LPE Originals

Two Timelines of Covid Crisis

We often hear that the current COVID crisis came “out of the blue,” that “nobody” was expecting it.* But anyone with a decent grasp of pressing issues in public health knew the risks of pandemics. As I wrote in 2014: [R]eduction in hospital facilities and other resources, although “efficient” in normal times, may prove disastrous if there…

LPE Originals

Enriching the Narrative Economics of Public Options

This week we’re featuring two discussions of Anne Alstott & Ganesh Sitaraman’s The Public Option: While promises of a “universal basic income” generate a lot of excitement, we should also also consider the benefits of “universal basic services.” As we do so, Sitaraman and Alstott’s The Public Option: How to Expand Freedom, Increase Opportunity, and…

LPE Originals

The Second Wave of Algorithmic Accountability

Over the past decade, algorithmic accountability has become an important concern for social scientists, computer scientists, journalists, and lawyers. Exposés have sparked vibrant debates about algorithmic sentencing. Researchers have exposed tech giants showing women ads for lower-paying jobs, discriminating against the aged, deploying deceptive dark patterns to trick consumers into buying things, and manipulating users toward rabbit holes of extremist…

LPE Originals

Democratizing the Workplace

This post opens a symposium on Elizabeth Anderson’s Private Government: How Employers Rule Our Lives (and Why We Don’t Talk about It). Read the complete symposium here. Work can go wrong in many ways. Ship breakers in Bangladesh routinely die as they try to dismantle abandoned vessels with acetylene torches. Meat cutters in Iowa suffer repetitive stress injuries…

LPE Originals

Techno-utopian, Cyclical, Political: Reconsidering the Path of Legal Employment

About a decade ago, when legal employment dipped sharply, there was a raging debate on the future of the legal profession. Some said the drop reflected a permanent decrease in legal work. The logic here was simple: computers were increasingly capable of completing more sophisticated projects. Having eclipsed paralegals in some document review tasks, they…