Director, Hutchins Center on Fiscal & Monetary Policy, Brookings institution. Contributing correspondent, The Wall Street Journal

Can we have more equality and more economic growth, too? — David Wessel announces the reissuance of Arthur Okun's 1974 book, Equality and Efficiency: The Big Trade Off, which looks at if there are policies that can reduce the widening gap between winners and losers in the U.S. economy and not reduce the pace of economic growth.

Which States’ Tax Laws Widen Inequality — The federal tax code reduces income inequality significantly, taking more from the rich than it does from the middle class and the poor. What about state taxes, often ignored in the inequality conversation because data are so hard to come by?

Did the Fed's quantitative easing make inequality worse? — On June 1, the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy will address the widely heard criticism that the Federal Reserve’s purchase of trillions of dollars in bonds known as quantitative easing, led to more inequality by pushing up the prices of stocks, bonds, and other assets, which are already in the hands of the wealthy.

How large are global energy subsidies? — The issue of energy subsidy and taxation reform remains high on the international policy agenda reflecting the need for countries to pledge carbon reductions ahead of the Paris 2015 United Nations climate conference. A new study by staff at the Fiscal Affairs Department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) provides a comprehensive, updated picture of energy subsidies at the global and regional levels.

Fed Regional Bank Issues the Shelby Bill Doesn’t Address — One of the most peculiar features of Federal Reserve governance-and perhaps the hardest to defend in a modern democracy-is the structure of the regional Fed banks and the role of their presidents in making monetary policy. But the draft bill offered by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R., Ala.)

Does the tax code reduce income inequality? — There is, for good reason, a lot of focus these days on the widening gap between the top and the bottom in the US economy. Since it's (almost) Tax Day, that April 15 deadline for filing tax returns, it's a good time to ponder a very simple question: How much does the US tax system shrink the gap between rich and poor?

Ahead of IMF Meetings, a Look at Shifting Economic Risks — The International Monetary Fund hosts its spring meetings later this week, and in her curtain-raiser for the event, Managing Director Christine Lagarde uses the word "risk" a dozen times.

Ahead of IMF Meetings, a Look at Shifting Economic Risks — It is the season, in Washington, to warn about risks. In her curtain-raiser for the International Monetary Fund's spring meetings, Managing Director Christine Lagarde used the word a dozen times. But the threats to the world economy are shifting.

Hutchins Roundup: Fiscal Consolidations, Labor Force Participation, and More — Ravi Balakrishnan, Mai Dao, Juan Solé, and Jeremy Zook of the International Monetary Fund estimate that of the roughly three percentage point decline in the U.S. labor force participation rate from 2007 to 2013, between a quarter and a third is reversible.

The Hutchins Center Explains: How the Fed Will Raise Interest Rates — The Federal Reserve cannot raise interest rates as they did before the financial crisis, explain David Wessel and Pari Sastry, who offer background on two tools-interest on excess reserves (IOER) and reverse repos-that allow the Fed to raise its policy rate, irrespective of the size of its balance sheet.
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