This is a weekly post we publish on Fridays with links to articles that touch on economic inequality and growth. The first section is a round-up of what Equitable Growth published this week and the second is the work we’re highlighting from elsewhere. We won’t be the first to share these articles, but we hope by taking a look back at the whole week, we can put them in context.
Equitable Growth round-up
Nathan Wilmers, a sociologist at Harvard University, writes about his latest research on the connection between stagnating wages and the growing market power of giant companies such as Amazon. and Walmart. As these big retailers increasingly dominate the consumer landscape, they are demanding lower prices from their suppliers. Wilmers finds that suppliers are often forced to cut wages in order to meet these demands.
Michael Kades discusses a new Yale Law Journal symposium, “Unlocking Antitrust Enforcement” based on papers that were presented at an October 2017 Equitable Growth event co-hosted with American University’s Washington College of Law Program on Law and Government. The collection of nine papers focuses on how to utilize existing antitrust enforcement tools to address new antitrust challenges arising in the current U.S. economy.
Links from around the web
It’s tough to be a 1980s baby. Michael Derby looks at new research from the St. Louis Fed, which finds that the financial crisis was most harmful to those born in the 1980s—whose wealth levels are 34 percent lower than where they would be had the financial crisis not occurred. [wsj]
Heather Long details how a shortage of truck drivers may have profound ripple effects for the entire U.S. economy. Long writes about how the “perfect storm” of economic conditions means there are fewer truck drivers just as demand is growing. The shortage is creating a crisis and is driving up the cost of shipping, which will almost certainly be reflected in the price of goods that Americans buy every day. [wonkblog]
Mike Konzal discusses a new paper that analyzes the extent to which the decline in union membership has driven economic inequality in the United States. Konzal also discuss the implications that reduced inequality (due to unionization) has for U.S. economic growth. He writes that “the researchers couldn’t find a single model in which the economy slowed because of a high union share.” [the nation]
Student debt may be ruining a foundational part of the American Dream: buying a house. Natalie Kitroeff writes about the how the growing student debt burden among Millennials is making it impossible for them to save for a mortgage down payment, even years after graduating from college. [nytimes]
Brentin Mock writes about racial and ethnic segregation in metro Atlanta, using maps to show how whiter neighborhoods (shaped in large part by deliberate policy choices) have higher concentrations of “amenities” such as restaurants, businesses, banks, medical centers, and parks—all the things that improve one’s quality of life. [citylab]
From “The links between stagnating wages and buyer power in U.S. supply chains” by Nathan Wilmers.