There has been a long-term downward trend in labour’s share of national income, depressing both demand and inflation, and thus prompting ever more expansionary monetary policies. This column argues that, while understandable in a short-term business cycle context, this has exacerbated longer-term trends, increasing inequality and financial distortions. Perhaps the most fundamental problem has been over-reliance on debt finance. The authors propose policies to raise the share of equity finance in housing markets; such reforms could be extended to other sectors of the economy.
Charles A.E. Goodhart, Philipp Erfurth, Monday, November 3, 2014
Elke Jahn, Regina T. Riphahn, Claus Schnabel, Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Economic policymakers across Europe have sought to increase labour market flexibility by promoting the use of temporary employment. This column points to a possible trade-off between efficiency and equity when deregulating labour markets, suggesting that flexible forms of employment can be both a boon and a bane for labour markets and for society as a whole.
Richard B. Freeman, Stephen Machin, Martina Viarengo , Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Many interpret countries' scores in international testing as grades of their national educational policies. Summarising evidence from international maths exams, this column finds that the highest-scoring countries are those with the least inequality in test scores, suggesting a “virtuous” equity-efficiency trade-off. It also finds that countries perform even better when test scores are highly correlated with the number of books in the family home.
Sebastian Rausch, Gilbert E. Metcalf , John Reilly , Sergey Paltsev, Saturday, July 31, 2010
The carbon-pricing implications of cap-and-trade programmes have raised concern that they might be a regressive policy tool. This column documents how allowance allocation schemes similar to those in recently proposed US legislation address distributional concerns and challenges the view that carbon pricing is necessarily regressive.
John Turner , Graeme Acheson , Charles Hickson, Qing Ye, Saturday, May 10, 2008
Past performance is no guarantee, but history tells us that the equity risk premium has been persistent. This column shows that British investors enjoyed relatively high returns in the nineteenth century, though today’s UK market differs greatly from its formative ancestor.