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News Archive

  • (Image: Winnie Palmer Hospital in Orlando, FL (NOT AN ACO). Source: Wikimedia)

    Healthcare spending accounts for just under one-fifth of the US economy, amounting to an enormous $3.4 trillion in 2016 [1]. Politicians from both sides of the aisle have tried their hand at passing cost containment measures to slow its growth, which has consistently outpaced GDP growth rates. With the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) attempted to cut costs by reshaping the way providers are paid to manage care. As a result, it began to recognize and reward a new hybrid structuring of providers: Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). As ACOs become more popular under new payment schemes, it is essential to track their ability to reduce costs and improve quality. The Trump administration’s policy changes stand to shape not only providers’ care coordination, but also the trajectory of the healthcare industry.

  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Joni E. Finney

    University endowments have remained tax-exempt. But that appears likely to change under the tax proposal backed by President Trump and congressional Republicans. 

    Some schools also may resort to tuition increases to pay for the tax, said Faculty Affiliate Joni E. Finney, director of the Institute for Research on Higher Education at Penn.

    “That further exacerbates the problem we are trying to address,” Finney said.

  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Kevin Werbach
    The price of Bitcoin has soared to more than $15,000, and now investors can trade bitcoin futures on the public market. 

    “Clearly there is a speculative frenzy going on, which doesn’t necessarily tell us at all why it’s going on or where it’s going to go from here,” says Faculty Affiliate Kevin Werbach.
  • Over two dozen university and college presidents are teaming up to foster legal protection for undocumented
    Over two dozen university and college presidents are teaming up to foster legal protection for undocumented “Dreamers”; US Small Business Optimism at Highest Level since 1983; Wholesale prices higher than expected in November.
  • The House and Senate on Thursday passed a two-week stopgap spending measure known as a continuing resolution (CR...
    House to vote on bill to overhaul Department of Homeland Security cyber unit; Congressional leaders pass two-week stopgap spending measure, scramble to reach agreement on spending bill; Conference Board’s Employment Index Decreases in November.
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Peter Cappelli

    How can workers hire more minorities and women? The answer is simple and embarrassing, and it’s been well-documented by Faculty Affiliate Peter Cappelli. Employers don’t go find the talent. Cappelli says there are two other answers to “the talent shortage: employers fail to train and develop both employees and new hires, meaning they have no internal pipeline, and employers refuse to pay market rates to hire the talent they need.

  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Laura W. Perna
    Graduate students across the country are staging walkouts and otherwise speaking out in protest of a provision in the tax reform legislation passed by the U.S. House of Representatives that could potentially add thousands of dollars to their tax bills.

    Faculty Affiliate Laura Perna discusses the potential impacts of eliminating a tax break on graduate school tuition waivers.
  • Photo of President Trump giving a speech
    U.S. adds 228,000 jobs in November, signaling solid job growth; Consumer sentiment slips unexpectedly in December, falling from October highs.
  • With the government set to run out of funding Friday, the GOP is scrambling to put together enough votes for a continuing ...
    Shutdown looms as GOP scrambles for votes; Jobless claims decline for third week in a row. 
  • The Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday approved the nomination of Jay Powell to serve as the chairman of the Fe...
    Senate panel approves Jay Powell to serve as chairman of Federal Reserve; U.S. labor productivity increases 3.0% in Q3 2017; Private sector employers added 190,000 jobs in November.
  • Hurricane Maria has brought light to how disaster relief has impacted Puerto Rico.

    Since Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, the island’s leaders have been asking the federal government for more emergency aid and long-term recovery funds.[1] Resident Commissioner for Puerto Rico Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon requested, “Congress [approve] an aid package that is commensurate with the level of devastation,” while Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo of Guam said she will, “Seek a firm commitment that the House provide fair and robust emergency assistance to U.S. territories devastated by natural disasters in any bills considered for the remainder of the Congress.” [2] The federal government must determine how much assistance is required to adequately respond to a natural disaster of this scale and how to balance the need for short-term relief and long-term recovery.

  • (Image: Soda bottles on the shelf. Source: Flickr)

    Sugar sweetened beverage taxes, commonly referred to as soda taxes, have been on the rise in American municipal governments as a potential policy solution to both a public health crisis and a revenue shortage [1]. However, in cities like Philadelphia where these sugary beverage taxes have been implemented, they have become a target for the scrutiny of residents and economists alike. Governments that have implemented soda taxes commonly cite how the tax revenue and the tax itself could help tackle obesity, but this claim is still subject to debate.

  • Professor Atul Gupta
    Faculty Affiliate Atul Gupta’s study entitled “Estimating Effects of Public Insurance Expansion for Adults: Evidence from California Hospitals” asked what happens when people suddenly get access to insurance coverage.

    Read more about the positive findings here:
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Cary Coglianese

    A major decision on the way the U.S. government collects information about race and ethnicity through the census and other surveys was expected to be announced by the Trump administration.

    “To the extent that an administration were to show racial animus and to make decisions about the statistical classification or the questions on surveys that relate to race in a manner that was motivated by racial animus, that would be clearly illegal and unconstitutional,” Faculty Affiliate Cary Coglianese says.

  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Susan M. Wachter
    San Diego was among the top three cities in the U.S. with the biggest annual home price increases in September, said a key real estate index released Tuesday.
     
    Faculty Affiliate Susan Wachter said San Diego’s price increases show steady job growth but, like much of the nation, a lack of homes for sale.
     
    “Every job doesn’t come along with a new house. That’s the bottom line,” she said. “Supply doesn’t necessarily respond to demand, and it hasn’t.”
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Jennifer Blouin
    Faculty Affiliate Jennifer Blouin comments on the Republican tax plan that aims to cut corporate taxes in order to incentivize spending on jobs for the middle class. 

    “How much of that $3 trillion is likely to come back to be used to hire folks, invest in research and development, build new plant facilities and manufacturing? I would suspect its fairly low,” says Faculty Affiliate Jennifer Blouin. 
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Kevin Werbach

    As interest grows, faculty and staff at the top business schools are under pressure to allocate more time and resources to this new area of technology. Kevin Werbach, associate professor of legal studies and business ethics at Wharton, is researching regulation of cryptocurrencies.

    “A lot of people think tech overcomes law which is a gross oversimplification. We need to figure out control and regulation,” Werbach told CNBC.

  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Daniel Polsky
    When the fees paid to healthcare providers by the Medicaid insurance program for the poor go up, appointments with primary care doctors suddenly become more available to Medicaid beneficiaries – and the opposite happens when fees go down, according to a recent U.S. study by Faculty Affiliate Daniel Polsky. 

    “As funding declines it threatens the breadth of provider participation in Medicaid,” he said.

  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Kevin Werbach

    The Justice Department is suing to block AT&T’s proposed deal for Time Warner Inc., saying the deal could lead to higher costs and less choice for U.S. consumers.

    Comcast was prevented from engaging in some of that same behavior when the Philadelphia cable giant bought NBCUniversal in 2011. But those restrictions on Comcast are set to expire in 2018.

    “It’s pretty clear that the Justice Department is taking a different approach to AT&T/Time Warner than it did with Comcast/NBCU,” said Faculty Affiliate Kevin Werbach.

    “The tide has turned in antitrust with [the Justice Department] being more skeptical of media and technology deals,” he said. Werbach said it was “entirely possible” that a Hillary Clinton administration also would have blocked an AT&T/Time Warner deal.

  • President Trump on Monday signed an executive order to shrink two massive monuments in Utah, Bears Ears and Grand Staircas...
    Trump reduces two Utah national monuments; Supreme Court allows travel ban to go into effect; The US trade deficit reaches 9 month high.
  • The Senate passed the most sweeping tax reform bill in decades early on Saturday, in a 51-49 vote, with only Republic...
    Senate Republicans Pass Tax Bill; GOP pushes to pass measure to avoid government shutdown; U.S. factory orders edge slightly lower and core capital goods orders revised up.
  • (Image: President Obama & King Salman of Saudi Arabia (Sept. 2015). Source: Public Domain TV)

    Since 1976, private citizens have been barred from introducing private lawsuits against foreign nations under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA). This law has been the basis for United States’ domestic legal engagement with other countries for decades, and has undergone significant revisions since its inception. Actions taken by the legislative branch over the past few decades have drastically changed the original FSIA and introduced new challenges regarding implementation and potential ramifications against the United States in legal systems abroad. This article explores how a recent amendment to the FSIA known as the Justice Against Sponsors of Terror Act (JASTA), as well as prior revisions, represent a significant reduction in the sovereign immunity laid out in FSIA, as well as a public policy and diplomatic challenge for the United States moving forward.

  • (Image: Narendra Modi. Source: Aadhar News)

    First proposed in 2009, India’s Aadhaar biometric ID system represents a complete overhaul of India’s approach to identification. The Aadhaar ID links your fingerprint and iris to everything from tax filings to bank accounts. Despite criticism relating to privacy concerns, proponents argue that Aadhaar has the potential to propel the Indian economy towards business transparency and fraud reduction.

  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Jeremy Siegel
    St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank president James Bullard joined Faculty Affiliate Jeremy Siegel for a wide-ranging conversation about the future of interest rates, inflation, the state of the economy, overall monetary policy, the possible over-valuation of stock prices — and more — on “Behind the Markets,” on Wharton Business Radio on SiriusXM channel 111. Bullard oversees the Eighth Federal Reserve District, which includes all of Arkansas and parts of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee.
  • On a party line vote, the Senate voted to move to formal debate on the GOP’s tax legislation, a so called “must wi...
    EPA to hold biofuels quota steady; Global trade steams ahead in uncertain geopolitics; Price pressures strengthen case for rate hike.
  • Pending home sales rebound 3.5% in October as South recovers from hurricane. The pending home sales index, which measures ...
    Sens. Marc Rubio (Fla.) and Mike Lee (Utah) plan to offer Senate tax bill amendment to further expand child tax credit; The U.S. Economy Grows Faster than Expected in Third Quarter, as GDP Expands at 3.3 Percent Annual Rate; Pending home sales rebound 3.5% in October as South recovers from hurricane.
  • A Tuesday meeting of the Senate budget committee had revealed some hurdles for the Republican tax bill.
    New Federal Reserve Chair nominee pledges to continue policies of Yellen and Bernanke; 2018 global economic growth predictions strong.
  • Two officials who both claim to be the rightful acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau are battling f...
    Two directors battle for control of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; CBO finds that proposed Senate tax bill would hurt low-income Americans; U.S. new home sales surge in October, hitting a 10-year-high.
  • Postmates bicycle couriers, photo by Postmates  (CC BY-SA 4.0)
    With the on-demand economy and automation on the rise, questions concerning what the impact will be on the future workforce emerge. Vikrum Aiyer, Strategic Communications and Public Policy Lead for the on-demand logistics and delivery platform, Postmates, Inc., sat down with Dan Loney from Knowledge@Wharton Business Radio to discuss his work and policy questions surrounding the on-demand industry.
  • hairman of the FCC Ajit Pai will reveal plans to deregulate the disparate treatment of internet traffic, so called
    Homeland Security ends temporary residency for 60,000 Haitians; US home sales speed up.

 

PENN WHARTON PPI
RESOURCE SPOTLIGHT:

  • <h3>HUD State of the Cities Data Systems</h3><p><strong><img width="200" height="200" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/200/height/200/482_hud_logo.rev.1407788472.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image482 lw_align_left" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/4/width/200/height/200/482_hud_logo.rev.1407788472.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/4/width/200/height/200/482_hud_logo.rev.1407788472.jpg 3x" data-max-w="612" data-max-h="613"/>The SOCDS provides data for individual Metropolitan Areas, Central Cities, and Suburbs.</strong> It is a portal for non-national data made available through a number of outside institutions (e.g. Census, BLS, FBI and others).</p><p> Quick link: <a href="http://www.huduser.org/portal/datasets/socds.html" target="_blank">http://www.huduser.org/portal/datasets/socds.html</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>The World Bank Data (U.S.)</h3><p><img width="130" height="118" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/130/height/118/484_world-bank-logo.rev.1407788945.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image484 lw_align_left" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/4/width/130/height/118/484_world-bank-logo.rev.1407788945.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/4/width/130/height/118/484_world-bank-logo.rev.1407788945.jpg 3x" data-max-w="1406" data-max-h="1275"/>The <strong>World Bank</strong> provides World Development Indicators, Surveys, and data on Finances and Climate Change.</p><p> Quick link: <a href="http://data.worldbank.org/country/united-states" target="_blank">http://data.worldbank.org/country/united-states</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>USDA Nutrition Assistance Data</h3><p><img width="180" height="124" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/180/height/124/485_usda_logo.rev.1407789238.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image485 lw_align_right" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/4/width/180/height/124/485_usda_logo.rev.1407789238.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/4/width/180/height/124/485_usda_logo.rev.1407789238.jpg 3x" data-max-w="1233" data-max-h="850"/>Data and research regarding the following <strong>USDA Nutrition Assistance</strong> programs are available through this site:</p><ul><li>Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) </li><li>Food Distribution Programs </li><li>School Meals </li><li>Women, Infants and Children </li></ul><p> Quick link: <a href="http://www.fns.usda.gov/data-and-statistics" target="_blank">http://www.fns.usda.gov/data-and-statistics</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>National Bureau of Economic Research (Public Use Data Archive)</h3><p><img width="180" height="43" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/180/height/43/478_nber.rev.1407530465.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image478 lw_align_right" data-max-w="329" data-max-h="79"/>Founded in 1920, the <strong>National Bureau of Economic Research</strong> is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization dedicated to promoting a greater understanding of how the economy works. The NBER is committed to undertaking and disseminating unbiased economic research among public policymakers, business professionals, and the academic community.</p><p> Quick Link to <strong>Public Use Data Archive</strong>: <a href="http://www.nber.org/data/" target="_blank">http://www.nber.org/data/</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>Federal Aviation Administration: Accident & Incident Data</h3><p><img width="100" height="100" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/100/height/100/80_faa-logo.rev.1402681347.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image80 lw_align_left" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/4/width/100/height/100/80_faa-logo.rev.1402681347.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/4/width/100/height/100/80_faa-logo.rev.1402681347.jpg 3x" data-max-w="550" data-max-h="550"/>The NTSB issues an accident report following each investigation. These reports are available online for reports issued since 1996, with older reports coming online soon. The reports listing is sortable by the event date, report date, city, and state.</p><p> Quick link: <a href="http://www.faa.gov/data_research/accident_incident/" target="_blank">http://www.faa.gov/data_research/accident_incident/</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED®)</h3><p><strong><img width="180" height="79" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/180/height/79/481_fred-logo.rev.1407788243.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image481 lw_align_right" data-max-w="222" data-max-h="97"/>An online database consisting of more than 72,000 economic data time series from 54 national, international, public, and private sources.</strong> FRED®, created and maintained by Research Department at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, goes far beyond simply providing data: It combines data with a powerful mix of tools that help the user understand, interact with, display, and disseminate the data.</p><p> Quick link to data page: <a href="http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/tags/series" target="_blank">http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/tags/series</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>MapStats</h3><p> A feature of FedStats, MapStats allows users to search for <strong>state, county, city, congressional district, or Federal judicial district data</strong> (demographic, economic, and geographic).</p><p> Quick link: <a href="http://www.fedstats.gov/mapstats/" target="_blank">http://www.fedstats.gov/mapstats/</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>NOAA National Climatic Data Center</h3><p><img width="200" height="198" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/200/height/198/483_noaa_logo.rev.1407788692.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image483 lw_align_left" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/4/width/200/height/198/483_noaa_logo.rev.1407788692.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/4/width/200/height/198/483_noaa_logo.rev.1407788692.jpg 3x" data-max-w="954" data-max-h="945"/>NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) is responsible for preserving, monitoring, assessing, and providing public access to the Nation’s treasure of <strong>climate and historical weather data and information</strong>.</p><p> Quick link to home page: <a href="http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/" target="_blank">http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/</a></p><p> Quick link to NCDC’s climate and weather datasets, products, and various web pages and resources: <a href="http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/data-access/quick-links" target="_blank">http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/data-access/quick-links</a></p><p> Quick link to Text & Map Search: <a href="http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cdo-web/" target="_blank">http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cdo-web/</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>National Center for Education Statistics</h3><p><strong><img width="400" height="80" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/400/height/80/479_nces.rev.1407787656.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image479 lw_align_right" data-max-w="400" data-max-h="80"/>The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) is the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education in the U.S. and other nations.</strong> NCES is located within the U.S. Department of Education and the Institute of Education Sciences. NCES has an extensive Statistical Standards Program that consults and advises on methodological and statistical aspects involved in the design, collection, and analysis of data collections in the Center. To learn more about the NCES, <a href="http://nces.ed.gov/about/" target="_blank">click here</a>.</p><p> Quick link to NCES Data Tools: <a href="http://nces.ed.gov/datatools/index.asp?DataToolSectionID=4" target="_blank">http://nces.ed.gov/datatools/index.asp?DataToolSectionID=4</a></p><p> Quick link to Quick Tables and Figures: <a href="http://nces.ed.gov/quicktables/" target="_blank">http://nces.ed.gov/quicktables/</a></p><p> Quick link to NCES Fast Facts (Note: The primary purpose of the Fast Facts website is to provide users with concise information on a range of educational issues, from early childhood to adult learning.): <a href="http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/" target="_blank">http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/#</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>Internal Revenue Service: Tax Statistics</h3><p><img width="155" height="200" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/155/height/200/486_irs_logo.rev.1407789424.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image486 lw_align_left" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/4/width/155/height/200/486_irs_logo.rev.1407789424.jpg 2x" data-max-w="463" data-max-h="596"/>Find statistics on business tax, individual tax, charitable and exempt organizations, IRS operations and budget, and income (SOI), as well as statistics by form, products, publications, papers, and other IRS data.</p><p> Quick link to <strong>Tax Statistics, where you will find a wide range of tables, articles, and data</strong> that describe and measure elements of the U.S. tax system: <a href="http://www.irs.gov/uac/Tax-Stats-2" target="_blank">http://www.irs.gov/uac/Tax-Stats-2</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>Congressional Budget Office</h3><p><img width="180" height="180" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/180/height/180/380_cbo-logo.rev.1406822035.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image380 lw_align_right" data-max-w="180" data-max-h="180"/>Since its founding in 1974, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has produced independent analyses of budgetary and economic issues to support the Congressional budget process.</p><p> The agency is strictly nonpartisan and conducts objective, impartial analysis, which is evident in each of the dozens of reports and hundreds of cost estimates that its economists and policy analysts produce each year. CBO does not make policy recommendations, and each report and cost estimate discloses the agency’s assumptions and methodologies. <strong>CBO provides budgetary and economic information in a variety of ways and at various points in the legislative process.</strong> Products include baseline budget projections and economic forecasts, analysis of the President’s budget, cost estimates, analysis of federal mandates, working papers, and more.</p><p> Quick link to Products page: <a href="http://www.cbo.gov/about/our-products" target="_blank">http://www.cbo.gov/about/our-products</a></p><p> Quick link to Topics: <a href="http://www.cbo.gov/topics" target="_blank">http://www.cbo.gov/topics</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>The Penn World Table</h3><p> The Penn World Table provides purchasing power parity and national income accounts converted to international prices for 189 countries/territories for some or all of the years 1950-2010.</p><p><a href="https://pwt.sas.upenn.edu/php_site/pwt71/pwt71_form.php" target="_blank">Quick link.</a> </p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>