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Economic Studies Group A place to explore the most pressing economic policy concerns. The Economic Studies Group is committed to producing objective and unbiased, data-driven answers to the most pressing economic concerns of our era and to providing background information on current economic news events—whether regional, national, or international in scope.
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By engaging a broad audience, our ultimate goal is to foster innovation and progress in the multifaceted field of economics. Our collaborative and cross-disciplinary efforts are cultivated through research, publications, blog posts, and hosted events. We offer Policy Analysis, which are short pieces examining current developments in the economy; Primers that give the general background to current policy discussions; Policy Papers that provide a brief description of in-depth research conducted by our group.

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The New York economy has improved in November resulting in a decrease in the state’s unemployment rate which dropped fro...
12/01/2021
New York’s Employment Gains Slow in November

The New York economy has improved in November resulting in a decrease in the state’s unemployment rate which dropped from 9.4% in October to 8.1%. This is despite some slowing in job growth across the state, with 29,500 new positions created in November, down from 32,300 in October. This change mirrors the slowdown of job creation across the country. DSG contributor Dr. Orr explains more about the state of the New York job market.

The number of jobs in New York State continued to increase in November though at a slower pace than in October, even taking into account the phasing out of the 2020 census jobs. The New York State Department of Labor reported that employment statewide increased by 29,500 (seasonally adjusted) in Nov...

As the US grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, hiring continues to slow as employers add just 245,000 jobs this month, a...
04/12/2020
Charting the Global Economy: Chill Descends on U.S. Job Market

As the US grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, hiring continues to slow as employers add just 245,000 jobs this month, a figure well below expectations.

Resurgent coronavirus infections are putting a chill on U.S. job creation, manufacturing in China is gaining pace and the final stages of Brexit negotiations are complicating the U.K.’s recovery prospects.

Unemployment in New York City has decreased from its peak of more than 20% in June to around 14%. However, job growth ha...
02/11/2020
New York’s Economy Trying to Heal From the COVID-19 Crisis

Unemployment in New York City has decreased from its peak of more than 20% in June to around 14%. However, job growth has begun to slow, as the recovery continues to have an uneven impact across different industries. Employment in the hard-hit construction and retail services industries is rebounding while jobs in accommodation and food service are not. In our latest analysis, ESG contributors Fadime Demiralp and James Orr ask the question, where does the economic recovery stand in New York City?

Fadime Demiralp and James Orr October 31, 2020 Deep declines in employment across New York resulted from the efforts to contain the COVID-19 outbreak. Where does the economy stand? What factors will affect the recovery? We address these questions in this post. In March New York declared a state of e...

Please join the Graduate Center's program in economics for this week's Fall 2020 Seminar in Applied Economics. ESG contr...
26/10/2020
Fall 2020 Seminar in Applied Economics

Please join the Graduate Center's program in economics for this week's Fall 2020 Seminar in Applied Economics. ESG contributor at Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman will deliver a talk entitled "Why Did the Trade War Fail?" http://bit.ly/krugman-seminar

The Graduate Center, The City University of New York Established in 1961, the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY) is devoted primarily to doctoral studies and awards most of CUNY's doctoral degrees. An internationally recognized center for advanced studies and a national model....

The Chinese economy is already recovering from the #COVID19 induced economic crisis presently gripping the world, as the...
20/10/2020
China Economy Grows 4.9% as Rest of World Struggles With Coronavirus

The Chinese economy is already recovering from the #COVID19 induced economic crisis presently gripping the world, as the nation's GDP grew by 4.9% in the third quarter of 2020. China is the only major national economy to grow in 2020. The US economy, on the other hand, is expected to contract by 4.3%.

The third-quarter results put China’s economy back toward its pre-coronavirus trajectory half a year after the pandemic gutted it.

Efforts by the US Federal Reserve to stabilize the economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in inflate...
05/10/2020
The Fed's enlarged balance sheet: The Expanding Importance of Bank Reserves (Part II)

Efforts by the US Federal Reserve to stabilize the economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in inflated amounts of long-term assets held in the Fed’s balance sheet. This shift to a 'balance-sheet policy' will weaken the mechanism of steering the federal funds rate as well as the Fed's ability to implement monetary policy. But how? In the second part of his earlier analysis from July, ESG contributor F. Siokis explains.

Fotis Siokis September 30, 2020 Introduction With an enlarged balance sheet, what is the new operating regime of the Fed (or how does it conduct monetary policy) and what are its options? In this second post we address these questions. In Part 1 we discussed the action taken by the Fed to limit the....

The US debt is now more than 100 percent of GDP due in part to federal COVID-19 relief, yet interest rates have not soar...
24/08/2020
We Have Crossed the Line Debt Hawks Warned Us About for Decades

The US debt is now more than 100 percent of GDP due in part to federal COVID-19 relief, yet interest rates have not soared. ESG contributor Paul Krugman addressed this puzzle in an analysis last year: http://bit.ly/winter-of-debt

The debt of the United States now exceeds the size of its gross domestic product. That was considered a doomsday scenario that would wreck the economy. So far, that hasn’t happened.

As the country focuses on the health impacts of the corona virus, the financial strain on families are beginning to beco...
12/08/2020
The Federal Reserve and its balance sheet: A Herculean task in mitigating the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic

As the country focuses on the health impacts of the corona virus, the financial strain on families are beginning to become apparent as we enter into the 5th month of lock down. The Federal Reserve has stepped up its actions to stabilize the market amid growing consumer fears and uncertainty. ESG contributor Dr. Siokis discusses the past actions and the current position of Federal Reserve in his most recent article.

Fotis Siokis July 30, 2020 Introduction Global pandemic events in history, beyond death and destruction, have caused major economic fallout and collapses in international trade. The recent COVID-19 pandemic belongs to this category and is considered the most perilous pandemic in the last 150 years a...

The job market bounces back as New York begins its reopening phases, with most gains has been seen in regions outside th...
30/06/2020
New York’s Labor Market Steadies in May

The job market bounces back as New York begins its reopening phases, with most gains has been seen in regions outside the city. The state has seen a decrease in the unemployment rate, while the city has seen an increase. While unemployment claims have decreased in both groups. ESG contributor J.Orr reports:https://bit.ly/3i6xFp5

By Jim Orr, The New York State Department of Labor reported that employment statewide increased by 98,000 (seasonally adjusted) in May, a recovery of about 5.0 % of the nearly 2 million jobs lost in the March/April period.  This gain was below the nationwide recovery in May of about 11.0 % of the j...

How has the global COVID-19 pandemic affected emerging market economies? What is the role of capital flight from these e...
11/06/2020
The Pandemic and the Emerging Markets Crisis: How Fragile are the Economies?

How has the global COVID-19 pandemic affected emerging market economies? What is the role of capital flight from these economies and how does it impact their international reserves? ESG contributors Utku Demir and Merih Uctum discuss which nations are at particular risk of economic crisis.

Utku Demir and Merih Uctum  June 11, 2020 The Emerging Market (EM) economies that came out of the 2008 financial crisis relatively faster than advanced economies are hard hit by a quadruple-whammy this time: the pandemic, capital outflows, economic recession, and debt crisis. In March 2020, more th...

In April, New York State lost 1.83 million jobs with a year-over-year decline of 19.4%. One-third of this loss in jobs w...
25/05/2020
New York Employment Declines Severely in April

In April, New York State lost 1.83 million jobs with a year-over-year decline of 19.4%. One-third of this loss in jobs was concentrated in the hospitality industry, but the state saw losses in trade, particularly retail trade, transportation and utilities jobs as well. The State's job year-over-year loss exceeded that of the nation as a whole, which stood at 12.9% in April.

By Jim Orr, The New York State Department of Labor reported a (seasonally adjusted) loss of 1.83 million jobs statewide in April, a year-over-year decline of 19.4%.  This decline exceeds the 12.9% job loss nationwide in April reflecting the much stronger impact of COVID-19 in New York.  Combining ...

#COVID19 is affecting all sectors of New York's economy, with an estimated increase of 207,000 unemployment claims dispr...
28/04/2020
The New York Economy Amid the Coronavirus Crisis

#COVID19 is affecting all sectors of New York's economy, with an estimated increase of 207,000 unemployment claims disproportionately impacting service and hospitality. How does the current crisis compare to previous crises? ESG contributors J. Orr and Z. Xi explain in our latest analysis.

James Orr and Zhuo Xi April 26, 2020 New York, along with the rest of the nation and world, is in the midst of the coronavirus crisis. It is hard to comprehend the tragic loss of more than almost 17,000 lives (as of April 27) statewide including more than 11,000 in New York City.  The state’s

An additional 5.2 million Americans filed for unemployment last week. The four week total now stands at 22 million joble...
16/04/2020
U.S. Jobless Claims Top 20 Million Since Start of Shutdowns

An additional 5.2 million Americans filed for unemployment last week. The four week total now stands at 22 million jobless.

Another 5.2 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, bringing the total seeking aid in a month of coronavirus-related shutdowns to 22 million and showing a broad shock for the U.S. labor market.

The rate of unemployment claims growth due to the COVID-19 Crisis has been unprecedented. Preliminary estimates reported...
09/04/2020
‘Sudden Black Hole’ for the Economy With Millions More Unemployed

The rate of unemployment claims growth due to the COVID-19 Crisis has been unprecedented. Preliminary estimates reported by the New York Times suggest that the annual rate of GDP could fall as much as 35 percent from the prior three months.

Jobless claims now exceed 16 million as shutdowns from the coronavirus pandemic widen and problems with getting benefits persist.

While the corona virus is shutting down many different sectors of the economy, the real damage is yet to be seen. The lo...
30/03/2020
U.S. Economic Slowdown In Coming Months Expected To Be Worst On Record

While the corona virus is shutting down many different sectors of the economy, the real damage is yet to be seen. The long term effects are unknown, but might be the onset of the next recession. https://n.pr/2Uchix9

Forecasters say the government's aggressive efforts to curtail the spread of the virus will trigger the sharpest slowdown on record. Some see the economy shrinking a staggering 24%.

As COVID-19 spreads Eurozone nations begin coordinating economic response. Yet it remains unclear whether increasing cre...
13/03/2020
Europe Pledges Billions in Economic Aid in Rare Sign of Unity

As COVID-19 spreads Eurozone nations begin coordinating economic response. Yet it remains unclear whether increasing credit and social spending can stem a recession while not impacting jobs when the root cause of weak demand is unprecedented uncertainty.

Announcements from government leaders contrast with the bickering that characterized Europe’s response to the financial crisis a decade ago.

Despite the optimistic economic outlook, people continue to die from #opioids. Pundits disagree about why. ESG contribut...
29/02/2020
The Opioid Crisis in the New York Area: A First Look

Despite the optimistic economic outlook, people continue to die from #opioids. Pundits disagree about why. ESG contributor R. Utzinger examines competing theories in our latest analysis.https://bit.ly/39bzXhP

Robert Utzinger February 17, 2020 The United States has been experiencing an increase in the number of deaths due to suicide and drug overdose. In this article I first explain this problem, review the theories behind this phenomenon focusing on drug abuse; I then summarize an analytical study I cond...

Is the New York employment growth holding up?  ESG contributors MT Chen and J.Orr show that while NYC job growth continu...
30/12/2019
New York City Jobs Up but Growth Moderates Through the Third Quarter 2019

Is the New York employment growth holding up? ESG contributors MT Chen and J.Orr show that while NYC job growth continues to be strong, led by the healthcare and information industries, the average workweek has fallen slightly, suggesting an increase in part-time employment.

Meng-Ting Chen and James Orr December 29, 2019 New York City employment is now well into its ninth year of growth and jobs across a variety of sector continue to expand.  Data for the third quarter show employment was up 1.6% over the same period last year, down from the stronger third quarter 2018...

The debate over healthcare is sure to be a hot topic in the upcoming United States presidential election. With the propo...
04/12/2019
Lessons from Taiwan's Healthcare Reform

The debate over healthcare is sure to be a hot topic in the upcoming United States presidential election. With the proposal for a Medicare for All-type plan increasing in popularity, how might a single-payer healthcare system impact Americans? In our latest analysis, ESG contributor William Thorne explores how Taiwan’s transition to single-payer healthcare can provide lessons for the American healthcare debate.

William B. Thorne November 27, 2019 Taiwan's National Health Insurance Overhaul Taiwan's single-payer National Health Insurance system was implemented in 1995 and designed using the U.S. Medicare program as a template. At a time when the future of the US healthcare system is an important topic that....

To counter looming weakness in the global economy the Fed is now pursuing quantitative easing, while the European Centra...
23/10/2019
Unconventional Monetary Policies Become Conventional After All?

To counter looming weakness in the global economy the Fed is now pursuing quantitative easing, while the European Central Bank has reverted to unconventional monetary policies. What are these policies, why are they unconventional, and how are they being implemented in Europe? ESG contributor F. Siokis explains in our latest analysis.

Fotios Siokis October 21, 2019 What are unconventional monetary policies? How are they implemented in the European Union? What does the future look like? In this article we address these questions. On September 12,2019, the President of the European Central Bank (ECB) announced a new monetary stimul...

Is Trump's #tradewar the new American quagmire? As American-Chinese relations continue to sour, both sides seem ready fo...
04/09/2019
Trump’s Trade Quagmire

Is Trump's #tradewar the new American quagmire? As American-Chinese relations continue to sour, both sides seem ready for a prolonged economic brawl. Our contributor Paul Krugman explains how this all might play out in this months ESG article: https://bit.ly/2LwHY6v

Paul Krugman August 30, 2019 Remember the Vietnam quagmire? In political discourse, “quagmire” has come to have a quite specific meaning. It’s what happens when a government has committed itself to a policy that isn’t working but can’t bring itself to admit failure and cut its losses. So, ...

How has the trade war, and its recent escalation, between the world's two largest economies impacted China? In our lates...
03/08/2019
U.S. – China Trade Conflict: Impacts on China

How has the trade war, and its recent escalation, between the world's two largest economies impacted China? In our latest analysis, ESG Contributor Zhuo Xi finds that its direct effect on GDP has so far been limited. Nevertheless, declining investor confidence and a shaky stock market are the result of the war and may portend future more serious difficulties for China.

Zhuo Xi July 23, 2019 Starting from the different positions held by the Trump administration and the Chinese government on issues such as the bilateral trade balance, market access, and intellectual property transfers, China and the U.S., the world’s two largest economies, have been quarreling ove...

Confused about Democratic Socialism? This month's analysis is a primer on the subject, written by ESG contributor Twisha...
12/07/2019
A Primer on Democratic Socialism

Confused about Democratic Socialism? This month's analysis is a primer on the subject, written by ESG contributor Twisha Asher. Inspired by lectures given by Paul Krugman, Twisha reviews what differentiates Democratic Socialism from the current economic and political system in the United States by comparing it with European countries.

Twisha Asher June 30, 2019 In 2017, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez beat Joe Crowley to claim the seat for New York’s 14th district in a momentous political upset. As a self-described Democratic Socialist, Ocasio-Cortez’s election spurred debate across the political spectrum. Her election was hailed si...

What were the causes and consequences of the Great Recession? In December, former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen sat...
03/06/2019
Janet Yellen in Conversation with Paul Krugman

What were the causes and consequences of the Great Recession? In December, former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen sat down with Paul Krugman at the The Graduate Center, CUNY to discuss the crisis. Read the summary of their conversation on our website http://bit.ly/yellen-talk

Fotios Siokis May 30, 2019 On December 10, 2018, the Graduate Center hosted an attention-grabbing discussion on the causes of the Great Recession and the possibility of a future downturn due to high levels of corporate indebtedness. Janet Yellen, the former Federal Reserve Chair, was interviewed by....

Nelson Schwartz reports that the US unemployment rate is now at its lowest point in half a century; however, this econom...
19/05/2019
Job Growth Underscores Economy’s Vigor; Unemployment at Half-Century Low

Nelson Schwartz reports that the US unemployment rate is now at its lowest point in half a century; however, this economic expansion is unlike past booms. The rate of growth is notably slower and wages are only now starting to increase tepidly. Contributor James Orr finds that in New York, in particular, finds that job growth rates are largest in healthcare, construction and information, all areas of the economy that have been growing since the recovery began: bit.ly/nyc-job-growth

With 263,000 added to payrolls in April and the jobless rate at 3.6 percent, the recovery shows no sign of losing steam.

Nine years after the Great Recession and New York City continues to demonstrate strong job growth. Compared to the year ...
06/05/2019
Sturdy Job Growth in New York City Continues

Nine years after the Great Recession and New York City continues to demonstrate strong job growth. Compared to the year prior, jobs have grown at a rate of two percent, even stronger than the nationwide growth rate. Yet not all industries are growing equally, with the healthcare and social assistance as well as the information industries showing the largest increases. In our latest analysis, ESG contributor James Orr explores recent data on job growth in New York City.

James Orr April 29, 2019 The recovery and expansion of employment in New York City that began following the financial crisis and downturn continued into its ninth year in early 2019. This post examines recent overall job growth in the city and then looks at the variation in growth rates across indus...

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