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B School for Public Policy Monthly 90-minute sessions on Capitol Hill »

Policy Issues

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  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Kevin Werbach September 23 Bitcoin Has Risks, But It Isn’t a Fraud

    In light of JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon’s recent description of the digital currency Bitcoin as a fraud, Faculty Affiliate Kevin Werbach responds to the criticisms of the currency from incumbents. 

    “Jamie Dimon surely appreciates that in financial markets, risk is also opportunity. And as his company seems to recognize, for incumbents facing potentially revolutionary innovation, the riskiest approach is doing nothing.”

  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Daniel Polsky September 23 Federal Government Cuts Obamacare Ads

    Trump’s Department of Health and Human Services says it’s cutting the advertising budget for open enrollment from $100 million down to $10 million - a reduction in spending of 90%. 

    “Cutting ACA Advertising by 90% is evidence-based policy … if policy goal is sabotage,” Faculty Affiliate Daniel Polsky, executive director of the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics at the University of Pennsylvania, said on Twitter.

  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Olivia S. Mitchell September 23 City’s pension ‘reform’ hits taxpayers, consumers

    Philadelphia’s city pension plan needs reform: even before the new contracts, actuaries predicted two years ago that if the city obtained its assumed rate of return — 7.85 percent at the time — it would not reach its pension funding goal until 2031.

    “The consensus estimate is that stock and bond markets are unlikely to earn the assumed 7.7 percent return, so the funding will be much below what is projected,” said Olivia S. Mitchell, executive director of the Pension Research Council at the University of Pennsylvania.

  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Peter Cappelli September 23 When Is Firing The Right Response?

    The sequence of events is so familiar now as to be predictable. A CEO or high-profile employee commits a blunder or transgression, a social-media campaign fans the flames of outrage, and employer and employee appear to be left with no other choice but to part ways.

    Are there alternatives, or have we firmly settled into a culture that prefers firings and forced resignations?

    “Punishments are bigger for leaders because the audience for them is bigger: The message value of the punishment is more important,” says Faculty Affiliate professor Peter Cappelli. “Transgressions that have to do with ethics and values are more serious and require bigger punishments because the internal audience is bigger — corporate culture is influenced by it.”

  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Peter Cappelli September 23 Census reports drop in poverty, but many Americans don’t feel better

    New numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau show that the American poverty rate went down by 0.8 percent - but why aren’t American’s feeling the relief?

    Faculty Affiliate Peter Cappelli comments for MarketPlace: 

  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Patricia M. Danzon September 23 What Does It Cost To Create A Cancer Drug?

    Faculty Affiliate Dr. Patricia Danzon said, most new cancer drugs today are developed this way: by small companies and for small groups of patients. The companies often license or sell successful drugs to the larger companies.

    A new study, she said, “is shining a light on a sector of the industry that is becoming important now.” The evidence, she added, is “irrefutable” that the cost of research and development “is small relative to the revenues.”