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In The News

  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Ezekiel J. Emanuel

    Senate Republicans recently released their much-anticipated healthcare bill. The law that that bill seeks to replace is the Affordable Care Act, which was devised by Faculty Affiliate Ezekiel Emanual.
    He comments on some recent, negative statistics surrounding healthcare in the U.S. right now, “The problem is a lot of this uncertainty makes insurance companies nervous. When insurance companies are nervous, they do two things: they exit markets and they raise premiums. That’s exactly what you’re seeing.”

  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Peter Cappelli
    Uber recently announced that they would add a tip function to their ridesharing app, in line with what their competitor, Lyft, has done. They continue to make changes without the leadership of Travis Kalanick.

    Faculty Affiliate Professor Peter Cappelli comments on the departed CEO’s affinity for President Trump, “the thing that is important to remember about Uber and Lyft is who their customers are. Almost all their customers and all their money come from urban areas, and those areas are Democratic.”
  • Uber's board may be eyeing an IPO.
    Faculty Affiliate Kevin Werbach comments for Politico on Uber’s future. The company recently let its CEO, Travis Kalanick, go, and is looking to right the ship.

    He makes a point about what would need to happen before an IPO: “the company would want to put its house in order first before going and doing an IPO, which would definitely include a willingness to resolve some of its disputes with localities.”
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Daniel Polsky
    Politifact looked into a recent tweet by the White House, which claimed that the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, “led to fewer health insurance options for millions of Americans.” The website found this statement to be false.

    Faculty Affiliate Daniel Polsky discussed the situation in rural America going forward, “Fewer plan options will be available when compared to the early years of the Affordable Care Act.”
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Franklin
    Knowledge@Wharton looks into China and its finance industry’s future in a piece that features Faculty Affiliate, Franklin Allen.

    “China needs to do a lot of work. For example, its capital markets do not work well.”
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Jennifer Blouin
    Faculty Affiliate Jennifer Blouin weighs in on how effective a repatriation scheme similar to the one in 2004 would be.

    “If there are good investment projects, companies that have cash overseas very easily borrow domestically to make those investments happen. The reality is, there’s not much profitable investment they want to do in the U.S.”
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Olivia S. Mitchell
    Faculty Affiliate Olivia Mitchell comments on the juxtaposition of General Electric’s $45 billion in stock buybacks in recent years to their growing pension liabilities.

    “It’s a clear tension. Buybacks clearly use assets available not to fund the pension promise but to make shareholders happy.”
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Michael Useem
    Faculty Affiliate Michael Useem comments for the Washington Post on the unprecedented departure of Uber CEO Travis Kalanick without a plan for his replacement.

    “They’re going to go nuts if they don’t have a final arbiter,” he said. “It’s like Management 101… . Nothing runs without one person at the top. Nature abhors a power vacuum.”
  • Howard Kunreuther
    Faculty Affiliate Professor Howard Kunreuther writes an op-ed for Knowledge@Wharton discussing the American Health Care Act and the National Flood Insurance Program in an effort to explain this.

    “Elected representatives on both sides of the aisle continually espouse the principle of fairness across a wide range of issues, including trade, tax reform, and jobs.”
  • Uber continues to face pressure from all fronts.
    As Uber faces increasing pressure and changes, especially in light of CEO Travis Kalanick’s leave of absence, Professor Kevin Werbach comments on how the company could rebound.

    ”One possible strategy to improve its image would be to pay drivers more and scale back its losses. That would mean higher prices for riders.”
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Olivia S. Mitchell
    Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed legislation that would restructure future public employee’s pension plans to be solvent. The plan does not fix the current shortfall, however, as it only affects future employees.

    Faculty Affiliate Olivia Mitchell commented, “The fact that they have to reform for all future hires means that, eventually, and very eventually, there will be some relief. However, the current defined benefit plan is underfunded and is not fixed by that reform.”
  • Professor Peter Conti-Brown comments on the future of the Federal Reserve's leadership.
    The future Janet Yellen’s position is unclear at the moment, with President Trump’s longtime advisor Gary Cohn being chosen to lead her replacement effort. Although Trump criticized Yellen during the campaign, he has praised her since becoming President. Professor Peter Conti-Brown believes this is short lived.

    “The minute that ‘Morning Joe’ has a report about a Fed action that could harm Donald Trump, set an egg timer and see how long before he tweets,” he said.
  • Howard Kunreuther
    Faculty Affiliate Howard Kunreuther, Ph.D., and his co-author Robert Meyer write in Psychology Today about their research on natural disasters and the psychology behind a lack of preparedness.

    They write, “people resettle in floodplains, stock market crashes come in cycles, and careless drivers suffer repeated crashes. Each time such an event occurs, one hears pledges to take steps to ensure that the adverse event never occurs again, but inevitably it does—something routinely attributed to short memories.”
  • The White House is considering changes to the U.S.'s relationship with the government of Cuba.
    Radio Sputnik interviewed Faculty Affiliate Professor Mauro Guillen on the issue. Numerous reports have stated that the President is reconsidering some of the Obama Administration actions to foster a relationship with Cuba.

    Professor Guillen acknowledged that things would be changing but stated, “in the long term, there’s no other solution for the two countries than to be on good terms.”
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Katherine L. Milkman
    Faculty Affiliate Professor Katherine Milkman’s new findings on ‘nudges’ were published in Psychological Science, offering a low-cost, high-reward strategy for intervention in government. Nudges encourage certain behaviors - like retirement saving, college enrollment, energy conservation and more - without limiting the options available to the individual.

    She states, “The changes in behavior produced by nudges tend to be quite cost effective relative to those produced by traditional policy tools – so there is a big opportunity to use nudging more widely in government in conjunction with traditional policy tools.”
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Kevin Werbach
    Professor Kevin Werbach, a faculty affiliate, discusses the potential of blockchain and smart contracts with Knowledge@Wharton and Professor Nicolas Cornell, from the Legal Studies department.

    He explains, “a smart contract, in theory at least, takes away the legal system entirely. Now there is nothing but that digital agreement. That is the entirety of the relationship, and everything from the negotiating of the agreement, all the way to the full enforcement and clearing of the agreement, happens digitally.”
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Peter Cappelli
    With the sale of the ride-sharing company, Juno, many industry analysts are wondering if socially conscious business models are on the decline.

    Faculty Affiliate Peter Cappelli has followed the trend, noting how “vociferously the investment community seems to object to being nice to employees. It’s a reminder that, in the corporate world, things are constantly yielding to the finance guys—whether they know what they’re doing or not.”
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Tom Baker
    Professor Tom Baker, a Faculty Affiliate, argues that financial advisory roles can be replaced by non-partial robots.
    He states, “I’d find it much harder to imagine what happened at Wells Fargo that you would program a computer to do what its people did because you’d have to consciously do that. They gave people bad incentives and had weak controls, which is different than programming computers to rip customers off.”
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Ann Harrison
    Faculty Affiliate Ann Harrison comments on the problems with focusing on manufacturing over service jobs for the United States. She is the author of The Factory-Free Economy.
    Discussing the potential for emerging economies’ workforces, she says there is “a lot of supply for the actual manufacturing, but not a lot of supply for creating the next Google or Apple.”
  • Putin is believed to have ordered the hacking of the U.S. Presidential election.
    The Penn Wharton Public Policy Initiative’s study, “The Business of Voting,” was heavily cited in a recent article highlighting that small elections technology companies were hacked in the weeks preceding the U.S. Presidential election in November.

    Professor Lorin Hitt, who led the research process said, “the industry that provides the hardware and software for the election process has been scarcely studied and often is opaque.”
  • Faculty Affiliate Eric Orts discusses how climate change has become more abstract.
    Professor Eric Orts, a Faculty Affiliate from the Legal Studies and Business Ethics Department, discusses climate change on “Radio Times.” He detailed the Paris climate agreement and the effect of leaving it.

    His counterpart, Michael Oppenheimer from Princeton University, explained, “It used to be in your face. I’m old enough to remember when the air was dirty where I lived in New York City. You could taste it. You could feel it.”
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Kevin Werbach
    Faculty Affiliate Kevin Werbach is interviewed on CNBC regarding PM Theresa May’s assertion that social media should be more heavily regulated following recent attacks in London and Manchester.

    He asserts that social media companies need to take more responsibility, “they’re not just reflecting the world, they’re actually shaping it and they need to understand that they have fundamental responsibilities.”
  • Ajit Pai is the Chairman of the FCC.
    As the FCC looks to change network neutrality rules in favor of lighter regulation, the D.C. Circuit Court is likely to play a major role.

    Faculty Affiliate Kevin Werbach comments on speculation about how the FCC might rule, “policymakers don’t have the luxury to make decisions based on how they believe the court should have ruled.”
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Mauro Guillen
    Knowledge@Wharton interviewed Faculty Affiliate Mauro Guillen and Stephen Szabo, executive director of the Transatlantic Academy, about Germany’s relationship with the United States. The conversation touched on issues surrounding NATO, trade, and the eurozone.

    Professor Mauro Guillen discussed the changing relationship between Europe and the U.S.: “this is indicative of the times that we are living through in the sense that the outcome of certain elections… have called into question longstanding relationships in the world…. My concern is that we are not having an in-depth debate about the pros and cons of continuing with the current system.”
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Peter Cappelli
    While it is often assumed that older workers are less entrepreneurial and less active in knowledge-based jobs, that is not what recent studies have shown. Faculty Affiliate Professor Peter Cappelli comments on the disparity between the effectiveness of older and younger workers. 

    “Older employees soundly thrash their younger colleagues. Every aspect of job performance gets better as we age. I thought the picture might be more mixed, but it isn’t. The juxtaposition between the superior performance of older workers and the discrimination against them in the workplace just really makes no sense.”
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Cary Coglianese
    Professor Cary Coglianese comments on President Trump’s recent plan to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. The agreement was signed by the Obama Administration with the intention of slowing the effects of climate change.

    “Withdrawing from the Paris agreement is hardly going to create jobs in the U.S. While specific environmental regulations can sometimes lead to job losses, they also can and do lead to job gains — with the result being roughly a wash.”
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Susan M. Wachter
    Faculty Affiliate Susan Wachter weighs in on how the elimination of the mortgage-interest deduction could affect housing prices. While removing the deduction would likely cause a drop in prices, overall tax cuts would stimulate demand. 

    “Income after taxes is the most important factor for housing demand,” she says.
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Ethan Mollick
    Bloomberg finds that the answer is no. Using the research of Faculty Affiliate Ethan Mollick and firsthand accounts, the publication details how VC firms may be overlooking female founders.

    Professor Mollick’s research found that “two-thirds of women thought a [crowdfunding] project was better when told it was created by a man than the project created by a woman, even when it was exactly the same project.”
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Kevin Werbach
    Representative Marsha Blackburn has proposed a new bill that would reinstate under more strict terms the consumer protections that were stripped by a previous bill this year. Those following FCC rules and internet privacy rights were surprised by the move. 

    Professor Kevin Werbach comments, “it’s either an insignificant political stunt or a turning point in internet regulation.”
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Chris William Sanchirico
    Faculty Affiliate Professor Chris William Sanchirico reviews the literature on policy tools for redistributing wealth. 

    The Law Professor Blogs Network states that his work “provides important background and insights into the evolving, and crucial, debate over the design of a fair and efficient tax system.”

PENN WHARTON PPI
RESOURCE SPOTLIGHT:

  • <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 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 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>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>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>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>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>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>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>