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Coping Strategies in Response to Rising Food Prices: Evidence From India

November 28, 2014 Comments off

Coping Strategies in Response to Rising Food Prices: Evidence From India
Source: USDA Economic Research Service

Along with world food prices, the prices of staple grains in India surged between 2006 and 2010. This study shows that regions in India affected the worst by the price increases coped by sacrificing diet diversity and expenditures on medical expenses and durable goods.

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Does Enforcement of Employee Noncompete Agreements Impede the Development of Industry Clusters?

November 28, 2014 Comments off

Does Enforcement of Employee Noncompete Agreements Impede the Development of Industry Clusters? (PDF)
Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond

Employee noncompete agreements are widespread among technical workers and managers in technology companies. Policies regarding the enforcement of these agreements vary among states, however. The rise of the technology industry cluster in Silicon Valley and the car industry cluster in the Detroit region occurred during periods when California and Michigan courts did not enforce noncompete agreements. Research has sought to determine the extent to which enforcement of noncompetes may suppress the formation of industry clusters by restricting labor mobility and entrepreneurship.

Women and Men in India – 2014

November 27, 2014 Comments off

Women and Men in India – 2014
Source: Government of India — Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation
From Highlights (PDF)

Population and related statistics

1. As per Census 2011, the population of India is more than 121 Crore with 48.5% females, which is a corollary of the fact, that there are 949 female to 1000 males in rural India against 929 in urban India.
2. The sex ratio has improved in urban & rural India over last decades and the gap in sex ratio in rural and urban India is converging in recent decades, which may be due to more migration of families to the urban setup.
3. The State of Kerala, Puducherry, Manipur, Goa and Chhattisgarh have more females than males whereas Daman & Diu and Chandigarh are home to less than 800 females to 1000 males.
4. In the last 60 years, states of Assam, Delhi and West Bengal have improved the sex ratio substantially, but on the contrary, sex ratio has worsened in major states like Bihar and Odisha.
5. There are 918 females to 1000 males in the age-group 0-6 years, with maximum disparity in sex ratio of rural & urban area existing in Daman & Diu and Gujarat having lesser females in urban Area.
6. The Sex Ratio is least for the Girl Child (0-19 Years) but 1033 females per 1000 males in the age group of 60+ indicating a threat of less economic activity by a sizable population. The economically active age group (15-59) has 944 females to 1000 males. Sex ratio at birth is 908 in 2012, which has marginally decreased as compared to the last year.
7. As per the Sample Registration System, of the total females in 2012, 42.8% were never married, 48.9% were married and rest were widowed, divorced or separated, whereas 52.5% of total males are unmarried and 45.2% are married.
8. The mean age at marriage for females stood at 21.2 years in 2012 with urban age at 22.4 and rural mean age at 20.8.
9. Among the major States, the highest mean age at marriage was 24.6 years for Jammu & Kashmir and the lowest was 20.2 years for Jharkhand.
10. As per National Sample Survey 68th Round (2011-12), 11.5% of total households in rural and 12.4 % in urban were female headed households as compared to 9.7% and 10.6% during 1993-94.

Fleecing Uncle Sam; A growing number of corporations spend more on executive compensation than federal income taxes

November 26, 2014 Comments off

Fleecing Uncle Sam; A growing number of corporations spend more on executive compensation than federal income taxes
Source: Institute for Policy Studies

This report reveals stark indicators of the extent to which large corporations are avoiding their fair share of taxes.

Of America’s 30 largest corporations, seven (23 percent) paid their CEOs more than they paid in federal income taxes last year.

  • All seven of these firms were highly profitable, collectively reporting more than $74 billion in U.S. pre-tax profits. However, they received a combined total of $1.9 billion in refunds from the IRS.
  • The seven CEOs leading these tax-dodging corporations were paid $17.3 million on average in 2013. Boeing and Ford Motors both paid their CEOs more than $23 million last year while receiving large tax refunds.

Of America’s 100 highest-paid CEOs, 29 received more in pay last year than their company paid in federal income taxes—up from 25 out of the top 100 in our 2010 and 2011 surveys.

  • These 29 CEOs made $32 million on average last year. Their corporations reported $24 billion in U.S. pre-tax profits and yet, as a group, claimed $238 million in tax refunds.
  • Combined, the 29 companies operate 237 subsidiaries in tax havens. The company with the most subsidiaries in tax havens was Abbott Laboratories, with 79. The pharmaceutical firm’s CEO paycheck was $4 million larger than its IRS bill in 2013.

For corporations to reward one individual, no matter how talented, more than they are contributing to the cost of all the public services needed for business success reflects the deep flaws in our corporate tax system. Rather than more tax breaks, Congress should focus on addressing these deep flaws by cracking down on the use of tax havens, eliminating wasteful corporate subsidies, and closing loopholes that encourage excessive executive compensation.

Booming: Industries benefiting from the aging population

November 26, 2014 Comments off

Booming: Industries benefiting from the aging population
Source: IBISWorld

The US population is aging, driven by steady declines in the birth rate and increases in the average life expectancy. Moreover, the largest age demographic in the United States, the baby-boomer generation, is driving growth in the number of adults over 50. This generation is composed of individuals born between 1946 and 1964, who represent close to one-quarter of the US population. Baby boomers are currently between 50 and 68 years old; however, as the youngest members of this cohort reach the age of 65 by 2029, the US Census Bureau estimates that this demographic will account for more than 20.0% of the US population. In comparison individuals aged 65 and older comprised just 13.0% of the US population in 2010, before the oldest baby boomers reached this age bracket. As the fastest-growing age demographic in the United States, baby boomers are impacting a number of specialized industries that are adapting to meet this generation’s particular financial, medical and general well-being needs.

Medical and Prescription Drug Deductibles for Plans Offered in Federally Facilitated and Partnership Marketplaces for 2015

November 26, 2014 Comments off

Medical and Prescription Drug Deductibles for Plans Offered in Federally Facilitated and Partnership Marketplaces for 2015
Source: Kaiser Family Foundation

Most health plans require enrollees to pay a portion of the cost of care when they seek services. While there are lots of forms of cost sharing — deductibles, copayments, coinsurance – people often focus on the deductible amount because it often provides the simplest indication of how generous a plan may be. A deductible is the amount that an enrollee must pay toward the cost of covered services before the plan will start paying for most types of care covered by the plan. Certain preventive services must be covered without cost sharing in all plans in the Affordable Care Act’s Marketplaces, and insurers sometimes pay towards other services, usually physician office visits or prescription drugs, before the enrollee has met his or her deductible. Still, people need to be prepared for the fact that they may need to pay the entire deductible amount out of pocket if they need a significant amount of care during a year.

The slide show provides an initial look at the deductibles for medical care and the specific deductibles applied to prescription drugs for the plans offered in the federally facilitated and partnership Marketplaces available healthcare.gov. The amounts are simple averages of the plans available (see Methods). The amounts are shown separately by metal level (“Bronze,” “Silver,” “Gold,” and “Platinum”). Deductible amounts are shown separately for plans where medical spending and prescription drug spending are both subject to the same deductible (called “combined) and for plans where there are separate deductibles for medical spending and prescription drug spending (called “separate”). Not surprisingly, deductibles tend to decrease as one moves from the levels with lower actuarial values (“Bronze” and “Silver”) to the higher levels.

The slides do not show the deductibles for silver plans that provide reduced cost sharing for people with low incomes (e.g., people receiving cost-sharing subsidies). Many people in Marketplace plans receive these subsidies, and would not be subject to the deductible amounts shown in the slides. We will be releasing a more complete analysis that has information for these plans and for the other types of cost sharing (e.g., copayments, coinsurance amounts) in the near future.

Social protection global policy trends 2010-2015

November 25, 2014 Comments off

Social protection global policy trends 2010-2015
Source: International Labour Organization

This policy paper: (i) examines IMF government spending projections for 181 countries, identifying two main phases: fiscal expansion (2008-2009) and fiscal consolidation (2010 onwards); (ii) presents the main adjustment measures considered since 2010 and their adverse socio-economic impacts in both high income and developing countries; (iii) analyses divergent trends in social protection across regions, focusing on the positive expansion of social protection floors in a majority of developing countries; (iv) reviews potential areas of fiscal space for the necessary extension of social protection systems; and (v) presents the developmental arguments to invest in social protection in pursuit of crisis recovery, inclusive development and social justice.

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