Does the World Cup Get the Economic Ball Rolling?

Some back of the envelope calculations from a couple years back…

Past experience, however, shows that hosting the World Cup may not be the economic Holy Grail organizers often predict — at least not immediately. The historic experiences of past hosts show that countries are about as likely to see lower economic growth in the World Cup year as they are to see higher growth. In the years immediately following the World Cup, however, the economies of host countries have performed better on average.

via Does the World Cup Get the Economic Ball Rolling? | Center for American Progress.

View the full report with images: Does the World Cup Get the Economic Ball Rolling? (PDF)

Introductory remarks for “The Path to Full Employment: Making Jobs a National Priority”

As prepared for delivery; National Press Club; Washington DC, April 2, 2014

I would like to thank Jared Bernstein and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities for putting together today’s event. The Center’s voice on these issues is vital to the public and policy discourse. There are few like it.

Rockefeller’s mission has remained the same for the past 101 years: to promote the well being of humanity around the world. In this century we do this by building Resilience, both to acute shocks and to chronic stresses; and by advancing Inclusive Economies that expand opportunities for more broadly shared prosperity.

The topic of today’s discussion – full employment – is essential to the advancement of inclusive economies. Without full employment too many face an upward struggle to get by and to get ahead. Without full employment those at the back of the employment line will stay there. That’s why the discussion is so important.

Let me say a couple words about Philanthropy. There has been much attention laced on the supply-side of the equation: education reform, skill development and training, credentialing, etc. This is valuable and needed. But people also need a job at the end of the day, so we also need to pay attention on the demand side, and to do what we can to foster job creation and full employment. That is why the Rockefeller Foundation is pleased to support this effort.

Again, that you to Jared and the Center on Budget for putting this event together.

Private Sector Engagement: The Key to Tackling Unemployment in the U.S. : The Rockefeller Foundation

In his State of the Union Address this week, President Obama called on businesses to stop discriminating against job applicants who have been out of work for extended periods of time. More than 300 major companies including Walmart, Apple, General Motors, and Ford have already signed a pledge committing to hiring more long-term unemployed Americans. Today, the White House hosted a range of business leaders to examine best-practices for hiring and recruiting, with an eye toward putting the long-term unemployed back to work.

The President’s effort takes a critical step toward tackling long-term unemployment in the United States by engaging employers, who have an important role and responsibility in bringing Americans back into the workforce. We at The Rockefeller Foundation hope this private sector momentum will expand to address an issue that poses an equally daunting threat to the nation’s economic recovery and our economic well-being for generations to come — youth unemployment.

More via Private Sector Engagement: The Key to Tackling Unemployment in the U.S. : The Rockefeller Foundation.

Economic News and Data Roundup

Noted for Friday, November 1, 2013

  • Get your data fix: US National Economic Trends, and International Economic Trends.
  • Nobel Prize in Economics for research on financial markets.  “Eugene F. Fama, Robert J. Shiller and Lars Peter Hansen shared the 2013 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for at times conflicting research on how financial markets work and assets such as stocks are priced.”
  • The World Bank’s 2014 Development report looks at Risk and Opportunity. From the Forward: “This report calls for individuals and institutions to move from being “crisis fighters” to becoming “proactive and systematic risk managers.” There is substantial evidence that recognizing and preparing for risk can pay off abundantly. For instance, many developing countries displayed resilience in the face of the recent global financial crisis because they had previously reformed their macroeconomic, financial, and social policies.”
  • Goldman Sachs: US labor market will return to “normal” in 2017Q1. In a research note (unpublished) by GS, researchers looked at the current pace of improvement: “We find that at the recent rate of improvement, the Fed authors’ measure of labor market activity would return to the pre-crisis average in 2017Q1. This date is somewhat later than the point at which the unemployment gap would close if its recent trend were to continue, consistent with the idea that the unemployment rate understates total labor market slack.”
  • Cost of US government shutdown: $24 billion. Estimates suggest that the 16 day partial shutdown of the U.S. government will reduce GDP growth by about 1/2 in the fourth quarter of the year.
  • Janet Yellen nominated to be Fed Chair. From a full profile of Yellen in the NY Times: “She has expressed greater concern about the economic consequences of unemployment, a stronger conviction in the Fed’s ability to stimulate job growth and a greater willingness to tolerate a little more inflation in order to reduce unemployment more quickly. … Ms. Yellen is also a more assertive leader than Mr. Bernanke and appears less averse to conflict. While both encourage open debate and seek to make decisions by consensus, Ms. Yellen has been a more vocal and persistent advocate for her own views.”
  • Better drink up, global shortage of wine ahead. Morgan Stanley research suggests there is a global undersupply of nearly 300 million cases a year.

Remarks re: All-In Nation Poll

All-In Nation | Poll to be released today. Press call remarks (from yesterday):

Talking Points:
“Building An All-In Nation: A View From The American Public”
Center for American Progress, October 18, 2013
(As prepared for delivery)

Thank you Vanessa. I would like to also thank the Center for American Progress for spearheading this call today.

The Rockefeller Foundation’s mission since 1913 has been to promote the well-being of humanity around the world. As we enter our second century, the foundation has adopted two over-arching objectives to achieve this vision: first, to expand opportunity for more people in more places through more equitable growth; and, second, to build resilience by helping people prepare for, withstand, and emerge stronger from acute crises and chronic stresses.

The Foundation’s strategy to accomplish these goals is by using innovation, influence and intervention to achieve positive impact. We feel that it is important to foster programs and interventions that are driven to advance economic and social equity, further opportunity for all, and promote innovation.

As we all know, the United States, throughout its history, has been is a nation of constant change. And this is reflected today in the growing racial and ethnic diversity of our population.

With our growing diversity comes a great deal of opportunity if we harness it effectively. However, we are already seeing the challenges that stem from growing inequities. From growing income and wealth inequality, to greater political polarization, to a dangerous acceptance of high rates of unemployment, especially in certain communities and for younger Americans in particular. The Rockefeller Foundation is currently in the early stages of exploring solutions to the youth employment challenge.

But the poll that is being releasing today, gives us much to be optimistic about, while still identifying places for improvement. I will let the teams from Latino Decisions, the Center for American Progress, and PolicyLink take you through the details and interpretation. But we at the Foundation are heartened by findings that suggest that the majority of Americans see incredible opportunity as a result of our country’s rising diversity, especially in terms of increasing economic growth and spurring more innovative and competitive businesses.

The Rockefeller Foundation was proud to support this important survey – one of the largest of its kind — to explore the country’s views on our growing diversity. We hope that this sparks increased conversation on the subject, and ultimately increases action on both the local and national policy level to ensure that growing diversity equals growing opportunity as well.

With that, I will turn things back over to Vanessa. Thank you.

Long-Term Unemployed Still Struggle in Post-Recession Economy : The Rockefeller Foundation

The United States economy is in the midst of a slow and uneven recovery in the wake of the Great Recession — corporate profits have rebounded, stock prices are up, yet the livelihoods of millions of American workers remain in jeopardy. Of the nation’s 11.3 million unemployed, more than one-third have been out of work for six months or longer. Millions more, unable to secure full-time positions, have settled for part-time work. Younger workers, seeking to make critical early labor market connections, face an unemployment rate more than double the national average. The Rockefeller Foundation believes that philanthropy has an important role to play in addressing these challenges.

Read more at Long-Term Unemployed Still Struggle in Post-Recession Economy : The Rockefeller Foundation.

Economic News and Data Roundup

Some summer reading: 

  • The Workforce in the Cloud: The Economist looks at “Talent exchanges” on the web and how they impact work.
  • Life expectancy and jobs:  “Researchers have known for some time that life expectancy is declining for the country’s least educated white women, but they have not been able to explain why. A new study has found that the two factors most strongly associated with higher death rates were smoking and not having a job…”
  • Why 1.2 billion people still don’t have access to electricity. Population is growing faster than electrification: “…a new progress report coordinated by the International Energy Agency and the World Bank, which notes that 1.2 billion people around the world are still stuck in the dark. And it’s unlikely that this number will shrink down to zero in the next two decades, the report notes, without a lot more money and effort.”
  • Women as a Driver of Economic Growth: Worth watching… “Heidi Crebo-Rediker, chief economist at the US Department of State, discussed how to ensure that women, as proven drivers of economic growth, can be fully utilized in economies around the world. Minouche Shafik, International Monetary Fund, and Carly Fiorina, Hewlett-Packard, joined the event as discussants.”
  • Sears and Ayn Rand. Businessweek has a long article on Sears and how CEO Eddie Lampert’s… let’s say “unique”… leadership is impacting the company.
  • Wages in the US fall at record pace: “Wages fell at the fastest rate ever recorded during the first quarter of this year, the government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Hourly wages fell 3.8 percent in the first quarter, the biggest drop since the BLS began tracking compensation in 1947.”
  • Why can’t America be Sweden? Interesting back and forth on alternative economic systems.
  • Why is Goldman hording aluminum? NY Times on how Goldman Sachs is sitting on 1.5 million tons of aluminum housed in 27 warehouses in Detroit.
  • The Odds of Disaster: An Economist’s Warning on Global Warming. Interesting piece by Martin Weitzman on climate change, economic discounting, and uncertainty.
  • Death by bicycle,” for your amusement, and winner of the Rant of the Month Award. For more background on what’s leading to such strong feelings, see this diagram.
  • When patents go wrong. NPR’s this American Life has an interesting program on a patent lawsuits and “…get a glimpse why people say our patent system may be discouraging, not encouraging, innovation.”
  • The Once (but No Longer) Golden Age of Human Capital. Nancy Folbre writes on higher education and the global marketplace for college graduates, concluding “Those who believe, as I do, that education has intrinsic value both to individuals and to society as a whole should reconsider their habit of relying on market-based private rate-of-return rhetoric.”
  • Rock and Roll, Economics, and Rebuilding the Middle Class. Alan Krueger, former chair of the White House  Council of Economic Advisors,  recently spoke at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, illustrating how the incomes of top recording artists have mirrored the path of income inequality in the US as a whole; highlighting  “…four factors that are important in generating a superstar economy. These are technology, scale, luck and an erosion of social norms that compress prices and incomes.”
  • The Past, Present, and Future of Economic Growth (PDF). A working paper by Dani Rodrik looks at economic development. From the Abstract: “Developing countries will face stronger headwinds in the decades ahead, both because the global economy is likely to be significantly less buoyant than in recent decades and because technological changes are rendering manufacturing more capital and skill intensive. … Ultimately, growth will depend primarily on what happens at home. The challenge is therefore to design an architecture that respects the domestic priorities of individual countries while ensuring that major cross-border spillovers and global public goods are addressed.”
  • Dancing with Robots (PDF) Frank Levy and Richard Murnane write on human skills for computerized work. “For the foreseeable future, the challenge of “cybernation” is not mass unemployment but the need to educate many more young people for the jobs computers cannot do. …computers have specific limitations compared to the human mind. … By recognizing computers’ limitations and abilities, we can make sense of the changing mix of jobs in the economy. We can also understand why human work will increasingly shift toward two kinds of tasks: solving problems for which standard operating procedures do not currently exist, and working with new information— acquiring it, making sense of it, communicating it to others.”