Get Involved

Whether you attend a Wharton B-School for Public Policy seminar in-person, or you want access to the faculty expertise outside of the classroom, there are many ways to engage.

Faculty Meetings

If you are interested in speaking directly with one of the faculty experts, please contact Andrew Coopersmith, Managing Director of Wharton PPI, to check on the professor’s availability.

Summaries

  • William Stewart Woodside Professor Professor of Marketing

    Improving Economic Prosperity through Nation Branding

    Professor David ReibsteinOctober 19, 2018
    It is well known that companies care deeply about their brands—and with good reason: a respected name attracts customers, solidifies their loyalty, and brings in higher returns. The idea of brand identity extends beyond the corporate world, though. Countries are also brands, and a country’s brand, like a corporate brand, is economically powerful. A positive country brand brings money and economic growth to it through tourism, foreign direct investment, and foreign trade; conversely, a negative country brand is economically costly. In this seminar, Professor David Reibstein from the Wharton School, who collaborates with U.S. News & World Report in developing the Best Countries Rankings, examined nation branding as it applies to the U.S., and presented information on why a country should care about their brand globally and the role that public policy plays in shaping and communicating that brand to the world.behavioral economics|David Reibstein|right
    View summary » It is generally considered good business practice for a company to invest in its brand. A positive brand image typically results in a more loyal customer base and an overall increase in profit. Likewise, nations have brands, and the reputation of a country has an economic impact on its gross domestic product (GDP).
  • Assistant Professor Faculty Research Fellow, National Bureau of Economic Research

    Universal Basic Income

    Professor Ioana MarinescuSeptember 14, 2018
    The idea of a universal basic income (UBI) has generated a lot of conversation this year. The conversation in the U.S. often has focused on whether a UBI program here would be politically palatable and feasible. Its economic implications, however, are not always well understood. This seminar by Professor Ioana Marinescu presented new research on UBI-style programs, such as the Alaska Permanent Fund, to discuss their effects, especially with regard to labor markets.Ioana Marinescu|labor|right
    View summary » Concern over massive structural unemployment, due to technological automation and globalization, is on the rise. Universal Basic Income (UBI) has attracted attention from both sides of the aisle as one potential solution to a scenario where a large number of people are not able to earn a livable wage. In order to understand the economic implications of UBI, economists have studied previous and current examples of UBI-type programs, analyzing their impact on consumption, labor force participation, education, health, and other key metrics.
  • Assistant Professor of Legal Studies & Business Ethics

    Policy Disruption: Regulatory Responses to Business and Technological Innovation

    Professor Sarah LightJune 15, 2018
    New forms of business in the sharing economy, and new technologies like autonomous vehicles, have the potential to “disrupt” existing regulatory structures. This seminar examined the challenges facing regulators and legislators, who must respond so as to both (a) promote innovation and (b) protect the public interest.innovation|left|regulation|Sarah Light
    View summary »

    Disruptive innovation has a technical meaning to business scholars. It signifies when a new firm picks off customers from an existing business, by coming up with a new product or service that is actually slightly inferior to the product or service offered by the existing firm. For instance, Airbnb offers up rooms in people’s homes in place of a traditional hotel room. Some (but not all!) disruptive innovations lead to what might be called policy disruption, in that they in some way challenge the current regulatory regime. 1

  • Joao Gomes, Howard Butcher III Professor of Finance

    The Decline in U.S. Corporate Investment

    Professor Joao GomesJune 1, 2018
    10 years after the financial crisis US corporate investment remains anemic. Is this weak recovery a symptom of a larger trend towards a less capital intensive economy? The answer can shed light on the impact of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 as well as any future infrastructure spending.infrastructure|Joao F. Gomes|left|tax
    View summary » U.S. corporations over the past decade have shied away from making large-scale capital investments. Given their reticence, does it make economic sense for the government to pursue major investments in infrastructure at this time?
  • Professor Dennis Culhane

    Advancing Evidence-Based Social Policies through Intergovernmental Data Sharing Partnerships

    Professor Dennis CulhaneApril 6, 2018

    There is increasingly broad recognition that policymaking can be done more effectively when decisions regarding support for public programs are made strategically, based on the rigorous analysis of evidence. In several key areas of social policy, including housing and education, such evidence-based policymaking at the federal level needs to rely on data collected and evaluated at the state and local levels. This seminar provided staffers with a better understanding about how the state and local evidence base is gathered and how that base can inform their own work.

    Dennis Culhane|education|housing|podcast|right|social insurance
    View summary » In response to the challenge of addressing complex social problems with limited resources, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and Congress have called for evidence-based initiatives to facilitate program evaluation and policy research. In 2016, Congress established the Commission on Evidence Based Policy Making to make recommendations on how to accomplish this. While Congress considers mechanisms to link data from federal agencies on a national level, there is much that the federal government can learn from the use of integrated data systems (IDS) at the state and local levels.
  • Professor Cary Coglianese

    Achieving Regulatory Excellence

    Professor Cary CoglianeseFebruary 23, 2018

    This seminar, based on research conducted at the Penn Program on Regulation, focused on analyzing the impacts of regulation on the economy and promoting the attributes of a high-quality regulatory system. An emphasis was placed on the role of legislators in overseeing and supporting the achievement of regulatory excellence, situated within the context of ongoing efforts for regulatory reform as well as new imperatives, such as the development of algorithmic technologies.

    Cary Coglianese|left|podcast|regulation
    View summary » Regulatory excellence is governmental excellence. Three primary mechanisms exist for promoting regulatory success: Procedure, Management, and Technology.

B-School Podcasts

  • Inequality in the Gig Economy

    Gig economy jobs have soared in recent years, but as the consumer receives a quick service or a same-day delivery product, what are the workers getting? When this type of work, including ride-hailing services and ice cream delivery came along, some thought women would benefit greatly. But data shows that this hasn’t occurred yet, as inequality is a growing component of the global workforce. There has been an “Uberization” of what the gig economy is today, and those jobs are mainly done by men which has left the discussion about women in this sector primarily on the side.
  • Antitrust in Labor Markets: How it Relates to Big Tech

    Big U.S. tech companies like Apple, Alphabet, Facebook, and others, are coming under fire for being monopolies that should be broken up. This is what we have been hearing from Democratic Presidential candidates like Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar. It is an idea that is gaining steam as these tech giants face accusations of violating privacy rights, squeezing out competitors, and spreading misinformation. A new 150-page report commissioned by the British government includes many of those similar criticisms and say the existing rules governing these companies are outdated and need to be strengthened. And the European Union has repeatedly fined big tech companies. So is it time for the U.S. to look at whether the tech industry is too big and make some changes?
  • Nation Branding: Which Countries Ranked Highest This Year?

    Every year, US News and World Report compiles a list of the best countries, the list looks at a country’s wealth and success, but also policies that create opportunity, the people that lead the change, and that country’s history. The 2019 list was just released, and joining us to highlight this year’s list, the man who compiles it, Wharton marketing professor Dave Reibstein.
  • Regulatory Responses to the Sharing Economy, Autonomous Vehicles, and Disruptive Innovation

    Technology-based companies such as Uber and Airbnb have disrupted more than just their business sectors. They’ve raised complicated questions about how they should be regulated and by whom. New research from Wharton could help decision-makers sort out the answers. Professor Light joined the Knowledge@Wharton radio show on SiriusXM to explain.
  • The Economics of Universal Basic Income

    The Alaska Permanent Fund has been issuing a cash transfer to every man, woman and child in Alaska since the early 1980s. The fund is provided through dividends invested from oil revenues, which is obviously a big part of that state. But can a similar Universal Basic Income program work across all of the US? And would providing such a program mean any change to working patterns in the United States?

  • The Role of Government in Fixing America’s Aging Infrastructure

    Infrastructure is one of the key issues on the American political agenda. How to finance and manage the rebuilding of America’s aging infrastructure was the topic of a B-School for public policy seminar. Professor Bob Inman provided an overview of the economic and political factors that influence the financing and management aspects as well as provided an analytical framework, highlighting the way in which economists, with their focus on efficiency, differ from engineers in analyzing infrastructure investments. To share his insights with a wider audience, Professor Inman joined the Knowledge@Wharton radio show, which airs on SiriusXM Channel 111, to discuss what it would take to finance improvements, and the role government should play.
  • Collecting State & Local Data for Informed Social Policy Making

    Dennis Culhane, Professor at the School of Social Policy and Practice at the University of Pennsylvania, joins host Dan Loney to discuss his recent B-School Seminar presented to congressional staffers that focuses on helping staffers better understand how state and local evidence is gathered, which ultimately serves as a basis for forming federal social policy regulations. Dennis is also the Co-Principal Investigator for the Actionable Intelligence for Social Policy, and Director of Research, National Center for Homelessness Among Veterans.
  • Achieving Regulatory Excellence

    Much attention has been given to Donald Trump’s call for deregulation, a priority based on the notion that regulation impedes business growth. According to data from the Penn Wharton B-School for Public Policy seminar “Achieving Regulatory Excellence” by Professor Cary Coglianese, the number of cumulative pages in the code of Federal regulations has more than doubled from 75,000 to over 180,000 between 1975 and 2016. But regulatory excellence is more complicated than the raw number of regulations and needs to incorporate not only concern for the success of businesses, but also, and perhaps more importantly, the protection of citizens. Cary Coglianese, the Edward B. Shils Professor of Law and Political Science and Director of the Penn Program on Regulation has researched and written extensively on “Achieving Regulatory Excellence”. He joins Dan Loney, host of Knowledge@Wharton Radio to discuss the topic.
  • Regulating Robo-Advisors, Wharton Business Radio Interview

    With big data and automation becoming more common, so too has the “robo advisor”, any automated service that ranks or matches consumers to financial products on a personalized basis. Tom Baker, Professor of Law and Health Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania School of Law, joins host Dan Loney of Knowledge@Wharton to discuss his recent B-School for Public Policy seminar about research he’s been doing on the regulation of robo-advisors, particularly within the financial services industry.
  • Insuring High Risks Fairly, Protecting Individuals Against Flood Losses

    As Congress looks at restructuring the National Flood Insurance Program — legislators must address the issue of fairness. Howard Kunreuther, Professor of Decision Sciences and Business Economics and Public Policy at the Wharton School, joins host Dan Loney on Knowledge@Wharton to discuss this important and timely topic.