04/20/2018

News

Southern California pay hits record highs as workers get more hours

Southern California’s weekly wages have hit record highs with old-fashioned help: workers getting extra work. The pay peaks were revealed in regional pay data from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis showing that local bosses are upping how long workers are on the clock as well as hourly pay. My trusty spreadsheet tells me […]

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International gamers in SF for convention ‘shell shocked’ by ‘dangerous city’

More than 28,000 international gaming professionals recently congregated at San Francisco’s Moscone Convention Center, where they tested the latest VR tech and sampled hundreds of indie games. But some attendees, many of whom traveled thousands of miles for the annual convention, found the city streets outside the Game Developers Conference (GDC) inhospitable, the sights disturbing. […]

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Is It Wrong to Cut a Homeless Man’s Hair Without a License?

In the 1980s, the District of Columbia government shut down Ego Brown’s shoe-shining business, citing a 1905 ordinance forbidding shoeshine stands in public spaces. Mr. Brown employed homeless people, providing them not only with a job but a shower and a tuxedo uniform. Then-Mayor Marion Barry ignored repeated requests to reform the district’s shoeshine ordinance. […]

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Burdensome Licensing Law Turns Shampooers into Criminals

Under California’s Business and Professions Code, a shampooer (or anyone who does any sort of work on people’s hair, such as curling) needs to get a license. That only costs $125. But to get that license, you’ll need to spend 1,500 hours in training at a state-approved barbering school. That’s a year of part-time schooling. […]

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U.S. consumer prices drop, but core inflation firming

U.S. consumer prices fell for the first time in 10 months in March, weighed down by a decline in the cost of gasoline, but underlying inflation continued to firm amid rising prices for healthcare and rental accommodation. The drop in the headline monthly inflation reading reported by the Labor Department on Wednesday is likely temporary […]

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Longer-Run Effects of Anit-Poverty Policies on Disadvantaged Neighborhoods

We estimate the longer-run effects of minimum wages, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and welfare (and welfare reform) on key economic indicators of economic self-sufficiency in disadvantaged neighborhoods. We find some evidence that higher minimum wages lead, in the longer run, to increases in poverty and the share of families on public assistance. In contrast, […]

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The Ivy League Students Least Likely to Get Married

People care about matrimony for good reason. Society has been profoundly shaped by what academics call assortative mating: the tendency of people to marry others resembling themselves. Educationally assortative mating rose for decades after World War II, as more people went to college and more good jobs were reserved for college graduates. Income inequality is […]

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A Way Up, for All of Us

There’s only one solution for many of the challenges facing California — education, and not just for children, but especially for adults. Fully 75 percent of prison inmates failed to finish high school. The children of parents with low literacy skills are 72 percent more likely to be illiterate themselves, get poor grades, disrupt classrooms, […]

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What Economists Don’t Know About Manufacturing

Manufacturing, and especially the initial production of new technologies, must be seen as part of the innovation system. It is an autonomously creative stage in which a new product must evolve through prototyping, product definition, and production design from an idea into both a marketable and produce-able good. This often requires a re-examination of the […]

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California booms, but when will it bust again?

The state averages one economic boom and one bust per decade and California’s recovery from the Great Recession now has lasted well beyond historic expectations. In other words, as Gov. Jerry Brown, the Capitol’s resident economic worrywart, often points out, California is overdue for a downturn. That’s why he wants to squirrel away as much […]

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The average American is much better off now than four decades ago

JUST how bad have the past four decades been for ordinary Americans? One much-cited figure suggests they have been pretty bad. The Census Bureau estimates that for the median household, halfway along the distribution, income has barely grown in real terms since 1979. But a recent report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), a non-partisan […]

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In Pricey Cities, New Residents Make Much More Than Those Leaving

Families of more modest means are leaving expensive American urban areas and being replaced by more affluent newcomers, and the income gap between those arriving and leaving hot spots is widening. New research from Issi Romem, chief economist at building-data website BuildZoom, finds that metropolitan areas such as San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles and […]

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Characteristics of Domestic Cross-Metropolitan Migrants

Sustained housing price appreciation could also exert increasingly selective pressure on the kinds of jobs that are feasible to maintain in the expensive metros. Employers who wish to stay in business cannot afford to pay workers a wage that exceeds their contribution to revenue. As a result, employers in the expensive coastal metros would be […]

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Orange County Focus: Forging Our Common Future

This leads to our second challenge, how to grow opportunity for the region’s working and middle-class residents. Despite its reputation as an abode for the rich, or at least the very affluent, barely one in three OC residents earns over $75,000, a significantly lower level than many of our competitors. Much of our job growth […]

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‘The Sequence’ Is the Secret to Success

For the vast majority of young adults in Asia, the path to success clearly runs through education, work and marriage—in that order. Families, schools, media and society at large all reinforce that message. A similar path to success for young adults exists in America. Brookings scholars Ron Haskins and Isabel Sawhill call it the “success […]

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