US Policy Changes Vol.42 (Economy/Employment/Income Vol.4 – GDP growth, Well-being, Congressional districts)

Here are articles on GDP growth, well-being, congressional districts, et al. Excerpts are on our own.

GDP growth — is it “good enough” or does it distort policymaking? Income plus well-being: New measures of human progress (10/5/2016) | @cgbrookings @BrookingsInst
1.1 WHAT’S THE ISSUE?
…when GDP counts pollutant-generating economic activity on the positive side of the balance sheet, or when it fails to measure unpaid labor activity, it falls short. …
…David Rothkopf…Simon Kuznets…
1.2 WHAT’S THE DEBATE?
… With rapid technological change, key variables in GDP like cars and factories are over-weighted, while cell phones and green technologies are under-weighted. Subjective well-being metrics assess how people experience their daily lives on the one hand, and how they evaluate their lives as a whole on the other. …
… Yet country averages tell us much less than individual level data, and the scores also change much less than trends across cohorts within countries. Country averages also pick up country specific traits–such as cultural differences in the way that people answer survey questions and/or innate cheerfulness or pessimism.
Still, more broadly, factors such as average levels of GDP per capita, freedom to make choices in life, health status, social capital, and the absence of corruption vary across countries; those that score better, on average, also score higher on average levels of life satisfaction. …
1.3 WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR?
… Women are typically happier than men, except in places where gender rights are severely compromised. There is also a remarkably consistent U-shaped relationship between age and life satisfaction, with the least happy years coinciding with the middle-aged years in most countries around the world. The turn upward occurs earlier in places with higher average levels of well-being, with the average being 48 years in the happier countries and 62 years in the least happy countries. …
… Having autonomy at work does not have an attached income value, but the assessed value in terms of well-being is very high relative to that of higher marginal incomes. …
Subjective well-being metrics can also attach value…to the effects of differential environmental conditions, ranging from airplane noise to air pollution. …commuting time, diversity in cities, local and national level inequality…
1.4 WHAT’S NEXT?

How Could President Trump Affect the Global Economy? (11/23/2016) | @YaleInsights
Alex Capri, Visiting Senior Fellow, Department of Decision Sciences, NUS Business School
Alexandra Strommer Godoi, Economics Professor, FGV Escola de Administração de Empresas de São Paulo
Kobby Mensah, Lecturer, University of Ghana Business School
Gayle Allard, Professor, IE Business School

Are Americans better off than they were a decade or two ago? (10/19/2016) | @BenBernanke & Peter Olson @BrookingsEcon
… Among the more significant problems with the Census’s measure are that: 1) it excludes taxes, transfers, and non-monetary compensation like employer-provided health insurance; and 2) it is based on surveys rather than more-complete tax and administrative data…
Cross-country welfare comparisons
The Jones-Klenow method…
…focus on three: leisure time, life expectancy, and economic inequality. …
Table 1
Improvements in economic well-being over time
Table 2
Figure 1
Conclusions

It’s Time for a Reset (12/5/2016) | @LHSummers @TurningPointUK @nytimes @BelferCenter
… A trade deal between the European Union and hardly threatening Canada was almost scuppered by a recalcitrant Belgian province concerned about the effects of globalization on local workers. …
… For all the problems and challenges, the past 70 years have been a period of unprecedented progress in increasing human emancipation, prosperity, life expectancy and in reducing violence. …
We need to redirect the global economic dialogue to the promotion of “responsible nationalism” rather than on international integration for its own sake. A classic example of a misguided initiative is the effort to promote a bilateral investment treaty between the United States and China. …
When the Allied nations met in 1944 at Bretton Woods to negotiate the rules and procedures of a new international monetary system, the economist John Maynard Keynes recognized that a global economy will have a systematic bias toward contraction if countries that have borrowed heavily are forced to cut back spending while no pressure is applied to countries that are running large surpluses. …
Given figures on the hundreds of billions of dollars lost annually because of tax sheltering, the gains from a global effort to prevent capital income from escaping taxation are at least comparable to those from highly controversial trade agreements. And such measures would make possible more support for the middle class. …

Poverty crosses party lines (w Data; 11/3/2016) | @ekneebone @BrookingsInst
BrookingsInst PovertyCrossesPartyline 2016-10-21
… Although the poverty rate is higher in districts represented by Democrats, most poor people in the United States live in a community represented by a Republican. …
Between 2000 and 2010-14, the poor population grew faster in red districts than blue. …
Almost every congressional district saw its poor population grow in the 2000s, owing largely to growing suburban poverty. …
Table 1. Congressional Districts with the Fastest Growth in Poor Population, 2000 to 2010-14
Between 2000 and 2010-14, the poverty rate increased in 96 percent of Republican districts and 86 percent of Democratic districts. …
Table 2. Congressional Districts with the Largest Poverty Rate Increases, 2000 to 2010-14
All but two congressional districts are home to at least one area of high poverty. …
Conclusion

White neighborhoods get modestly more diverse, new census data show (12/13/2016) | William H. Frey @BrookingsMetro
“Less white” white neighborhoods
… The modestly less-white character of neighborhoods where whites reside is not unique to just a few individual metropolitan areas. It is occurring, to some extent, in all 100 large metropolitan areas, and is especially noticeable in the 51 major metropolitan areas with populations exceeding one million (see Table 1). …
Black and Hispanic neighborhood segregation
… There continues to be wide variation in segregation among the nation’s 51 major metropolitan areas (see Table 2). …

An agenda for reducing poverty and improving opportunity (w PDF; 10/7/2016) | Edward Rodrigue & @isawhill @BrookingsEcon