Another interesting posting on Visualizing Economics this week looks at new information regarding middle-income workers showing if you look at the change in wages using a more appropriate price deflator and include benefits, real wages for these workers has risen over the past 30 years. The article by the Federal Reserve’s Terry Fitzgerald points out many issues regarding the change in middle income Americans’ wages over time. Compare this work with that of the Economic Policy Institute who point out that wage growth is unequal (Also reference the handouts distributed in class). Try to relate this material to the information we have gone over in class. Notice how these authors are both using statistics without controlling for other possible covariates. While there is nothing wrong with citing statistics, they can be misleading.
Questions you might try to answer:
- What evidence has regression analysis given to this debate?
- Do you think that the evidence is overwhelming in one direction or the other with regard to the debate?
- Even if wages (real or otherwise) have stagnated, do you believe that the productivity in the U.S. has been unfairly distributed? Try to see if you can find any evidence about the source of the additional productivity. If productivity gains are from ‘management’ and ‘higher income’ productivity, does it make sense that lower income workers have not reaped the benefits?
Remember… I would like your statements to be as subjective as possible, or in jargon terms, positive and not normative in nature. Also, remember, I want you to keep your descriptions short, basic, and related to classroom content. Read other students comments before posting, and please leave your name with your posting.