Brookings and EPI Agree: Rising Corporate Profits are Driving Inflation

April 22, 2022

Brookings and EPI Agree: Rising Corporate Profits are Driving Inflation, Leaving Workers Behind

Yesterday, two leading economic think tanks – the Brookings Institution and the Economic Policy Institute – released new reports that reached a similar conclusion: high corporate profits, not workers’ wages, are driving high prices at the checkout line, and consumers are paying the price.

Economic Policy Institute’s Josh Bivens: “It is unlikely that either the extent of corporate greed or even the power of corporations generally has increased during the past two years. Instead, the already-excessive power of corporations has been channeled into raising prices rather than the more traditional form it has taken in recent decades: suppressing wages.”

Brookings Institution’s Molly Kinder, Katie Bach, and Laura Stateler: “Overwhelmingly, financial gains benefitted wealthy shareholders and executives, while frontline workers experienced the greatest losses and benefited minimally from company success. Despite the hope and hype, the companies are paying workers only modestly more in real terms than they did before the pandemic—and, for most workers, still not enough to get by.”

Lindsay Owens, executive director of Groundwork Collaborative and a leading expert on inflation, released the statement that follows:

“Corporate profit margins are at seventy-year highs, and Wall Street is eating it up. Giant corporations are overcharging customers to maximize profits – and these are the very same companies that are still paying their workers less than $15 an hour.”

Visit Groundwork’s new site to learn more about the link between rising prices and corporate profiteering. 

In the News – Corporate Profiteering