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In The News

  • Faculty Affiliate Professor Michael Knoll.
    The Trump administration announced the outline of their tax reform plan last week. While many details have not been released, their blueprint includes reducing the corporate rate from 35% to 20%, eliminating the Estate Tax and the Alternative Minimum Tax, reducing the number tax brackets, and increasing the standard deduction. Faculty Affiliate Michael Knoll comments on the plan for WHYY Radio, adding that a reduction in corporate tax rate is widely agreed upon among economists, but the lost revenue will have to be made up elsewhere.
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Peter Cappelli

    Contract workers are in wide use today, and it’s easy to see why: The short-term financial gains are simply too alluring to pass up, says Faculty Affiliate Peter Cappelli.

    “Investors hate ‘employment’ because it seems like a fixed cost, even though most companies have no reluctance to get rid of employees, and many keep contractors around as long as their average employee,” says Cappelli, director of Wharton’s Center for Human Resources. “Even though it is typically more expensive per hour to hire contractors, it shows up on different budgets. But it also reflects a general short-term view of strategy: Rather than getting really good at something, which requires investing in competencies, we are going instead to just find new opportunities quickly.”

  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Olivia S. Mitchell
    Older women in the U.S. are eager to work. And employers, facing a tight labor market and a dwindling supply of workers as older baby boomers retire, need these women. Yet women over 50 find the doors of American corporations are often closed to them, according to academic studies, employment experts and interviews with women struggling to get hiring managers to take them seriously. 

    For employers, the scarcity of workers shows no signs of abating. That will force them to look for talent in populations they might otherwise have ignored, says Faculty Affiliate Olivia Mitchell, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. If they don’t explore those neglected pools, “they won’t find the trained, educated, mature workforce they need,” she says.
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Peter Cappelli
    “With their heavy emphasis on financial rewards and punishments and their end-of-year structure, [performance reviews] hold people accountable for past behavior at the expense of improving current performance and grooming talent for the future,” Faculty Affiliate Peter Cappelli wrote in the Harvard Business Review. “In contrast, regular conversations about performance and development change the focus to building the workforce your organization needs to be competitive both today and years from now.” 
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Susan M. Wachter
    What happens when big investment money moves into mass home ownership? Faculty Affiliate Susan Wachter comments on how private equity funds are changing the real estate market and rentals.
  • Faculty Affiliate Guy David.

    A couple of decades ago, hospitals and clinics did not advertise much to customers. Now, they are spending more and more each year on marketing, according to university professors who study advertising, and are keeping track. The optimism at the heart of these ad campaigns by care providers, feature slogans like “Thrive” and “Smile Out.” Is this spreading a message of false positivity?

    Thirty years ago, health care providers marketed to physicians more than consumers. The ads were drier, more factual, says Faculty Affiliate Guy David, an economist and professor of health care management at the University of Pennsylvania.

    “When the ads are more consumer-facing as opposed to professional-facing, the content tends to be more passionate,” David says.

  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Daniel Polsky
    The problem isn’t unique to marketplace plans, said Faculty Affiliate Daniel Polsky. “I would argue that the challenge isn’t necessarily a lack of primary care physicians, it’s a need to reorganize care to meet the needs of the population,” he added. “Team-based care is an opportunity to meet those needs.”
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Joao F. Gomes
    The changes to the political landscape in Germany – Europe’s largest economy — has implications both for the country and also for the European Union as a whole. It also brings up serious questions as to whether Merkel will be able to end her political career on a productive note – and about who will succeed her as de facto leader of the EU.

    “You can interpret the French election [of President Emmanuel Macron in May] in different ways, but neither one of these leaders comes up with a very strong mandate,” says Faculty Affiliate Joao Gomes.
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Olivia S. Mitchell
    Philadelphia’s city pension plan needs reform: even before the new contracts, actuaries predicted two years ago that if the city obtained its assumed rate of return — 7.85 percent at the time — it would not reach its pension funding goal until 2031.

    “The consensus estimate is that stock and bond markets are unlikely to earn the assumed 7.7 percent return, so the funding will be much below what is projected,” said Olivia S. Mitchell, executive director of the Pension Research Council at the University of Pennsylvania.
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Patricia M. Danzon

    Faculty Affiliate Dr. Patricia Danzon said, most new cancer drugs today are developed this way: by small companies and for small groups of patients. The companies often license or sell successful drugs to the larger companies.

    A new study, she said, “is shining a light on a sector of the industry that is becoming important now.” The evidence, she added, is “irrefutable” that the cost of research and development “is small relative to the revenues.”

  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Susan M. Wachter
    Fixed-rate loans, thanks to their predictable, affordable payments, have stabilized home borrowing and protected families from being priced out of their neighborhoods, says Faculty Affiliate Susan Wachter. “It is a form of insurance, in fact, for the home, for your family, your job,” she says.
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Peter Cappelli
    New numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau show that the American poverty rate went down by 0.8 percent - but why aren’t American’s feeling the relief?

    Faculty Affiliate Peter Cappelli comments for MarketPlace: 
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Peter Cappelli
    The sequence of events is so familiar now as to be predictable. A CEO or high-profile employee commits a blunder or transgression, a social-media campaign fans the flames of outrage, and employer and employee appear to be left with no other choice but to part ways.

    Are there alternatives, or have we firmly settled into a culture that prefers firings and forced resignations?

    “Punishments are bigger for leaders because the audience for them is bigger: The message value of the punishment is more important,” says Faculty Affiliate professor Peter Cappelli. “Transgressions that have to do with ethics and values are more serious and require bigger punishments because the internal audience is bigger — corporate culture is influenced by it.”
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Kevin Werbach
    In light of JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon’s recent description of the digital currency Bitcoin as a fraud, Faculty Affiliate Kevin Werbach responds to the criticisms of the currency from incumbents. 

    “Jamie Dimon surely appreciates that in financial markets, risk is also opportunity. And as his company seems to recognize, for incumbents facing potentially revolutionary innovation, the riskiest approach is doing nothing.”
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Daniel Polsky
    Trump’s Department of Health and Human Services says it’s cutting the advertising budget for open enrollment from $100 million down to $10 million - a reduction in spending of 90%. 

    “Cutting ACA Advertising by 90% is evidence-based policy … if policy goal is sabotage,” Faculty Affiliate Daniel Polsky, executive director of the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics at the University of Pennsylvania, said on Twitter.
  • Faculty Affiliate Peter Conti-Brown.
    Stanley Fischer, vice chair of the Federal Reserve, announced he will resign in mid-October, while a question remains over whether Janet Yellen will be reappointed as chair when her term ends in January. Fisher’s departure leaves the seven-member board with as few as three sitting members, creating a vacuum of power and an unprecedented opportunity for President Donald Trump to reshape America’s central bank. Faculty Affiliates Krista Schwarz and Peter Conti-Brown discuss what lies ahead for the Fed under the Trump Administration.
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Kevin Werbach

    “There’s a lot of excitement about it,” said Kevin Werbach, a Wharton School professor who studies bitcoin and its underlying technology, called blockchain. “It’s a commodity, and demand is exceeding supply.

    “The magnitude of the rise this year has been a speculative bubble which will in time deflate,” Werbach said, “but how fast and how far we don’t know.”

  • Faculty Affiliate Peter Conti-Brown
    These dark and accumulating clouds hanging over Wells Fargo lead us to ask the existential question: Can the bank survive? Faculty Affiliate Peter Conti-Brown writes on the future of the bank after fraud.
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Howard Kunreuther
    As floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey recede in Houston, one thing that’s been revealed is that some of the damage — financial, physical, emotional — could have been avoided.

    “It gives people a feeling of complacency if they are not required to buy insurance,” said Howard Kunreuther, the co-director of the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center at the University of Pennsylvania. He would like to see FEMA provide people the “gradation of their risk.”
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Ann Harrison
    Presentations from Fed chair Janet Yellen, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi and a host of researchers amounted to a broad rebuttal of many of the ideas that carried Trump to office at a Fed Conference in August.

    “Renegotiating NAFTA and protectionist measures against China will not save jobs,” Faculty Affiliate Ann Harrison said, arguing that the decline in manufacturing jobs was due to labor-saving management and technologies.
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor David Musto
    Faculty Affiliate David Musto discusses the late Stephen A. Ross, this year’s winner of the Wharton-Jacobs Levy Prize for Quantitative Financial Innovation. Many in the field consider him to be one of the most important thinkers in modern finance. One of his best-known ideas, for which he is receiving this award, is arbitrage pricing theory, or APT. It has been a staple of finance since he developed it in 1976 while at Wharton.
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Howard Kunreuther
    Coastlines will continue to become ever denser population and economic centers, which guarantees that storm-related disasters will get even costlier. What should be done about it?

    Faculty Affiliate Howard Kunreuther suggests changing the way that risk is communicated to homeowners could potentially mitigate the disastrous effects of floods.
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Peter Cappelli

    U.S. workers have changing views of what makes a job good, and a decade of bruising job cuts, minimal raises and lean staffing has led them to lower their expectations, economists and labor-market experts say.

    American workers remain scarred by the Great Recession, which reset expectations for a whole generation, says Faculty Affiliate Peter Cappelli.

    “In the dot-com period, we had M.B.A. students who literally were expecting to be millionaires within two or three years,” Cappelli says, referring to the late-1990s tech bubble. “After 2009, we had people who were just glad to get any kind of job.”

  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Kevin Werbach
    Faculty Affiliate Kevin Werbach tempers excitement around the new technology’s ability to cut down on corruption in Nigeria’s environmental cleanup initiatives.

    “It’s still very early. It’s still not as solid and reliable as where they need to be, but it is clearly where we’re going to see more activity.”
  • Professor Peter Conti-Brown
    Professor Peter Conti-Brown discusses the recent appointment of Elizabeth Duke as the Chairman of the scandal-ridden bank’s board. She was formerly a Federal Reserve governor.

    “She is a superb choice for a troubled institution in need of steady, principled, and pragmatic leadership.” 
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Olivia S. Mitchell

    Faculty Affiliate Olivia Mitchell talks on CNBC about how a husband’s mortality is a driving force behind gains in women’s financial literacy late in life.

    “So what we can see as time marched forward, is that the women tended to start out as less financially literate — but as the day approached where their husband passed away, the women gained financial skills.”

  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Gilles Duranton
    Faculty Affiliate Professor Gilles Duranton discusses the prospective future of cities’ population.

    He predicts that the forces of dispersion will mean that “cities won’t get to 80 to 100 million people.”
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Patricia M. Danzon
    Faculty Affiliate Patricia Danzon discusses the cost of health care and specifically how treatments’ effectiveness or value don’t necessarily mean they’re affordable for most consumers.

    “Now, you can have a new product that meets that cost effectiveness threshold, but the total cost of paying for all of the patients who might be eligible, breaks the budget.”
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Kevin Werbach
    Faculty Affiliate Kevin Werbach comments for Philly.com on Bitcoin’s rapid rise this summer and its prevalence in Philadelphia.

    “The magnitude of the rise this year has been a speculative bubble which will in time deflate but how fast and how far we don’t know.”
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Joseph Gyourko
    Professor Joseph Gyourko’s research from 2003 on land zoning and land use was used in the L.A. Times to explain the housing crisis in San Diego.

    “[Gyourko] reasoned that in a competitive market with low barriers to new supply, the price of a new house should be very close to the marginal, physical cost of construction, with older houses costing less than an industry index of construction costs (materials and labor).”


  • <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>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>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>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>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>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>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>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>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>