Josh Bivens

Josh Bivens researches macroeconomics, globalization and social insurance for the Economic Policy Institute. He is the author of Everybody Wins Except for Most of Us: What Economics Teaches About Globalization.

Recent Articles

Janet Yellen Can Still Serve on the Fed Board

She may no longer be the chair, but she’s still a member—and could be a force for good.

(AP Photo/Dake Kang)
(AP Photo/Dake Kang) Fed Chair Janet Yellen speaks at an economics conference on September 26, 2017, in Cleveland. R ecent reports indicate that President Trump will not re-appoint Janet Yellen as the chair of the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors. Instead, the reports indicate that he will appoint a current member of the board, Jerome Powell. Choosing to pass over Yellen is an obvious mistake. Yellen is a world-recognized expert in macroeconomics and has enormous experience as a policymaker. Her performance as Fed chair has been widely and correctly praised . She takes the Fed’s mandate to maximize employment seriously and is data-driven. To be clear, I think she’s made a misstep or two in specific interest rate decisions, but with Yellen, those arguing with economic data have a real chance to be heard. Her recent speech at the Federal Reserve conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, also provided an admirable signal that she continued to take the Fed’s role as chief financial-sector...

Missing Workers: What the Unemployment Rate Isn't Saying About the Recovery

How complete is the recovery from the Great Recession? Look to wages, not the jobless rate. 

Dan Henry/Chattanooga Times Free Press via AP
Dan Henry/Chattanooga Times Free Press via AP In this April 2, 2015, photo, a crowd gathers for a huge 15-county job fair at The Colonnade in Ringgold, Georgia. L ater this month the Federal Reserve will decide whether or not to begin raising short-term interest rates to slow the pace of economic recovery. If they do, it will be the second major step they have taken to pull back the historically unprecedented support that they’ve been providing the economy since the onset of the Great Recession in 2008. Late last year, they stopped purchasing long-term government bonds in an effort to push down long-term interest rates directly. A decision to raise rates would be an implicit statement by the Fed that the agonizingly slow economic recovery from the Great Recession has finally achieved self-sustaining escape velocity. This positive view of the economy’s health would likely surprise many Americans; in May 2015 more than half of respondents to CBS/ New York Times poll said that the...

The Five Most Terrifying Things about the Sequester

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
The latest fiscal showdown concerns the “sequester”—across the board cuts to (almost entirely) discretionary spending that will total just over $1 trillion in the next decade, and which are set to take effect on March 1. What should those who have better things to do with their life than follow fiscal policy debates know about the sequester? 1. The sequester will hurt job-growth As we pointed out during the debates raging in the run-up to the “fiscal cliff," the sequester was the second-most damaging component of the austerity bundle set to take effect on January 1, 2013. The worst component was the non-renewal of the payroll tax cut, which is already dragging substantially on the economy . All told, if the sequester kicks in the economy will likely end the year with roughly 500-600,000 fewer jobs than if it were repealed. These are jobs the economy desperately needs . To be clear, the sequester alone won’t drive the U.S. economy back into outright recession, but it surely will make...