nep-pke New Economics Papers
on Post Keynesian Economics
Issue of 2010‒07‒24
three papers chosen by
Karl Petrick
University of the West Indies

  1. "Economic Policy for the Real World" By Charles J. Whalen
  2. The Impact of Social Security Cuts on Retiree Income By Dean Baker; David Rosnick
  3. Pluralism In Economics And The Evaluation Of Economic Research In Italy By Marcella Corsi; Pierre D'Ippolito; Frederico L.F. Lucidi

  1. By: Charles J. Whalen
    Abstract: The nation's economic challenges are daunting. Restoring robust American prosperity and widespread economic opportunity will not be easy. But, as Hyman Minsky stressed, "Economic systems are not natural systems…. Policy can change both the details and the overall character of the economy." It's clear that what we are now facing is not simply a cyclical crisis, or even an employment crisis, writes Charles J. Whalen. Rather, it is a standard-of-living-and-economic-opportunity crisis—the latest phase in a decades-long "silent depression." In order to resolve it, our policy response must reflect that we are dealing with a deep-seated structural problem, one rooted in the evolution of U.S. economic development. Policymakers must pursue an agenda of recovery and reform that includes, at minimum, a major assistance package for state and local governments; more relief for the unemployed and those facing foreclosure; tougher supervision of financial institutions; stronger automatic stabilizers (e.g., public service employment); policies that foster economic opportunities for working families; improved retirement security; and labor law reform that gives workers a more realistic chance to organize and bargain collectively.
    Date: 2010–07
  2. By: Dean Baker; David Rosnick
    Abstract: There has been a serious push in policy circles to cut Social Security benefits for near- and/or current retirees. The argument for such cuts has been based on the deficits in the federal budget; the finances of the Social Security program have been at most a secondary consideration. However, the finances of the current or near-retirees who would be affected by these cuts have also largely been ignored in this discussion. This is striking because this group has been hardest hit by the collapse of the housing bubble and the resulting plunge in stock prices. These workers had accumulated some wealth – mostly in the form of home equity – which they stood to lose as a result of the crisis. Since they are at or near retirement age, they will have little opportunity to replace their lost wealth. This paper assesses the cuts implied by three common proposals for reducing Social Security benefits: 1. Adopting a “progressive price” indexation (PPI) formula for the basic benefit structure, 2. Accelerating and extending the increase in the normal retirement age, and 3. Reducing the annual cost-of-living adjustment. It calculates the implied cut in benefits and projected income for various age groups and income quintiles of retirees and near-retirees.
    Keywords: social security, retirement, retirement age,
    JEL: H H6 H62 H63 H68 J J1 J14 J18 J3 J32 J38
    Date: 2010–07
  3. By: Marcella Corsi; Pierre D'Ippolito; Frederico L.F. Lucidi
    Abstract: We analyse Italy’s research evaluation exercise to discuss the issue of evaluating re-search in economics. We claim that evaluation and its criteria, together with its linkage to research institutions’ financing, are likely to affect the direction of research, in a problematic way. We claim that the ranking criteria adopted in Italy bring to a risk of disregarding histori-cal methods in favour of quantitative and econometric methods, and heterodox schools in favour of mainstream approaches. In order to preserve pluralism and originality of research, we propose a simple quantita-tive index based on field-normalisation.
    Keywords: Research evaluation; Contemporary research in economics; Italy
    JEL: A11 A14 B20 B40 B50
    Date: 2010–03–16

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