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Current Events

The Redistribution Recession: Government Redistribution and the Labor Market

MulliganBy Casey B. Mulligan

Professor of Economics, University of Chicago

When: Wednesday, Oct. 2nd, 2013, 4:30 - 6:00 p m
Where: AUD 720 (430 S. Michigan Ave)

Subsidies and regulations designed to help the poor and unemployed were changed in more than a dozen ways after the 2007 market crash. The University of Chicago economist Casey B. Mulligan argues that many of these changes were reasonable reactions to economic events, with the intention of helping people endure the recession.  But they also reduced incentives for people to work and for businesses to hire.  Mulligan measures the startling changes in tax rates that resulted from a labyrinth of new and expanded social safety net programs.  He quantifies the effects of these changes on the labor market and wider economy.  He argues that redistribution in the forms of subsidies, taxes, and minimum-wage laws profoundly altered the path of the economy, making the recent recession one of the deepest and longest in decades.

Mulligan’s 2012 book from Oxford University Press, The Redistribution Recession, is an important if controversial interpretation of the interplay between unemployment and financial markets.

Casey Mulligan is Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago and a regular contributor to the New York Times.

This event is free and open to the public.  Participants requiring assistance should contact Professor Stephen T. Ziliak at or (312) 341-3763.