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Economics Research

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[University of California at Berkeley]

 

It Takes More than Economics To Be a Great Economist

Nobody can be a great economist who is only an economist --
The economist who is only an economist is likely to become a nuisance if not a positive danger.

 

 

- Overview

Economics is the study of how individuals, businesses and governments choose to allocate resources to meet their needs. These groups decide how to organize and coordinate resources for maximum output. They are primarily concerned with the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services.

 

- Budget, Taxes and Public Investment

EITC's work on federal fiscal policy analyzes revenue, spending, and deficits, but always in the context of the broader economy. The EITC believes that the federal budget is the embodiment of our national priorities, but recognizes that a balanced budget is only a tool to achieve larger economic goals, not an end in itself.

 

- Economic Growth

Economic growth is the increase in the production of goods and services in an economy. Growth in capital goods, labor, technology, and human capital can all contribute to economic growth. Economic growth is usually measured in terms of the increase in the total market value of additional goods and services produced, using estimates such as GDP. 

EITC's research on economic growth assesses how policymaking and economic institutions help or hinder efforts to ensure the U.S. economy operates at full employment and achieves sustainable growth in average living standards as quickly as possible.

 

New York City_NY_060721A
[New York City, New York - Civil Engineering Discoveries]

- Education

Education increases people's productivity and creativity, and fosters entrepreneurship and technological advancement. Furthermore, it plays a vital role in ensuring economic and social progress and improving income distribution. 

The EITC documents the impact of social and economic inequality on student achievement and proposes policies on and off campus to close the achievement gap between middle-class and disadvantaged students. EITC research refutes false assumptions behind politically motivated attacks on public education, teachers and their unions.

 

- Green Economics

Green Economics is a discipline of economics that focuses on designing a way to promote harmonious economic interactions between people and nature. It has an expansive canvas that combines ways of interacting with nature with approaches to commodity production and social justice. 

The theme of green development identifies six strategic pillars: climate change, resource conservation and management, circular economy, environmental protection, ecosystem protection and restoration, water resources protection and natural disaster prevention. 

EITC research in this area focuses on the role that public investment, regulation and tax policy play in making the economy more sustainable and equitable.

 

- Health

EITC's health policy research team analyzes the U.S. health care system through the living standards of low- and middle-income households, with a particular focus on employer-sponsored health insurance, the burden of health care costs, and disparities in access and outcomes.

 

- Immigration

The EITC proposes reforms that would allow the immigration system to respond and adapt to the changing needs of the U.S. labor market, while raising wages and safeguarding labor standards for U.S. and immigrant workers.

 

- Inequality and Poverty

As the U.S. recovered from the Great Depression, EITC research in this area examined the increase in the degree of economic inequality associated with declining levels of economic mobility and rising poverty levels.

 

- Jobs and Unemployment

EITC's in-depth research in this area is as important as ever, focusing on understanding the complexities and implications of the slow recovery in the U.S. labor market, including our persistently high unemployment, near-record long-term unemployment, massive underemployment, and labor force weakness participate.

 

- Minimum Wage

The minimum wage is an important labor standard designed to ensure that the lowest paid workers in the country receive a fair wage. EITC researchers examine how the minimum wage affects workers and the economy, who benefits from it, and how the decline in the value of the federal minimum wage over time contributes to rising income inequality in the United States.

 

- Race and Ethnicity

EITC's Race, Ethnicity, and Economic Program works to advance policies that ensure the full participation and equal benefit of racial and ethnic minorities as workers in the U.S. economy.

 

- Raising America’s Pay

The EITC works to raise the profile of wage issues and develop ideas to stimulate wage growth, overseen by an advisory board of prominent policymakers, academics, policy experts, and civic engagement leaders. See list of board members.

 

- Regulation

In the wake of the Great Recession and its legacy of high unemployment, the debate over the impact of regulatory changes on employment has intensified. But talk of government regulation holding back the economy ignores the root causes of our economic problems, the collapse of the housing and financial sectors and a lack of demand. EITC research debunks claims that regulations hinder job creation, finding they can create jobs and deliver other key benefits that outweigh costs. This work is critical to combating attempts to overturn laws that protect the environment and guarantee worker protections.

 

- Retirement

EITC's retirement planning examines inequities in the current system and promotes initiatives that protect Social Security and lead to universal, safe, and adequate retirement policies.

 

- Trade and Globalization

Trade and globalization policies have had a major impact on the wages and earnings of U.S. workers and the dynamism of U.S. industries such as manufacturing. EITC research identifies the economic benefits to countries, states and congressional districts by negotiating better trade agreements and curbing currency manipulation and other unfair trade practices.

 

- Unions and Labor Standards

Strong unions and employee organizing rights foster a vibrant middle class because the protections, rights, and wages that unions receive affect union and non-union workers alike. Unfortunately, weakened labor standards, weakened unions, changed norms, guest worker policies that lower wages, and monetary policy that prioritizes controlling inflation over lowering unemployment have all helped to depress wages and erode the lives of all workers. level. 

EPI monitors factors affecting Americans' working lives, including unpaid overtime, wage theft, minimum wage, immigration laws, and collective bargaining rights.

 

- Wages, Incomes and Wealth

Ensuring that economic growth benefits hardworking Americans in the form of higher wages and higher living standards is the central economic challenge of our time. Unfortunately, between 1979 and 2012, wages for most workers grew at an unusually slow pace, despite a 64% increase in productivity (a primary measure of the economy's potential to provide rising living standards for all). 

In other words, most Americans, even those with college degrees, are treading water -- despite being more productive (and better educated) than ever. EPI research shows that wage stagnation, sluggish income growth, and wealth disparities can be traced to policy decisions that weaken the bargaining power of low- and middle-wage workers.

 

 

[More to come ...]

 

 

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