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The Great Stagnation? What Britain can learn from the declining fortunes of the American middle class

Date: 21 November 2011

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10-11 Carlton House Terrace London SW1Y 5AH

With presentations from:

Jared Bernstein - Senior Fellow at the US Centre on Budget and Policy Priorities and former Chief Economist and Economic Advisor to Vice President Joe Biden.

Professor Lane Kenworthy - Professor of Sociology and Political Science at the University of Arizona and author of Progress for the Poor and Jobs with Equality.

Professor Stephen Machin - Professor of Economics at University College London and member of Resolution Foundation's Commission on Living Standards.

Followed by a panel discussion chaired by:

Stephanie Flanders - Economics Editor, BBC

Martin Wolf - Chief Economics Commentator, Financial Times

Jonathan Portes - Director, National Institute for Economic and Social Research

Jared Bernstein - Senior Fellow, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities Professor

Lane Kenworthy - Professor of Sociology and Political Science, University of Arizona

Gavin Kelly - Chief Executive, Resolution Foundation

As part of its Commission on Living Standards, Resolution Foundation held this seminal event which brought together leading US and UK economists to discuss what Britain can learn from the declining fortunes of the American middle class. For a generation the wages of ordinary working Americans have barely risen. Middle skilled jobs have been in decline and the link between economic growth and gains for ordinary working people has broken down. Patterns emerging in Britain from before the recession are of serious concern: despite strong economic growth, median wage growth was flat between 2003 to 2008 and those on low to middle incomes have seen their share of national income decline sharply. This event asked what we can learn from the American experience and what action we can take to restore the link between growth and gain for working people in the UK.