Tag: economic downturn

  • The Coalition, benefit cuts, and income inequality

    This is a piece that first appeared in One Society‘s ‘half-term report’ on the Coalition Government and inequality (references and footnotes available in the full report). The whole (short!) edited volume is also worth a read, containing articles by Kate Pickett, Chris Goulden, and Stewart Lansley among others. On one level, the question of whether […]

  • Why more equal societies have more stable economies

    In this guest post, the writer/researcher and author of ‘The Cost of Inequality’ Stewart Lansley looks at the link between equality and economic stability – building on Rob de Vries’ earlier two posts on the blog. According to current economic orthodoxy, inequality is a necessary condition for economic progress. Higher rewards and lower taxes at the […]

  • Stretching the Food Dollar During the Great Recession

    American families pinched by the recession that began in 2007 made cuts in their budgets on purchases ranging from cars to television to new homes. Less visible, but no less important, many families changed their food purchasing habits. Research by the United States Department of Agriculture shows that food purchases declined by around 5 percent […]

  • Riots, demonstrations and welfare cuts

    Some people just aren’t bothered by welfare cuts. If the cuts don’t affect you personally, and you only discuss them in terms of abstract principles and ‘dependency culture’, then the cuts are distant; the stuff of politicians’ rhetoric and newspaper columnists rather than real life. What makes people sit up and take notice, though, is […]

  • An Emotional Rollercoaster: Trends in Subjective Wellbeing During the Economic Downturn

    Since 2008 Gallup has polled a random sample of 1,000 Americans daily (link here) about their subjective well-being. The data provide a rich basis for examining the short-run effects of the economic recession on self-reported happiness, life evaluation, and stress. In a masterful paper, Angus Deaton digs into the data to show how the population […]

  • The mysterious non-claiming unemployed

    Throughout the financial crisis there’s been a puzzle gnawing at me, which seems critically important – yet has been barely mentioned. It’s glaringly obvious when looking at the BBC news reports after every release of the unemployment figures, the latest version of which is this (see also here): I’m not talking about those aspects that […]

  • Unemployment Disparities in Three Pictures

    Any way you look at it, the unemployment numbers released this week are good news for American workers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that the economy added 243,000 new jobs (at least after applying seasonal adjustments), and the official unemployment rate dropped to 8.3 percent. The official unemployment rate is an important indicator, but […]

  • What Does it Mean to be Poor?

    Dismal news. As was widely reported this week, the official poverty rate climbed again in 2010 to 15.1 percent – the highest level since 1994. The already inflated 2009 rate was 14.3 percent of individuals. The report also revealed that median income slipped by more than 2 percent in 2010. Further straining families, the rate […]

  • It Starts with the Bank and Ends in the ER

    How do economic downturns affect population health? In several groundbreaking papers Chris Ruhm showed that some health outcomes actually improved during the recessions of the previous three decades: people smoked and drank less, they stayed off the roads leading to fewer accidents, and the smokestacks from some factories stopped, lowering air pollution and perhaps lung […]

  • Crime and the Economic Downturn

    Here are some headlines from 2008: “Keeping Wary Eye on Crime as Economy Sinks” – New York Times (October 9) “Economic downturn hits U.S. police with double whammy” – Reuters (October 21) “Will Recession Make Cities Dangerous Again?” – ABC News (December 4) So what happened with the crime wave? As the figure below shows, […]