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News Archive

  • U.S. weekly jobless claims edge higher. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose by 3,...
    Border funding revived in Congress; McConnell pressuring White House on budget deal; Puerto Rico restructures pension liabilities; U.S. weekly jobless claims edge higher; Import prices down in May. 
  • Federal Housing Finance Agency director begins push for housing finance reform. After being confi...
    Federal Housing Finance Agency director begins push for housing finance reform; Financial markets regulator takes a stand against climate change; Treasury ends SALT deduction workarounds; House opens tech antitrust inquiry for news industry; Consumer prices rise slightly on decline of gas prices; U.S. budget deficit up from last year
  • The Mexican government prevented further tariff increases by the TrumpAdministration by agreeing ...
    The US Energy Department will prohibit its researchers from joining Chinese recruitment programs and will require all personnel to disclose connections to foreign government recruitment programs; The Mexican government prevented further tariff increases by the TrumpAdministration by agreeing to harsher immigration measures targeting Central American migrants; This Monday, President Trump shifted his focus back to the trade war with China, after gaining significant concessions from the Mexican government by threatening tariffs; The New York Fed reported this Monday that consumer inflation expectations fell to the lowest level since late 2017; US producer prices have increased for a second month in May, according to a Labor Department report. 
  •  Last Friday, the Mexican government announced that Mexico will implement strong measures to curb...
    One of the central promises of the Trump administration has been the rollback of regulations on financial institutions that had been put into place after the Great Recession; The Trump administration announced that it secured significant commitments on immigration from the Mexican government, in response to the President’s threat of imposing a 5% tariff across the board on all goods from Mexico; The US government is looking to make it easier for licensed professionals to work across state lines; The number of workers hired by US businesses reached a record high in April.
  • Professor of Legal Studies & Business Ethics, Professor of Law
    Amidst the recent buzz around breaking up large tech companies, Professor Herbert Hovenkamp comments on how suits may not be brought by regulators unless they know they can win.
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Cary Coglianese
    In a discussion on Philadelphia’s recent cash-less policy ban, Professor Cary Coglianese said, “Concerns about equitable treatment — namely, ensuring access to services to all individuals, regardless of their economic status or access to banking services — should presumably apply even more strongly to the public’s interaction with their government.”
  •  Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg pledged on Thursday to donate $500 million in an ef...
    Progress in U.S.-Mexico border talks; 17 major automakers push back on Trump plans to roll back fuel efficiency standards; Bloomberg pledges $500 million in fight against coal; FCC allows phone carriers to block robocalls; Wage gains slowed in May; FOMC to consider rate cut in June meeting.
  • Speaking to reporters in Ireland on Thursday, President Trump reminded policymakers and markets t...
    Trump threatens tariffs on an additional $300 billion of Chinese goods; Arrests rise on the southern border while negotiations continue; SEC adopts new rules aimed at Wall Street brokers; Weekly jobless claims unchanged pointing to strength in labor market; U.S. trade deficit falls 2.1% in April; Labor Department reports U.S. productivity up 3.4% in the first quarter.
  • Mark Morgan, the new head of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) agency annou...
    U.S. to get tougher on immigrant families; Trump moving forward with tariffs on Mexico; House Ways and Means Committee to hold hearing on “Medicare for All.”; Job creation reaches 9-year low in May; World Bank lowers 2019 global growth forecast to 2.6% from 2.9%.
  • Image: High speed rail train
    In their Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC, released in October of 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warns that time is running out to avoid a global climate disaster. Specifically, to avoid a net temperature increase of 2ºC, we have until the year 2030 to reach net zero global carbon emissions.[1] In 2017, President Trump announced that the US would pull out of the Paris Agreement, and since then, there has been no national policy in place to address climate change.
  • Lisa Servon
    In an article discussing the disparity of access and use to credit cards between white consumers and black adults, the authors cite Professor Lisa Servon’s argument against recent Congressional bills focused on regulating interest rates, which she reasons actually hurt the individuals it was designed to protect.
  • The Justice Department will oversee any possible investigations into Alphabet Inc.’s Google...
    US government agencies are preparing to investigate the largest technology companies for antitrust activity; President Trump announced a possible trade deal with the UK during his visit to Britain; Congress is facing a number of fiscal deadlines as they come back into session on Monday; Trump defeats House on border wall lawsuit; The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index fell by 0.7% since last month, from 52.8% to 52.1%; US construction spending was flat in April, signaling that the housing market is not expanding
  •  Companies such as Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Facebook Inc, Amazon.com Inc., and Apple Inc. ha...
    US government is struggling to regulate large US tech companies; China and Mexico, two largest sources of US imports, have shown that they are willing to negotiate with the US over trade issues; Congress is facing a number of fiscal deadlines as they come back into session on Monday; The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index fell by 0.7% since last month, from 52.8% to 52.1%; US construction spending was flat in April, signaling that the housing market is not expanding.
  •  In a pair of tweets on Thursday, President Trump announced the U.S. will impose a 5% tariff begi...
    Trump hits Mexico with a 5% tariff on all goods; Trump permits the year-round sale of ethanol; Interior Department to move forward with the sale of Alaska oil leases; China strikes back at U.S. Huawei ban with “unreliable entity list.”; U.S. consumer spending up 0.3% in April.
  • Investors are increasing their expectations that the Fed will cut rates amidst trade disputes. Th...
    Trade tensions challenge Fed position; Trump official helps passage of Ohio House energy bill; Pelosi taking her time on new NAFTA deal; U.S. GDP growth revised lower to 3.1% in Q1 2019; Labor market still strong as jobless claims rise slightly.
  • Kevin Myers, Natasha Menon, Jenna Liu, and Michael Krone (left to right)

    College students Michael Krone, Jenna Liu, Natasha Menon, and Kevin Myers won the 6th annual PPI public policy case competition. The focus this year was on automation—specifically, ameliorating the effects of job displacement caused by advancements in technology. Their project, “New Horizons,” is a proposal to help shift administrative workers in Pennsylvania into jobs that are low risk for automation and fit their skills and aptitudes, and to encourage them to gain further career development, using the PA CareerLink website.  The four of them were excited to get involved in a case competition but were nervous that they did not know much about the topic.  To start, they looked at research on automation and spoke to experts they had met through course work and internships.  As they went along, they were then able to gain feedback from people with different perspectives on the subject, which helped them continually refine their thinking. 

  • Preferred Pharmacy Networks: Health Care Savings on the Margins

    While policymakers have talked a lot recently about finding a comprehensive fix for escalating health care costs, such as Medicare-for-all, many economists have been exploring the possibility that the answer for excessive health care spending may rest instead in series of smaller adjustments. One such small fix is preferred pharmacy networks. This is a relatively new tool whereby health insurers aim to steer consumers to lower cost “preferred” pharmacies, where insurers are able to negotiate lower drug prices. The research concludes that preferred pharmacy contracting results in a roughly 1 percent decrease in Medicare Part D drug costs among plans utilizing this tool—a fact that should be encouraging to policymakers concerned about reigning in costs, especially in light of other research demonstrating that health care consumers do not shop around for lower priced care. If this practice of “steering” consumers toward lower cost drugs were applied to the entire pharmaceutical industry, the savings could be much greater.

  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Rachel M. Werner
    In an interview with Professor Rachel Werner, she magnanimously speaks to experience of being the first female and physician-economist to be appointed as Director of the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics. She hopes to leverage her dual academic background to greater facilitate interdisciplinary approaches to current health care issues. 
  •  According to a Congressional Research Service (CRS) report released Tuesday, the 2017 Tax Cuts a...
    U.S. Treasury declines to label China a currency manipulator; Trump’s tax law does little for wages; House Republican delays emergency aid package; Global bond yields falling.
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Ezekiel J. Emanuel
    Professor Ezekiel J. Emanuel discusses the burgeoning application and use of AI technology in health care but urges that a refocusing on the behavioral hazards of modern life is necessary for tangible improvements in net American health. 
  • These cancer-causing chemicals, known as PFAS, have so far been found in 43 states and in 98% of ...
    Trump’s infrastructure plan remains at an impasse; Trump administration is expected to oppose legislation targeting harmful chemicals entering water supply; Major index finds that average home prices in major metropolitan areas in the US have increased 3.7%; Consumer confidence has hit a 6-month high.
  • Richard Cordray
    Richard Cordray was the first Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which was formed in the wake of the 2008 recession as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. In his five years leading the CFPB, Cordray was tasked with making sure consumers were no longer harmed by the actions of banks, lenders, and other financial institutions. In 2017, Cordray returned to his home state of Ohio where he had previously served as State Treasurer and Attorney General, to run for governor. Mr. Cordray was the Wharton PPI 2019 Public Policy Visiting Fellow and joined Dan Loney in the Knowledge@Wharton studio for an in-person interview.
  • With the White House working on several initiatives to increase price transparency in the healthc...
    Executive order on healthcare price transparency; Progress stalled in drug pricing talks; Cabinet secretaries told to seek repayment from migrants’ sponsors for use of services; U.S. proposes penalties on countries it accuses of manipulating currencies; Durable goods orders slump in April.
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Laura W. Perna
    According to research by Penn GSE Professor Laura Perna, data shows that inequalities continue to persist in higher education that uniquely disadvantage students of the lowest income brackets. However, the Perna argues that this presents a unique oppertunity for federal and state lawmakers to design new policies that help support low-income, first generation, and differently abled students.
  • John C. Hower Professor, Professor of Operations, Information, and Decisions, Professor Kartik Ho...
    As robots continue to replace physical jobs, Wharton Professor Kartik Hosanager comments on how computers developed to understand languages may represent an early encroachment on more creative industries such as medicine and the law
  •    Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Barbara E. Kahn
    Wharton Professor Barbara Kahn provides a multifaceted breakdown of Amazon’s current financial success. She highlights elements such as its multi-sector ubiquity, apparent transparency, and discreet focus on data operations. 
  • The Trump Administration is expected to announce today a generous bailout package for farmers suf...
    Trump can’t work with Democrats “under these circumstances”; Disaster deal talks stall; Political crackdown on Agriculture Department economists; Trump Administration announcing farm sector bailout; U.S. jobless claims fall more than expected; U.S. new home sales drops from near 11-1/2-year high in April.
  • George W. Taylor Professor; Professor of Management; Director, Center for Human Resources
    Wharton Professor Peter Cappelli comments on PTO exchanges, or a new system where employees can trade in the monetary value of their vacation days in exchange for compensation to pay off student debts. Cappelli notes how strategies such as this one are creative solutions to deal with an ever tightening labor market. 
  • As a direct result of President Trump’s regulatory reform agenda, Environmental Protection ...
    Trump wants to focus on Trade Pact before infrastructure deal; Efforts to create a Do Not Track registry reinvigorated with new “Do Not Track” bill from Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO); The EPA plans to reform the cost-benefit calculations of air pollution on human life; No budget deal was reached between Congressional leaders and the Trump administration on Tuesday; The FOMC released minutes from its April/May meeting.
  • Associate Professor of Management, Professor Minyuan Zhao
    Wharton Professor Minyuan Zhao comments on the ensuing “trade war” and argues that the core issue is one of domestic politics. Zhao reasons that the underlying motivating mechanisms driving the conflict is one centered around Trump’s re-election interests amongst other things. 

WHARTON PPI
RESOURCE SPOTLIGHT:

  • <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>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>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>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>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>
  • <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>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>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>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>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>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>