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Wonk Tank

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

  • Image: Judge, gavel, and courtroom. Source: Luke Air Force Base December 4
    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.[1] 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.
  • Image: Sites of Chinese-African special industrial zones, Source: Wikimedia Commons November 26
    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.”[1]
  • Image: Statue of Liberty, Source: Pexels November 20
    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.
  • Image: Highway Flooding, Source: Flickr October 30
    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.
  • Image: Uber debuts testing of its self-driving fleet in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Source: Automotive News July 6

    Despite a modest decline in private vehicle ownership in the last four years, many Americans still employ cars as their primary mode of transportation.[1] 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.[2]

Editorial Teams


The Public Policy Initiative Student Group is housed under the Penn Wharton Public Policy Initiative (PPI). Penn Wharton PPI and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania do not provide any endorsement, either implied or explicit, in research or activities produced by the Public Policy Initiative Student Group or for the student blog Wonk Tank.