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

Policy Issues


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  • Faculty Affiliate Peter Cappelli. February 15 America’s answer to the gender pay gap

    As countries around the world grapple with the gender pay gap, some places in America have come up with a new way to tackle the problem.

    Their solution? Bar employers from asking job applicants what they currently earn, so new salary offers are not based on the previous figure.

    Faculty Affiliate Peter Cappelli says he thinks the legislation could have other unintended consequences.

    For example, if job candidates don’t volunteer salaries during the discussions, firms are likely to assume their pay is lower than it is.

    Cappelli says this effect is likely to be especially pronounced for women and other groups that are statistically likely to have lower pay.

    “The phrase for this is statistical discrimination,” he says. “Now we’ve got this quirky situation where it’s actually likely to make things worse.”

  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Mark V. Pauly February 15 What the Merger of Two Healthcare Giants Could Mean for Philly Region

    Walgreens is reportedly in talks to acquire Valley Forge’s AmerisourceBergen. Walgreens already owns 26 percent of Amerisource and may move to take over the rest of the company.

    “When firms do not know what to do about the future they tend to circle the wagons by merging,” Faculty Affiliate Mark V. Pauly, Wharton health care management expert, told Philadelphia magazine. “It does not help that much based on evidence, but you have to do something.”

    To Pauly, Walgreens’ potential deal with AmerisourceBergen wouldn’t be daring at all, just purely defensive. “This seems like a fairly safe thing for Walgreens to do after buying and closing all those stores from Rite Aid,” he said.

  • Events

    Call for registration for 5th Annual Public Policy Case Competition Feb25  5th Annual Case Competition Registration 11:59pm
    Location: Register Online
    We are pleased to announce the 5th Annual Public Policy Case Competition. This competition, open to all undergraduate and graduate students across the University, is intended to foster discussion and collaborative research on key public policy issues. 

    One team will win the grand prize of $5,000.  Two teams will earn honorable mention awards of $2,000 each.

    Teams must pre-register online to participate by 11:59 PM, Sunday, February 25. 

  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Mauro Guillen February 15 Is the global economy heading for another crisis?

    At this year’s World Economic Forum held in Davos, Switzerland, in late January, a financial crisis was one of the key topics among economists and bankers. Although chances are still slim, they said the global economy and financial markets have become more vulnerable as a result of prolonged loose monetary policies. They are particularly concerned financial authorities are unprepared to deal with the next crisis

    Faculty Affiliate Mauro Guillen commented on the recent economic changes: “it seems investors are reading the good news on the U.S. and global economies as if they were negative. Stronger growth, declining unemployment and rising wages could be the harbingers of inflation, which in turn might prompt central banks to accelerate interest rate increase, and thus bring the era of low rates to an abrupt end.”

  • The Policy Barriers to Marijuana Banking February 14 The Policy Barriers to Marijuana Banking

    Although cannabis-related businesses have thrived in the localities that have legalized marijuana as a consumer product, the industry has suffered from crippling uncertainty, in the form of limited access to the banking system. The cannabis industry thus has been forced to operate in a cash-intensive “gray market,” which is a problem. An entire industry conducting all of its business in cash cannot be fairly taxed or regulated and, historically, has been associated with lawlessness—everything from security concerns, transportation and currency problems, money laundering, and cash hoarding. This brief reviews and analyzes the issues that surround marijuana banking and offers several policy options for addressing the tension between federal enforcement and satate sovereignty as it related to marijuana banking.

  • Republican Senators Susan Collins and Lindsey Graham have announced that a bipartisan working group dealing with immigrati... February 14 DACA Deal From Senate, Inflation Fears Rise

    Bipartisan Senate group has reached DACA deal; Consumer Price Index jumps, stoking inflation fears.