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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.”

Baseball Immortality Meets Ungodly Inequality

Superstar Juan Soto gets a new team. His fans get heartbreak. His owners get richer.

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.

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.

How Mining Companies Profited off the Pandemic

The pandemic provided opportunities for more exploitation, but communities kept rising up despite greater adversity.

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.

With CEO Pay Skyrocketing, the Unionization Surge is Hardly Surprising

Pandemic disparities have driven workers at Starbucks and several other low-wage employers to demand a fair reward for their labor.

Latin American Leaders Should Stand Up for People, Not Corporate Profits

As leaders gather in Los Angeles, a reflection on the past two decades of battles against neoliberalism and for a more just and equitable alternative in the Americas.

Low-Wage Employers Spent Billions Inflating CEO Pay Through Stock Buybacks

President Biden has the power to crack down on executive excess by imposing new CEO pay and buyback restrictions on federal contractors.