The theory of marginal product of labor says that every worker is paid exactly what they’re worth—the value that their labor generates. Employers cite marginal productivity to legitimize paying the lowest wages possible, but it’s just another trickle-down scam. Economist Marshall Steinbaum and food labor expert Saru Jayaraman join us this week to expose the lie of marginal productivity and show how it’s been used to exploit workers for centuries. nMarshall Steinbaum is an Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Utah and a Senior Fellow of Higher Education Finance at the Jain Family Institute. He studies market power in labor markets and its policy implications. He was previously a Senior Economist and Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, and a Research Economist at the Center for Equitable Growth. nTwitter: @Econ_MarshallnSaru Jayaraman is the Co-Founder and President of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC United) and Director of the Food Labor Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley. Saru authored ‘Behind the Kitchen Door’, a national bestseller, and her most recent book is ‘Forked: A New Standard for American Dining.’ nTwitter: @SaruJayaramannFurther readingnNo, Productivity Does Not Explain Income: https://evonomics.com/no-productivity-does-not-explain-income/ nROC United Diners’ Guide App: https://rocunited.org/diners-guide/nSaru Jayaraman: How Restaurant Workers Are Inheriting a Legacy of Slavery in the U.S.: https://bioneers.org/saru-jayaraman-restaurant-workers-inheriting-legacy-slavery-u-s-ztvz1712/nEvidence and Analysis of Monopsony Power, Including But Not Limited To, In Labor Markets: https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/public_comments/2018/08/ftc-2018-0054-d-0006-151013.pdfnAntitrust and Labor Market Power: https://econfip.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Antitrust-and-Labor-Market-Power.pdfnWhy Are Economists Giving Piketty the Cold Shoulder? nhttp://bostonreview.net/class-inequality/marshall-steinbaum-why-are-economists-giving-piketty-cold-shoulder
It’s our 100th episode! To celebrate, we pulled together some of our favorite answers to the question we love to ask our guests: Why do you do this work? Plus, Nick answers the question too. We’re thankful this week for the thoughts shared by these inspiring people, and for YOU — thanks for listening to the show. We’re excited for the next 100.
The theory of marginal product of labor says that every worker is paid exactly what they’re worth—the value that their labor generates. Employers cite marginal productivity to legitimize paying the lowest wages possible, but that’s just another trickle-down scam. Economist Marshall Steinbaum and food labor expert Saru Jayaraman expose the lie of marginal productivity, and show how it’s been used to exploit workers for centuries.
Marshall Steinbaum is an Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Utah and a Senior Fellow of Higher Education Finance at the Jain Family Institute. He studies market power in labor markets and its policy implications.
President Biden recently announced his plan for student loan forgiveness. It’s a policy that helps build the economy from the middle out by erasing some of the 1.7 trillion dollars in debt that’s holding Americans back. Economist Marshall Steinbaum, who has spent most of his career researching student debt, explains why this forgiveness plan is a great start—and why Biden can, and should, do more.
In the 20th century, big corporations sold franchising to Americans as a less risky way to buy into business ownership. But in recent years, the franchise industry has tipped hugely in favor of franchisors, extracting wealth from both franchisees and the employees who work for them through complicated contracts that kill competition and rig the system. Economist Marshall Steinbaum returns to the podcast to share the findings from his deep dive into the (intentionally) complex and arcane franchise system, and to explain the latest data from Washington State’s recent enforcement campaign against no-poach clauses in franchising contracts.