expectations. Japanese authorities made matters worse during much of the 1990s by allowing their banks to continue to operate without adequate capital, which further held back resumption of sustained, healthy growth. In addition to these policy errors, Japan’s aging population reinforced the growth slowdown and deflation. The number of people older than sixty-​five increased, while the working-​age population—​those between twenty and sixty-​five—​stagnated and then slowly declined. The steady shift to an older population reduced consumption and investment demand, which pushed growth and inflation rates further down. Seen from an Italian perspective, Japan’s lost decade was actually an outcome to be envied (figure 8.2). Despite its demographic drag and self-​inflicted policy wounds, Japan was able to grow its economy over brief periods.

A highly educated population and huge investments in R&D kept Japan’s “total factor productivity”—​the productivity of the bundle of capital and labor inputs—​rising at a respectable rate of 1 percent a year. By using machines and workers more efficiently, Japanese firms partly overcame their demographic and policy impediments. Italy’s crisis ran much deeper than Japan’s. Italy had all the disadvantages that Japan had and more. Although not as rapidly as Japan’s, Italy’s population was also aging; the country’s working-​age population had flattened out. As in Japan, ECB monetary policy had provided little support, causing a 344   e u r o t r a g e d y 120 115 Japan 110 105 100 95 Italy 90 85 1991 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 2008 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Japan (years on top x-axis) 2000 01 02 Italy (years on bottom x-axis) Figure 8.2. Italy seen in the mirror of Japan’s lost decade. (Per capita GDP, corrected for purchasing power parity, Japan 1991 = 100, Italy 2008 = 100) Source: The Conference Board “Total Economy Database (Adjusted Version),” http://​www.conference-​ board.org/​data/​economydatabase/​.

However, the impression gained ground that Italy and, even more so, France would receive special leeway in this new regime.196 For Italy, the question was what would happen when the fiscal stimulus ended, as was projected to occur in 2018. The IMF reported that Italian investment had “collapsed.” Investment spending had fallen sharply in 2012 and 2013 at the onset of the draconian fiscal austerity drive and since then it had either fallen further or stayed stable . The IMF estimated that Italy’s potential growth had declined to about 0.5 percent a year.197 On top of Italy’s long-​term problems, including a working-​age population that had stopped increasing and near-​zero productivity growth, the intense austerity had further damaged long-​term growth prospects. And if Italian GDP growth remained at around the IMF’s potential growth rate estimate, Italy’s financial vulnerabilities would remain worrisome. The recent descent into low inflation made growth harder to revive and added to the risk that debt burdens would remain elevated.


pages: 223 words: 10,010

The Cost of Inequality: Why Economic Equality Is Essential for Recovery by Stewart Lansley

"Robert Solow", banking crisis, Basel III, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bonfire of the Vanities, borderless world, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, business process, call centre, capital controls, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate raider, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Edward Glaeser, Everybody Ought to Be Rich, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, floating exchange rates, full employment, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, high net worth, hiring and firing, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, James Dyson, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Meriwether, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, laissez-faire capitalism, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, market bubble, Martin Wolf, mittelstand, mobile money, Mont Pelerin Society, Myron Scholes, new economy, Nick Leeson, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, oil shock, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, Right to Buy, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, shareholder value, The Great Moderation, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Washington Consensus, Winter of Discontent, working-age population

In these areas, the jobs that are on offer are often poorly paid, dull and insecure. One of the important consequences of these wider labour market trends—the rise of unemployment, the vanishing middle, the earnings squeeze, the spread of low pay and the weakness of the labour market in many parts of Britain—has been a rise in downward occupational and social mobility. The post-war era was a period of improving pay and opportunity for most of the working-age population. As income growth and job opportunities for middle and lower income groups has slowed, that upward mobility has been petering out, a trend that has been fuelled during each of the three recessions of the last thirty years. Britain is riddled with examples of downward job mobility—of former skilled factory workers cleaning cars, joiners working as airport baggage handlers, trained draughtsmen and IT specialists forced into temporary work in retail and customer services or taxi-driving, often with long gaps of unemployment in between.121 Those most vulnerable to such downward mobility are those over 50 and include professionals as well as the skilled working class.

For significant sections of the workforce it has imposed a near-permanent lid on the ability to rise. It has also fuelled the geographical concentration of work and unemployment. In some towns such as Hartlepool, Knowsley, Blaenau Gwent and Glasgow, the real level of unemployment stood at more than twice the national average even before the onset of the recession. In May 2008, nine towns, headed by Liverpool and Nottingham, had more than a fifth of the working age population in receipt of benefits.130 Sinking pay has also meant a weakening skill base, a process that risks becoming re-inforcing. A low wage economy dictates the type of jobs that are created. As skills disappear, so do the jobs. One of the consequences has been that while some skilled workers can’t find work, in other areas, Britain now has real skill shortages, often the sort of skills that would once have been held by those in the middle.


Not Working by Blanchflower, David G.

active measures, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, bank run, banking crisis, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, Boris Johnson, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Clapham omnibus, collective bargaining, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, declining real wages, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, estate planning, Fall of the Berlin Wall, full employment, George Akerlof, gig economy, Gini coefficient, Growth in a Time of Debt, illegal immigration, income inequality, indoor plumbing, inflation targeting, job satisfaction, John Bercow, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market clearing, Martin Wolf, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, Nate Silver, negative equity, new economy, Northern Rock, obamacare, oil shock, open borders, Own Your Own Home, p-value, Panamax, pension reform, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-materialism, price stability, prisoner's dilemma, quantitative easing, rent control, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, selection bias, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, Thorstein Veblen, trade liberalization, universal basic income, University of East Anglia, urban planning, working poor, working-age population, yield curve

The authors estimate that the employment penalty is around a 1percentage-point reduction in the overall employment rate, equivalent to a loss of around 1.8 million workers. Black men suffered a 4.7- to 5.4-percentage-point reduction in their employment rate, while the equivalent for Latino men was 1.4–1.6 percentage points, and for white men it was 1.1–1.3 percentage points. They found that 6–6.7 percent of the male working-age population were former prisoners, while 13.6–15.3 percent were people with felony convictions, which seems incredibly high. Other advanced countries don’t use mass incarceration and don’t prevent ex-prisoners from working after their sentences are completed; they have figured out that rehabilitation works. In terms of GDP, Bucknor and Barber calculate that the population of former prisoners and people with felony convictions led to a loss of $78–87 billion in GDP in 2014.

They conclude that what they have seen is a tale of two countries. They find that for the 117 million U.S. adults in the bottom half of the income distribution, growth was essentially nonexistent for a generation while at the top of the ladder it has been remarkably strong. They also show that this stagnation of national income accruing at the bottom is not due to population aging. Quite the contrary. For the bottom half of the working-age population (adults under 65), income has in fact fallen. In the bottom half of the distribution, only the income of the elderly is rising. From 1980 to 2014, they show, none of the growth in per-adult national income went to the bottom 50 percent, while 32 percent went to the middle class (defined as adults between the median and the 90th percentile), 68 percent to the top 10 percent, and 36 percent to the top 1 percent.

The age-adjusted rate of drug-overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids other than methadone increased by 45 percent. While the average rate of drug-overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids increased by 8 percent per year from 1999 to 2013, the average rate increased by 71 percent per year from 2013 to 2017. West Virginia (57.8 deaths per 100,000 people), Ohio (46.3), and Pennsylvania (44.3) had the highest age-adjusted drug-overdose rates. The suicide rate among the U.S. working-age population increased 34 percent during 2000–2016 (Hedegaard, Curtin, and Warner 2018). In 2012 and 2015, suicide rates were highest among males in the “construction and extraction” occupational group (43.6 and 53.2 per 100,000 civilian noninstitutionalized working persons, respectively), who were especially hard hit by the housing crash in the Great Recession.53 The age-adjusted suicide rate for urban counties in 2017 was 16 percent higher than the rate in 1999, whereas in rural counties in 2017 it was 53 percent higher.


pages: 470 words: 148,730

Good Economics for Hard Times: Better Answers to Our Biggest Problems by Abhijit V. Banerjee, Esther Duflo

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, basic income, Bernie Sanders, business cycle, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, charter city, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, energy transition, Erik Brynjolfsson, experimental economics, experimental subject, facts on the ground, fear of failure, financial innovation, George Akerlof, high net worth, immigration reform, income inequality, Indoor air pollution, industrial cluster, industrial robot, information asymmetry, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jane Jacobs, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, labor-force participation, land reform, loss aversion, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, non-tariff barriers, obamacare, offshore financial centre, open economy, Paul Samuelson, place-making, price stability, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, school choice, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, smart meter, social graph, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, technology bubble, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, The Market for Lemons, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, universal basic income, urban sprawl, very high income, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working-age population, Y2K

Then if they failed to find a job they could go home, and they would be no worse off than if they had not saved and not tried, which is what most of them seem to do. Moreover, the evidence suggests they do save for other things, and $11.50 is very much within their range. So why don’t they? One possible reason is they overestimate the risks. A study from Nepal highlights this. Today, more than a fifth of Nepal’s male working-age population has been abroad at least once, mostly for work. Most of them work in Malaysia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, or the United Arab Emirates. They typically go for a couple of years, with an employment contract tied to a specific employer. This is a setting where one might imagine the migrants would be very well informed about the potential costs and benefits of migrating, since one needs a job offer to get a visa.

In fact, for lower-skilled workers, the increase in nonmanufacturing employment in affected commuting zones was lower than in other regions. Wages also declined in these areas compared to the rest of the country (and this was a period of stagnant wage growth overall), especially for low-wage workers. Despite the fact that there were neighboring commuting zones essentially unaffected by the shock (and zones that actually benefitted, say, by importing certain components from China), workers did not move. The working-age population did not decline in the adversely affected commuting zones. They had no work. This experience is not unique to the United States. Spain, Norway, and Germany all suffered similarly from the impact of the China shock.48 In each case the sticky economy became a sticky trap. CLUSTERF**K! The problem was exacerbated by the clustering of industries. As we already saw, there are many good reasons for industries to cluster, but one potentially negative consequence is that a trade shock may hit with particular violence, potentially affecting all the firms concentrated in the region.

Good labor relations, low crime, excellent schools, and elite bureaucrats with long time horizons was the new recipe Vogel identified for permanently faster growth.119 Indeed, had it continued to grow at its average growth rate over the decade 1963–1973, Japan would have overtaken the United States in terms of GDP per capita by 1985, and in overall GDP by 1998. It did not happen. What happened instead is enough to make one superstitious. The growth rate crashed in 1980, the year after Vogel’s book came out. And it never really recovered. The Solow model suggests a simple reason. Due to a low fertility rate and the near complete absence of immigration, Japan was (and still is) aging rapidly. The working-age population peaked in the late 1990s and has been declining. This means TFP must grow all the more rapidly to keep fast growth going. Another way to say this is that Japan would have to find some miracle for its existing labor force to become more productive, since we still have no reliable way to boost TFP. In the euphoria of the 1970s, some believed this to be possible, which may explain why people continued to save and invest in Japan in the 1980s, despite the slowdown.


pages: 372 words: 92,477

The Fourth Revolution: The Global Race to Reinvent the State by John Micklethwait, Adrian Wooldridge

Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Asian financial crisis, assortative mating, banking crisis, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, British Empire, cashless society, central bank independence, Chelsea Manning, circulation of elites, Clayton Christensen, Corn Laws, corporate governance, credit crunch, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, Detroit bankruptcy, disintermediation, Edward Snowden, Etonian, failed state, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, Gunnar Myrdal, income inequality, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, liberal capitalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, minimum wage unemployment, mittelstand, mobile money, Mont Pelerin Society, Nelson Mandela, night-watchman state, Norman Macrae, obamacare, oil shale / tar sands, old age dependency ratio, open economy, Parag Khanna, Peace of Westphalia, pension reform, pensions crisis, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, popular capitalism, profit maximization, rent control, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, school choice, school vouchers, Silicon Valley, Skype, special economic zone, too big to fail, total factor productivity, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, Winter of Discontent, working-age population, zero-sum game

By March 2012 there were some $43 trillion of government bonds in issue,8 compared with only $11 trillion at the end of 2001. That is only a fraction of Western governments’ true liabilities, once you factor in pensions and health care. The numbers for many cities are even worse: San Bernardino in California and Detroit in Michigan both filed for bankruptcy because of these off-balance sheet obligations. And who will pay for all this? In “old Europe,” for instance, the working-age population peaked in 2012 at 308 million—and is set to decline to 265 million by 2060. These will have to support ever more old people: The old-age dependency ratio (the number of over-sixty-fives as a proportion of the number of twenty-to-sixty-four-year-olds) will rise from 28 percent to 58 percent—and that is assuming that the EU lets in more than a million young immigrants a year.9 Across the Atlantic, America continues to tax itself like a small-government country and spend like a big-government one while hiding its true liabilities by using tactics that would have made Bernie Madoff blush.

Latin American countries tie people’s benefits to adopting good habits, such as sending their ­children to school or having checkups at health clinics. More rich countries could copy that, tying payouts to people’s willingness to invest in skills and education. The second is the reform of disability. In America enrollment in Social Security’s disability-insurance program has ­increased from 1.7 percent of the working-age population in 1970 to 5.4 percent. Americans have taken to enrolling in disability systems when their unemployment pay runs out, spurred on by doctors who have been broadening the definition of disability. But disability is a terrible trap. America’s disability systems do not devote any effort whatsoever to getting people back to work: They were designed in an era when ill people did not get better.


pages: 471 words: 109,267

The Verdict: Did Labour Change Britain? by Polly Toynbee, David Walker

banking crisis, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bob Geldof, Boris Johnson, call centre, central bank independence, congestion charging, Corn Laws, Credit Default Swap, decarbonisation, deglobalization, deindustrialization, Etonian, failed state, first-past-the-post, Frank Gehry, gender pay gap, Gini coefficient, high net worth, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, market bubble, mass immigration, millennium bug, moral panic, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, pension reform, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, Right to Buy, shareholder value, Skype, smart meter, stem cell, The Spirit Level, too big to fail, University of East Anglia, working-age population, Y2K

As if willed by Labour, manufacturing declined faster than during the Thatcher years, when Labour had passionately deplored deindustrialization. Manufacturing amounted to 20 per cent of the economy in 1997 but 12 per cent in 2007, its decline fostered by sterling appreciation during Labour’s first term. Fittingly in Labour’s economy, construction, estate agency and property rose from 12.6 to 16.2 per cent. By 2010 only one in eight of Coventry’s working-age population of 194,000 was in manufacturing, compared with over one in two in the 1970s. Growth was to be the antidote to debt and deficit, Mandelson said at Labour’s spring conference in February 2010, and the future was bioscience, medicine, advanced manufacturing, precision engineering, creative industries and – a new undertaking – ‘this is not going to happen without active government working hand in hand with enterprise’.

In Boston, young easterners came to stay, their children attending schools – four out of ten children in some of the town’s reception classes were from migrant families. ‘They saved our maternity unit,’ observed Richard Austin, the Boston council leader. Councils complained that the extra numbers failed to bring extra government grants to cover those services. Some areas were unaffected by migration – Merseyside and the North East, for example. Other areas were transformed – 60 per cent of the working-age population of the London Borough of Brent had been born abroad. The 2001 Census was a distant memory and its estimate that 4.9 million or 8.3 per cent of the total population of the UK were born overseas may never have been accurate anyway. When Boston protested at underestimates, the ONS said it recognized a total population for the area of 62,000, but the council put it nearer 75,000, taking its evidence from increased registration of migrants at GPs’ surgeries and schools.


pages: 421 words: 110,272

Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism by Anne Case, Angus Deaton

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, basic income, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, business cycle, call centre, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, Corn Laws, corporate governance, correlation coefficient, crack epidemic, creative destruction, crony capitalism, declining real wages, deindustrialization, demographic transition, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, falling living standards, Fellow of the Royal Society, germ theory of disease, income inequality, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, Martin Wolf, Mikhail Gorbachev, obamacare, pensions crisis, randomized controlled trial, refrigerator car, rent-seeking, risk tolerance, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, trade liberalization, universal basic income, working-age population, zero-sum game

Our story of deaths of despair; of pain; of addiction, alcoholism, and suicide; of worse jobs with lower wages; of declining marriage; and of declining religion is mostly a story of non-Hispanic white Americans without a four-year degree. In 2018, the Census Bureau estimated that there were 171 million Americans between the ages of twenty-five and sixty-four. Of those, 62 percent were white non-Hispanics, and 62 percent of those did not have a four-year college degree; the less educated white Americans who are the group at risk are 38 percent of the working-age population. The economic forces that are harming labor are common to all working-class Americans, regardless of race or ethnicity, but the stories of blacks and whites are markedly different. In the 1970s and 1980s, African Americans working in inner cities experienced events that, in retrospect, share some features with what happened to working-class whites thirty years later. The first wave of globalization hit blacks particularly hard, and jobs in the central city became scarce for this long-disadvantaged group.

Black rates, which were more than twice those of whites as late as the early 1990s, fell as white rates rose, closing the distance between them to 20 percent. Since 2013 the opioid epidemic has spread to black communities, but until then, the epidemic of deaths of despair was white. In the chapters that follow, we document the decline of white working-class lives over the last half century. White non-Hispanics are 62 percent of the working-age population, so understanding their mortality is important in and of itself. The story of what happened to African Americans in the seventies and eighties has been extensively researched and debated,10 and we have nothing to add to that literature except to note that there are some parallels with whites today. Hispanics are a widely heterogeneous group, defined only by their common language. US mortality trends for Hispanics change with changes in the composition of people who have immigrated—for example, from Mexico, Cuba, or El Salvador; we do not try to tell a coherent story for them.


pages: 419 words: 109,241

A World Without Work: Technology, Automation, and How We Should Respond by Daniel Susskind

3D printing, agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, blue-collar work, British Empire, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cloud computing, computer age, computer vision, computerized trading, creative destruction, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, demographic transition, deskilling, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, drone strike, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial innovation, future of work, gig economy, Gini coefficient, Google Glasses, Gödel, Escher, Bach, income inequality, income per capita, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jacques de Vaucanson, James Hargreaves, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Joi Ito, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, low skilled workers, lump of labour, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, Metcalfe’s law, natural language processing, Network effects, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, Peter Thiel, pink-collar, precariat, purchasing power parity, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Sam Altman, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, social intelligence, software is eating the world, sovereign wealth fund, spinning jenny, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, strong AI, telemarketer, The Future of Employment, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, Travis Kalanick, Turing test, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, upwardly mobile, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We are the 99%, wealth creators, working poor, working-age population, Y Combinator

Installing new machines that saved on labor and used readily available cheap fuel thus made economic sense in Britain, whereas it did not in other countries.86 More important, relative costs can also explain why new technologies will be adopted unevenly around the world in the future. Take Japan, for example: it is no coincidence that progress in nursing robotics has been particularly swift there. They have one of the largest elderly populations in the world—more than 25 percent are over sixty-five, with the working-age population shriveling at 1 percent a year—and a well-known antipathy toward foreign migrants working in their public services. The result is a shortage of nurses and caregivers (a shortfall expected to reach about 380,000 workers by 2025), and a strong incentive for employers to automate what they do.87 That is why robots like Paro, the therapeutic robotic seal mentioned before, as well as Robear, which can lift immobile patients from bath to bed, and Palro, a humanoid that can lead a dance class, are being developed and embraced in Japan, whereas elsewhere they are viewed with detached bemusement and disapproval.88 This story is, in fact, a general one: countries that are aging faster tend to invest more in automation.

To begin with, some people, facing the mismatches of skills, identity, and place, might simply give up on the job hunt and drop out of the labor market altogether. If that were to happen, the official unemployment rate would actually fall: since those people were no longer searching for work, they would not count as being unemployed for the purposes of that statistic. It is important, then, to also pay attention to what is known as the “participation rate”: the percentage of people in the entire working-age population (not just those actively in the labor market) who are employed. In the United States today, for instance, the unemployment rate is an impressively low 3.7 percent. At the same time, however, the participation rate has collapsed, falling to its lowest level since 1977. More and more working-age Americans, it appears, are abandoning the world of work altogether—and that should be a cause for alarm.35 Similarly, in the future, we should be cautious about focusing exclusively on the unemployment rate, and keep an eye on the participation rate as well.


pages: 422 words: 113,525

Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto by Stewart Brand

agricultural Revolution, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, back-to-the-land, biofilm, borderless world, Buckminster Fuller, business process, Cass Sunstein, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, conceptual framework, Danny Hillis, dark matter, decarbonisation, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Elon Musk, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, glass ceiling, Google Earth, Hans Rosling, Hernando de Soto, informal economy, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, invention of the steam engine, Jane Jacobs, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Kibera, land tenure, lateral thinking, low earth orbit, M-Pesa, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, microbiome, New Urbanism, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, out of africa, Paul Graham, peak oil, Peter Calthorpe, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, smart grid, stem cell, Stewart Brand, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, Thomas Malthus, University of East Anglia, uranium enrichment, urban renewal, wealth creators, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, William Langewiesche, working-age population, Y2K

Instead of having children, Italians are buying pets. So is everyone in the developed world. How did Japan get itself into a seemingly permanent recession after the dazzling prosperity of the 1980s? Longman told a San Francisco audience:Japan boomed through the end of the 1980s, so long as declining fertility was still increasing the relative size of its working-age population. . . . Japan’s long recession began just as continuously falling fertility rates at last caused its working-age population to begin shrinking in relative size. Because Japan welcomes no immigrants, it is facing the world’s worst elder-care crisis. At Global Business Network, we predict that Japan’s standard solution to labor problems will be applied. Highly sophisticated, lovable robots and robotic environments will take care of Japan’s elderly, and then the technology will spread to the rest of the developed world.


pages: 453 words: 117,893

What Would the Great Economists Do?: How Twelve Brilliant Minds Would Solve Today's Biggest Problems by Linda Yueh

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, additive manufacturing, Asian financial crisis, augmented reality, bank run, banking crisis, basic income, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bitcoin, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, BRICs, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, collective bargaining, computer age, Corn Laws, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, currency peg, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, declining real wages, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, endogenous growth, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, fixed income, forward guidance, full employment, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, Gunnar Myrdal, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, index card, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, information asymmetry, intangible asset, invisible hand, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, lateral thinking, life extension, low-wage service sector, manufacturing employment, market bubble, means of production, mittelstand, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, negative equity, Nelson Mandela, non-tariff barriers, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, open economy, paradox of thrift, Paul Samuelson, price mechanism, price stability, Productivity paradox, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, rent control, rent-seeking, reserve currency, reshoring, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, secular stagnation, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, universal basic income, unorthodox policies, Washington Consensus, We are the 99%, women in the workforce, working-age population

Diminishing returns happen when a worker is given more than, say, two computers; that worker won’t produce as much with the third computer as compared with the first two unless there is better software that allows computing to be done without the person using it all the time. Technological progress allows the existing inputs of workers and capital to be used more efficiently. An increase in output due to technology is referred to as total factor productivity (TFP) in economic growth models. Physical capital as well as human capital – the skills and education of workers – are central to this model. It’s especially pressing for rich countries, where the working-age population is ageing or even shrinking and having better-skilled workers is even more important. How to raise productivity lies at the heart of whether or not we’re doomed to a stagnant future. What would Robert Solow, whose pioneering work has helped us to understand what generates economic growth, make of the prospect of low productivity and a slow-growth future for major economies? The life and times of Robert Solow Robert Solow was born in 1924 in Brooklyn.

Time is seemingly a luxury for Japan’s leaders, yet it’s the very thing that they need to turn around an economy that’s been struggling for decades, during which Japan has fallen from the world’s second largest economy to its third. The country that overtook it also faces slower growth and an ageing population. For a middle-income country, China has a demographic profile that is similar to rich nations. Its working-age population is shrinking, though it has ended its ‘one child policy’ to counter the ageing demography. Also, if Britain and America as well as Japan are counting on innovation to keep them rich, China needs to get there before its growth slows down, as discussed in previous chapters. For Europe, the focus is also growth, and a lot is hanging on the governments’ ability to deliver. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that the legitimacy of the European project depends on people becoming better off.


pages: 374 words: 113,126

The Great Economists: How Their Ideas Can Help Us Today by Linda Yueh

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, additive manufacturing, Asian financial crisis, augmented reality, bank run, banking crisis, basic income, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bitcoin, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, BRICs, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, collective bargaining, computer age, Corn Laws, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, currency peg, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, declining real wages, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, endogenous growth, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, fixed income, forward guidance, full employment, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, Gunnar Myrdal, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, index card, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, information asymmetry, intangible asset, invisible hand, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, lateral thinking, life extension, manufacturing employment, market bubble, means of production, mittelstand, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, negative equity, Nelson Mandela, non-tariff barriers, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, open economy, paradox of thrift, Paul Samuelson, price mechanism, price stability, Productivity paradox, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, rent control, rent-seeking, reserve currency, reshoring, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, secular stagnation, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, universal basic income, unorthodox policies, Washington Consensus, We are the 99%, women in the workforce, working-age population

Diminishing returns happen when a worker is given more than, say, two computers; that worker won’t produce as much with the third computer as compared with the first two unless there is better software that allows computing to be done without the person using it all the time. Technological progress allows the existing inputs of workers and capital to be used more efficiently. An increase in output due to technology is referred to as total factor productivity (TFP) in economic growth models. Physical capital as well as human capital – the skills and education of workers – are central to this model. It’s especially pressing for rich countries, where the working-age population is ageing or even shrinking and having better-skilled workers is even more important. How to raise productivity lies at the heart of whether or not we’re doomed to a stagnant future. What would Robert Solow, whose pioneering work has helped us to understand what generates economic growth, make of the prospect of low productivity and a slow-growth future for major economies? The life and times of Robert Solow Robert Solow was born in 1924 in Brooklyn.

Time is seemingly a luxury for Japan’s leaders, yet it’s the very thing that they need to turn around an economy that’s been struggling for decades, during which Japan has fallen from the world’s second largest economy to its third. The country that overtook it also faces slower growth and an ageing population. For a middle-income country, China has a demographic profile that is similar to rich nations. Its working-age population is shrinking, though it has ended its ‘one child policy’ to counter the ageing demography. Also, if Britain and America as well as Japan are counting on innovation to keep them rich, China needs to get there before its growth slows down, as discussed in previous chapters. For Europe, the focus is also growth, and a lot is hanging on the governments’ ability to deliver. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that the legitimacy of the European project depends on people becoming better off.


pages: 421 words: 125,417

Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet by Jeffrey Sachs

agricultural Revolution, air freight, back-to-the-land, British Empire, business process, carbon footprint, clean water, colonial rule, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, demographic transition, Diane Coyle, Edward Glaeser, energy security, failed state, Gini coefficient, global pandemic, Haber-Bosch Process, income inequality, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, invention of agriculture, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, mass immigration, microcredit, oil shale / tar sands, old age dependency ratio, peak oil, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Simon Kuznets, Skype, statistical model, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transaction costs, unemployed young men, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working-age population

The surprising fact is that the social-welfare states have an even higher employment rate (number of workers as a share of the working-age population) than the free-market countries. The free-market countries in turn have a higher employment rate than the mixed economies. The key here is that the social-welfare states have very high rates of female labor-force participation. The social-welfare system ensures day care and schooling for the children, so mothers have the time and means to enter the labor market. The social-welfare states have been successful in maintaining very high employment rates for two other reasons. First, social support for the working-age population has been tied to specific policies that require those receiving benefits to seek employment with the assistance of government programs.


pages: 1,104 words: 302,176

The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living Since the Civil War (The Princeton Economic History of the Western World) by Robert J. Gordon

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airline deregulation, airport security, Apple II, barriers to entry, big-box store, blue-collar work, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, collective bargaining, computer age, creative destruction, deindustrialization, Detroit bankruptcy, discovery of penicillin, Donner party, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, feminist movement, financial innovation, full employment, George Akerlof, germ theory of disease, glass ceiling, high net worth, housing crisis, immigration reform, impulse control, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, inflight wifi, interchangeable parts, invention of agriculture, invention of air conditioning, invention of the sewing machine, invention of the telegraph, invention of the telephone, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, jitney, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, labor-force participation, Loma Prieta earthquake, Louis Daguerre, Louis Pasteur, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market fragmentation, Mason jar, mass immigration, mass incarceration, McMansion, Menlo Park, minimum wage unemployment, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, occupational segregation, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, payday loans, Peter Thiel, pink-collar, Productivity paradox, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, refrigerator car, rent control, Robert X Cringely, Ronald Coase, school choice, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Skype, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, The Market for Lemons, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, undersea cable, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban sprawl, washing machines reduced drudgery, Washington Consensus, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, working poor, working-age population, Works Progress Administration, yellow journalism, yield management

First was the long-run decline in hours of work per week for production workers, which by 1920 had already declined from sixty to fifty-two hours per week. Second was the influence of New Deal legislation, both in reducing hours directly and also in empowering labor unions that fought for and achieved the eight-hour workday and forty-hour work week by the end of the 1930s. An unrelated factor was the baby boom of 1947 to 1964, which increased the child population (0–16) relative to the working-age population (16–64) and thus reduced the ratio of hours worked to the total population. The reverse feedback from productivity growth to shrinking hours reflects the standard view in labor economics that as real income rises, individuals choose not to spend all their extra income on market goods and services, but rather consume a portion of it in the form of extra leisure—that is to say, by working fewer hours.

The retirement of the baby boomers will reduce hours per person independently of any other cause over a long transition period extending from 2008 to 2034. There is more to the demographic headwind, however, than the retirement of the baby boomers. The labor force participation rate (L/N) fell from 66.0 percent in 2007 to 62.9 percent for the full year 2014 and further to 62.6 percent in June 2015. Because the working-age population is 250 million, the decline in L/N by 3.4 percentage points (66.0 minus 62.6) implies a loss of 8.5 million jobs, most of them permanently. Economic research has concluded that about half the decline in the participation rate was caused by the retirement of the baby boomers and the rest by a decline in the participation of those younger than 55. Those who have stopped looking for jobs and have thus dropped out of the labor force consist of workers who have lost their jobs in an economic setting in which they do not expect to be employed again, and a sizeable fraction of them have been able to obtain Social Security disability benefits.48 To call attention to the plight of these victims of deindustrialization, in late July 2013, President Obama toured several Rust Belt cities that have lost most of their manufacturing jobs base.

Policy solutions include immigration, to raise the number of tax-paying workers, together with tax reforms that would raise revenue and improve tax equity. A carbon tax, desirable on environmental grounds to reduce carbon emissions, has the side benefit of generating substantial revenue to help alleviate the fiscal headwind. Immigration Reform of immigration can be accomplished in a way that raises the average skill level of the working-age population and that thus contributes to the growth of labor productivity. One avenue for reform would be to end the practice of denying residency to foreign-born graduates of U.S. universities, a “self-imposed brain drain.” A promising tool to promote high-skilled immigration and raise the average quality of the U.S. labor force would be one such as the Canadian point-based immigration system, in which a point calculator is used to rate each immigrant applicant based on his or her level of education, language skills, and previous employment experience, among other criteria.18 The definition of skills could be broad and could include blue-collar skills, many of which are currently in short supply in the U.S.


pages: 159 words: 45,073

GDP: A Brief but Affectionate History by Diane Coyle

"Robert Solow", Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, big-box store, Bretton Woods, BRICs, business cycle, clean water, computer age, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, Diane Coyle, double entry bookkeeping, en.wikipedia.org, endogenous growth, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, financial intermediation, global supply chain, happiness index / gross national happiness, hedonic treadmill, income inequality, income per capita, informal economy, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Long Term Capital Management, mutually assured destruction, Nathan Meyer Rothschild: antibiotics, new economy, Occupy movement, purchasing power parity, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, University of East Anglia, working-age population

When applied to actual GDP data, the results were mildly embarrassing for the theory, because studies revealed that the great majority of postwar GDP growth was “explained” by the “technical progress,” that is, by the one part of the theory that had no economic explanation. Technical progress was treated in this growth model as manna from heaven. Business investment created new capital to use in production. Labor grew by an increasing working-age population and, as the growth models became more refined, the increasing level of education and skill in the workforce. Both contributed to growth, but “technology” explained more. These simple theories seemed to fit what was known about the recent experience of GDP growth around the world. The pattern of growth in the OEEC/OECD economies in the postwar decades clearly showed the dramatic catch-up by the devastated combatant countries and the relative decline in the United Kingdom (although it too grew at a rate that would later come to be regarded as a Golden Age phenomenon).


pages: 496 words: 131,938

The Future Is Asian by Parag Khanna

3D printing, Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Basel III, blockchain, Boycotts of Israel, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, cashless society, clean water, cloud computing, colonial rule, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, crony capitalism, currency peg, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, energy security, European colonialism, factory automation, failed state, falling living standards, family office, fixed income, flex fuel, gig economy, global reserve currency, global supply chain, haute couture, haute cuisine, illegal immigration, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, Internet of things, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, light touch regulation, low cost airline, low cost carrier, low skilled workers, Lyft, Malacca Straits, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, money market fund, Monroe Doctrine, mortgage debt, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, new economy, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, open economy, Parag Khanna, payday loans, Pearl River Delta, prediction markets, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, reserve currency, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, trade liberalization, trade route, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, uber lyft, upwardly mobile, urban planning, Washington Consensus, working-age population, Yom Kippur War

India’s fastest-growing states in the past decade have been some of its most remote and backward, such as Sikkim and Bihar. Driven by construction, power generation, and manufacturing (and tourism in Sikkim’s Himalayan region), both states have been growing by 12 percent to 25 percent per year. Goa has also grown by double digits on the back of mining and tourism. India is expanding its tax base from the paltry level of 10 percent—just in time as its working-age population expands (and is not expected to peak until 2030). The combination of the goods and services (GST) tax and demonetization has formalized much of the gray economy and weakened the black market. With a stable currency and inflation in check, India has lowered its current account deficit to just 1 percent of GDP. Its stock exchange is one of the world’s best performing, and Indians are pouring into it as much as foreigners, especially as the country weighs moving the rupee toward full capital account convertibility.

Asia thus has every intention of retaining the world’s manufacturing supply chains, even if robots perform a growing share of the labor. South Korea currently leads the world in industrial robotics, with nearly 500 robots per 10,000 manufacturing workers compared to 300 in Japan and Germany and just 36 in China. South Korean workers can also wear exoskeleton bodysuits that allow them to perform more difficult tasks for longer periods with less physical stress. As its working-age population shrinks through aging from 1 billion people in 2015 toward 900 million by 2030, China is spending massively on industrial automation to plug its growing labor gap, buying both the machines and the foreign companies that make them. In 2017, the Chinese appliance giant Midea paid $6 billion for more than 85 percent of Germany’s Kuka Robotics, one of the biggest makers of industrial robots in the world.


pages: 193 words: 47,808

The Flat White Economy by Douglas McWilliams

"Robert Solow", access to a mobile phone, banking crisis, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bonus culture, Boris Johnson, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cleantech, cloud computing, computer age, correlation coefficient, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, George Gilder, hiring and firing, income inequality, informal economy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, loadsamoney, low skilled workers, mass immigration, Metcalfe’s law, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, Pareto efficiency, Peter Thiel, Productivity paradox, Robert Metcalfe, Silicon Valley, smart cities, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, working-age population, zero-sum game

Indeed, the study goes on to point out that “Alternative evidence on entrepreneurship is available from the Household Survey of Entrepreneurship conducted by the Small Business Service. A regional breakdown of attitudes to entrepreneurship in 2005 suggests that the North East and North West are slightly less entrepreneurial than other English regions. Evidence from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor survey for 2006 suggests that the northern regions have lower proportions of their working-age population engaged in business start-ups than the UK average”. My instinctive assessment of public spending is that it is a very weak rod to encourage business activity, partly because of the reasons set out by the left-wing think tank but also because the spending tends to have political rather than economic objectives (especially in the UK – bizarrely, it seems to work better in some other countries where a degree of corruption seems to generate a higher degree of harmony between political and economic objectives!).


pages: 196 words: 53,627

Let Them In: The Case for Open Borders by Jason L. Riley

affirmative action, business cycle, creative destruction, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, deindustrialization, desegregation, guest worker program, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, labor-force participation, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, mass immigration, open borders, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, school choice, Silicon Valley, trade liberalization, War on Poverty, working poor, working-age population, zero-sum game

After all, says Jacoby, “if you’re going to be unemployed, it’s much better to be unemployed at home than in the United States. It’s usually warmer at home and less expensive to live, and you are likely to be surrounded by a network of supportive family and friends.” Jacoby is spot-on, according to the economic data used to gauge an immigrant’s intentions. The labor force participation rate, which measures the percent of the working-age population that is employed or seeking employment, is the strongest indication that immigrants come here to work and not to idle. Among foreign nationals generally, labor participation rates are higher than that of natives (69 percent versus 66 percent in 2006) and jobless rates are lower (4.0 percent versus 4.7 percent in 2006). This disparity only increases with respect to Hispanic males, who boast the highest labor-participation rate of any group in the country.


pages: 198 words: 52,089

Dream Hoarders: How the American Upper Middle Class Is Leaving Everyone Else in the Dust, Why That Is a Problem, and What to Do About It by Richard V. Reeves

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, assortative mating, Bernie Sanders, Branko Milanovic, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, circulation of elites, cognitive dissonance, desegregation, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, full employment, ghettoisation, glass ceiling, helicopter parent, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, income inequality, knowledge economy, land value tax, longitudinal study, mortgage tax deduction, obamacare, Occupy movement, plutocrats, Plutocrats, positional goods, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, War on Poverty, We are the 99%, working-age population, zero-sum game

In fact, as figure 2-1 shows, only a very small proportion of U.S. adults—1 to 2 percent—define themselves as “upper class.” A significant minority—about one in seven—adopts the ‘upper middle class’ description. This is quite similar to the estimates of class size generated by most sociologists, who tend to define the upper middle class as one composed of professionals and managers, or around 15–20 percent of the working-age population. These self-definitions are a useful starting point, providing some sense of how people see themselves on the class ladder. But for analytical purposes, we need a more objective, and measurable, yardstick. But which to choose? After all, I’ve been at pains to argue that class is made up of a subtle, shifting blend of economic, social, educational, and attitudinal factors. Income provides the cleanest instrument with which to dissect the class distribution because it is easier to track over time and to compare between individuals and families (perhaps also because I work with a lot of economists).


Britannia Unchained: Global Lessons for Growth and Prosperity by Kwasi Kwarteng, Priti Patel, Dominic Raab, Chris Skidmore, Elizabeth Truss

Airbnb, banking crisis, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, clockwatching, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, demographic dividend, Edward Glaeser, eurozone crisis, fear of failure, glass ceiling, informal economy, James Dyson, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, long peace, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, megacity, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, Neil Kinnock, new economy, North Sea oil, oil shock, open economy, paypal mafia, pension reform, price stability, profit motive, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, Walter Mischel, wealth creators, Winter of Discontent, working-age population, Yom Kippur War

As only 40 per cent of young people attend secondary school, large swathes of the population, often the poorest in society, lack the opportunity to get ahead.84 Yet in spite of all these deficiencies, India’s economy will grow consistently in the coming years.85 Building the Pyramid There are 2.4 million people working in the UK with a science of tech degree. That is a larger proportion of the working-age population than in the US, Germany or Japan.86 Yet the strong results are not translating into a mass movement. There is a column of talent rather than a pyramid. The top performers are a large proportion of the total number of students. For example, last year just over 75,000 students took an A Level in maths, broadly the same as the total number of undergraduates in maths and the physical sciences.87 If this strength was used to its full potential, the country would be able to fulfil all its requirements with thousands of engineers and computer experts.


pages: 209 words: 53,175

The Psychology of Money: Timeless Lessons on Wealth, Greed, and Happiness by Morgan Housel

"side hustle", airport security, Amazon Web Services, Bernie Madoff, business cycle, computer age, coronavirus, discounted cash flows, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, financial independence, Hans Rosling, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, index fund, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, new economy, Paul Graham, payday loans, Ponzi scheme, quantitative easing, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy, stocks for the long run, the scientific method, traffic fines, Vanguard fund, working-age population

Once the narrative that home prices will keep rising broke, mortgage defaults rose, then banks lost money, then they reduced lending to other businesses, which led to layoffs, which led to less spending, which led to more layoffs, and on and on. Other than clinging to a new narrative, we had an identical—if not greater—capacity for wealth and growth in 2009 as we did in 2007. Yet the economy suffered its worst hit in 80 years. This is different from, say, Germany in 1945, whose manufacturing base had been obliterated. Or Japan in the 2000s, whose working-age population was shrinking. That’s tangible economic damage. In 2009 we inflicted narrative damage on ourselves, and it was vicious. It’s one of the most potent economic forces that exists. When we think about the growth of economies, businesses, investments and careers, we tend to think about tangible things—how much stuff do we have and what are we capable of? But stories are, by far, the most powerful force in the economy.


pages: 261 words: 57,595

China's Future by David Shambaugh

Berlin Wall, capital controls, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, facts on the ground, financial intermediation, financial repression, Gini coefficient, high net worth, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, low skilled workers, market bubble, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, open economy, Pearl River Delta, rent-seeking, secular stagnation, short selling, South China Sea, special drawing rights, too big to fail, urban planning, Washington Consensus, working-age population, young professional

An aging labor force will compel changes in this economic model and may make political rule more difficult.”46 Wang Feng further argues, “As the population ages, the momentum of negative growth will eventually predominate.”47 Figure 3.8 China’s Demographic Projections Source: United Nations World Population Prospects (2015). This is not only a future problem; it has arrived. According to China’s National Bureau of Statistics, the working-age population has already begun to shrink—from 941 million in 2011 to 916 million in 2014.48 Between 2016 and 2026 the number of workers aged twenty to twenty-nine will fall by nearly 25 percent from 200 million to 150 million; the drop will be even sharper for those aged twenty to twenty-four.49 By 2050 the labor force is estimated by McKinsey & Company to contract by 11 percent.50 These trends are going to have profound implications for China’s economy.


pages: 242 words: 68,019

Why Information Grows: The Evolution of Order, From Atoms to Economies by Cesar Hidalgo

"Robert Solow", Ada Lovelace, Albert Einstein, Arthur Eddington, assortative mating, business cycle, Claude Shannon: information theory, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Douglas Hofstadter, Everything should be made as simple as possible, frictionless, frictionless market, George Akerlof, Gödel, Escher, Bach, income inequality, income per capita, industrial cluster, information asymmetry, invention of the telegraph, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, job satisfaction, John von Neumann, Joi Ito, New Economic Geography, Norbert Wiener, p-value, Paul Samuelson, phenotype, price mechanism, Richard Florida, Ronald Coase, Rubik’s Cube, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Skype, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, total factor productivity, transaction costs, working-age population

Lucas, “On the Mechanics of Economic Development,” Journal of Monetary Economics 22, no. 1 (1988): 3–42. 10. Paul M. Romer, “Endogenous Technological Change,” Journal of Political Economy 98, no. 5 (1990): S71–S102. 11. N. G. Mankiw, D. Romer, and D. N. Weil, “A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth,” Quarterly Journal of Economics 107, no. 2 (1992): 407–437. 12. They used the average percentage of the working-age population in secondary school for the period 1960–1985. 13. A. W. Woolley, C. F. Chabris, A. Pentland, N. Hashmi, and T. W. Malone, “Evidence for a Collective Intelligence Factor in the Performance of Human Groups,” Science 29, vol. 330, no. 6004 (2010): 686–688, http://www.sciencemag.org/content/330/6004/686. 14. Ronald S. Burt, Brokerage and Closure: An Introduction to Social Capital (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005). 15.


pages: 257 words: 64,285

The End of Traffic and the Future of Transport: Second Edition by David Levinson, Kevin Krizek

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Bay Area Rapid Transit, big-box store, Chris Urmson, collaborative consumption, commoditize, crowdsourcing, DARPA: Urban Challenge, dematerialisation, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Google Hangouts, Induced demand, intermodal, invention of the printing press, jitney, John Markoff, labor-force participation, lifelogging, Lyft, means of production, megacity, Menlo Park, Network effects, Occam's razor, oil shock, place-making, post-work, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, technological singularity, Tesla Model S, the built environment, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, transaction costs, transportation-network company, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, urban renewal, women in the workforce, working-age population, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game, Zipcar

, according to a 2012 survey by Zipcar.51 The degree to which this is making a virtue of necessity — perhaps Millennials cannot afford cars and fuel as easily as older, more well-situated, generations, and so choose to embrace their relative poverty — is unclear, though demographics, attitudes, and other external factors all play a role.52 53 Changing Nature of Work The workforce in the US has continued its drop as technology-enabled productivity reduces the economic value of older and unskilled workers. While the total size of the workforce is at this writing higher than it was at the depth of the Great Recession, a smaller share of the working age population works today.54 Fewer people are traveling for work, and fewer discretionary trips are made by both workers nervous about spending money and the unemployed who have little or no money to spend. Starting in 2008 in the US, unemployment increased sharply, and though it has since declined, employment participation rates remain much lower as shown in Figure 3.2.55 Demographics are also part of this.


pages: 233 words: 64,702

China's Disruptors: How Alibaba, Xiaomi, Tencent, and Other Companies Are Changing the Rules of Business by Edward Tse

3D printing, Airbnb, Airbus A320, Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, bilateral investment treaty, business process, capital controls, commoditize, conceptual framework, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Graeber, Deng Xiaoping, disruptive innovation, experimental economics, global supply chain, global value chain, high net worth, industrial robot, Joseph Schumpeter, Lyft, money market fund, offshore financial centre, Pearl River Delta, reshoring, rising living standards, risk tolerance, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, thinkpad, trade route, wealth creators, working-age population

Fifteen years ago, Chinese workers were among the cheapest in the world, with average monthly wages of less than $100, one-third the rate of Mexico’s. By 2013, that average had risen to $700, on a par with Malaysia’s, and more than one-third higher than Mexico’s. Making matters harder, the country’s workforce is shrinking. Through the rest of this decade, the decline will be modest, with China’s working population falling by between 2 and 4 million people annually—barely noticeable in a total working-age population of 900 million. But after 2020, thanks to the country’s one-child family policy introduced in the late 1970s, the numbers will fall precipitously as the workforce falls to 650 million by midcentury. Productivity will have to rise sharply if China is to stay competitive. Rising standards of education, discussed later in this chapter, will help, but so will new ways of organizing workforces, such as the platform-based system that Zhang Ruimin is experimenting with at Haier.


pages: 246 words: 68,392

Gigged: The End of the Job and the Future of Work by Sarah Kessler

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, business cycle, call centre, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, crowdsourcing, David Attenborough, Donald Trump, East Village, Elon Musk, financial independence, future of work, game design, gig economy, income inequality, information asymmetry, Jeff Bezos, job automation, law of one price, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market clearing, minimum wage unemployment, new economy, payday loans, post-work, profit maximization, QR code, race to the bottom, ride hailing / ride sharing, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, TaskRabbit, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, union organizing, universal basic income, working-age population, Works Progress Administration, Y Combinator

(If your Kelly Girl employee doesn’t work out, you don’t pay.)6 By 2009, the year Uber launched, nearly all taxi drivers and around 13% of the US population were already self-employed or working as independent contractors. Other alternatives to hiring employees were also on the rise. Around 45% of accountants, 50% of IT workers, and 70% of truck drivers were working for contractors rather than as employees at the companies for which they provided services.7 And the number of temp workers in the United States was on its way to an all-time high. By 2016, 20% to 30% of the working-age population in the United States and European Union had engaged in freelance work.8 Add part-time work to the mix, and some estimates put the percentage of the US workforce that did not have a full-time job as high as 40%.9 Uber merely took a trend among corporations—employing as few people as possible—and adapted it for the smartphone era. The Uber model worked great for both venture capitalists and customers.


pages: 236 words: 67,953

Brave New World of Work by Ulrich Beck

affirmative action, anti-globalists, Asian financial crisis, basic income, Berlin Wall, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, full employment, future of work, Gunnar Myrdal, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, job automation, knowledge worker, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, low skilled workers, McJob, means of production, mini-job, post-work, postnationalism / post nation state, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, rising living standards, Silicon Valley, working poor, working-age population, zero-sum game

The historical period that fits best with this view was the early phase of industrial modernity in Europe. In Britain, for instance, the number of people economically active in agriculture fell dramatically between 1780 and 1988, and from 50 per cent to 2.2 per cent of all paid employment. At the same time, labour productivity soared by a factor of 68, and there was a huge accompanying consolidation of first the industrial sector and then services, which allowed a growing working-age population to be integrated into the labour market. The history of paid employment in all of the early industrialized countries looks similar right up to the 1970s. In the United States, dramatic technological change in the twentieth century led to a sweeping reduction in the numbers engaged in agriculture, but the total number of jobs in the US economy shot up from approximately 27 million in 1900 to 124.5 million in 1993.


pages: 777 words: 186,993

Imagining India by Nandan Nilekani

addicted to oil, affirmative action, Airbus A320, BRICs, British Empire, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, clean water, colonial rule, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, deindustrialization, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, digital map, distributed generation, farmers can use mobile phones to check market prices, full employment, ghettoisation, glass ceiling, global supply chain, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), joint-stock company, knowledge economy, land reform, light touch regulation, LNG terminal, load shedding, low cost airline, Mahatma Gandhi, market fragmentation, mass immigration, Mikhail Gorbachev, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, open economy, Parag Khanna, pension reform, Potemkin village, price mechanism, race to the bottom, rent control, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, Silicon Valley, smart grid, special economic zone, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, unemployed young men, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population

To put it, well, a little bluntly, it took some time for people to realize that fewer babies were dying. Only then, David says, did people adjust toward lower fertility. “And the children who had unexpectedly survived formed a ‘boom generation.’” This generation created a large number of young, enterprising workers, who themselves had fewer children and therefore few dependants—in fact East Asia’s working-age population at this time grew nearly four times faster than its dependent population. The economies in the region as a result had to spend a lower percentage of their incomes on the social costs of a dependent population. Lower costs meant that this generation could save more—we have seen this in India, where a larger working population has helped push the country’s savings rate as a proportion of GDP to 34 percent in 2008, and it is set to rise even higher to 40 percent by 2015.

There was a rapid rise in the proportion of working-age to non-working-age people in the country from 1970, and by 2010 the number of working people will be two and a half times that of dependants. China’s birth control policies have thus created an especially fast-paced demographic shift in the country, a steep slope all the way down. A dividend that took a century to complete its arc in other countries has taken less than forty years here, and dependency is now set to explode. After 2010 China’s working-age population will start falling. The country “is becoming gray before it has become rich”—by 2040, the world’s second largest population after India will be Chinese pensioners, more than 400 million people!22 Across the border in India, however, there was a far more languorous shift. India’s politics ensured that its coercive family planning program failed spectacularly, and since the 1970s the demographic curves of these two once similar countries diverged rapidly.


pages: 477 words: 75,408

The Economic Singularity: Artificial Intelligence and the Death of Capitalism by Calum Chace

3D printing, additive manufacturing, agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, call centre, Chris Urmson, congestion charging, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Douglas Engelbart, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Flynn Effect, full employment, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, ImageNet competition, income inequality, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, lifelogging, lump of labour, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, McJob, means of production, Milgram experiment, Narrative Science, natural language processing, new economy, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, PageRank, pattern recognition, post scarcity, post-industrial society, post-work, precariat, prediction markets, QWERTY keyboard, railway mania, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Rodney Brooks, Sam Altman, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, The Future of Employment, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, Vernor Vinge, working-age population, Y Combinator, young professional

But before policy makers are forced to take action to tackle economic contraction, they will be faced by a much more serious problem: what to do about all those people who no longer have a source of income? This is the distribution problem, which is seen by many as the most severe problem raised by the economic singularity. Tackling it successfully will also solve the problem of economic contraction, so we can move right along. 5.2 – Distribution At the height of the Great Depression in the early 1930s, unemployment reached 25% of the working-age population.[ccxciv] Social security arrangements were primitive then, and developed societies were much poorer than they are today, so that level of joblessness was much harder on people than it is today, when parts of Europe have returned to similar levels overall,[ccxcv] with youth unemployment hitting 50% in some places.[ccxcvi] The worst levels of unemployment in developed countries today are found in Mediterranean countries like Greece and Spain, where family networks remain strong enough that sons and daughters can be supported for months or even years by fathers and mothers – and vice versa.


pages: 232 words: 76,830

Dreams of Leaving and Remaining by James Meek

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, anti-communist, bank run, Boris Johnson, centre right, Corn Laws, corporate governance, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Etonian, full employment, global supply chain, illegal immigration, Jeff Bezos, low skilled workers, Martin Wolf, mega-rich, Neil Kinnock, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, obamacare, offshore financial centre, race to the bottom, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, Stephen Hawking, working-age population

Five hunts – the Atherstone, the Belvoir, the Cottesmore, the Quorn and the Fernie – still go through the motions of chasing foxes within the bounds of the law. In bleaker districts of small post-industrial towns like Coalville and Loughborough, there is poverty, low wages and anomie. Demographically it’s a whiter, older world; its population is growing much more slowly than Leicester’s, and that growth is among the elderly. The working-age population is shrinking. The number of over-eighty-fives is forecast to grow by 187 per cent by the late 2030s. All seven of its MPs are Conservative, among them Nicky Morgan, the chair of the Treasury Select Committee. It voted, narrowly, to leave. If there was to be a transformation in the way Leicestershire’s million people were to be helped to good health, there had to be a plan, and an organisation to carry it out.


pages: 256 words: 79,075

Hired: Six Months Undercover in Low-Wage Britain by James Bloodworth

Airbnb, Berlin Wall, call centre, clockwatching, collective bargaining, congestion charging, credit crunch, deindustrialization, Fall of the Berlin Wall, gig economy, Jeff Bezos, low skilled workers, Network effects, new economy, North Sea oil, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, payday loans, post-work, profit motive, race to the bottom, reshoring, Silicon Valley, Travis Kalanick, Uber for X, working poor, working-age population

All of this might have been highly unfair, of course. And there were a few positive glimmers amidst the shower of negativity. Overall, though, there were around three times as many one-star reviews as there were five-star reviews. What was certainly true was that the care sector as a whole was desperate for staff. In Britain today, an ageing population co-exists alongside a harried and stressed-out working-age population. The pressure on the latter to make ends meet by toiling away for longer and longer hours makes it increasingly difficult to take the time out to look after parents and grandparents, who are living for longer. Around one in three babies born after 2013 will live to be 100. Meanwhile, British employees work some of the longest hours in Europe. Thus very often Britain’s elderly resemble ‘units parcelled up and sold to the lowest bidder’, as one care worker from another company would phrase it to me.2 An illustration of just how straightforward it is to walk into a job in domiciliary care greeted me in the reception area outside the makeshift room in the single-floor office where my interview took place.


pages: 280 words: 74,559

Fully Automated Luxury Communism by Aaron Bastani

"Robert Solow", autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Bretton Woods, capital controls, cashless society, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, computer age, computer vision, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, Donald Trump, double helix, Elon Musk, energy transition, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial independence, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, G4S, housing crisis, income inequality, industrial robot, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Kuiper Belt, land reform, liberal capitalism, low earth orbit, low skilled workers, M-Pesa, market fundamentalism, means of production, mobile money, more computing power than Apollo, new economy, off grid, pattern recognition, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, post scarcity, post-work, price mechanism, price stability, private space industry, Productivity paradox, profit motive, race to the bottom, RFID, rising living standards, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sensor fusion, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Slavoj Žižek, stem cell, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, the built environment, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, transatlantic slave trade, Travis Kalanick, universal basic income, V2 rocket, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, working-age population

Stewart Brand An Ageing Species By 2020, for the first time in human history, there will be more people over the age of sixty-five than under the age of five. By 2050 there will be more people over sixty-five than under fourteen. This is perhaps the crowning achievement of our species – nowhere else in nature do the old outnumber the young. While certainly welcome, such a shift brings with it numerous problems, not least that living longer, while having fewer children, imperils forms of collective insurance which presume a larger ‘working age’ population than dependents. Indeed, those first two conditions have, in many countries, already been met and are presently going global. What remains uncertain is whether public pensions and socialised elderly care will be viable in the future. If not, it would be ironic: capitalist affluence means more of us reach old age, yet many would lack the resources to be cared for. In the middle of the seventeenth century the philosopher Thomas Hobbes described life in a state of nature, a hypothetical condition without government or rule of law, as ‘nasty, brutish and short’.


pages: 555 words: 80,635

Open: The Progressive Case for Free Trade, Immigration, and Global Capital by Kimberly Clausing

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, active measures, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, battle of ideas, Bernie Sanders, business climate, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Donald Trump, floating exchange rates, full employment, gig economy, global supply chain, global value chain, guest worker program, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, index fund, investor state dispute settlement, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, offshore financial centre, open economy, Paul Samuelson, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transfer pricing, uber lyft, winner-take-all economy, working-age population, zero-sum game

Because of higher US wages, making these products abroad is far less expensive than it would be at home. To produce these labor-intensive goods here, we would need to move labor away from its current occupations and toward those industries where we would no longer be importing goods. Figure 3.1: Labor Force Participation is Not Driven Down by Imports Notes: Data show labor force participation relative to the working-age population. Data sources: Federal Reserve Economic Data; World Development Indicators, World Bank. Which industries would shrink as a result, and would that be a good thing? Natural candidates would be export industries, since the very policies that reduced our imports would also reduce our exports. Our trading partners would be unlikely to sit on their hands while we raised trade barriers. If they raised trade barriers, too, that would directly reduce US exports.


pages: 269 words: 77,876

Brilliant, Crazy, Cocky: How the Top 1% of Entrepreneurs Profit From Global Chaos by Sarah Lacy

Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, BRICs, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, fear of failure, Firefox, income per capita, intangible asset, Jeff Bezos, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, megacity, Network effects, paypal mafia, QWERTY keyboard, risk tolerance, Skype, social web, Steve Jobs, Tony Hsieh, urban planning, web application, women in the workforce, working-age population, zero-sum game

Today, with a $1.6 tril ion col ective GDP, Africa is equivalent to Brazil or Russia. It’s expected to grow to $2.6 tril ion by 2020. Consumer spending in Africa is $860 bil ion, which is expected to grow to $1.4 tril ion by 2020. Approximately 128 mil ion African households wil become wealthy enough to have discretionary income by the same year. By 2030, 50 percent of them wil be living in cities, and by 2040, 1.1 bil ion Africans wil be of working age—the largest working-age population on the planet. Already the discretionary household spending there is larger than it is in India or Russia.6 Despite huge political, human rights, poverty, and health issues that stil roil the continent, in pockets like Rwanda, real progress is being made. More people are safe, more people have access to jobs, and more African countries and companies are getting foreign investment, according to a 2010 McKinsey report that says, “Global business cannot afford to ignore the potential.”7 Structural changes in economies like lowering inflation, trimming debts, privatizing state-owned companies, cutting taxes, and strengthening legal systems have given birth to a nascent private sector where productivity is no longer declining; it is now rising nearly 3 percent annual y since 2000.


pages: 491 words: 77,650

Humans as a Service: The Promise and Perils of Work in the Gig Economy by Jeremias Prassl

3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrei Shleifer, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, call centre, cashless society, Clayton Christensen, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Erik Brynjolfsson, full employment, future of work, George Akerlof, gig economy, global supply chain, hiring and firing, income inequality, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kickstarter, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, market friction, means of production, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, pattern recognition, platform as a service, Productivity paradox, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, remote working, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Rosa Parks, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Simon Singh, software as a service, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, transaction costs, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, two tier labour market, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, union organizing, working-age population

Depending on where we look, we are faced with wildly different numbers—especially when trying to deter- mine what proportion of the overall workforce are engaged in the gig economy.15 Very little, some argue: economists Lawrence Katz of Harvard University and Alan Krueger of Princeton University, for example, esti- mated in 2016 that a mere 0.5 per cent of the US workforce worked for on-demand platforms—that is, no more than 800,000 workers.16 US Senator Mark Warner, meanwhile, cites a much larger (if hardly credible) range of estimates: ‘I've seen it range from 3 million to 53 million.’17 The truth lies somewhere in between those extremes. Indeed, a more realistic consensus (at least as regards industry size) appears to be emerging at the time of writing. Several studies using a range of methodologies, from traditional surveys to an analysis of bank accounts to determine where income is derived from, have homed in on a figure of approximately 4 per cent of the working-age population both in the United States and the UK.18 A report by the RSA, a UK think tank, published in spring 2017 simi- larly estimates that there are currently 1.1 million gig workers in the UK and that approximately ‘3 per cent of adults aged 15+ have tried gig work of some form, which equates to as many as 1.6 million adults’.19 From an overall labour-market perspective, these numbers don’t necessarily sound like a major concern—until we consider the fact that most serious attempts at measuring the size of gig work in the broader labour market * * * Understanding the Gig Economy 17 tend to understate its extent.


pages: 220 words: 88,994

1989 The Berlin Wall: My Part in Its Downfall by Peter Millar

anti-communist, back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, glass ceiling, kremlinology, Marshall McLuhan, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Sinatra Doctrine, urban sprawl, working-age population

But with better living conditions in the West, the Soviet ‘zone’ kept haemorrhaging people. In 1952 at Stalin’s behest, the East Germans built a fortified fence along the border with West Germany and equipped it with watchtowers, armed guards, dogs and eventually automatically triggered machine guns. But there was still nothing to stop people wandering into the Western sectors of Berlin and not coming back. By 1960 the working-age population of East Germany had dropped from seventy to sixty per cent of the total. Before long it would be empty of all but geriatrics and the disabled. People denied a genuine vote at the ballot box were voting with their feet. On June 15th, 1961 Walter Ulbricht, the general secretary of the East German Communist Party (officially the Socialist Unity Party since a forced merger with the Social Democrats in 1946) gave a speech in which he famously said: ‘Niemand hat die Absicht, eine Mauer zu errichten.


pages: 280 words: 83,299

Empty Planet: The Shock of Global Population Decline by Darrell Bricker, John Ibbitson

affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Berlin Wall, BRICs, British Empire, Columbian Exchange, commoditize, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, full employment, gender pay gap, ghettoisation, glass ceiling, global reserve currency, Gunnar Myrdal, Hans Rosling, Hernando de Soto, illegal immigration, income inequality, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, John Snow's cholera map, Kibera, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, New Urbanism, nuclear winter, off grid, offshore financial centre, out of africa, Potemkin village, purchasing power parity, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, transcontinental railway, upwardly mobile, urban planning, working-age population, young professional, zero-sum game

Meanwhile, Europe’s overall population is projected to shrink by 4 percent.179 If you were an investor forced to choose, would you choose Europe or Africa? Although Africa is our cradle, the place we all come from, it is also young, with a median age of only nineteen, compared to forty-two for Europe and thirty-five for North America.180 In the coming decades, Africa is expected to be the only region in the world that will significantly increase its working-age population. On this, everyone agrees: between now and mid-century, Africa will grow both its population and its economy. Kenya, which wants to become a regional business hub for international companies chasing opportunities in Africa, is in a race for modernity with its continental competitors. That upgraded airport was all about winning that race. Kenya’s advantage, like the joke about the two guys being chased by the bear, is that it doesn’t have to beat the world, it just has to beat the local competition.


pages: 207 words: 86,639

The New Economics: A Bigger Picture by David Boyle, Andrew Simms

Asian financial crisis, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bonfire of the Vanities, Bretton Woods, capital controls, carbon footprint, clean water, collateralized debt obligation, colonial rule, Community Supported Agriculture, congestion charging, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, delayed gratification, deskilling, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, financial deregulation, financial exclusion, financial innovation, full employment, garden city movement, happiness index / gross national happiness, if you build it, they will come, income inequality, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jane Jacobs, Kickstarter, land reform, light touch regulation, loss aversion, mega-rich, microcredit, Mikhail Gorbachev, mortgage debt, neoliberal agenda, new economy, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, oil shock, peak oil, pensions crisis, profit motive, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, Ronald Reagan, seigniorage, Simon Kuznets, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Vilfredo Pareto, Washington Consensus, wealth creators, working-age population

Often this is the kind of ‘work’ that is far better done by neighbours than by professionals. But the attitude of conventional economics to this unmarketable, unwaged work is corrosive. Once it drops out of the conventional economic system, it becomes invisible to policy makers, unless it can be sold and commodified. It also leads to a situation where the government believes that ‘full employment’ – or 80 per cent of the working age population in work – is a valuable objective, when their voluntary work or their work as parents might actually be more valuable to the neighbourhood. There are costs – social and economic – of everyone being at work.20 It would mean, for example, that with no one at home except the frail and elderly, there is a gap left among those who socialize our children, look after older people, prevent crime and provide the human face of our neighbourhoods and communities.


pages: 287 words: 82,576

The Complacent Class: The Self-Defeating Quest for the American Dream by Tyler Cowen

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Alvin Roth, assortative mating, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, business climate, business cycle, circulation of elites, clean water, David Graeber, declining real wages, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, drone strike, East Village, Elon Musk, Ferguson, Missouri, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, gig economy, Google Glasses, Hyman Minsky, Hyperloop, income inequality, intangible asset, Internet of things, inventory management, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, medical residency, meta analysis, meta-analysis, obamacare, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, Peter Thiel, purchasing power parity, Richard Florida, security theater, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, South China Sea, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, The Great Moderation, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, total factor productivity, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, upwardly mobile, Vilfredo Pareto, working-age population, World Values Survey

Innovation thus becomes something more and more foreign to most American workers, embedded in tech devices but not something that most directly observe and participate in. Furthermore, virtually all analysts expect the percentage of the workforce employed in manufacturing to decline, further insulating American workers from direct experience of significant economic dynamism.16 If we adjust for increases in the American working-age population, the United States creates 25 percent fewer triadic patents per person than it did in 1999.17 (A triadic patent is one filed in the United States, Europe, and Japan, and tends to be a relatively serious patent in terms of potential scope.) This measured decline comes in an age where an increasing number of trivial, ridiculous, or “trolling” patents are granted by an out-of-control patenting process; one-click shopping, however fun and easy it may be to do, should not be receiving patent protection.


pages: 263 words: 80,594

Stolen: How to Save the World From Financialisation by Grace Blakeley

"Robert Solow", activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, asset-backed security, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Basel III, basic income, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bitcoin, Bretton Woods, business cycle, call centre, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate raider, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, currency peg, David Graeber, debt deflation, decarbonisation, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, fixed income, full employment, G4S, gender pay gap, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, global supply chain, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, inflation targeting, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, land value tax, light touch regulation, low skilled workers, market clearing, means of production, money market fund, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, negative equity, neoliberal agenda, new economy, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, paradox of thrift, payday loans, pensions crisis, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, principal–agent problem, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, Right to Buy, rising living standards, risk-adjusted returns, road to serfdom, savings glut, secular stagnation, shareholder value, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, sovereign wealth fund, the built environment, The Great Moderation, too big to fail, transfer pricing, universal basic income, Winter of Discontent, working-age population, yield curve, zero-sum game

In fact, the asset price inflation of the pre-crisis period and the large profits generated by the finance sector disguised a long-standing slowdown in other parts of the economy. Some have argued that this can be attributed to a slowdown in technological change.21 Others point to demographic change — falling birth rates and rising life expectancies associated with rising affluence in the global North have led to a fall in the working age population that is depressing long-term growth rates.22 But all those who support the secular stagnation hypothesis converge on one point: without extraordinary interventions from the state such as quantitative easing, many economies in the global North appear to have ground to a halt. Today’s economists have all converged on one burning question: What is going on? Just like the theory of the great moderation itself, the secular stagnation hypothesis takes for granted many of the assumptions of neoclassical economics.


pages: 209 words: 89,619

The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class by Guy Standing

8-hour work day, banking crisis, barriers to entry, basic income, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, call centre, Cass Sunstein, centre right, collective bargaining, corporate governance, crony capitalism, deindustrialization, deskilling, fear of failure, full employment, hiring and firing, Honoré de Balzac, housing crisis, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, land reform, libertarian paternalism, low skilled workers, lump of labour, marginal employment, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, means of production, mini-job, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, nudge unit, old age dependency ratio, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, pensions crisis, placebo effect, post-industrial society, precariat, presumed consent, quantitative easing, remote working, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, science of happiness, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, The Spirit Level, Tobin tax, transaction costs, universal basic income, unpaid internship, winner-take-all economy, working poor, working-age population, young professional

These are labour market realities in emerging market economies. Although campaigns and international agencies could do more to rectify them, they will continue. However, most relevant for understanding the shaping of the global precariat are developments in the economy that is rapidly becoming the world’s largest. The Chinese state has shaped a denizen labour force unlike anything else ever created. It has a working-age population of 977 million, which will rise to 993 million by 2015. Some 200 million are rural migrants lured to the new industrial workshops where Chinese and foreign contractors act as intermediaries of household-name multinational corporations from all over the world. These migrants are the engine of the global precariat, denizens in their own country. Because they are unable to obtain the hukou residence permit, they are forced to live and work precariously, denied the rights of urban natives.


pages: 346 words: 90,371

Rethinking the Economics of Land and Housing by Josh Ryan-Collins, Toby Lloyd, Laurie Macfarlane

"Robert Solow", agricultural Revolution, asset-backed security, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, basic income, Bretton Woods, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, collective bargaining, Corn Laws, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, credit crunch, debt deflation, deindustrialization, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, full employment, garden city movement, George Akerlof, ghettoisation, Gini coefficient, Hernando de Soto, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, information asymmetry, knowledge worker, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, land reform, land tenure, land value tax, Landlord’s Game, low skilled workers, market bubble, market clearing, Martin Wolf, means of production, money market fund, mortgage debt, negative equity, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, Pareto efficiency, place-making, price stability, profit maximization, quantitative easing, rent control, rent-seeking, Richard Florida, Right to Buy, rising living standards, risk tolerance, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, shareholder value, the built environment, The Great Moderation, The Market for Lemons, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, universal basic income, urban planning, urban sprawl, working poor, working-age population

As shown in Figure 5.2, mortgage debt outstanding has increased from around 30% of real disposable income in 1987 to almost 100%, helping to drive up average house prices from four times disposable income per household to ten times. This of course disguises large regional variations – in more desirable areas such as London and the South East the ratio is up to twenty times (ONS, 2015c). Recent research shows that when housing costs (including mortgage debt and rents) are included in an assessment of changing living standards since 2002, over half of UK households across the working age population have seen falling or flat living standards (Clarke et al., 2016). Figure 5.2 House prices and mortgage debt compared to income in the UK (source: ONS, Nationwide and Bank of England; data de‹ated using 2010 prices) The impact of rising housing costs is not distributed equally across populations of course. In 2013, 1.17 million households had mortgage debts amounting to more than 4.5 times their disposable income – representing nearly one in seven (13.2%) households with mortgages (ONS, 2015a, p. 1).


When the Money Runs Out: The End of Western Affluence by Stephen D. King

Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, business cycle, capital controls, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, congestion charging, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, cross-subsidies, debt deflation, Deng Xiaoping, Diane Coyle, endowment effect, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, financial repression, fixed income, floating exchange rates, full employment, George Akerlof, German hyperinflation, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, income per capita, inflation targeting, invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, joint-stock company, Kickstarter, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, liquidity trap, London Interbank Offered Rate, loss aversion, market clearing, mass immigration, moral hazard, mortgage debt, new economy, New Urbanism, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, old age dependency ratio, price mechanism, price stability, quantitative easing, railway mania, rent-seeking, reserve currency, rising living standards, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, technology bubble, The Market for Lemons, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Tobin tax, too big to fail, trade route, trickle-down economics, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, working-age population

Argentina was a major outperformer between 1870 and the outbreak of the First World War, thanks largely to the free-­trade instincts of the late nineteenth-­century British Empire, new scientific advances and the mass migration of people in the late nineteenth century. It may have been a long way away from Europe and the US but Argentina was able to take full advantage of the Royal Navy’s commitment to keep international sea lanes open. New refrigerator technologies – and faster ships – meant its beef could be 14 4099.indd 14 29/03/13 2:23 PM Taking Progress for Granted exported to destinations many thousands of miles away. Its working age population grew rapidly, a reflection of the Belle Époque mass migration from Europe – particularly from southern Europe – that led to equally dramatic demographic changes in the US, Canada and Australia. The growth of international financial markets, meanwhile, led to huge improvements in Argentina’s capital stock. After the First World War, Argentina, alongside Australia and Canada, lost out. Impoverished Britain could no longer easily keep its empire afloat.


pages: 323 words: 90,868

The Wealth of Humans: Work, Power, and Status in the Twenty-First Century by Ryan Avent

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, Airbnb, American energy revolution, assortative mating, autonomous vehicles, Bakken shale, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, BRICs, business cycle, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, creative destruction, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, disruptive innovation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, falling living standards, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Ford paid five dollars a day, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, gig economy, global supply chain, global value chain, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, intangible asset, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, knowledge economy, low skilled workers, lump of labour, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, mass immigration, means of production, new economy, performance metric, pets.com, post-work, price mechanism, quantitative easing, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, reshoring, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, savings glut, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, software is eating the world, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, very high income, working-age population

By 1940 roughly a quarter of working-age Americans had at least a secondary school education and around 5 per cent had at least a bachelor’s degree; rates were higher for the younger cohorts.8 Those figures rose steadily over the next half-century; now nearly 90 per cent of working-age Americans have at least a secondary education and 41 per cent have a bachelor’s degree or more. Most other rich countries do about as well; about 39 per cent of Britons have a bachelor’s degree or better, as do 26 per cent of Germans and 46 per cent of Japanese (The average among OECD countries is about 30 per cent of the working-age population).9 Humanity spent millennia figuring out ways to augment its physical strength, through wheels and pulleys and animal-power and steam and electricity, but, in the space of just over a century, humanity suddenly mobilized an enormous share of its cognitive strength. * * * Rising skill levels enabled rapid economic growth; the second industrial revolution, built on technologies such as electricity, chemistry and the car, couldn’t have unfolded as it did without a growing pool of skilled labour.


words: 49,604

The Weightless World: Strategies for Managing the Digital Economy by Diane Coyle

"Robert Solow", barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, blue-collar work, Bretton Woods, business cycle, clean water, computer age, Corn Laws, creative destruction, cross-subsidies, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, dematerialisation, Diane Coyle, Edward Glaeser, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, financial deregulation, full employment, George Santayana, global village, hiring and firing, Howard Rheingold, income inequality, informal economy, invention of the sewing machine, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, laissez-faire capitalism, lump of labour, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, McJob, microcredit, moral panic, Network effects, new economy, Nick Leeson, night-watchman state, North Sea oil, offshore financial centre, pension reform, pensions crisis, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, spinning jenny, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, Tobin tax, two tier labour market, very high income, War on Poverty, winner-take-all economy, working-age population

No matter how you rearrange the financing, whether lower pensions, higher contributions or saving, or a different private-public mix, the underlying demographic equation is unchanged. In economic terms the developed countries will require a shrinking active population to pay for a growing dependent population. Sticking with the economics, the most direct solution would be to in- The Weightless World 162 crease the working-age population: immigration. Some countries have long enjoyed the benefit of immigration. America was built on it. Germany has welcomed gästarbeiter when suffering labour shortages and more than done its duty by refugees. Even the UK, with a tradition of petty hostility to foreigners, has grudgingly permitted some waves of official immigration and is currently turning a blind eye to unofficial immigration from eastern Europe.


pages: 279 words: 90,888

The Lost Decade: 2010–2020, and What Lies Ahead for Britain by Polly Toynbee, David Walker

banking crisis, battle of ideas, Boris Johnson, call centre, car-free, centre right, collective bargaining, congestion charging, corporate governance, crony capitalism, David Attenborough, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, energy transition, Etonian, first-past-the-post, G4S, gender pay gap, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global village, high net worth, housing crisis, income inequality, industrial robot, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), James Dyson, manufacturing employment, mass immigration, moral panic, mortgage debt, North Sea oil, offshore financial centre, payday loans, pension reform, quantitative easing, Right to Buy, Saturday Night Live, selection bias, smart meter, Uber for X, urban renewal, working-age population

Blackpool could apply for a share of a Coastal Communities Fund, invented in 2012, but the total of £170 million was meant to provide for 278 projects in English seaside towns, and they, like Barnsley, were simultaneously having to subsist on sharply reduced revenues. Blackpool had to sell its deckchairs to try to make ends meet. The resort’s problems were endemic and paradoxical. The more the economy sank, the cheaper accommodation became – holiday bed-and-breakfasts became bedsits – and the more unemployed, sick and disabled people were attracted to (or pushed into) moving there. Thirteen per cent of Blackpool’s working-age population became dependent on welfare benefits, and prescriptions for antidepressants soared. Place Is Fate Increasingly, where you were from determined your chances in life. ‘Students in Ipswich schools, especially those from disadvantaged families, are not achieving the same school exam results as they would if they lived somewhere else.’ So said Clare Flintoff, head of a local academy trust, who – like many educators – put her faith in the classroom.


pages: 261 words: 103,244

Economists and the Powerful by Norbert Haring, Norbert H. Ring, Niall Douglas

"Robert Solow", accounting loophole / creative accounting, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, asset allocation, bank run, barriers to entry, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, buy and hold, central bank independence, collective bargaining, commodity trading advisor, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, diversified portfolio, financial deregulation, George Akerlof, illegal immigration, income inequality, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, Jean Tirole, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, knowledge worker, law of one price, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, mandatory minimum, market bubble, market clearing, market fundamentalism, means of production, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, new economy, obamacare, old-boy network, open economy, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, pension reform, Ponzi scheme, price stability, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, Renaissance Technologies, rolodex, Sergey Aleynikov, shareholder value, short selling, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, transaction costs, ultimatum game, union organizing, Vilfredo Pareto, working-age population, World Values Survey

In a comparative assessment of child wellbeing in 21 industrial nations, the US ranked 21st and last in terms of child health and safety, far behind much poorer nations like Greece, Hungary or the Czech Republic (UNICEF 2007). A higher proportion of the population lives in absolute poverty than in many European countries and in Canada – absolute poverty being defined for all countries as 40 percent of the median income of a US citizen (Smeeding 2005). The prisoner to population ratio in the US is five to ten times as high as it is in Europe. A staggering 2.3 percent of the male working age population was in jail in 2004 (Schmitt and Zipperer 2006). Until 2008, the numbers kept going up (PEW Center on the States 2008). Due to the lack of prominence given to that sort of statistics, which stand deep in the shadow of GDP, modern conventional economists on both sides of the Atlantic can sell the US as the great example to be emulated, despite its shortcomings. It was not coincidence or luck that led to statistical practices so favorable to the world’s leading nation.


pages: 363 words: 101,082

Earth Wars: The Battle for Global Resources by Geoff Hiscock

Admiral Zheng, Asian financial crisis, Bakken shale, Bernie Madoff, BRICs, butterfly effect, clean water, cleantech, corporate governance, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, energy security, energy transition, eurozone crisis, Exxon Valdez, flex fuel, global rebalancing, global supply chain, hydraulic fracturing, Long Term Capital Management, Malacca Straits, Masdar, mass immigration, megacity, Menlo Park, Mohammed Bouazizi, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Panamax, Pearl River Delta, purchasing power parity, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, smart grid, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, trade route, uranium enrichment, urban decay, WikiLeaks, working-age population, Yom Kippur War

Kinder Morgan press release, “Kinder Morgan to purchase El Paso for approximately $38 billion,” 16 October 2011. 10. CNPC press release, “CNPC and Cupet sign expanded oil cooperative framework agreement,” 8 June 2011. 11. Rosen, Daniel H. & Hanemann, Thilo, “An American Open Door? Maximising the Benefits of Chinese Direct Investment,” Asia Society and Woodrow Wilson Centre for Scholars, May 2011. CHAPTER 12 Japan after the Deluge When one looks at GDP growth to working age population (defined as population aged 20–60), one gets a surprising result: Japan has actually done better than the U.S. or most European countries over the last decade. —Daniel Gros, director of the Centre for European Policy Studies, January 6, 2011 Japan may be softly receding into nonimportance in the eyes of the more strident backers of Chinese or Indian twenty-first-century economic supremacy, but its global influence remains significant.


pages: 357 words: 99,684

Why It's Still Kicking Off Everywhere: The New Global Revolutions by Paul Mason

anti-globalists, back-to-the-land, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, business cycle, capital controls, centre right, citizen journalism, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, do-ocracy, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, floating exchange rates, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, ghettoisation, illegal immigration, informal economy, land tenure, low skilled workers, mass immigration, means of production, megacity, Mohammed Bouazizi, Naomi Klein, Network effects, New Journalism, Occupy movement, price stability, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, rising living standards, short selling, Slavoj Žižek, Stewart Brand, strikebreaker, union organizing, We are the 99%, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Winter of Discontent, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population, young professional

Labour’s then Business Secretary Peter Mandelson had summed up the party’s strategy when he announced it was ‘intensely relaxed about people becoming filthy rich as long as they pay their taxes’; his Cabinet colleague Geoff Hoon is said to have told Labour MPs worried about the decline of shipbuilding that: ‘metal bashing is no longer a vital national asset’. Under Labour, Britain lost 1.3 million manufacturing jobs. But this was social democracy. There had to be a palliative. The scale and persistence of poverty in Britain prompted Labour to extend the benefit system into the lives of those at work, in the form of tax credits. As a result, by 2010, 9.2 million adults out of a working-age population of 37 million were receiving state tax credits, while 5.4 million people were dependent on out-of-work benefits.13 By the end of the Labour government, former Labour minister Alan Milburn would admit: ‘We still live in a country where, invariably, if you’re born poor, you die poor, just as if you go to a low-achieving school, you tend to end up in a low-achieving job.’14 Redistribution through welfare was never overtly sold as compensation for the destruction of the ‘old’ working-class lifestyle, but that’s how it was widely understood.


pages: 317 words: 101,475

Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class by Owen Jones

Asperger Syndrome, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Boris Johnson, British Empire, call centre, collapse of Lehman Brothers, credit crunch, deindustrialization, Etonian, facts on the ground, falling living standards, first-past-the-post, ghettoisation, Gini coefficient, hiring and firing, housing crisis, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, mass immigration, Neil Kinnock, Occupy movement, pension reform, place-making, plutocrats, Plutocrats, race to the bottom, Right to Buy, rising living standards, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Spirit Level, too big to fail, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, We are the 99%, wealth creators, Winter of Discontent, women in the workforce, working-age population

That means that more than four out of every five jobs created in Britain since 1997 have gone to foreign-born workers. But this fails to take into account the fact that the British population is actually growing very slowly. There are problems with the figures available, not least because some foreign-born workers will now be British citizens, but they do give us a general picture. The British-born population of working age has only gone up by 348,000 since 1997, while the non-British born working-age population has risen by 2.4 million. Nearly a million Britons have left the country since then, and there are a staggering 5.6 million Britons living abroad: it is often for- gotten that migration is a two-way process. The bottom line is that the number of jobs going to British-born workers has gone up more than the British-born working population has increased. Less than three quarters of non-Britons have had any luck getting a job--at least, a job that found its way into the official statistics.'


pages: 471 words: 97,152

Animal Spirits: How Human Psychology Drives the Economy, and Why It Matters for Global Capitalism by George A. Akerlof, Robert J. Shiller

"Robert Solow", affirmative action, Andrei Shleifer, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, business cycle, buy and hold, collateralized debt obligation, conceptual framework, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, experimental subject, financial innovation, full employment, George Akerlof, George Santayana, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, income per capita, inflation targeting, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jean Tirole, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, market bubble, market clearing, mental accounting, Mikhail Gorbachev, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, new economy, New Urbanism, Paul Samuelson, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price stability, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, random walk, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, South Sea Bubble, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, transaction costs, tulip mania, working-age population, Y2K, Yom Kippur War

Canada provides an instance in which denial of a tradeoff between inflation and unemployment not only mattered but mattered greatly. The U.S. economy was roaring in the 1990s. But up north our neighbors were experiencing the “Great Canadian Slump,” as it was named by the distinguished Canadian economist Pierre Fortin.17 In 1996 Fortin compared this slump to that seen in the Great Depression of the 1930s. His measure of the two recessions was the cumulative decline from peak of the employed fraction of the working-age population. As of 1996 the Canadian economy had already suffered 30% of the cumulative decline seen in the Great Depression.18 The Depression was not all that much worse, said Fortin in 1996. It had been deeper, and it had lasted longer. He could not have known then that it would take four more years for the economy to recover. Where does Fortin place the blame? He makes a long list of all the possible causes of the recession, such as trade, fiscal policy, minimum wages, and restrictive monetary policy.


pages: 436 words: 98,538

The Upside of Inequality by Edward Conard

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, assortative mating, bank run, Berlin Wall, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Climatic Research Unit, cloud computing, corporate governance, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, disruptive innovation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, full employment, future of work, Gini coefficient, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of the telephone, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, liquidity trap, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, offshore financial centre, paradox of thrift, Paul Samuelson, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, randomized controlled trial, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, selection bias, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, survivorship bias, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, total factor productivity, twin studies, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, University of East Anglia, upwardly mobile, War on Poverty, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population, zero-sum game

It is easy to see the benefits of increased competition, risk-taking, and growth in practice. A slowdown in risk-taking in the aftermath of the financial crisis has had a profoundly detrimental impact on employment, median family incomes, and growth. Median family incomes (adjusted for inflation) have fallen 7 percent from 2000 to 2014.35 Workforce participation has fallen from 67 percent to 62 percent of the working-age population, a historic low.36 And productivity growth has fallen to a paltry 0.7 percent a year since 2011, far below its 2.2 percent annual long-term average (see Figure 4-3, “U.S. Productivity Growth”). In the long run, the tax revenues collected on success are small compared with the enormous value of success to the rest of society. Despite the political appeal, it is a fool’s errand to tax success heavily for the sake of a few extra dollars of tax revenue—an increase that is likely only temporary.


pages: 360 words: 100,991

Heart of the Machine: Our Future in a World of Artificial Emotional Intelligence by Richard Yonck

3D printing, AI winter, artificial general intelligence, Asperger Syndrome, augmented reality, Berlin Wall, brain emulation, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, computer age, computer vision, crowdsourcing, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, friendly AI, ghettoisation, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of writing, Jacques de Vaucanson, job automation, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, Loebner Prize, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Metcalfe’s law, neurotypical, Oculus Rift, old age dependency ratio, pattern recognition, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, Skype, social intelligence, software as a service, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, telepresence, telepresence robot, The Future of Employment, the scientific method, theory of mind, Turing test, twin studies, undersea cable, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Review, working-age population, zero day

In 1990, only 12 percent of Japanese were over sixty-five, but in 2010, that number had more than doubled to 23 percent. By 2025, it’s estimated that 30 percent of Japan’s population will be senior citizens.3 As if this weren’t enough, Japan’s dependency ratio is skyrocketing as well. The old-age dependency ratio provides a snapshot of a nation’s population resources and demands and is calculated by dividing the population over the age of sixty-five by the working-age population. In 2010, this ratio was 36.1 percent, or 2.8 workers for each senior. By 2022 this ratio is expected to jump to 50.2 percent, or two workers supporting every senior. (Compare this to the United States in 2015 with a ratio of 22 percent, or 4.5 workers per senior.) Current projections suggest that by 2060 Japan will reach a ratio of 78.4 percent—only 1.3 Japanese workers for every senior resident.


pages: 329 words: 102,469

Free World: America, Europe, and the Surprising Future of the West by Timothy Garton Ash

Albert Einstein, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, BRICs, British Empire, call centre, centre right, clean water, Columbine, continuation of politics by other means, cuban missile crisis, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, Eratosthenes, European colonialism, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, illegal immigration, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), James Watt: steam engine, Kickstarter, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, Peace of Westphalia, postnationalism / post nation state, Project for a New American Century, purchasing power parity, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Thomas Malthus, trade liberalization, Washington Consensus, working poor, working-age population, World Values Survey

In 1999, the Germans worked on average just over 1,500 hours per year against the Americans’ nearly 2,000.74 Almost three-quarters of the population of working age in the United States was employed, compared with less than two-thirds of the Germans and French.75 (The British were once again in between, with just over 1,700 hours worked on average per year and more than 70 percent of the working-age population in employment.) However, those Europeans lucky enough to have a job are generally guaranteed a higher minimum wage and more job security. This is what we call “social” Europe—and it’s a choice. Especially in the Mediterranean societies, it leaves more time for the other good things of life: family, friends, food, recreation, la dolce vita. However, that comes at a price, one that is paid most painfully by the long-term unemployed, including a disproportionately large number of young people from Europe’s Muslim immigrant communities.


Who Rules the World? by Noam Chomsky

"Robert Solow", Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, corporate governance, corporate personhood, cuban missile crisis, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Doomsday Clock, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, facts on the ground, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, liberation theology, Malacca Straits, Martin Wolf, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, Nelson Mandela, nuclear winter, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, one-state solution, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, precariat, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, Stanislav Petrov, structural adjustment programs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trade route, union organizing, uranium enrichment, wage slave, WikiLeaks, working-age population

Its study shows that mortality sharply decreased in China during the Maoist years, “mainly a result of economic development and improvements in education and health services, especially the public hygiene movement that resulted in a sharp drop in mortality from infectious diseases.” But this progress ended with the initiation of capitalist reforms thirty years ago, and the death rate has since increased. Furthermore, China’s recent economic growth has relied substantially on a “demographic bonus,” a very large working-age population. “But the window for harvesting this bonus may close soon,” with a “profound impact on development.… Excess cheap labor supply, which is one of the major factors driving China’s economic miracle, will no longer be available.”11 Demography is only one of many serious problems ahead. And for India, the problems are even more severe. Not all prominent voices foresee American decline. Among international media, there is none more serious and responsible than the Financial Times.


pages: 365 words: 102,306

Legacy: Gangsters, Corruption and the London Olympics by Michael Gillard

Boris Johnson, business intelligence, centre right, forensic accounting, offshore financial centre, upwardly mobile, working-age population, young professional

Two years later, Wales became the UK’s first directly elected mayor, and politically benefitted from a £3.7 billion regeneration package for Canning Town, the ward he once represented, claiming the central government funds would raise residents out of poor health, low education and poverty through work opportunities. There was certainly much work to be done. ‘Deprivation is high with much of the area falling within the 2 per cent most deprived areas within England and Wales,’ a planning document revealed. ‘In recent surveys, 17 per cent of the local working-age population have a limiting long-term illness, 17.5 per cent claim income support and 49.7 per cent of 16-74 year olds were identified as having no formal qualifications,’ it continued, without the pathos of Dickens. The original regeneration plans were modified in 2005 after London won the right to host the Olympics, most of which was going to take place in Newham. Canning Town alone would host the boxing, wrestling, weightlifting, fencing, judo, taekwondo and table tennis at the recently built ExCel centre.


Corbyn by Richard Seymour

anti-communist, banking crisis, battle of ideas, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, centre right, collective bargaining, credit crunch, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, first-past-the-post, full employment, gender pay gap, housing crisis, income inequality, knowledge economy, land value tax, liberal world order, mass immigration, means of production, moral panic, Naomi Klein, negative equity, Neil Kinnock, new economy, non-tariff barriers, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, pension reform, Philip Mirowski, precariat, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, rent control, Snapchat, stakhanovite, Washington Consensus, wealth creators, Winter of Discontent, Wolfgang Streeck, working-age population, éminence grise

If anything, the attacks added to the sense that the political establishment was ganging up on an honest, principled outsider. The editors and press barons, the pundits and establishment politicians, still have their power. But increasingly they look like yesterday’s men. The result was a sharp increase in turnout in certain demographics, especially among the young and poor, who went heavily for Labour. The party won among the working-age population, only losing badly among retirees who went heavily for the Conservatives. Labour’s increased turnout of its support more or less drowned the expected ‘UKIP effect’, which in part would have been a result of a long-term decline in the Labour turnout in core seats. A fifth of UKIP voters – made an offer addressing their immediate interests rather than pandering on immigration – defected to Labour.


pages: 330 words: 99,044

Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire by Rebecca Henderson

Airbnb, asset allocation, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, business climate, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, crony capitalism, dark matter, decarbonisation, disruptive innovation, double entry bookkeeping, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, fixed income, George Akerlof, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, greed is good, Hans Rosling, Howard Zinn, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, index fund, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), joint-stock company, Kickstarter, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, mittelstand, Mont Pelerin Society, Nelson Mandela, passive investing, Paul Samuelson, Philip Mirowski, profit maximization, race to the bottom, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Second Machine Age, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, Steven Pinker, stocks for the long run, Tim Cook: Apple, total factor productivity, Toyota Production System, uber lyft, urban planning, Washington Consensus, working-age population, Zipcar

GPIF’s first order of business was thus to try to persuade its asset managers to push the companies they owned to improve their governance structures so as to give more power to investors—to ask them to disclose more information about their businesses, to talk to their shareholders about long-term strategy, and to vote their shares with governance in mind. Focusing on social issues, or on the “S” in ESG, also seemed likely to yield substantial dividends. Japan’s birth rate had dipped below replacement levels in the mid-1970s, and Japan’s working-age population was declining faster than any other on the planet.41 Given Japan’s closed immigration policies, persuading more women to stay in the labor force was critically important to long-term economic growth. But making this happen required dealing with some deep-rooted structural problems. Many Japanese companies have a two-track employment system. New employees are sorted into the sogoshoku (managerial) or the ippanshoku (general clerical) track.


Capitalism, Alone: The Future of the System That Rules the World by Branko Milanovic

"Robert Solow", affirmative action, Asian financial crisis, assortative mating, barriers to entry, basic income, Berlin Wall, bilateral investment treaty, Black Swan, Branko Milanovic, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, colonial rule, corporate governance, creative destruction, crony capitalism, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, ghettoisation, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global value chain, high net worth, income inequality, income per capita, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, labor-force participation, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, liberal capitalism, low skilled workers, Lyft, means of production, new economy, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-materialism, purchasing power parity, remote working, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, special economic zone, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, uber lyft, universal basic income, Vilfredo Pareto, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, working-age population, Xiaogang Anhui farmers

On the one hand, a lump-sum regular transfer like UBI should not affect decisions about work (the substitution effect as between leisure and work should be zero, since UBI is received either way, and at sufficiently low levels of income it might not be clawed back by taxation). On the other hand, the higher income that people would get, as compared with no income at all or social assistance at much lower levels, might predispose them to consume more leisure, that is to work less. It is possible that on balance the effect of UBI on work would be small; but it is also possible that society might become very polarized, with, say, some 20 percent of the working-age population choosing not to work at all. To those who would choose not to work because they found UBI sufficient we should add those who might not need to work because of the high capital incomes they inherited (as discussed in Section 2.4). This would give us a tripartite society where those at the bottom and many of those at the top would not work at all, while the middle class would. Would such a society, where work is not treated as something intrinsically good and desirable and where perhaps one-third of young people would routinely be outside the labor force, be considered a good society?


pages: 338 words: 104,684

The Deficit Myth: Modern Monetary Theory and the Birth of the People's Economy by Stephanie Kelton

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Asian financial crisis, bank run, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, blockchain, Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, central bank independence, collective bargaining, COVID-19, Covid-19, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, discrete time, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, fiat currency, floating exchange rates, Food sovereignty, full employment, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, global supply chain, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, inflation targeting, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), investor state dispute settlement, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, liquidity trap, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, market bubble, Mason jar, mortgage debt, Naomi Klein, new economy, New Urbanism, Nixon shock, obamacare, open economy, Paul Samuelson, Ponzi scheme, price anchoring, price stability, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, reserve currency, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, trade liberalization, urban planning, working-age population, Works Progress Administration, yield curve, zero-sum game

Sean Dennison, “64% of Americans Aren’t Prepared for Retirement—and 48% Don’t Care,” Yahoo Finance, September 23, 2019, finance.yahoo.com/news/survey-finds-42-americans-retire-100701878.html. 14. Emmie Martin, “Here’s How Much More Expensive It Is for You to Go to College Than It Was for Your Parents,” Make It, CNBC, November 2017, www.cnbc.com/2018/05/11/how-many-americans-have-no-retirement-savings.html. 15. FRED, “Working Age Population: Aged 15–64; All Persons for the United States” (chart), Federal Reserve Bank of Saint Louis, updated October 9, 2019, fred.stlouisfed.org/series/LFWA64TTUSM647S. 16. Alessandro Malito, “The Retirement Crisis Is Bad for Everyone—Especially These People,” MarketWatch, August 2019, www.marketwatch.com/story/the-retirement-crisis-is-bad-for-everyone-especially-these-people-2019-04-12. 17.


pages: 366 words: 117,875

Arrival City by Doug Saunders

agricultural Revolution, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Branko Milanovic, call centre, credit crunch, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, ghettoisation, Gini coefficient, guest worker program, Hernando de Soto, Honoré de Balzac, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, Kibera, land reform, land tenure, low skilled workers, mass immigration, megacity, microcredit, new economy, Pearl River Delta, pensions crisis, place-making, price mechanism, rent control, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban sprawl, white flight, working poor, working-age population

.† As it is, the fiscal cost of paying for the credit-crunch bailouts of 2008 and 2009 is expected to consume between 2 and 4 percent of the GDP in Britain and the United States for more than a decade. So, while immigration is not a mandatory solution to labor shortages, the combination of cash-starved governments and higher demographic costs will make it the least painful and most voter-friendly solution. According to a 2009 study by the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business, the United States will require 35 million more workers than its working-age population can provide by 2030, Japan another 17 million by 2050, the European Union 80 million by 2050. Canada, even if it continues to take in 250,000 to 300,000 immigrants a year, will be short a million workers by the end of this decade.9 Even the high levels of unemployment that struck the West after the 2008 credit crisis only temporarily mitigated this long-term demographic problem. During the worst months of the downturn, there were substantial labor shortages in many countries.


pages: 464 words: 116,945

Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism by David Harvey

accounting loophole / creative accounting, bitcoin, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business climate, California gold rush, call centre, central bank independence, clean water, cloud computing, collapse of Lehman Brothers, colonial rule, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, drone strike, end world poverty, falling living standards, fiat currency, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Food sovereignty, Frank Gehry, future of work, global reserve currency, Guggenheim Bilbao, Gunnar Myrdal, income inequality, informal economy, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Just-in-time delivery, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, market clearing, Martin Wolf, means of production, microcredit, new economy, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, peak oil, phenotype, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, reserve currency, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, short selling, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, wages for housework, Wall-E, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population

While population projections even in the medium term are a particularly tricky proposition (and the projections change rapidly from year to year), the hope is that the global population will stabilise during this century and peak at no more than 12 billion or so (perhaps as low as 10 billion) by the end of the century and thereafter achieve a steady state of zero growth. Clearly this is an important issue in relation to the dynamics of capital accumulation. In the United States, for example, job creation since 2008 has not kept pace with the expansion of the labour force. The falling unemployment rate reflects a shrinkage in the proportion of the working-age population seeking to participate in the labour force. But whatever happens, it is pretty clear that capital accumulation in the long-term future can rely less and less upon demographic growth to sustain or impel its compound growth and that the dynamics of production, consumption and realisation of capital will have to adjust to these new demographic circumstances. When this might happen is hard to say, but most estimates suggest that the vast increase in the global wage labour force that occurred after 1980 or so will be hard to replicate once it exhausts itself after 2030 or so.


pages: 409 words: 118,448

An Extraordinary Time: The End of the Postwar Boom and the Return of the Ordinary Economy by Marc Levinson

affirmative action, airline deregulation, banking crisis, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boycotts of Israel, Bretton Woods, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, car-free, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, clean water, deindustrialization, endogenous growth, falling living standards, financial deregulation, floating exchange rates, full employment, George Gilder, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, informal economy, intermodal, invisible hand, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, late capitalism, linear programming, manufacturing employment, new economy, Nixon shock, North Sea oil, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, pension reform, price stability, purchasing power parity, refrigerator car, Right to Buy, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, rolodex, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Simon Kuznets, statistical model, strikebreaker, structural adjustment programs, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, unorthodox policies, upwardly mobile, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, Winter of Discontent, Wolfgang Streeck, women in the workforce, working-age population, yield curve, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

While Giscard described himself as a conservative who liked change, he was wildly enthusiastic about the state’s role in building France’s first high-speed rail line, a fleet of nuclear power plants to reduce dependence, and Minitel, a video-text terminal that was installed in millions of French homes. Such projects reinforced France’s prestige as a leader in advanced technology, but they did almost nothing to boost employment: France’s working-age population grew nearly 1 percent per year between 1974 and 1981, but the number of people with jobs rose hardly at all. With 1.75 million workers unemployed by 1981, the president’s promise of a job or a training slot for every young French worker rang hollow.3 Giscard’s ineffectual performance opened the door for Mitterrand. During the 1970s, Mitterrand had slowly drifted to the left as he steered the Socialists into a loose alliance with the Communist Party.


pages: 424 words: 114,905

Deep Medicine: How Artificial Intelligence Can Make Healthcare Human Again by Eric Topol

23andMe, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AI winter, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, bioinformatics, blockchain, cloud computing, cognitive bias, Colonization of Mars, computer age, computer vision, conceptual framework, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, David Brooks, digital twin, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, fault tolerance, George Santayana, Google Glasses, ImageNet competition, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, Joi Ito, Mark Zuckerberg, medical residency, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, natural language processing, new economy, Nicholas Carr, nudge unit, pattern recognition, performance metric, personalized medicine, phenotype, placebo effect, randomized controlled trial, recommendation engine, Rubik’s Cube, Sam Altman, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, text mining, the scientific method, Tim Cook: Apple, War on Poverty, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, working-age population

The Guangzhou Hospital is using AI, trained from 300 million records (no wonder the Economist characterized China as “the Saudi Arabia of data”) from patients across the country, for almost every part of its operation—organizing patient records, suggesting diagnoses via a WeChat bot interaction, identifying patients through facial recognition, interpreting CT scans, and operating room workflow.59 Tencent is very active in medical image diagnosis and drug discovery, and has backed the WeDoctor Group, a hospital of the future initiative. VoxelCloud, an eye-imaging interpretation company also supported by Tencent, is deploying diabetic retinopathy AI screening broadly to counter the leading cause of blindness among China’s working age population. The AI company that has gone most intensively into medicine to date is iFlytek, which is a major global player in speech recognition. In 2018, it launched an AI-powered robot called Xiaoyi that has passed China’s medical licensing examination for human physicians (with a score of 456, which was 96 points past the required level).60 With iFlytek’s robot’s ability to ingest and analyze individual patient data, it plans to integrate these capabilities with general practitioners and cancer doctors throughout China.


pages: 406 words: 113,841

The American Way of Poverty: How the Other Half Still Lives by Sasha Abramsky

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Legislative Exchange Council, bank run, basic income, big-box store, collective bargaining, deindustrialization, fixed income, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, ghettoisation, Gini coefficient, housing crisis, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, indoor plumbing, job automation, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, microcredit, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, payday loans, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Potemkin village, profit motive, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, upwardly mobile, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population, Works Progress Administration

And so, averaged out over thirty or forty years, Rothstein averred, “Wages have gone way, way down. So thinking the solution is to get more people into that labor market, that just doesn’t add up.” For sure, the Earned Income Tax Credit could push individuals into employment and help a certain number of individuals navigate their way out of poverty, but what it couldn’t do was raise the overall well-being of the entire working-age population. While EITC recipients—especially single mothers at the bottom of the income pyramid—still benefit, despite the driving down of wages, because of the additional dollars sent their way by the government, individuals not eligible for the tax credit actually end up worse off than they would have been without the program in place. The combination of more people competing for their jobs and employers using the tax credit as an excuse to drive down wages has proven disastrous for this group of people.


pages: 446 words: 117,660

Arguing With Zombies: Economics, Politics, and the Fight for a Better Future by Paul Krugman

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, bank run, banking crisis, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, blockchain, Bonfire of the Vanities, business cycle, capital asset pricing model, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, Climategate, cognitive dissonance, cryptocurrency, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, different worldview, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, employer provided health coverage, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fiat currency, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial repression, frictionless, frictionless market, fudge factor, full employment, Growth in a Time of Debt, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, income inequality, index fund, indoor plumbing, invisible hand, job automation, John Snow's cholera map, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, large denomination, liquidity trap, London Whale, market bubble, market clearing, market fundamentalism, means of production, New Urbanism, obamacare, oil shock, open borders, Paul Samuelson, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price stability, quantitative easing, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, secular stagnation, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the map is not the territory, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, transaction costs, universal basic income, very high income, working-age population

This revised number was widely circulated in Washington as a refutation of the number published in The New York Times; indeed, I have been told that one major news magazine almost ran a gleeful story on the Times’s blunder, but at the last minute was warned that I was right and the CEA was wrong. What’s wrong with the CEA calculation? Remember the questions we are trying to answer: why didn’t the typical American family see much increase in income even though productivity rose substantially, and who was reaping the benefits of rising productivity? If you think about it for a minute, you’ll see that using income growth numbers that include sheer growth in working-age population gets us completely away from those questions. Consider, for example, what happened to the bottom 20 percent of the income distribution. Average income among these families fell 10 percent over the CBO period but their numbers went up about 25 percent, and their total income therefore rose about 15 percent. So the CEA calculation has the bottom quintile sharing in economic growth, even though average family income in that group went down!


pages: 437 words: 113,173

Age of Discovery: Navigating the Risks and Rewards of Our New Renaissance by Ian Goldin, Chris Kutarna

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, bitcoin, Bonfire of the Vanities, clean water, collective bargaining, Colonization of Mars, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Dava Sobel, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, double helix, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, experimental economics, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, full employment, Galaxy Zoo, global pandemic, global supply chain, Hyperloop, immigration reform, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial cluster, industrial robot, information retrieval, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, Johannes Kepler, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, low cost airline, low cost carrier, low skilled workers, Lyft, Malacca Straits, mass immigration, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, New Urbanism, non-tariff barriers, Occupy movement, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, open economy, Panamax, Pearl River Delta, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, post-Panamax, profit motive, rent-seeking, reshoring, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart grid, Snapchat, special economic zone, spice trade, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stuxnet, The Future of Employment, too big to fail, trade liberalization, trade route, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, uber lyft, undersea cable, uranium enrichment, We are the 99%, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, working poor, working-age population, zero day

Several, but certainly not all, of its countries enjoy resource wealth (40 percent of the world’s gold and 90 percent of its platinum are in Africa), which, in the hands of good governments, could be invested in public infrastructure and skills. And good government is better understood: citizens know their rights much better and are holding those in power accountable with ever-rising frequency.98 Africa is also blessed with a looming demographic dividend. Its working-age population will balloon from 500 million people now to over 1.1 billion by 2040.99 If local governments can learn how to foster neighborhoods instead of slums, and if national governments can better integrate their too-small economies and build better institutions, Africans might banish extreme poverty from their midst before mid-century. The second reason why the health, wealth and education achievements of this New Renaissance outweigh the shortcomings is their breadth.


pages: 497 words: 123,718

A Game as Old as Empire: The Secret World of Economic Hit Men and the Web of Global Corruption by Steven Hiatt; John Perkins

addicted to oil, airline deregulation, Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, big-box store, Bob Geldof, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, centre right, clean water, colonial rule, corporate governance, corporate personhood, deglobalization, deindustrialization, Doha Development Round, energy security, European colonialism, financial deregulation, financial independence, full employment, global village, high net worth, land reform, large denomination, liberal capitalism, Long Term Capital Management, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, new economy, North Sea oil, offshore financial centre, oil shock, Ponzi scheme, race to the bottom, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, statistical model, structural adjustment programs, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transatlantic slave trade, transfer pricing, union organizing, Washington Consensus, working-age population, Yom Kippur War

The offices of Chief Judge and president of the States (the legislature) are combined in the post of the island’s Bailiff, an appointment made by the British Crown, which means no clear distinction exists between the legislature and judiciary. Jersey’s sole newspaper, the Jersey Evening Post, was for many years controlled by the island’s most senior politician. There are no universities, research centers, or think tanks. Approximately one quarter of the working-age population is directly employed in the island’s offshore finance center, and most of the other residents depend on its revenues circulating through the local economy. In such conditions there is little scope for sustained critical scrutiny of what the policy makers are up to. This absence of the checks and balances required of a democratic state creates an ideal environment for incompetence and corruption, especially on a small island with a deeply embedded culture of conformism and secrecy.


pages: 405 words: 121,999

The Human Tide: How Population Shaped the Modern World by Paul Morland

active measures, agricultural Revolution, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, British Empire, clean water, Corn Laws, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Donald Trump, European colonialism, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, global pandemic, mass immigration, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mohammed Bouazizi, Nelson Mandela, Ponzi scheme, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, sceptred isle, stakhanovite, Thomas Malthus, transatlantic slave trade, women in the workforce, working-age population

The median Chinese citizen remained in his/her twenties throughout the first forty years or so of the People’s Republic, but in the first fifteen years of the twenty-first century the median age has risen by seven years.82 This is nearly three times the speed of ageing experienced in the UK and the US, and the trend will continue. Between 1975 and 2050 the number of Chinese over the age of sixty is forecast to rise sevenfold while the number of those under fourteen years will more or less halve. Those aged over sixty as a share of the population will pass the share in the United States in around 2030.83 China’s working-age population has already started to decline in absolute terms, not just as a percentage of the population. The Chinese population will continue to be extremely large at least for the rest of the twenty-first century, but we are already at the stage where one of the motors of Chinese economic growth–population growth feeding into a growing workforce–is close to shutting down. Future economic growth will need to come from greater workforce productivity, and it is questionable whether this alone can deliver the kind of growth rates that have come to be expected from the Chinese economy.


pages: 397 words: 121,211

Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010 by Charles Murray

affirmative action, assortative mating, blue-collar work, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate governance, David Brooks, en.wikipedia.org, feminist movement, George Gilder, Haight Ashbury, happiness index / gross national happiness, helicopter parent, illegal immigration, income inequality, job satisfaction, labor-force participation, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, Menlo Park, new economy, Ralph Nader, Richard Florida, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, Unsafe at Any Speed, War on Poverty, working-age population, young professional

WHITE PRISONERS Sources: IPUMS and the six federal inmate surveys (appendix A). *The numerator is based on white male state and federal prisoners of all ages. The denominator is based on whites ages 18–65. Interpreting the Ratios There is no natural denominator for computing ratios of crime indicators to population. I use whites ages 18–65 as a way to think about the numbers relative to the working-age population. In contrast, the environment in Belmont changed hardly at all. The parallel numbers for Belmont were 13 in the 1974 survey and 27 in the 2004 survey. It is statistically unlikely that someone living in Belmont knew of a family with one of its men in prison even in 2004. Someone living in Fishtown was likely to know of at least one such family, and perhaps several. Neighbors on Probation and Parole While imprisonment is likely to be a misfortune for the prisoners’ families, at least it has one positive effect on neighborhood life: It locks up people who otherwise would still be making trouble.


The Economics Anti-Textbook: A Critical Thinker's Guide to Microeconomics by Rod Hill, Anthony Myatt

American ideology, Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, bank run, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, business cycle, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, different worldview, endogenous growth, equal pay for equal work, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental economics, failed state, financial innovation, full employment, gender pay gap, Gini coefficient, Gunnar Myrdal, happiness index / gross national happiness, Home mortgage interest deduction, Howard Zinn, income inequality, indoor plumbing, information asymmetry, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, liberal capitalism, low skilled workers, market bubble, market clearing, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, medical malpractice, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, Peter Singer: altruism, positional goods, prediction markets, price discrimination, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, profit motive, publication bias, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, random walk, rent control, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, The Myth of the Rational Market, the payments system, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, ultimatum game, union organizing, working-age population, World Values Survey, Yogi Berra

There are 85,000 chemicals registered for use in the United States, of which fewer than 2 per cent have been tested for carcinogenicity (Davis and Webster 2002: 25). Aside from the problem of dealing with the complexities of different levels, duration and timing of exposure to a mix of potentially harmful substances, researchers have no ‘control group’ with whom to compare the affected population because virtually everyone is exposed (Davis 2007). Workplace health and safety The world’s working-age population, currently about 2,700 million, experiences about 1.9–2.3 million deaths per year related to occupation, according to estimates of the International Labour Organization. Of these at least 1.6 million are work-related diseases, including 600,000 cancers, which may take years or decades to develop (Takala 2003: 2). Textbook economics rules out by assumption any externalities from worker illness and death due to hazardous workplaces.


Multicultural Cities: Toronto, New York, and Los Angeles by Mohammed Abdul Qadeer

affirmative action, business cycle, call centre, David Brooks, deindustrialization, desegregation, edge city, en.wikipedia.org, Frank Gehry, game design, ghettoisation, global village, immigration reform, industrial cluster, Jane Jacobs, knowledge economy, market bubble, McMansion, new economy, New Urbanism, place-making, Richard Florida, risk tolerance, Silicon Valley, Skype, telemarketer, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the scientific method, urban planning, urban renewal, working-age population, young professional

Immigrants were 45% of the labour force despite being 36% of population in 2009.29 The city has a bipolar job market, where jobs are concentrated at the high end in finance and business and the low end in the service sector.30 Ethno-racial minorities, particularly immigrants, are represented at all levels, but they are clustered in the shrinking middle. US-born non-Hispanic Whites and Blacks have declining working-age populations, and the looming labour shortfall is being filled by immigrants. Ethnic economies in New York are relatively small and shifting. The Chinese economy is the largest and most enduring. I will discuss it in detail later. Ethnic/immigrant economic niches are more common, but Ethnicity and the Urban Economy 103 they also shift over time. About half of all immigrants work in whitecollar jobs, as do 75% of the native-born, including ethno-racial minorities.


pages: 412 words: 128,042

Extreme Economies: Survival, Failure, Future – Lessons From the World’s Limits by Richard Davies

agricultural Revolution, air freight, Anton Chekhov, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, big-box store, cashless society, clean water, complexity theory, deindustrialization, eurozone crisis, failed state, financial innovation, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, James Hargreaves, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, joint-stock company, large denomination, Livingstone, I presume, Malacca Straits, mandatory minimum, manufacturing employment, means of production, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, pension reform, profit motive, randomized controlled trial, school choice, school vouchers, Scramble for Africa, side project, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Skype, spinning jenny, The Chicago School, the payments system, trade route, Travis Kalanick, uranium enrichment, urban planning, wealth creators, white picket fence, working-age population, Y Combinator, young professional

Medics in Japan predict that a four-fold increase in the number of personal carers will be needed by 2040. Others will face similar needs: taken together, Italy, Spain and Portugal will see the number of people aged 65 or over rise by 3.2 million between 2020 and 2030 – since around 20 per cent of this age group currently needs full- or part-time assistance, this suggests 640,000 new care workers will be required. But the working-age population will decline in all these countries – so there simply may not be enough people to provide tailored late-stage care. The question inventors, medics and carers across Japan are asking is whether personalized care really needs to be given by a person – and whether robots might be the answer. The patients at the Silver Wings medical facility in Tokyo are similar in age to the Gold Theatre actors and the Las Vegas day-care gamers, but are at a later stage of life.


pages: 487 words: 139,297

Dancing in the Glory of Monsters: The Collapse of the Congo and the Great War of Africa by Jason Stearns

Berlin Wall, business climate, clean water, colonial rule, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, land tenure, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, microcredit, Nelson Mandela, technology bubble, transfer pricing, unemployed young men, working-age population, éminence grise

Religious leaders who defied the orthodoxy of the European-run churches faced the same fate: The prophet Simon Kimbangu died after thirty years in prison for his anticolonial rhetoric. Under Mobutu, the price of resistance was so great that few ever dared to stand up and be counted for fear of being chopped down. Resistance to dictatorship in other countries has been most successful when it can call on strong, well-organized structures of like-minded supporters, such as labor unions, churches, or student groups. In the Congo, where in any case only 4 percent of the working-age population had jobs in the formal sector, there were few labor unions to speak of. In the early 1990s, fewer than 100,000 students in higher education were dispersed among dozens of universities and training centers across the country. Mobutu had tamed these institutions, consolidating all labor and student unions and forcefully integrating them into his ruling party. The country’s biggest institute of higher learning, Lovanium University, previously run by the Catholic Church, was nationalized along with several Protestant universities.


pages: 372 words: 152

The End of Work by Jeremy Rifkin

banking crisis, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, blue-collar work, cashless society, collective bargaining, computer age, deskilling, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, employer provided health coverage, Erik Brynjolfsson, full employment, future of work, general-purpose programming language, George Gilder, global village, hiring and firing, informal economy, interchangeable parts, invention of the telegraph, Jacques de Vaucanson, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, land reform, low skilled workers, means of production, new economy, New Urbanism, Paul Samuelson, pink-collar, post-industrial society, Productivity paradox, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, strikebreaker, technoutopianism, Thorstein Veblen, Toyota Production System, trade route, trickle-down economics, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population, Works Progress Administration

Between now and the year 2010, the developing world is expected to add more than 700 million men and women to its labor force-a working population that is larger than the entire labor force of the industrial world in 1990. The regional figures are equally striking. In the next thirty years the labor force of Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean is expected to grow by 52 million, or twice the number of workers as currently exist in Mexico alone. In Africa, 323 million new workers will enter the labor force over the next three decades-a working-age population larger than the current labor force of Europe. 43 Worldwide, more than a billion jobs will have to be created over the next ten years to provide an income for all the new job entrants The Fate of Nations 207 in both developing and developed nations. 44 With new information and telecommunication technologies, robotics, and automation fast eliminating jobs in every industry and sector, the likelihood of finding enough work for the hundreds of millions of new job entrants appears slim.


pages: 403 words: 132,736

In Spite of the Gods: The Rise of Modern India by Edward Luce

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Bretton Woods, call centre, centre right, clean water, colonial rule, crony capitalism, cuban missile crisis, demographic dividend, energy security, financial independence, friendly fire, Gini coefficient, Haight Ashbury, informal economy, job-hopping, Kickstarter, land reform, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Wolf, megacity, new economy, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit motive, purchasing power parity, Silicon Valley, trade liberalization, upwardly mobile, uranium enrichment, urban planning, women in the workforce, working-age population, Y2K

Most of this chapter has focused on the challenges India faces in the coming years if it is to continue to ascend the international rankings. They are Herculean. But equally, its advantages are colossal. India never lacks for scale. In spite of the pressures of population density, India’s clearest advantage over China and other developing countries is its demographic profile. From 2010, China’s dependency ratio—the proportion of the working-age population to the rest—will start to deteriorate. In contrast, India’s dependency ratio will continue to improve until the 2040s.34 In the next twenty years, the proportion of dependents to workers will fall from 60 percent of the population to 50 percent. This will give India’s economy a large “demographic dividend.” It is commonplace to say a nation’s future lies in its youth. But India’s future also lies in its youthfulness.


pages: 464 words: 127,283

Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia by Anthony M. Townsend

1960s counterculture, 4chan, A Pattern Language, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, anti-communist, Apple II, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Burning Man, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, charter city, chief data officer, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, computer age, congestion charging, connected car, crack epidemic, crowdsourcing, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, Deng Xiaoping, digital map, Donald Davies, East Village, Edward Glaeser, game design, garden city movement, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, ghettoisation, global supply chain, Grace Hopper, Haight Ashbury, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jacquard loom, Jane Jacobs, jitney, John Snow's cholera map, Joi Ito, Khan Academy, Kibera, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, load shedding, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, mobile money, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, off grid, openstreetmap, packet switching, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Parag Khanna, patent troll, Pearl River Delta, place-making, planetary scale, popular electronics, RFC: Request For Comment, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, social software, social web, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, technoutopianism, Ted Kaczynski, telepresence, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, too big to fail, trade route, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, undersea cable, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, working poor, working-age population, X Prize, Y2K, zero day, Zipcar

Once a Florida of sorts for mighty Russia, a coveted retirement destination for Communist Party apparatchiks, it had become the poorest country in Europe. After the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, former republics such as Estonia embraced Western-style reforms and thrived. Moldova, however, never managed to shake off Communist influence. After flirtations with democratic reforms in the 1990s, the party was voted back into power in 2001. Over the next decade, the economy imploded, and a quarter of the working age population left in search of work abroad. Twenty years ago Moldova was wealthier than Romania, with which it shares a language and culture. By 2010, when I visited, its per capita GDP was just a quarter of its booming neighbor’s. The previous spring, the country had reached a breaking point. After the Communists narrowly won the April 2009 election in a suspiciously strong showing, outrage turned to violence in the streets.


Super Continent: The Logic of Eurasian Integration by Kent E. Calder

3D printing, air freight, Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, blockchain, Bretton Woods, business intelligence, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cloud computing, colonial rule, Credit Default Swap, cuban missile crisis, deindustrialization, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, disruptive innovation, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, energy transition, European colonialism, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Gini coefficient, housing crisis, income inequality, industrial cluster, industrial robot, interest rate swap, intermodal, Internet of things, invention of movable type, inventory management, John Markoff, liberal world order, Malacca Straits, Mikhail Gorbachev, mittelstand, money market fund, moral hazard, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, seigniorage, smart cities, smart grid, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, special economic zone, supply-chain management, Thomas L Friedman, trade liberalization, trade route, transcontinental railway, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, union organizing, Washington Consensus, working-age population, zero-sum game

Japan now has nearly 70,000 centenarians11 and a population that has been dropping since 2010.12 Twenty-seven percent of its people are now over 65.13 Korea is similarly steadily graying, with a fertility rate of only 1.2 babies per woman (among the lowest on earth).14 And China’s demographic transition is impending, influenced by its longstanding one-child policy, only fully abandoned in 2015.15 By 2050 the number of births in China is projected by the US Census Bureau to be 35 percent less than in 2000, with China’s median population age rising close to 50.16 China’s total population will likely begin declining around 2025, the working-age population will fall more than 100 million workers by 2035, and before 2050 China will likely have more elderly than all the G-7 nations (North America, Europe, and Japan) combined.17 The Socioeconomic Impact of Globalization The incorporation of three billion new active participants in the world economy over the past three decades has had many positive effects, as China, ­India, Russia, and surrounding countries have at last begun interacting systematically with global markets.


pages: 407 words: 135,242

The Streets Were Paved With Gold by Ken Auletta

British Empire, business climate, clean water, collective bargaining, full employment, Gunnar Myrdal, hiring and firing, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, mortgage debt, Norman Mailer, North Sea oil, offshore financial centre, Parkinson's law, Ponzi scheme, price stability, profit motive, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, rent control, Ronald Reagan, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban renewal, War on Poverty, working-age population

Though the city’s population remained a stable 8 million, between 1950 and 1970 the composition of New York changed dramatically. In those years, the city lost about 25 percent of its white middle-income population (1.6 million) and gained an equal number of (mostly) poor blacks and Hispanics. In 1960, just 4 percent of the city’s population—324,000—received public assistance. By 1970, the figure was 14 percent—over 1 million people. The age composition also changed. The city’s working-age population, aged twenty-five to fifty-four, dropped from one half of all residents in 1950 to less than two-fifths. At the same time, senior citizens and youths swelled from one-third to two-fifths of the populace. New York lost its “money-providers,” as Wallace Sayre and Herbert Kaufman dubbed them in their classic Governing New York City, and gained “service demanders.” Thus the city’s fiscal crisis, which burst into headlines when New York was no longer able to borrow money in the spring of 1975, was really a symptom of a deeper social and economic malaise.


pages: 462 words: 150,129

The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves by Matt Ridley

"Robert Solow", 23andMe, agricultural Revolution, air freight, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, Corn Laws, creative destruction, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, demographic dividend, demographic transition, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, falling living standards, feminist movement, financial innovation, Flynn Effect, food miles, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Hans Rosling, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute cuisine, hedonic treadmill, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, income per capita, Indoor air pollution, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, invisible hand, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, John Nash: game theory, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kula ring, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Northern Rock, nuclear winter, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, packet switching, patent troll, Pax Mongolica, Peter Thiel, phenotype, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Productivity paradox, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Silicon Valley, spice trade, spinning jenny, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supervolcano, technological singularity, Thales and the olive presses, Thales of Miletus, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transaction costs, ultimatum game, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, Vernor Vinge, Vilfredo Pareto, wage slave, working poor, working-age population, Y2K, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

A handwritten contract between two people in Tanzania may be affordable and enforceable, but it is little help if the debtor wishes to start an export business supplying cut flowers to a London-based supermarket. Of course, it will not all be easy or smooth, but I refuse to be pessimistic about Africa when such an opportunity is available at a few strokes of a pen and when the evidence of entrepreneurial vitality in the extralegal sector is so strong. Besides, as its population growth rates fall, Africa is about to reap a ‘demographic dividend’ when its working-age population is large relative to both the dependent elderly and the dependent young: such a demographic bonanza gave Asia perhaps one third of its miracle of growth. The key policies for Africa are to abolish Europe’s and America’s farm subsidies, quotas and import tariffs, formalise and simplify the laws that govern business, undermine tyrants and above all encourage the growth of free-trading cities.


pages: 566 words: 155,428

After the Music Stopped: The Financial Crisis, the Response, and the Work Ahead by Alan S. Blinder

"Robert Solow", Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, break the buck, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, conceptual framework, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Detroit bankruptcy, diversification, double entry bookkeeping, eurozone crisis, facts on the ground, financial innovation, fixed income, friendly fire, full employment, hiring and firing, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, illegal immigration, inflation targeting, interest rate swap, Isaac Newton, Kenneth Rogoff, liquidity trap, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, market clearing, market fundamentalism, McMansion, money market fund, moral hazard, naked short selling, new economy, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, price mechanism, quantitative easing, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, the payments system, time value of money, too big to fail, working-age population, yield curve, Yogi Berra

The personal saving rate (savings as a share of disposable income) rose from about 2.5 percent in 2006–2007 to about 5.25 percent in 2008–2010. What is saved, of course, is not spent. Until 2011, battered consumers held back the recovery. As we have noted several times, the recession took a terrible toll on jobs. Payroll employment did not bottom out until February 2010. When it did, America had 8.8 million fewer jobs than at the January 2008 peak—even though the working-age population had grown in the interim. These massive job losses shattered millions of families’ incomes, not to mention their lives. And on top of this, American taxpayers were asked to bear the costs of bailing out the very financial system that had gotten them into this mess. It didn’t seem fair. It wasn’t. The Punishment Didn’t Fit the Crime While many of the victims were innocent, the perpetrators of the numerous frauds and near frauds were not.


pages: 590 words: 153,208

Wealth and Poverty: A New Edition for the Twenty-First Century by George Gilder

"Robert Solow", affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, business cycle, capital controls, cleantech, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, deindustrialization, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, equal pay for equal work, floating exchange rates, full employment, George Gilder, Gunnar Myrdal, Home mortgage interest deduction, Howard Zinn, income inequality, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job-hopping, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, longitudinal study, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, medical malpractice, minimum wage unemployment, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, non-fiction novel, North Sea oil, paradox of thrift, Paul Samuelson, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post-industrial society, price stability, Ralph Nader, rent control, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, skunkworks, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, volatility arbitrage, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population, yield curve, zero-sum game

Segalman, a professor of sociology at California State University, Northridge, points out that transgenerational welfare poverty, which twenty years ago was only 5 percent of welfare recipients, now comprises 20 percent, and on the basis of statistics in Los Angeles, he predicts that this element of permanent dependency will reach 40 percent in ten years. 13 This was predicted in Alan Sweezy, “The Challenge of Social Security Financing,” ZPG National Reporter (June–July 1978). Sweezy quotes Census Bureau projections that show the proportion of the population 65 and over rising by nearly 80 percent between 1976 and 2030, while the working-age population proportion declines slightly. 14 “Hispanics Fastest Growing Minority in U.S.,” New York Times, February 18, 1979, p. 16. 15 Tom Bethell, “Against Bilingual Education,” Harper’s, vol. 258, no. 1545 (February 1979), p. 30. 16 Vincent H. Whitney, “Fertility Trends and Child Allowances” in Eveline M. Burns, ed., Children’s Allowances and the Economic Welfare of Children , the Report of a Conference (New York: Citizens Committee for Children of New York, 1978), pp. 123–139 and Nicole Questiaux, “Family Allowances in France,” ibid., pp. 76–89.


The-General-Theory-of-Employment-Interest-and-Money by John Maynard Keynes

bank run, business cycle, collective bargaining, declining real wages, delayed gratification, full employment, invisible hand, laissez-faire capitalism, marginal employment, means of production, moral hazard, Paul Samuelson, price stability, profit motive, quantitative easing, secular stagnation, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, working-age population

Circa 2000, the conventional wisdom was that 2 percent inflation was sufficiently high that episodes in which monetary policy lost traction because of the zero lower bound on interest rates would be rare and brief. Obviously that turned out to be wrong. Moreover, worries about “secular stagnation”—about a shortage of investment opportunities leading to persistently low interest rates even during periods of expansion, which in turn makes depression-like episodes highly likely, even the norm—have made a comeback. With a sharp slowdown in working-age population growth in advanced economies, xlii Introduction by Paul Krugman and an apparent slowdown in productivity growth, Keynes’s bleak vision of the future absent consistent government support for demand may be coming true after all. The Economist as Saviour As an intellectual achievement, The General Theory ranks with only a handful of other works in economics—the tiny set of books that transformed our perception of the world, so that once people became aware of what those books had to say they saw everything differently.


India's Long Road by Vijay Joshi

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, barriers to entry, Basel III, basic income, blue-collar work, Bretton Woods, business climate, capital controls, central bank independence, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, colonial rule, congestion charging, corporate governance, creative destruction, crony capitalism, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Doha Development Round, eurozone crisis, facts on the ground, failed state, financial intermediation, financial repression, first-past-the-post, floating exchange rates, full employment, germ theory of disease, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global value chain, hiring and firing, income inequality, Indoor air pollution, Induced demand, inflation targeting, invisible hand, land reform, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, Martin Wolf, means of production, microcredit, moral hazard, obamacare, Pareto efficiency, price mechanism, price stability, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, rent-seeking, reserve currency, rising living standards, school choice, school vouchers, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, smart cities, South China Sea, special drawing rights, The Future of Employment, The Market for Lemons, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, transaction costs, universal basic income, urban sprawl, working-age population

Growth of output per worker, in turn, depends on a) accumulation of physical capital per worker, b) increase in human capital per worker, and c) improvements in TFP per worker. (An important qualification is that the equivalence between growth of output per head and growth of output per worker does not quite hold in India because the country is due to receive a ‘demographic bonus’: the working-​age population is expected to increase faster than the population as a whole for the next three decades. While this ‘bonus’ lasts, output per head will grow somewhat faster than output per worker.3 So long as this is kept in mind, growth of output per worker can serve as a proxy for growth of output per head.) Physical Capital Capital accumulation depends on how much the nation is willing to save and invest out of current output.


pages: 475 words: 155,554

The Default Line: The Inside Story of People, Banks and Entire Nations on the Edge by Faisal Islam

Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, British Empire, capital controls, carbon footprint, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, centre right, collapse of Lehman Brothers, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, dark matter, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, disintermediation, energy security, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial repression, floating exchange rates, forensic accounting, forward guidance, full employment, G4S, ghettoisation, global rebalancing, global reserve currency, hiring and firing, inflation targeting, Irish property bubble, Just-in-time delivery, labour market flexibility, light touch regulation, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market clearing, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, mini-job, mittelstand, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, mutually assured destruction, Myron Scholes, negative equity, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, open economy, paradox of thrift, Pearl River Delta, pension reform, price mechanism, price stability, profit motive, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, reshoring, Right to Buy, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, shareholder value, sovereign wealth fund, The Chicago School, the payments system, too big to fail, trade route, transaction costs, two tier labour market, unorthodox policies, uranium enrichment, urban planning, value at risk, WikiLeaks, working-age population, zero-sum game

In practice, that means the flows of those Chinese migrant workers from Sichuan and other places to the coastal factories have sustainably increased the capacity of China’s economy. It was these migrant workers who were the principal reason for China’s giant surpluses. China’s increasing wealth really rests on their shoulders, more than on its currency management. But it cannot last: China’s single-child policy means that by 2015 the size of its working-age population will peak. More important than the blame game, perhaps, is what China’s growth can teach the rest of the world. As Justin Lin argues, ‘If you look at the experiences of all the successful countries in economic development – postwar Japan, Korea and Taiwan, the transition nations of China and Vietnam, or even the early development of the UK, German, US and French economies – all have relied on the market mechanism combined with active interventions of government.’


The Origins of the Urban Crisis by Sugrue, Thomas J.

affirmative action, business climate, collective bargaining, correlation coefficient, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, deindustrialization, desegregation, Detroit bankruptcy, Ford paid five dollars a day, George Gilder, ghettoisation, Gunnar Myrdal, hiring and firing, housing crisis, income inequality, indoor plumbing, informal economy, invisible hand, job automation, jobless men, Joseph Schumpeter, labor-force participation, low-wage service sector, manufacturing employment, mass incarceration, New Urbanism, oil shock, pink-collar, postindustrial economy, rent control, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, side project, Silicon Valley, strikebreaker, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Chicago School, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, War on Poverty, white flight, working-age population, Works Progress Administration

Just as government had provided an employment niche for Irish immigrants at the turn of the century, so in the mid-twentieth century it became a beachhead for blacks. The great irony for blacks, however, was that city government by the 1960s would not be a growth industry for much longer, as it had been in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. A declining municipal tax base and growing anti-government sentiment diminished public-sector job opportunities as the black working-age population continued to grow.58 Retail Sales Blacks found very little employment in the postwar era in high-visibility jobs that involved public contact, and remained grossly underrepresented in sales jobs, compared to whites (see Appendix B). Their exclusion from retail trade was not inconsequential. In 1950 and 1960, the retail sector provided jobs for about one-seventh of all male Detroit workers, and more than one-fifth of all female workers.


pages: 533

Future Politics: Living Together in a World Transformed by Tech by Jamie Susskind

3D printing, additive manufacturing, affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, airport security, Andrew Keen, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, automated trading system, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, bitcoin, blockchain, brain emulation, British Empire, business process, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cashless society, Cass Sunstein, cellular automata, cloud computing, computer age, computer vision, continuation of politics by other means, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, digital map, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Filter Bubble, future of work, Google bus, Google X / Alphabet X, Googley, industrial robot, informal economy, intangible asset, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, lifelogging, Metcalfe’s law, mittelstand, more computing power than Apollo, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, night-watchman state, Oculus Rift, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, pattern recognition, payday loans, price discrimination, price mechanism, RAND corporation, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, road to serfdom, Robert Mercer, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, selection bias, self-driving car, sexual politics, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, smart contracts, Snapchat, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, technological singularity, the built environment, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas L Friedman, universal basic income, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, working-age population

But not in the future, because eventually any extra tasks created would themselves be done more efficiently by machines than humans. Overall, the economic pie will grow (that’s right, folks, the ­dessert metaphors are back) but human workers will receive an ever-smaller slice. On an extreme outcome, the vast majority of people of working age could be unemployed. But the effects would be radical if even half or a third of the working-age population was unable to find work. Who Will Be the First to Go? It’s intuitive to assume that lower-educated workers will be hardesthit by technological unemployment. It currently costs about $25 an hour to pay a human welder and about $8 an hour to use a robot.9 OUP CORRECTED PROOF – FINAL, 26/05/18, SPi РЕЛИЗ ПОДГОТОВИЛА ГРУППА "What's News" VK.COM/WSNWS Technological Unemployment 299 Supermarket check-out staff face the prospect of ‘smart’ stores that run without human check-out staff and shelf-stackers.10 Truckers, of whom there are 3.5 million in the United States alone, could be superseded by self-driving vehicles that can trundle for weeks without rest.


pages: 586 words: 186,548

Architects of Intelligence by Martin Ford

3D printing, agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bayesian statistics, bitcoin, business intelligence, business process, call centre, cloud computing, cognitive bias, Colonization of Mars, computer vision, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, DARPA: Urban Challenge, deskilling, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ernest Rutherford, Fellow of the Royal Society, Flash crash, future of work, gig economy, Google X / Alphabet X, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hans Rosling, ImageNet competition, income inequality, industrial robot, information retrieval, job automation, John von Neumann, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, Loebner Prize, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, means of production, Mitch Kapor, natural language processing, new economy, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, phenotype, Productivity paradox, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, Sam Altman, self-driving car, sensor fusion, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, smart cities, social intelligence, speech recognition, statistical model, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, strong AI, superintelligent machines, Ted Kaczynski, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, theory of mind, Thomas Bayes, Travis Kalanick, Turing test, universal basic income, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce, working-age population, zero-sum game, Zipcar

I do think these fundamental changes are going to happen. Some of them will be slow, but in the scale of, say, 100 years, if something takes an extra 20 years, it’s nothing. There is going to be a problem with AI robots and employment sometime in this century, whether it’s 2030 or 2070. At some point we need to change how we structure our societies because we are going to get to a point where there’s less employment available but still a working-age population. There are counterarguments, like when most agricultural jobs disappeared they were just replaced by industrial jobs, but I don’t find them to be compelling. The main issue we will face is scale and the way that once you have a solution, you can use it everywhere relatively cheaply. Getting the first driverless car algorithm/database system that works might be 50 years of work and cost billions of dollars in research, but once we have them, people are going to roll them out at scale.


pages: 775 words: 208,604

The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality From the Stone Age to the Twenty-First Century by Walter Scheidel

agricultural Revolution, assortative mating, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, collective bargaining, colonial rule, Columbian Exchange, conceptual framework, corporate governance, cosmological principle, crony capitalism, dark matter, declining real wages, demographic transition, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, fixed income, Francisco Pizarro, full employment, Gini coefficient, global pandemic, hiring and firing, income inequality, John Markoff, knowledge worker, land reform, land tenure, low skilled workers, means of production, mega-rich, Network effects, nuclear winter, offshore financial centre, plutocrats, Plutocrats, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, rent control, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, Simon Kuznets, The Future of Employment, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, universal basic income, very high income, working-age population, zero-sum game

Bergh and Henrekson 2011 survey the literature on the relationship between government share of GDP and economic growth in high-income countries. Social spending trends: OECD 2014: 2 fig. 2. For the main components, see 4 fig. 4. 3 European Commission 2007, 2013, and 2015 are key reports on the scale and consequences of aging in Europe. Cf. also briefly United Nations 2015 for global trends. Fertility rates: European Commission 2007: 12 (about 1.5 now, projected to rise to about 1.6 by 2050). Median age and working age population: 13. Dependency ratios: 13 (rise to 53 percent by 2050); European Commission 2013 (rise to 51 percent by 2050) and 2015: 1 (rise to 50.1 percent by 2060). Eighty-year-olds and older: European Commission 2007: 13. Cf. 46 fig. 2.7., 49 fig. 2.9, and Hossmann et al. 2008: 8 on the range of future age pyramids. Growth as share of GDP: 13, with 70 table 3.3 (health care), 72 table 3.4 (long-term care); but contrast European Commission 2015: 4, for an additional 1.8 percent of GDP in spending required by 2060, albeit with great differences among countries (4–5).


Cultural Backlash: Trump, Brexit, and Authoritarian Populism by Pippa Norris, Ronald Inglehart

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, bank run, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, Cass Sunstein, centre right, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, declining real wages, desegregation, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, first-past-the-post, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, job automation, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, land reform, liberal world order, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, mass immigration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, obamacare, open borders, open economy, post-industrial society, post-materialism, precariat, purchasing power parity, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, sexual politics, Silicon Valley, statistical model, stem cell, War on Poverty, white flight, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, working-age population, World Values Survey, zero-sum game

Immigrants can bring valuable talent and stimulate the economy. They form a disproportionate share of entrepreneurs; for example, in 2016, 40 percent of Fortune’s list of the 500 top US firms were owned by immigrants or Part II Authoritarian-Populist Values 177 their children.7 Advanced industrialized societies like Germany with an aging population, a shortage of skilled labor, and declining fertility rates, can expand the working-­age population, consumption, and productivity through the successful integration of young migrants.8 In America, many legal immigrants are highly educated scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs; others are young workers with little education who are employed in highly manual-­intensive occupations.9 The willingness of low-­skilled immigrants to do work involving hard physical labor fills important needs in farm-­work, building construction, home services, and food preparation.10 But the rapid influx of large numbers of immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers into Europe from poorer societies generates social tensions.


pages: 691 words: 203,236

Whiteshift: Populism, Immigration and the Future of White Majorities by Eric Kaufmann

4chan, affirmative action, Amazon Mechanical Turk, anti-communist, anti-globalists, augmented reality, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, British Empire, centre right, Chelsea Manning, cognitive dissonance, complexity theory, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, deindustrialization, demographic transition, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, facts on the ground, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, first-past-the-post, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Haight Ashbury, illegal immigration, immigration reform, imperial preference, income inequality, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, liberal capitalism, longitudinal study, Lyft, mass immigration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral panic, Nate Silver, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, open borders, phenotype, postnationalism / post nation state, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Republic of Letters, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Steven Pinker, the built environment, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, transcontinental railway, twin studies, uber lyft, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, Washington Consensus, white flight, working-age population, World Values Survey, young professional

Those who want current or higher levels of immigration tend to believe it’s racist to restrict it. At first glance, this seems unsurprising. It could be argued that asking whether immigration restriction is racist or racially self-interested amounts to the same thing. But if the theory that the politics of immigration is about economic interests were true, it should be possible for someone to support immigration as a boost to economic growth or a country’s working-age population without thinking group-motivated restrictionists are racist. Across all countries, the majority say tribally motivated restrictions are not racist, but among pro-immigration respondents views are more evenly split: 51 per cent of pro-immigration people say the statement is racist. Education also counts. In many countries, the university-educated are 10–25 points more likely than those without high school to think that a person who wants less immigration for ethno-cultural reasons is racist.


pages: 741 words: 199,502

Human Diversity: The Biology of Gender, Race, and Class by Charles Murray

23andMe, affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Asperger Syndrome, assortative mating, basic income, bioinformatics, Cass Sunstein, correlation coefficient, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, double helix, Drosophila, epigenetics, equal pay for equal work, European colonialism, feminist movement, glass ceiling, Gunnar Myrdal, income inequality, Kenneth Arrow, labor-force participation, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, out of africa, p-value, phenotype, publication bias, quantitative hedge fund, randomized controlled trial, replication crisis, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, school vouchers, Scientific racism, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Silicon Valley, social intelligence, statistical model, Steven Pinker, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, twin studies, universal basic income, working-age population

The big sex differences on both interests and jobs were for the Realistic and Social orientations—the conceptually clearest Things and People orientations—and on Prediger’s overall index combining all the RIASEC data. STEM occupations. The same thing happens within different kinds of STEM occupations: In 2015, two of the same authors, Rong Su and James Rounds, conducted another meta-analysis focusing on distinctions within scientific and technical occupations. Again, their database of vocational preferences and a database of actual jobs held by the U.S. working-age population produced almost interchangeable results. In both cases, the biggest sex differences favoring men involved the most Things-oriented jobs; the biggest sex differences favoring women involved the most People-oriented jobs.[46] The degree of consistency of the sex differences in vocational interests and occupations is quite remarkable. To draw the discussion together, consider the table below.


pages: 1,088 words: 228,743

Expected Returns: An Investor's Guide to Harvesting Market Rewards by Antti Ilmanen

Andrei Shleifer, asset allocation, asset-backed security, availability heuristic, backtesting, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, business cycle, buy and hold, buy low sell high, capital asset pricing model, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, commodity trading advisor, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, debt deflation, deglobalization, delta neutral, demand response, discounted cash flows, disintermediation, diversification, diversified portfolio, dividend-yielding stocks, equity premium, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, fiat currency, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, fixed income, Flash crash, framing effect, frictionless, frictionless market, G4S, George Akerlof, global reserve currency, Google Earth, high net worth, hindsight bias, Hyman Minsky, implied volatility, income inequality, incomplete markets, index fund, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, interest rate swap, invisible hand, Kenneth Rogoff, laissez-faire capitalism, law of one price, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, margin call, market bubble, market clearing, market friction, market fundamentalism, market microstructure, mental accounting, merger arbitrage, mittelstand, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, negative equity, New Journalism, oil shock, p-value, passive investing, Paul Samuelson, performance metric, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price anchoring, price stability, principal–agent problem, private sector deleveraging, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, random walk, reserve currency, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, riskless arbitrage, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, savings glut, selection bias, Sharpe ratio, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, statistical arbitrage, statistical model, stochastic volatility, stocks for the long run, survivorship bias, systematic trading, The Great Moderation, The Myth of the Rational Market, too big to fail, transaction costs, tulip mania, value at risk, volatility arbitrage, volatility smile, working-age population, Y2K, yield curve, zero-coupon bond, zero-sum game

A recent study emphasizes the demographic influences on housing markets. Using panel data from 22 advanced countries between 1970 and 2009, Takats (2010) estimates that both real GDP-per-capita growth and total population growth boost real house prices one for one (a 1% increase in either series raises real house prices by 1%), while aging has a negative impact (a 1% increase in the dependency ratio—the ratio between the old age population and the working age population—reduces real house prices by 0.7%). These factors are not the only drivers of house prices but they partly explain the lagging performance of Japan and Germany. More generally, the study argues that multi-decade tailwinds on housing and other asset prices are now turning into multi-decade headwinds. I have little to say about the active management of real estate investments, or skills needed for it, partly due to my lack of expertise.