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The Reagan Question: Are You Better Off Now Than You Were Eight Years Ago?

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  • John Schmitt
  • Hye Jin Rho

Abstract

This paper updates Ronald Reagan's famous question during the 1980 presidential election: "Are you better off now than you were four years ago?" by comparing the state of the economy in 2000 and 2008. We use 25 indicators of economic well-being and economic performance and find that 23 of the 25 indicators are worse in 2008 than they were in 2000. Even after we limit comparisons to similar points across the business cycle, the same 23 indicators were worse at the most recent business-cycle peak (2007) than they were in 2000.

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File URL: http://www.cepr.net/documents/publications/2008_Better_Off.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) in its series CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs with number 2008-27.

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Length: 16 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:epo:papers:2008-27

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Keywords: recession; business cycle;

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  1. Hirsch, Barry & Schumacher, Edward J., 2003. "Match Bias in Wage Gap Estimates Due to Earnings Imputation," IZA Discussion Papers 783, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. David G. Blanchflower & Alex Bryson, 2004. "What Effect Do Unions Have on Wages Now and Would Freeman and Medoff Be Surprised?," Journal of Labor Research, Transaction Publishers, vol. 25(3), pages 383-414, July.
  3. John Schmitt, 2008. "Unions and Upward Mobility for Latino Workers," CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2008-28, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).
  4. John Schmitt & Ben Zipperer, 2008. "The Decline in African-American Representation in Unions and Manufacturing, 1979-2007," CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2008-06, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).
  5. Heather Boushey & Shawn Fremstad & Rachel Gragg & Margy Waller, 2007. "Understanding Low-Wage Work in the United States," CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2007-09, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).
  6. Frank Levy & Peter Temin, 2007. "Inequality and Institutions in 20th Century America," NBER Working Papers 13106, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. John Schmitt, 2008. "The Union Wage Advantage for Low-Wage Workers," CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2008-17, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).
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