Research has demonstrated a dramatic rise of income
inequality in the West. Today, across advanced capitalist countries, the top ten
percent of households take home about a third of all
income and own two-thirds
of all wealth.
Despite what scholars, journalists and some politicians
consider a worrying trend, there is no evidence that people have grown more
concerned about inequality. In fact, citizens of more unequal societies are
less concerned than those in egalitarian societies. How to make sense of this
Recently, the United Nations’ Climate Change
Conference in Poland, the U.S. National Climate Assessment Report, and severe
forest fires, hurricanes and winter storms have called attention to just how
devastating climate change already is and will continue to be. Yet, what these events
often fail to highlight is who benefits from this devastation. Understanding that
piece of the puzzle is critical for building better policy approaches to
One of the most tangible effects of climate change in the United States is the mounting cost and frequency of high-impact natural hazards. In 2018 alone, mudslides engulfed large segments of Montecito, Hurricane Florence flooded a large swath of the Carolinas, Hurricane Michael destroyed communities along the Gulf coast, and California experienced some of the most destructive wildfires in history. These are just some of the most widely known events. Hundreds of other natural hazards caused millions more in damage and loss of life across the country.
R&D employees moving from one
employer to another is a frequent, yet controversial event. On the one hand, inventor
mobility has been shown to have a positive effect on overall innovative
activity. On the aggregate level, the fast development of new technologies in
regional clusters such as Silicon Valley is driven by dynamic labor markets and
high turnover rates of engineers, programmers, or developers. On the firm-level,
learning-by-hiring is a fast and efficient way to acquire external knowledge.
From the perspective a firm that loses
key employees, outbound mobility, on the other hand, creates costs of finding
suitable replacements and is associated with the risk of losing not only
employees but also crucial knowledge. Knowledge that potentially is employed by
the hiring firm to compete in related markets. Recent media coverage has
revealed a number of lawsuits caused by one firm’s R&D employees moving to
a competitor in industries ranging from semiconductors and mobile phones to
pharmaceuticals and autonomous-driving vehicles.
Work in Progress is a project of the American Sociological Association's Sections on Organizations, Occupations, and Work, Economic Sociology, Labor and Labor Movements, and Inequality, Poverty, and Mobility