Sourcing Legally Produced Wood: A Guide for Businesses—2018 Edition

Sourcing Legally Produced Wood: A Guide for Businesses—2018 Edition. World Resources Institute.  Ruth Nogueron et al.  August 2018

This publication updates the 2014 version of Sourcing Legally Produced Wood, which provided information on illegal logging and associated trade, public and private procurement policies, export country logging and log export bans, and introductory guidance to the wood products legality legislation in the United States, the EU, and Australia. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 40 pages].


The Real Effects of the Financial Crisis

The Real Effects of the Financial Crisis. Brookings Institution. Ben S. Bernanke. September 13, 2018

 In his new BPEA paper, former Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke examines why many forecasters failed to anticipate the severity of the Great Recession and what really drove the economy into such a tailspin. Bernanke’s research, which is rooted in quantitative analysis of how the 2007-2009 financial crisis affected the economy, argues that the housing bust, while significantly damaging, can’t on its own explain why the Great Recession was so bad. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 93 pages].

Debates over Exchange Rates: Overview and Issues for Congress

Debates over Exchange Rates: Overview and Issues for Congress.  Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Rebecca M. Nelson. June 22, 2018

 Exchange rates are among the most important prices in the global economy. They affect the price of every country’s imports and exports, as well as the value of every overseas investment. Over the past decade, some Members of Congress have been concerned that foreign countries are using exchange rate policies to gain an unfair trade advantage against other countries, or “manipulating” their currencies. Congressional concerns have focused on China’s foreign exchange interventions over the past decade to weaken its currency against the U.S. dollar, although concerns have also been raised about a number of other countries pursuing similar policies.

 [PDF format, 29 pages].

Connecting the Dots: Elements for a Joined-Up Implementation of the 2030 Agenda and Paris Agreement

Connecting the Dots: Elements for a Joined-Up Implementation of the 2030 Agenda and Paris Agreement. World Resources Institute.  Mathilde Bouyé, Sven Harmeling and Nils-Sjard Schulz.  July 2018.

 National-level implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change proceed on different tracks, despite growing recognition of the ample opportunities they present for synergies. In most countries, climate actions under the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and national targets underpinning the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been defined and advanced separately. This siloed approach makes little sense given the short window of opportunity for tackling the interlinked challenges of climate change, ecosystem degradation, inequality rise, and political instability. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 89 pages].

Slower Productivity and Higher Inequality: Are They Related?

Slower Productivity and Higher Inequality: Are They Related? Peterson Institute for International Economics. Working Paper 18-4. Jason Furman and Peter Orszag. June 2018

Income growth for typical American families has slowed dramatically since 1973. Slower productivity growth and an increase in income inequality have both contributed to this trend. This paper addresses whether there is a relationship between the productivity slowdown and the increase in inequality, specifically exploring the extent to which reduced competition and dynamism can explain both of these phenomena. Productivity growth has been uneven across the economy, with top firms earning increasingly skewed returns. At the same time, the between-firm disparities have been important in explaining the increase in labor income inequality. Both these findings are consistent with the observed reductions in competition, as evidenced by increasing concentration and economic rents, and business dynamism. The authors also explore the scenarios under which government policies can help mitigate, or contribute to, declining competition and dynamism. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 15 pages].

Resources for Key Economic Indicators

Resources for Key Economic Indicators.  Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Jennifer Teefy, Julie Jennings. May 30, 2018

 An understanding of economic indicators and their significance is seen as essential to the formulation of economic policies. These indicators, or statistics, provide snapshots of an economy’s health as well as starting points for economic analysis. This report contains a list of selected authoritative U.S. government sources of economic indicators, such as gross domestic product (GDP), income, inflation, and labor force (including employment and unemployment) statistics.

 [PDF format, 7 pages].

Confronting the Global Forced Migration Crisis: A Report of the CSIS Task Force on the Global Forced Migration Crisis

Confronting the Global Forced Migration Crisis: A Report of the CSIS Task Force on the Global Forced Migration Crisis. Center for Strategic & International Studies. Daniel F. Runde et al. May 29, 2018

 The size and scope of the global forced migration crisis are unprecedented. Almost 66 million people worldwide have been forced from home by conflict. If recent trends continue, this figure could increase to between 180 and 320 million people by 2030. This global crisis already poses serious challenges to economic growth and risks to stability and national security, as well as an enormous human toll affecting tens of millions of people. These issues are on track to get worse; without significant course correction soon, the forced migration issues confronted today will seem simple decades from now. Yet, efforts to confront the crisis continue to be reactive in addressing these and other core issues. The United States should broaden the scope of its efforts beyond the tactical and reactive to see the world through a more strategic lens colored by the challenges posed—and opportunities created—by the forced migration crisis at home and abroad. CSIS convened a diverse task force in 2017 to study the global forced migration crisis. This report is a result of those findings. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 67 pages].