Pollin

Robert Pollin

Professor of Economics and Co-Director of Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Areas of Expertise:
  • Energy
  • Jobs & Workers
  • Unions & the Labor Movement

Connect with Robert

About Robert

Pollin's research centers on macroeconomics, conditions for low-wage workers in the U.S. and globally, the analysis of financial markets, and the economics of building a clean-energy economy in the U.S. He has worked recently as a consultant for the U.S. Department of Energy, the International Labour Organization and numerous non-governmental organizations on various aspects of building high-employment green economies, and is currently directing a project with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization on this topic.

Briefs

Why Fast Food Employers Can Adjust to a $15 Minimum Wage without Shedding Jobs

  • Jeannette Wicks-Lim

Podcast

Publications

A Measure of Fairness: The Economics of Living Wages and Minimum Wages in the United States (with Mark Brenner, Stephanie Luce, and Jeannette Wicks-Lim) (Cornell University Press, 2008).
Provides an overview of living wage and minimum wage implementation in Louisiana, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Massachusetts, and Connecticut to show how these policies play out in the paychecks of workers, in the halls of legislature, and in business ledgers. Argues that living wage laws and minimum wage increases have been effective policy interventions capable of bringing significant, if modest, benefits to the people they were intended to help.
"Green Prosperity: How Clean Energy Policies can Fight Poverty and Raise Living Standards in the United States," (with Jeannette Wicks-Lim and Heidi Garrett-Peltier), Natural Resources Defense Council and Green for All, 2009.
Finds that investments in clean energy technology will create more job opportunities -- especially for low-income workers -- than equivalent spending on fossil fuels, across all levels of education, creating new "pathways out of poverty" and raising the standard of living for low-income workers employed in clean energy manufacturing jobs.
"19 Million Jobs for U.S. Workers: The Impact of Channeling $1.4 Trillion in Excess Liquid Asset Holdings into Productive Investments," (with James Heintz, Heidi Garrett-Peltier, and Jeannette Wicks-Lim), Political Economy Research Institute, 2011.
Examines the impact on employment in the U.S. if some significant share of liquid as-set hoards were channeled into the expansion of productive activities and investments by private businesses. Argues that U.S. employment could expand by about 19 million jobs between 2012 and 2014.
"Public Policy, Community Ownership, and Clean Energy" Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy, and Society 5, no. 3 (2012): 1-18.
Considers policies for promoting productive investments in the U.S., especially as regards the project of building a clean energy economy.
Back to Full Employment (MIT Press, 2012).
Explains views on full employment in macroeconomic theory from Marx to Keynes to Friedman. Argues that the policy was abandoned in the United States in the 1970s for the wrong reasons, and he shows how it can be achieved today despite the serious challenges of inflation and globalization.

In the News

"Bernie Sanders Will Make the Economy Great Again," Robert Pollin, The Nation, March 29, 2016.
Robert Pollin quoted on raising the minimum wage without sacrificing jobs in Matt Yglesias, "Is the Push for a $15-an-Hour Minimum Wage a Good Idea?" Vox, March 28, 2016.
"It’s Not the Party - It’s the Policies," Robert Pollin, The Nation, September 9, 2010.
"Betrayal of Public Workers," Robert Pollin (with Jeffrey Thompson), The Nation, March 7, 2011.
"Back to Full Employment," Robert Pollin, Boston Review, June 4, 2012.
"Coal Miners and the Green Agenda," Robert Pollin, Truth-out, March 3, 2014.
"Green Growth," Robert Pollin (with Heidi Garrett-Peltier, James Heintz, and Bracken Hendricks), Center for American Progress, September 18, 2014.
Guest to discuss green growth on Real News Network: Reality Asserts Itself, Robert Pollin, January 11, 2015.