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Steven Pressman

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Steven Pressman

Policymakers have adopted two main antipoverty approaches in the United States. First, they have emphasized developing human capital, enabling workers to earn higher wages. Second, transfer programmes have provided a safety net for low-income citizens. This chapter advocates an alternative approach: using social insurance programmes to reduce poverty without creating negative incentives. It then looks at programmes focusing on three different age groups: (1) child allowances and paid parental leave, (2) unemployment and disability insurance and (3) old-age pensions. It finds these programmes effective in reducing poverty throughout the developed world, especially in Nordic countries with generous social insurance benefits.

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Steven Pressman

This paper provides a short history of family allowances and documents the fact that Keynes supported family allowances as early as the 1920s, continuing through the 1930s and early 1940s. Keynes saw this policy as a way to help households raise their children and also as a way to increase consumption without reducing business investment. The paper goes on to argue that a policy of family allowances is consistent with Keynesian economics. Finally, the paper uses the Luxembourg Income Study to estimate the impact of family allowances on child poverty in several developed nations and estimates the poverty-reducing impact of several possible family allowance programs for the US.

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Steven Pressman

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Steven Pressman and Robert H. Scott III

This chapter examines the distributional implications of Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century and relates them to the problem of achieving greater environmental sustainability. If Piketty’s arguments are correct, then slower economic growth will lead to much higher income and wealth inequality. On the other hand, rapid economic growth (as measured by gross domestic product) leads to immense biophysical strain from pollution, climate change, species extinction and other maladies. Reducing economic growth to a more steady state (low-growth or no-growth) level is desirable for ecological reasons; but the work of Piketty leads to the conclusion that it will be necessary to enact policies that combat rising inequality – otherwise, the burden of lower growth will fall on the poor and working class. This chapter discusses how Piketty’s tax policies and some other tax policies could help reduce income and wealth inequality and support the steady state at the same time. In addition, programs promoting green jobs, education and infrastructure can contribute to greater environmental sustainability as well as income and wealth equality.

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Edited by Richard P.F. Holt, Steven Pressman and Clive L. Spash

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Post Keynesian and Ecological Economics

Confronting Environmental Issues

Edited by Richard P.F. Holt, Steven Pressman and Clive L. Spash

It is argued that mainstream economics, with its present methodological approach, is limited in its ability to analyze and develop adequate public policy to deal with current environmental problems and sustainable development. This book provides an alternative approach. Building on the strengths and insights of Post Keynesian and ecological economics and incorporating cutting edge work in such areas as economic complexity, bounded rationality and socio-economic dynamics, the contributors to this book provide a trans-disciplinary approach to deal with a broad range of environmental concerns.