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Employment

Young Americans Have Yet Another Debt Burden

Look in the mirror. Along with everyone else in America, you owe $15,052 to cover the total unfunded pension liabilities of state governments. Both red and blue states face towering unfunded promises because the defined-benefit pension system allows politicians from all parties to grant something for nothing — and to defer the inevitable bill.

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Unpaid Internships: Do As Congress Says, Not As It Does

Many Washington politicians seem unable to realize the economic tradeoffs that would result from raising the federal minimum wage. Yet they understand the negative consequences they would feel if they were forced to pay their office interns the minimum wage. Once again, our leaders in Washington are telling Americans to do as they say, not as they do.

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The Young Lose From a Higher Minimum Wage

Over half of those who earn at or below the minimum wage are between the ages of 16 and 24, many in the hospitality and leisure sector. Since the majority of those earning minimum wage are younger workers, increases in the minimum-wage rate affect them the most. Negative effects extend into the future, because young people often use minimum-wage jobs as steppingstones to better careers.

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Occupational Licensing Laws Hurt New Graduates

Occupational licensing, the requirement that people pass tests to gain government permission to work, is making it harder for young people to begin their careers. By keeping young people out of certain industries, or by making it prohibitively expensive and time-consuming for them to work, occupational licensing increases costs for all Americans and limits opportunity for those looking to enter the field of their choice.

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Does America Have Less Economic Mobility? Part 3

In the first installment of this series on America’s economic mobility, I noted that the conventional wisdom that the U.S. has worse economic mobility than other countries was firmed up by two 2006 papers, one by Miles Corak, one by a team led by Markus Jantti. The second installment argued that the findings from papers like Corak’s are cast into doubt by Corak’s latest paper with two coauthors. This column, the third installment, now turns to the Jantti paper, which was notable for comparing several countries using pure measures of rank mobility.

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Teachers' Unions Throw Students Under the Bus

Unions claim that teachers are not being paid enough, which may be true in some cases. But in America's highest-paid professions, a high salary comes at the cost of lower job security and is based on quality of work. Before we raise the pay of teachers, we must first do away with tenure and seniority protections.

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‘Popular Economics’ Presents Economics For The Everyman

You’re an economist and you don’t even know it. Oh, and your high school economics teacher didn’t know anything. Many economists have physics envy, causing their obsession with esoteric, complex charts and formulas. John Tamny’s new ‘Popular Economics’ instead explains the miracles of free human action.

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New York Times Explains Gender Wage Gap

Feminists complain that women are victims of discrimination who earn 78 cents on a man’s dollar. This misleading figure compares earnings of full-time working women to those of men, irrespective of type of job or time in the workforce. But the story of the Geller Law Group shows that women’s choices can result in lower pay. 

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Does the U.S. Have Less Economic Mobility? Part 2

Nothing in the Corak, Linduist, and Mazumder paper suggests that U.S. and Swedish levels of mobility differ meaningfully from each other. That still leaves the 2006 paper by Jantti and his coauthors, which found that the U.S. had lower relative mobility—at least for sons starting out at the bottom—than Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and the U.K. I’ll explain why this paper’s conclusion is also incorrect and explore some additional research comparing the U.S. to other countries in my final installment.

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Does the U.S. Have Less Economic Mobility?

The new evidence does not suggest that the U.S. has especially high economic mobility, but it does indicate that America is not the international laggard that has been portrayed by earlier studies. In this multi-part series, I will lay out the case for this surprising conclusion. In this installment, I review how the old consensus developed and discuss the methodological details necessary for understanding why the early mobility research gave the wrong impression. 

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