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Policy Issues

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  • Image previewAugust 27U.S. GDP Expands 3.7% in the Second Quarter

    Fight Looms Over Unregulated WiFi Airwaves; GDP Expands in Q2; Jobless Claims Down Again; Durable Goods Orders Positive in July

  • Image previewAugust 25The Gender Wage Gap

    The White House recently calculated that full-time workingwomen earn 77 percent of what their male counterparts make.[1] While numbers differ by occupation and state, among other factors, most women in America are paid less for the same work as men. Different studies have slightly different numbers, but all agree that there is a difference in how much men and women make for equal work. A recent study released by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research predicted that the wage gap will not close nationally until at least 2058.[2]

  • Image previewAugust 17Trumped Up Charges: Empirical Effects of U.S. Immigration Reform on Crime and Jobs

    Perceptions of how illegal immigration affects native residents have shaped policies, but these policies are likely ineffective both in general and in their specific focuses, like in lowering crime and improving native employment. Policymakers should consider objectively the effects of past policies such as IRCA and 287(g), before instituting new, non-data driven mandates and legislation in response to public demand.

  • Meet a Student

    Davis Berlind

    A summer internship position at the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings was an ideal match for Davis; especially considering his studies at Penn are focused on choice, behavior, and consumer psychology within the public policy and economics field. Through the internship, Davis has been able to conduct independent research in the burgeoning field of behavioral economics. His aspirations for the experience were high—wanting to gain insight into the research methods of actual economists and policy makers—and from the sounds of it, his experience has met his expectations.

  • Image previewJuly 27Where Have All the Investment Dollars Gone? A Brief on the Developments and Potential Fragility in Corporate Bond Funds

    Since the beginning of the global economic crisis, investors have flocked to bond funds, and especially corporate bond funds, viewing them as the “safest” vehicles for their capital. However, bond funds are subject to fragilities originating from the first-mover advantage problem: when investors cash out, the cost of compensating them amplifies the funds’ price decline, making it costlier for other investors to remain. Moreover, three other conditions—general market illiquidity, lower fund liquidity, and the prevalence of retail investors—accentuate the financial fragility of corporate bond funds. Academic research shows that when corporate bond fund managers have to trade illiquid corporate bonds after investors redeem shares en masse, the subsequent demand shock in the secondary bond market results predictably in significant negative effects to the real economy. This brief looks at the fragility of corporate bond funds and offers policy options to combat these conditions and mitigate their wider effects.


  • Meet a Student

    Genesis Nunez

    Genesis Nunez, a sociology major with a minor in legal studies, developed a strong interest in the corresponding relationship between employment discrimination and social inequality through her course work at Penn. With financial assistance from Penn Wharton PPI, she was able to pursue this interest through an internship with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in Washington, D.C. As an enforcement agency of laws against employment and workplace discrimination, the EEOC was a fitting place for Ms. Nunez to intern. 

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