What Factors Led to Profits in India’s Manufacturing Sector?

Growth in capitalist economies is tied to profitability. Even though capitalism has not fully taken root in developing econonomies, the organized manufacturing sector in India is clearly a capitalist one. What has driven profitability in this sector in the last three decades? Deepankar Basu and Debarshi Das find that profits have increased modestly, at a rate of 1 percent per year. During this period, they point to a long-run trend of regressive income distribution as a driver of profitability, as well as medium and short run changes determined by technological factors. 

>> Read Profitability in India’s Organized Manufacturing Sector: The Role of Technology, Distribution and Demand

External Financial Shocks in Developing Economies

One of the most significant results of the global financial crisis and Great Recession of 2007-09, was that, in general, developing countries survived the crisis with less damage than the advanced economies. Why did this occur? Hasan Cömert and Mehmet Selman Çolak argue that a main factor was that the developing countries, in general, experienced relatively moderate financial account shocks, both in terms of magnitude and duration, during the crisis. They discuss the reasons for this, and implications of this result for future economic prospects and policymaking.  
>> Read “Can Financial Stability be Maintained in Developing Countries After the Global Crisis?: The Role of External Financial Shocks”

Gerald Epstein's Distinguished Faculty Lecture

On Tuesday, March 24, Professor Gerald A. Epstein, Co-Director of PERI, presented "When Big is Too Big: Do the Financial System's Social Benefits Justify Its Size?"

According to standard economic theory, the financial system encourages productive investment while also helping families and businesses to reduce risk and pursue opportunities that would otherwise be beyond their means. The Great Financial Crisis of 2008, however, brought these assumptions into doubt and raised a key question: just what are the financial sector's contributions to society? Professor Epstein will argue that since 1980 the financial sector has increasingly failed to promote social well-being, and he will propose some corrective restructurings.

At the conclusion of the lecture, Professor Epstein was presented with the Chancellor's Medal, the highest honor bestowed to faculty by the campus.

>>Read more information about the event

Impact of Food Insecurity on the Elderly

Food insecurity has been on the rise in the U.S., while social safety net programs have been targeted for cuts. Peter Arno, Kenneth Knapp, Stephen Russo and Deborah Viola assess the prevalence and impact of food insecurity in a survey of 500 elderly homebound meal clients in New York City. Their findings suggest that community-dwelling, homebound seniors have serious medical and health problems, multiple unmet social service needs, and often suffer from food insecurity. Understanding the relationship between these factors will help community organizations and government agencies assure the well-being of the elderly.

>> Read Rising Food Insecurity and Conservative Policy in the U.S.: Impact on the Elderly

A $15 U.S. Minimum Wage Without Job Losses Can Work

Pollin and Wicks-Lim examine whether U.S. fast-food businesses could adjust to an increase in the federal minimum wage from its current level of $7.25 per hour to $15 an hour without having to lay off workers.  They show how, through a four-year phase-in process, the fast-food industry could adjust to a $15 minimum wage without resorting to any layoffs or even cuts in profitability.  Rather, the fast-food industry could fully absorb the cost increases generated by a $15 minimum wage over the four-year period through a combination of turnover reductions along with modest increases in both sales growth and prices.

>>Read "A $15 U.S. Minimum Wage: How the Fast-Food Industry Could Adjust Without Shedding Jobs"