Wonk Tank is a student blog written by members of the PPI Student Group. Articles cover topics on a range of issues at the intersection of business, economics, and public policy. Check back regularly for new articles.
Wonk Tank Articles
Over the past year, the #MeToo movement has sparked an international conversation about the prevalence of sexual assault. It has become clear that sexual violence is an epidemic that no woman is immune to - from Hollywood celebrities and domestic workers to Olympic gymnasts and farmworkers. With the spotlight finally on this pervasive issue, it is important to examine the role of public policy in addressing sexual assault claims and providing reparations to victims.
Of the twenty most corrupt nations on Transparency International’s list of “most corrupt nations”, ten are located in sub-Saharan Africa alone. As African countries seek to develop and attract foreign investment, Westerners have raised increasing concerns about the prevalence of corruption across the continent and its impact on business. Then-Vice President Joe Biden told a conference of African leaders in 2016 that corruption represents a “cancer” which “not only undermines but prevents the establishment of genuine democratic systems [and] stifles economic growth and scares away investment.”
Refugee admission has become a focal point of public concern due to the frequent news coverage surrounding border control and the politicization of humanitarian aid. Blamed for burdening the welfare state and threatening national security, refugee admission is challenged by Americans who question the net gains to citizens when resources are extended to foreign nationals in need. While the presence of refugees can have varying effects on political stability, the associated benefits of increased labor, entrepreneurship, and participation in the economy support the argument for border relaxation.
Scientists and researchers agree: ocean levels are rising as ice from the polar caps melts. Rising sea levels will affect major cities within the United States in the next half-century, many of which are already struggling with infrastructure problems. Rising tides are expected to put parts of South Florida, New Orleans, and many other metropolitan areas underwater, especially San Francisco. As tides already brush up against roads and freeways in the region, Bay Area infrastructure is prone to flooding, with two major arteries experiencing seasonal flooding: California State Route 37 (SR 37) in the North Bay between Vallejo and Sonoma County, and Interstate 80 in the East Bay north of Berkeley. Furthermore, San Francisco International Airport, surrounding areas in San Mateo County and Treasure Island are at risk.
Despite a modest decline in private vehicle ownership in the last four years, many Americans still employ cars as their primary mode of transportation. Comparisons among census trends in the past few decades indicate that private vehicles amassed popularity among American households following more extensive car-centric city planning beginning in the early 1960s.
The Environmental Policy Team writes about energy policy, environmental policy, and infrastructure policy. Our members research the economics of clean energy, disaster infrastructure, and pollution markets. Past articles have explored the implications of a water market in California and the financial differences between cap-and-trade and a carbon tax in China.
Fiscal and Regulatory Policy
The Fiscal and Regulatory Policy Team studies government spending, taxation, and regulation. The authors evaluate the design and implementation of government programs. When they identify points of failure in these programs, they propose policy changes to address them. The authors also study how to make regulations more efficient without harming markets or consumers.
Health, Education, and Social Policy
The Health, Education, and Social Policy Team focuses on policies that provide government services for underserved populations. Previous topics have included the viability of programs like SNAP and mental healthcare in rural regions. The group also analyzes regulatory policy in sectors like housing, education, and healthcare.
Innovation and Technology Policy
The Innovation and Technology Team explores the interconnection between technology and public policy. We research these relationships in the context of economic, tax, and intellectual property policy. We seek to understand how these policies promote innovation, and how technology can be applied to policy problems. Our research touches healthcare, education, R&D funding, regulation, patent law, and economic policy.
Trade and Foreign Policy
The Trade and Foreign Policy Team researches global affairs and new international trends from an American outlook. Members of the Trade and Foreign Policy Team explore issues from economic development to national security. In the context of the international system, the Trade and Foreign Policy Team studies and evaluates national and international foreign policy from economic, developmental, and security perspectives.
Recent Articles(2 total)