Inequality in Air Quality: Worse than Income Inequality

James K. Boyce (PERI), Klara Zwickl and Michael Ash have written a paper for the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET)’s Working Group on the Political Economy of Distribution. The paper compares environmental inequality for the 50 U.S. states and 435 Congressional districts, using data on exposure to industrial air toxics from the Risk-Screening Environmental Indicators of the EPA. In an interview about their findings, Jim Boyce says, “if you look how unequally environmental quality is distributed in the U.S., it actually makes inequality of the distribution of income look relatively modest.”  

>> Read "Three Measures of Environmental Inequality"

>> Read an interview with Jim Boyce on the INET blog (reposted to Huffington Post and elsewhere): "New Research Shows Pollution Inequality in America is Even Worse than Income Inequality"

Capital Flight from Africa: Causes, Effects and Policy Issues

Capital flight is a critical challenge to economic development in African countries. While Africa receives a substantial amount of capital inflows in the form of official development assistance, external borrowing and foreign direct investment, it also suffers a heavy financial hemorrhage through capital flight.

S. Ibi Ajayi (University of Ibadan) and Léonce Ndikumana (Director of PERI’s Africa Policy Program) have edited a new collection of analysis of capital flight from Africa with Oxford University Press. The book will be available in January 2015. Select chapters are available now as PERI Working Papers. Read them here:

>>“Capital Flight and Monetary Policy in African Countries,” by Hippolyte Fofack and Léonce Ndikumana 

>>“Capital Flight: Measurement and Drivers,” by Léonce Ndikumana, James K. Boyce and Ameth Saloum Ndiyae

>>“Governance and Illicit Financial Flows,” by Melvin D. Ayogu and Folarin Gbadebo-Smith

>>“Illicit Financial Flows and Stolen Assets Value Recovery,” by Melvin D. Ayogu and Julius Arbor

>>“Capital Flight and Poverty Reduction in Africa,” by Janvier D. Nkurunziza

>>“Strategies for Addressing Capital Flight,” by James K. Boyce and Léonce Ndikumana

Green Growth: A U.S. Program for Controlling Climate Change and Expanding Job Opportunities

PERI and the Center for American Progress (CAP) have jointly published a book-length study which develops a comprehensive unified program to dramatically reduce carbon dioxide emissions while expanding job opportunities. The authors of the study, PERI Co-Director Robert Pollin, Associate Director James Heintz, and Assistant Research Professor Heidi Garrett-Peltier, along with CAP Senior Fellow Bracken Hendricks, explain that through $200 billion a year in clean energy investments by both the public and private sectors, the U.S. could both reduce U.S. energy consumption by 30 percent relative to current levels and expand production of clean renewable energy sources by 400 percent. These clean energy investments could deliver a 40 percent reduction in U.S. carbon dioxide emissions within 20 years while concurrently creating a net increase of 2.7 million jobs. 

>> Summary of GREEN GROWTH

>> Full GREEN GROWTH study

>> Boston Review forum, featuring Robert Pollin article “Build the Green Economy”

>> Comments from scholars, lawmakers, and business leaders about GREEN GROWTH

New Book In the Tradition of Jane D’Arista

Banking, Monetary Policy and the Political Economy of Financial Regulation: Essays in the Tradition of Jane D’Arista is a new book edited by PERI Co-Director Gerald Epstein, Tom Schlesinger and Matías Vernengo. Most of the essays in the volume were first presented at a May 2008 conference at PERI held in honor of Jane D’Arista. For decades, Jane D’Arista has identified, analyzed, and warned against the forces that had led to the Great Recession, which was unfolding at the time of the conference. Contributors to this volume both examine the causes of the crisis as well as advance new policy perspectives on financial markets and macroeconomics that are capable of enhancing well-being for vast majority of people rather than only the "fortunate few" that currently control the financial system. 

>> Read more about the book, including an excerpt, here

A $15.00 Living Wage in Sonoma County

Sonoma County, California will consider adopting a living wage ordinance that mandates $15 / hour for workers employed by the County, County contractors, and businesses receiving economic development subsidies. This detailed analysis of the proposal by Jeannette Wicks-Lim finds that the costs transmitted to the County from covered businesses will equal less than 0.03 percent of its $1.4 billion annual budget. Raises for 3,800 home care workers who provide essential daily care for low-income elderly and disabled adults add the largest cost increase to the County. Still, including all covered groups, the costs to the County of the measure will equal less than one percent of its total Budget. 

>> Read "An Assessment of the Fiscal Impact of the Proposed Sonoma County Living Wage Ordinance"