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News Archive

  • How Should AVs Redistribute the Risks of the Road?
    The introduction of autonomous vehicles onto American roadways presents not only great technological challenges, but ethical ones too. This brief considers the principles that should govern how companies that produce autonomous vehicles should program them to behave in hybrid conditions, when autonomous vehicles and vehicles controlled by human drivers share the road and potentially come into conflict. Research shows that consumers would prefer to purchase autonomous vehicles that are programmed to prioritize the safety of their occupants. But doing so means that in hybrid conditions, occupants of human-driven vehicles would systematically suffer more harms. This disparity should be of great concern, as it is likely that there will be a correlation between autonomous vehicle usage and wealth, since the large R&D costs that go into the making of autonomous vehicles will probably make them a luxury item, at least early on. The Issue Brief therefore proposes a Fair Risk Distribution principle to govern the programming of autonomous vehicles, and lays out the moral obligations of all manufacturers to not be the first to offer vehicles programmed to systematically prioritize the interests of their occupants.
  • Earlier this month, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law amendments to the California Con...
    Professor Joseph Turow lauds and explains the recent California privacy bill that he describes as a “big win for data privacy.” He goes on to say that even though “it could be even stronger, the California law is stronger than anything that exists at the federal level.” 
  • Wharton's Exequiel (Zeke) Hernandez discusses his research on how immigrants facilitate cross-bor...
    The proximity rule of investment states that VC firms rarely invest in start-up more than 40 to 60 miles from their headquarters, yet the recent upshot in Foreign VC Investments upsets this paradigm. Professor Exequiel Hernandez’s research suggests this is due to the presence of immigrant entrepreneurs that facilitate the process.
  • Trump flips on drug price plan, blames Democrats. Donald Trump is breaking one of his main campai...
    Spending deal prospects lie in the hands of Pelosi and Mnuchin; Trump flips on drug price plan, blames Democrats; Finance firms raise concerns over Fannie and Freddie privatization; ‘Phase two’ trade deal unlikely, say U.S., Chinese officials; Powell reveals support for low-income Americans in setting monetary policy; U.S. businesses cut investment amid market uncertainty.
  • Chinese negotiators signal trade talks continuing smoothly. China appears eager for a phase one t...
    Chinese negotiators signal trade talks continuing smoothly; Trump and Pelosi blame each other for Canada-Mexico trade deal delays; New U.N. report says only way to avoid worst effects of climate change is drastic measures; U.S. trade deficit fell in October; New home sales fell; U.S. consumer confidence still high despite declines.
  • Hospitals Push Back on Price-Disclosure Rule. Hospitals and health insurance companies plan to pu...
    Hospitals Push Back on Price-Disclosure Rule; House Passes Stopgap as Spending Talks Stall; Another Potential Impasse in U.S.-China Trade Talks; Trump Program for Low-Income Communities Draws Scrutiny; U.S. Approves First Licenses for Renewed Tech Sales to Huawei; FOMC Minutes.
  • China looks to continue trade talks soon. Liu He, the principal negotiator representing China in ...
    China looks to continue trade talks soon; Trump delays shutdown deadline; Trump weighs trade investigation in lieu of auto tariffs; Republicans now support a version of paid leave; U.S. consumer sentiment jumps after anticipated dip; Global growth is slowing
  • Efforts continue for drug price disclosure policy. The bipartisan effort including from President...
    Efforts continue for drug price disclosure policy; ‘Surprise’ medical bill protection legislation could pass this year; USMCA update: Lighthizer and Pelosi to meet on Thursday; Trump says he’s looking at exempting Apple from China tariffs; U.S. weekly jobless claims unchanged at five-month high; U.S. existing-home sales climb for third time in four months.
  • Justice Department looks to widen tech probe. Deputy Attorney General, Jeffery A. Rosen, announce...
    Justice Department looks to widen tech probe; FCC Chairman supports public auction of 5G airwaves; New asylum rules to let U.S. send seekers elsewhere; U.S. has the world’s highest rate of child detention; California to stop buying cars from companies that sided with Trump emission policy; Housing starts at highest level in 12 years.
  • Trump, fearing flavored vape ban could cost him votes, reverses ban. President Trump insisted bac...
    Trump, fearing flavored vape ban could cost him votes, reverses ban; USDA plans new round of trade-aid payouts to farmers; Huawei set for another 90-day US ban reprieve; Anti-robocall bill likely as House, Senate reach compromise; WTO forecasts weak trade flows through end of year; Central banks should monitor job-market churn as a stronger predictor of labor conditions.
  • U.S.-China deal close, but Trump not quite ready to sign. Lawrence Kudlow, White House economic a...
    Democrats say USMCA deal around the corner; U.S.-China deal close, but Trump not quite ready to sign; Bipartisan commission advises host of legislation to counter China; Democrats burned too many times by President on immigration reform; U.S. retail sales rebound; Import prices fell in October.
  • California writes its own rules on lightbulb efficiency standards. The California Energy Commissi...
    Farm purchases delay U.S.-China trade deal; Rep floats Big Tech merger moratorium during investigations; California writes its own rules on lightbulb efficiency standards; Asylum-seeker U.S. work permits targeted by Trump Administration; U.S. weekly jobless claims jump to five-month high; Producer prices rebound in October. 
  • The Cost to Become a U.S. Citizen Is Going Up 61 Percent. The Department of Homeland Security has...
    Tariffs on China Imports Emerge as Hurdle to Trade Deal; Powell to Tell Congress that Recent Spate of Interest Cuts Is Done; The Cost to Become a U.S. Citizen Is Going Up 61 Percent; New Changes to Signature Drug Pricing Proposal; CPI report published; Import prices fell in October.
  • EPA set to significantly limit influence of science in public health policy. Under new rules, the...
    EPA set to significantly limit influence of science in public health policy; Trump to delay EU auto tariff decision; Microsoft announces nationwide compliance with California privacy law; Lawmakers search for way to pass funding bill; Another mixed signal for economic outlook.
  • Supreme Court weighs future of DACA recipients. On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court will begin hea...
    Supreme Court weighs future of DACA recipients; 2017 tax cuts fail to spur business investment; Businesses push back on U.S. asylum work permit slowdown; DOJ warns Big Tech companies on data collection; Marijuana advocates see vaping crisis as opportunity for improving federal rules; The 1% gets even richer.
  • Image: Hand tools. Source: Wikimedia Commons.
    Convenience has become a top priority of many consumers in the 21st century. The onset of new systems that allow people to obtain their necessities (and desires) quicker and easier than ever has individuals increasingly calculating their time as an opportunity cost. This phenomenon extends to the field of consumer products, and has given rise to the “right to repair” movement. This movement refers to ongoing debates in the tech policy/regulation community around whether a consumer should possess the inherent and official right to repair the products they purchase without fear of voiding the product’s warranty. There are opposing sides and perspectives on this matter, both of which will be explored throughout this piece.
  • Schumer blocks bipartisan drug price bill. Senators Cornyn (R-TX) and Blumenthal (D-CT) prepared ...
    Trade advisor denies Trump agreed to roll back Chinese tariffs; Schumer blocks bipartisan drug price bill; NY Fed official puts price tag on climate change; Administration eases regulations against mining protected sand; Foreign meat company received U.S. bailout, conquering American markets; Economists disagree over cause of hiring slowdown.
  • China says U.S. agrees to tariff rollback if deal reached. China’s Ministry of Commerce, wh...
    China says U.S. agrees to tariff rollback if deal reached; U.S. collects a record $7 billion in tariffs in September; FTC called on to review AI video interview software; Conservatives and libertarians face growing anti-tech antitrust movement; Government spending talks scheduled to continue next week; U.S. weekly jobless claims fall more than expected.
  • Trump formally withdraws from Paris Agreement. On Monday, President Trump formally notified the U...
    Trump formally withdraws from Paris Agreement; U.S. and Chinese officials actively working to remove tariffs; Trump crafts another policy to deter asylum seekers; States and environmental groups sue over softening of lightbulb standards; Job openings lowest in 18 months; U.S. trade deficit at five month low.
  • Judge blocks Trump rule requiring new immigrants have health insurance. A federal judge on Saturd...
    Judge blocks Trump rule requiring new immigrants have health insurance; Specific occupations and industries see wage hikes; EPA to ease restrictions on how coal plants store toxic waste; Trump refuses to rule out possibility of government shutdown; U.S. factory orders fall in September.
  • Image: Voting key, symbolizing the growing connection between elections and technology. Source: N...
    The voting machine company ES&S controls around 50% of the market and they have a reputation of keeping competitors at bay through litigation. When their machines falter, as in the Georgia race for lieutenant governor, it is the voters who lose. The lack of competition in the market leaves local polling officials little choice and when competitors do try to enter the market, ES&S takes them to court over alleged patent violations and other legal tactics.  ProPublica cites “The Business of Voting ,” PPI’s industry analysis report on the election technology industry in their explanation of the added prohibitive cost of voting machine certification.
  • EPA set to ease pollution protection rules on coal power plants. The EPA is expected to roll back...
    Trump administration thaws freeze on fuel-efficiency standards; Treasury easing rules meant to stop corporate inversions; Senate passes first of twelve funding bills; EPA set to ease pollution protection rules on coal power plants; Nonfarm payrolls beat estimates; Manufacturing still cooling, but by less.
  • Professor Ioana Marinescu
    On Tuesday, October 29th, Professor Ioana Marinescu testified before the House Judiciary Committee. Professor Ioana Marinescu is an expert on issues of antitrust in the labor market, her research is summarized in the Wharton PPI issue brief, “The Other Side of a Merger: Labor Market Power, Wage Suppression, and Finding Recourse in Antitrust Law .” In her testimony, she highlighted four points. Employers can suppress wages due to limited competition in the labor market; the majority (60%) of US labor markets are highly concentrated; higher labor market concentration tends to lower wages; and antitrust enforcement in labor markets should be strengthened. Watch Professor Marinescu’s testimony beginning at 1:23:00 in the linked video.
  • Obamacare fate in question as enrollments and offerings rise. A federal appeals court decision on...
    Obamacare fate in question as enrollments and offerings rise; Congress hopeful for USMCA deal amid impeachment inquiry; Environmental groups sue Trump administration over drilling plan; Groups sue to block White House policy requiring migrant health insurance; U.S. weekly jobless claims rise more than expected; US consumer spending rises moderately in September.
  • Arrests at Southern Border hit highest rate in over a decade. U.S. Customs and Border Protection ...
    Number of uninsured children rises for second straight year; Banks using Washington connections to undermine tech industry; Arrests at Southern Border hit highest rate in over a decade; Home prices rise but lag in cities; Consumer confidence dips and misses expectations.
  • The US Federal Reserve
    Administration extends stay for El Salvadorians; Democrats try to prevent drilling near Grand Canyon; Uncertainty around Fed rate decision; Senate kills Paul’s attempt at spending cut; Home prices rise but lag in cities; Consumer confidence dips and misses expectations.
  • Industry watchers uninspired by Facebook’s news tab. On Friday, Facebook rolled out its hig...
    Infighting impedes drug-price legislation; NYT uncovers homebuilders sway over energy efficient building codes; White House considering blacklist to fight Chinese IP theft; Industry watchers uninspired by Facebook’s news tab; International trade in goods deficit narrows to $70.4 billion.
  • The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’s Incorporation “Incentive”
    Many observers have asserted that the reduced corporate tax rate instituted by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) has transformed entity choice for business owners, incentivizing owners of businesses structured as sole proprietorships or passthrough entities to incorporate their businesses and to use these new corporations as pocketbook investment vehicles to invest in and hold portfolio investments, substantially reducing wealthy individuals’ tax obligations and Treasury’s tax collections. This brief offers a different view, and discusses why predictions of widespread conversions to the corporate form at a substantial cost to the fiscal position of the U.S. are overstated. The brief explores the various purported tax advantages to incorporating, both when business owners are looking to invest substantial profits in portfolio assets, as well as when retained earnings are reinvested in the business and produce ordinary income.
  • Image: A U.S. Marine with a Marine special operations team walks through a field near a security ...
    The longest war in United States history has dragged on for more than 17 years with no end in sight. As the Taliban only increases in strength in Afghanistan using funds from drug trafficking, U.S. counterterrorism and counternarcotics efforts in the region still undermine one another and remain unsuccessful. Even with a peak of 100,000 troops deployed in Afghanistan and upwards of 2 trillion dollars spent including some future cost obligations since 2001, one of the world’s greatest superpowers has been continually defeated by a small flower - the opium poppy.[1]
  • Vincent Reina
    Citing research published with the Wharton Public Policy Initiative, Professor Vincent Reina discusses ways to improve housing affordability. Professor Reina first highlights the conditions that led to the crisis and moves onto broader normative prescriptions. 

WHARTON PPI
RESOURCE SPOTLIGHT:

  • <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>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>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>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>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>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>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>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>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>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>