Global Economy

The Global Economy Program provides research, communications, and networking support to dynamic economic justice movements in the United States and around the world. Our goal is to speed the transition to an equitable and sustainable economy while reversing today’s extreme levels of economic and racial inequality and excessive corporate and Wall Street power. The program focuses its work on six inter-related areas:

Inequality and CEO Pay

The program collaborates with a broader IPS team to produce Inequality.org and a related weekly newsletter that highlights the latest data and the sharpest strategies to reverse extreme inequality in the United States and around the world. The program is also a leading resource on one key driver of inequality — runaway CEO pay. For more than two decades, our annual report series “Executive Excess” has drawn extensive media coverage to the issue of CEO pay and practical solutions. A newer report series, “A Tale of Two Retirements,” is the first to track the staggering gap in retirement benefits between wealthy CEOs and ordinary Americans.

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Trade, Investment, and Mining

The program works with grassroots activists around the world to advance alternative international trade and investment policies that elevate environmental, human, and labor rights above narrow corporate interests. In recent years program staff have played a lead role in supporting a successful campaign in El Salvador to defend against global mining corporations’ attempts to steamroll local resistance to harmful extractives projects.

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Recent Posts Related to Trade, Investment, and Mining

Black Workers Initiative

The Black Worker Initiative aims to help expand opportunities for black worker organizing and thereby greatly contribute to the revitalization of the U.S. labor movement as a whole. This program is deeply committed to helping achieve both the historic and contemporary aims of the labor and civil rights movements.

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Wall Street and Global Finance

IPS staff play lead roles in coalitions working to restore the financial sector to its proper purpose of serving the real economy. We track the reckless Wall Street bonus culture, for example through our annual “Off the Deep End” report on the size of the financial industry bonus pool versus the cost of paying restaurant servers and domestic workers a living wage. We also advance innovative reforms such as a small tax on Wall Street speculation to curb short-term trading and generate massive revenue for urgent public needs, such as fixing our crumbling national infrastructure.

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Low-Wage Workers

IPS staff play lead roles in coalitions working to restore the financial sector to its proper purpose of serving the real economy. We track the reckless Wall Street bonus culture, for example through our annual “Off the Deep End” report on the size of the financial industry bonus pool versus the cost of paying restaurant servers and domestic workers a living wage. We also advance innovative reforms such as a small tax on Wall Street speculation to curb short-term trading and generate massive revenue for urgent public needs, such as fixing our crumbling national infrastructure.

Featured Report

Recent Posts Related to Low-Wage Workers

Inequality.org

Inequality.org and a related weekly newsletter are key resources for the public at large, journalists, teachers, students, academics, activists, and others seeking information and analysis on wealth and income inequality. Here, we collect the latest developments on inequality and keep readers abreast of relevant information concerning the widening wealth gap. We highlight stories from activists on the front lines of the fight against extreme inequality and share information that can be used for ongoing campaigns.

Latest Work

One of the many protests in Honduras during the pandemic by the Comité Municipal en Defensa de los Bienes Comunes y Públicos, calling for the release of eight water defenders standing up for the Guapinol and San Pedro rivers. (Photo: Guapinol Resiste)

Open Letter: Protect Honduras’s Endangered Environmental Activists

IPS joins an international coalition condemning the assassination of environmental leaders in Honduras.
people holding signs that say make billionaires pay

Report: “Extreme Wealth: The growing number of people with extreme wealth and what an annual wealth tax could raise”

An annual wealth tax on the world’s richest could raise $1.7 trillion globally.

Dynasty-Building Trusts: How the Getty and Walton Families Use Trusts To Dodge Taxes

The more we learn from courageous whistleblowers like Marlena Sonn, the more outrage and pressure will build to reform trust law and eliminate the games that the Waltons and the Gettys are playing.
A woman places an "I voted" sticker on her shirt.

This Year, Voters Made an End Run Around Out of Touch Politicians

Citizen-led initiatives scored big wins in the midterms. But now this form of direct democracy is under attack.
A photo of three different people speaking with microphones with a MeansTV chyron in front that reads "Major Marijuana Measures."

Rebekah Entralgo Fernandez on MeansTV on Ballot Initiatives on Election Night

Rebekah Entralgo Fernandez speaks with MeansTV about key ballot initiatives during election night coverage.
A smiling Black father and daughter put change into a piggy bank.

What's driving the gap between the richest and poorest Americans

Yahoo Finance quoted Sarah Anderson on CEO pay and Chuck Collins on billionaire wealth and cited IPS findings as part of examining income inequality.
Photo of women representing Movimiento por Nuestros Desaparecidos en México at 46thLetelier-Moffitt Human Rights Awards.

Award Bestowed on the Movimiento por Nuestros Desaparecidos en México (Movement for Our Disappeared Ones in Mexico)

"The Movement for Our Disappeared Ones in Mexico emerged out of the need to pass laws regarding forced disappearances to ensure the government recognizes that the victims are not a number but rather, persons with names and faces."
Photo of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, a light skinned Hispanic man with grey hair and a black jacket and red tie, speaking with a raised hand in front of the UN flag, EU flag, and several other flags.

A Voice at the United Nations the World Needs to Hear

The UN’s secretary-general is speaking truth – about inequality — to our world’s leaders.
A landscape devastated by coal mines in La Guajira, Colombia (Shutterstock)

IPS Brief: Mining Companies Use Trade Agreements to Attack Indigenous Rights in Colombia and Beyond

With our allies, we've prepared a legal brief to support the Wayúu people’s rights to water, health, and food sovereignty in Colombia.
Barbara Ehrenreich at the 2008 Letelier-Moffitt Awards

Remembering Barbara Ehrenreich

The acclaimed author and activist had a 40-year history with the Institute for Policy Studies, first as a staff member and later as a project leader and board member.
Photo of Rep. Jamie Raskin (white man in black suit and red tie) standing next to iron monument of General Sheridan on a horse, speaking at a memorial event in 2019 with an embassy in the background.

Rep. Jamie Raskin on Chile’s Proposed New, More Equitable and Democratic Constitution

The Maryland Democrat draws from his constitutional scholarship in analyzing the proposal that will be on the September 4 ballot in Chile.
A smiling Black father and daughter put change into a piggy bank.

Biden’s Debt Cancellation Plan Is a Step Forward on the Racial Wealth Divide

Black students have had to take out larger loans and faced greater difficulty paying them back than other borrowers.
ceo pay and economic inequality

The Huge Pay Gaps at Low-Wage Federal Contractors

New federal contracting standards could incentivize corporations to narrow the economic divides that undermine employee morale and business effectiveness.
People working in stock market exchange

Congress Takes Historic Step to Tax Stock Buybacks

This provision of the Inflation Reduction Act will discourage corporations from siphoning resources from worker wages and productive investments for share repurchases that inflate CEO pay.

Global Allies Stand With Walden Bello as Social Justice Champion Posts Bail

As a new generation of Phillippines leadership tries to target Walden Bello and accuse him of libel, John Cavanagh explained to Common Dreams why "they picked the wrong person to go after.”
Photo of Juan Soto in red and white baseball jersey and helmet, in motion with a baseball bat in his right hand.

Baseball Immortality Meets Ungodly Inequality

Superstar Juan Soto gets a new team. His fans get heartbreak. His owners get richer.
gustavo petro and francia marquez celebrating their victory in the colombian elections

A Proposed Wealth Tax on Colombia’s 4,700+ Richest Would Raise $1 Billion

An Institute for Policy Studies analysis of the progressive tax proposed by incoming Colombian President Gustavo Petro would impact a small percentage of the nation's wealthiest while raising millions to address widening inequality.
Members of Amazon Workers United, who won their union election in Staten Island, New York

It’s Time to Crack Down on Excessive CEO Pay

The pay gap between workers and CEOs at America’s largest low-wage employers is now 670 to 1. That’s obscene.
mineral mining

How Mining Companies Profited off the Pandemic

The pandemic provided opportunities for more exploitation, but communities kept rising up despite greater adversity.
ceo climbing a money ladder

How to Crack Down on Greedy CEOs, Massive Employee Pay Gaps

There's an easy way to cap sky-high CEO salaries and limit outrageous pay gaps — and it would actually work.

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Reports

A landscape devastated by coal mines in La Guajira, Colombia (Shutterstock)

IPS Brief: Mining Companies Use Trade Agreements to Attack Indigenous Rights in Colombia and Beyond

With our allies, we've prepared a legal brief to support the Wayúu people’s rights to water, health, and food sovereignty in Colombia.

Executive Excess 2022

The CEOs at America’s largest low-wage employers are grabbing huge raises while workers and consumers struggle with rising costs.

Executive Excess 2021

Low-Wage Workers Lost Hours, Jobs, and Lives. Their Employers Bent the Rules — To Pump up CEO Paychecks.
social graphic - How US Trade Policy Failed Workers And How to Fix It

How U.S. Trade Policy Failed Workers — And How to Fix It

Now more than ever, we need a new trade policy to support an economic recovery from the pandemic and to start building an economy that works for everyone.

Mining Injustice Through International Arbitration

Across the Global South, international mining companies use disturbing tactics to forcibly open mining operations against the wills of local communities.

Black Immigrant Domestic Workers in the Time of COVID-19

Black immigrant domestic workers are at the epicenter of three converging storms—the pandemic, the resulting economic depression, and structural racism.

Report: Executive Excess 2019

Beyond NAFTA 2.0

Report: Extraction Casino

Report: OceanaGold in the Philippines

Ten Violations that Should Prompt Its Removal

Executive Excess 2018

How Taxpayers Subsidize Giant Corporate Pay Gaps
jp-morgan-chase-banking-ceo-pay

Report: CEO-Worker Pay Ratios in the Banking Industry

A decade after the crash, excessive pay is still a problem at the mega-banks and the 2nd-tier firms that stand to benefit from the current deregulation push.

Report: Corporate Tax Cuts Boost CEO Pay, Not Jobs

This 24th annual report rebuts the GOP claim that slashing the corporate tax rate will lead to more and better jobs.

Report: The CEO Pay Tax Break in the Republican Health Care Proposal

The cost of removing Obamacare limits on the tax deductibility of executive compensation, based on pay data at the top 5 insurers.

Report: The Wall Street Bonus Pool and Low Wage Workers

The 2016 bonus pool held enough dollars to lift the pay of all of the country's more than 3 million servers up to $15 an hour.

Report: A Tale of Two Retirements

As working families face rising retirement insecurity, CEOs enjoy platinum pensions.

Help Spread the Word: #CanURetire

Help us spread the word about our latest report, "A Tale of Two Retirements: As Working Families Face Rising Retirement Insecurity, CEOs Enjoy Platinum Pensions."

Executive Excess 2016: The Wall Street CEO Bonus Loophole

This 23rd annual report reveals how taxpayers are subsidizing financial crisis windfalls.

Utilities Pay Up

How ending tax dodging by America's electric utilities can help fund a job-creating, clean energy transition.

Mining, Corporate Social Responsibility, and Conflict: OceanaGold and the El Dorado Foundation in El Salvador

This study finds that OceanaGold’s attempt to rebrand its proposed gold mine in El Salvador through the use of a company-sponsored foundation at the local level is deceitful, disrespectful and dangerous