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California Economic Policy, Report

The Workers’ Compensation Crisis in California: A Primer

By David Neumark

This issue of California Economic Policy examines why California’s workers’ compensation costs have soared over the past four years, far exceeding premium increases in the rest of the country. It finds that the two most important contributors to the cost run-ups are rising medical costs and increasing numbers of major permanent partial disability cases. Recent legislative reforms may help resolve the situation, but more research and evaluation is needed.

California Counts, Report

Women, Work, and Family in California

By Deborah Reed

Explores trends in the work participation, earnings, and occupations of California women. Finds that while less than half of California's working-age women were in the labor market in the late 1960s, over 70 percent are working today. Their annual incomes are about 75 percent higher than in the late 1960s because they are working more hours, earning more per hour, and entering higher-paying occupations. The salaries of married women have been the main source of growth in family income over the past 20 years.

Occasional Paper, Report

Services Offshoring: Background and Implications for California

By Jon D. Haveman, Howard J. Shatz

This paper provides background information for policy consideration of the offshoring of services. The authors describe the concept of offshoring, explain its appeal, and put the phenomenon in both its historical and current context. The paper explains how technology and business services offshoring fits into the growing globalization of the U.S. and world economies. It concludes by discussing some policy implications and describing how much more data and analysis are required for the development of effective policy.

Report

The Emerging Integration of the California-Mexico Economies

By Howard J. Shatz, Luis Felipe López-Calva

This volume examines the many ways in which California and Mexico are integrating, focusing in particular on trade and foreign direct investment.

Trade links between Mexico and California are deep, in the sense that the total value of traded goods is high, and broad, in the sense that many different types of goods are traded. California exports to Mexico are more diverse across product classes than California exports to the rest of the world. In addition, they embody less skill than do California exports to the rest of the world, implying that trade with Mexico has provided greater opportunity to production workers than has trade with the rest of the world. Between 2000 and 2002, more than 200,000 California workers each year produced exports to Mexico — 17 percent of all export-related jobs in the state.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) between California and Mexico — that is, cross-border investment used to establish or control a business — has also increased dramatically in recent years. Many Mexican-owned subsidiaries in California are in wholesale and retail trade, whereas 55 percent of California-owned subsidiaries in Mexico are in the manufacturing sector.

In addition to their analysis, the authors suggest a number of policy options that might further the economic integration of Mexico and California. They also note that whatever policies the state chooses, devoting more attention to the border area is a worthwhile starting point because the infrastructure of this region is so strongly affected by — and so strongly affects — the economic interaction of California and Mexico.

Report

California’s Global Gateways: Trends and Issues

By Jon D. Haveman, David Hummels

The capacity and efficiency of seaports and airports have become critical factors in global trade. Such trade is especially important to California, whose ports are among the busiest in the nation. In California’s Global Gateways: Trends and Issues, Jon D. Haveman and David Hummels examine several aspects of the state’s trade traffic and infrastructure. Focusing on trends and forecasts in international shipping, the regional effects of serving as a global distribution center, the 2002 West Coast port closure, and policy responses to terrorist attacks, the report points to a complex policy question: Should California seek to increase shipments through its ports and cities or adopt policies that, in effect, encourage international cargo to go elsewhere? The answer to this question, the authors note, will shape California’s physical and economic landscape for decades to come.

Occasional Paper, Report

The Economic Effects of Mandated Wage Floors

By David Neumark

Presentation at forum: "Living Wage: What Business Groups Need to Know," U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Washington, D.C., February 20, 2004

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