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In The News

  • Professor Ivana Marinescu
    The term “intern” is one that has drawn a lot of discussion over the last several years. It is generally associated with someone in college who works during a specific period of time with a company as a way to gain experience. But, over time, companies have started offering “internships” to people just out of college. A few years ago, a court case decided that if someone was doing the work of a regular employee, they couldn’t be called an “intern,” and they had to be paid. Now, the Labor Department has relaxed those rules a bit and, therefore, has allowed the unpaid internship to return. To discuss this change, Knowledge@Wharton Business Radio’s Host Dan Loney interviewed Michael Schmidt, a labor and employment attorney with the firm of Cozen O’Connor, and Ioana Marinescu, an Assistant Professor of Economics, Faculty Affiliate of the Penn Wharton Public Policy Initiative and a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research.
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Jeremy Siegel
    “People who buy this morning a year from now are going to say, ‘OK, I think I’ve got a good price,’” said Faculty Affiliate Jeremy Siegel on CNBC as he discussed the recent tumble of market prices this week.
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Kevin Werbach
    Digital tokens have slid more than 50 percent in value from their peaks in early January, with steep drops on Monday pushing the value of Bitcoin specifically below $7,000.

    Amidst these dramatic market moves, other problems with Bitcoin’s security and lack of regulation have arisen.

    “Cryptocurrencies are almost a perfect vehicle for scams,” said Faculty Affiliate Kevin Werbach. “The combination of credulous buyers and low barriers for scammers were bound to lead to a high level of fraud, if and when the money involved got large. The fact that the money got huge almost overnight, before there were good regulatory or even self-regulatory models in place, made the problem acute.”
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Cary Coglianese

    President Donald Trump recently claimed that “Instead of two for one, we have cut 22 burdensome regulations for everyone new rule.”

    However, many of the actions he has taken are not actually deregulatory but routine and administrative, according to Faculty Affiliate Cary Coglianese.

    When Coglianese took a look at the federal regulatory agenda, released Dec. 14, 2017, he found 62 deregulatory actions. (Not all of Trump’s 67 deregulatory actions were included in the review.)

    Coglianese found the Office of Management and Budget deemed 8 percent of these economically significant (exceeding $100 million in costs); 27 percent significant enough to warrant review, but not due to economic impacts; and two-thirds non-significant, administrative, or routine.

  • Faculty Affiliate Professor Christina Roberto
    Faculty Affiliate Christina Roberto on why a recently proposed Philadelphia city council bill warning customers of high sodium menu items is critical for public health.
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Jeremy Siegel
    Faculty Affiliate Professor Jeremy Siegel analyzes the massive sell-off in the stock market that has captured global markets this week. He also discusses where the market can go after the Dow suffers a drop of more than 600 points.
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Robert P. Inman
    The income from Philadelphia’s new soda tax for this calendar year total falls more than $13 million shy of the Kenney Administration’s fiscal year projection of $92 million.

    However, Faculty Affiliate Robert Inman deems the $78.8 million in total revenue a sign of the tax’s success. Inman said that any new tax – let alone a sugary drinks tax that has little historical data to build an estimate off of – would be considered a success if it hit within “85 to 90 percent of projections.” In this case, that’s a range of $78.2 million to $82.8 million.
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Susan M. Wachter
    This time, what’s driving the market is a shift in favor of owning rather than renting coming from the largest homebuying generation since the baby boomers: millennials.

    “This is market, market and market … There’s no government incentive program in sight that is having this effect,” said Faculty Affiliate Susan Wachter, a professor of real estate and finance at the Wharton School. “This is back to basics.”
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Mauro Guillen
    Faculty Affiliate Mauro Guillen discusses U.S. tariffs on solar panels and the U.S.-China trade relationship:

    “It’s a little bit naïve to think that by imposing a 30% tariff on solar panels, we are going to be creating jobs,” he says.
  •   Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Scott E. Harrington
    According to the Wall Street Journal, Idaho will allow insurers to offer state-based plans whose premiums are determined by their clients’ medical histories, a practice known as underwriting that is prohibited under Obamacare. 

    “I don’t see how this is reconciled with the basic ACA requirements,” said Faculty Affiliate Scott E. Harrington, a healthcare management professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Walter Licht
    Faculty Affiliate Walter Licht explains how Kensington’s opioid crisis has resulted in the areas change over time, pointing to the 1920s when mass-market manufactured goods began flooding the U.S. market causing local firms and industry to disintegrate.
  • Faculty Affiliate Michael Knoll
    Faculty Affiliate Michael Knoll, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, discusses New York governor Andrew Cuomo’s plan to challenge the Republican tax plan, which he has labeled “ultimate fraud.”
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Kevin Werbach
    Faculty Affiliate Professor Kevin Werbach says that blockchain brings with it “a new architecture of trust,” a system where you do not deal with an intermediary person, institution or authority which could revolutionize the way businesses interact with their customers. 

    Still curious about blockchain? Professor Werbach further explains the technology and the Rise of Trustless Trust in his seminar, here
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Fernando Ferreira
    Amazon has narrowed down its hunt for a second home to 20 locations. And the chosen city is likely to get an economic jolt – particularly to its housing market. 

    Faculty Affiliate Fernando Ferreira warns that in locations where housing is already in limited supply, home values could rise even more with a surge of new residents to staff the new headquarters.

    If Boston becomes the new home of Amazon, it would be “chaos,” he said. “The housing market would be three times worse than it already is.”
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Howard Kunreuther
    What are the biggest risks that individuals, businesses and governments face in the year ahead, and beyond? According to the 2018 Global Risks Report, published by the World Economic Forum, the environment, cyber security and geopolitics are the areas drawing the most concern.

    “The big message that came out of this report is the tremendous importance of the environment” as an area to watch, said Faculty Affiliate Howard Kunreuther, co-director of the Risk Management and Decision Processes Center. “It’s not that that wasn’t [a concern] earlier, but it certainly didn’t have as high a profile.”
  • Faculty Affiliate Peter Cappelli. 
    As the world becomes increasingly unpredictable, the ways that organizations manage risk will become even more important. 

    In an increasingly volatile world, risk must be much more reactive and open-minded about the issues that could come along, says Faculty Affiliate Peter Cappelli, George W. Taylor professor of management at The Wharton School, and director of Wharton’s Center for Human Resources. “The tools for managing [risk] have gotten better but I don’t think knowledge of them has spread that far,” he says.
  • Faculty Affiliate Professor Peter Conti-Brown.
    Faculty Affiliate Peter Conti-Brown discusses waivers given to banks accused of errant trading practices.

    “Don’t give us the worst of both worlds, which is to criminalize this activity but then not enforce this in the way that we would expect for criminal activity,” he says on how to deal with the criminality of large banks.
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Olivia S. Mitchell
    A recent study coauthored by Faculty Affiliate Olivia S. Mitchell, executive director of the Pension Research Council at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, finds that growing debt obligations of older households leave them vulnerable to rising rates - and that an increasing share of their incomes will need to go to servicing debt.
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Mauro Guillen
    Not a single country in Latin America is really growing at a “robust” rate, notes Faculty Affiliate Mauro Guillen. Unemployment is very high in countries such as Brazil and Argentina, while inflation is high in Argentina and Venezuela, which has the highest rate in the world. Guillen identifies two broad categories of uncertainty that continue to hamper Latin America’s performance: politics and relationships outside the region, such as with the United States and China.
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Chris William Sanchirico

    Companies that stockpiled trillions of dollars offshore free of U.S. income tax may get one last break before paying up – provided their fiscal years don’t follow the calendar year.

    The tax bill’s international provisions “were put out in a rush,” and the IRS notice “is prime evidence of this and probably a bellwether for other problems to come,” said Faculty Affiliate Chris Sanchirico.
  • Faculty Affiliate Peter Cappelli.
    Let’s talk about the minimum wage, says Faculty Affiliate Peter Cappelli:
     
    “Only one-in-five workers earning minimum wage are teenagers now, and about the same percentage of people are married. About 60 percent of workers earning minimum wage or less are working part-time, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have to work. Many want but can’t find full-time work.”
  • Ajit Pai is the Chairman of the FCC.
    Senate bill to reverse net neutrality repeal gains 30th co-sponsor and ensures floor vote; U.S. trade gap rose 3.2% to $50.5 billion in November; Employment growth expected to remain solid, according to Employment Trends Index.
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Olivia S. Mitchell
    Americans are more likely than ever before to enter retirement carrying debt, which leaves them vulnerable to rising interest rates. A recent study coauthored by Faculty Affiliate Olivia S. Mitchell, executive director of the Pension Research Council at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, finds that growing debt obligations of older households leave them vulnerable to rising rates - and that an increasing share of their incomes will need to go to servicing debt.
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Jeremy Siegel
    It was an unexpectedly stellar year for U.S. stock markets in 2017 – up about 24% thanks to a stronger economy, falling unemployment and expected tax breaks for companies that finally materialized at the last hour. According to Faculty Affiliate Jeremy Siegel, since most of the good news has been baked into indexes now, markets will likely take a breather in 2018. 
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Ezekiel J. Emanuel
    At a recent meeting of educational technology policy advisors, a well-informed university CIO casually declared that MOOCs were history. It’s true they stopped making headlines a while ago, but they have hardly abated. Research from Faculty Affiliate Ezekiel Emanuel on who’s benefiting from MOOCs and why informs this discussion. 
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Mauro Guillen
    Faculty Affiliate Mauro Guillen said the most important issue for President Moon Jae-in of Korea to address in the new year is U.S. protectionism.

    “The threat of protectionism in the U.S. … would be very negative for an economy such as Korea,” he said in an interview. “It is hard to anticipate how that may play out in practice but the U.S. is becoming more protectionist. The U.S. is not a leader in free markets anymore.”
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Olivia S. Mitchell

    Private sector pension coverage started during World War II and reached its peak in the 1980s. But by 2013, just 13 percent of non-union private sector workers were covered by a defined benefit pension.

    Faculty Affiliate and executive director of the Pension Research Council at the Wharton School of The University Of Pennsylvania, said that these types of pensions have had funding issues since their inception.

  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Peter Cappelli
    Faculty Affiliate Peter Cappelli says that the world economy is in much better shape than in possibly two decades. That includes in the U.S., so it looks to be a continued good year for jobs. He also says the fastest growing fields are expected to be in largely unskilled jobs, especially home healthcare. 
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Adam Grant
    Faculty Affiliate Adam Grant, the professor at Wharton University said, “A.I. is going to help us learn from our own successful routines.” The technology is already available in speech-coaching apps like Ummo. Grant also believes that the companies will start adding new positions called “CLO (chief learning officer)”. He further added, “If you don’t think it’s strategic to have a function that comes right down from the C-suite — to think how do we retrain, and how do we reskill? — then you’re going to be missing out on a really high-qualified workforce to do jobs that don’t exist today.”
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Jeremy Siegel
    Stock prices boomed this year all over the world, including the United States. It was the best year for the market since 2013. But many market-watchers say prices have probably topped off for a while.

    But Wharton School finance professor Jeremy Siegel says, regardless of what the stock market has done, there’s not a lot of evidence yet that overall economic growth is increasing as much.

    “I mean, I see some encouraging signs the last two quarters, these last three quarters. But I’m not ready to say that a new trend has really been established.”

    Siegel also says that since the tax bill has been signed into law, the benefits of the cuts have already been priced into the market. Siegel says given the sharp partisan divide in Washington, Congress is unlikely to accomplish anything else of real economic significance. And that means 2018 is unlikely to be as good a year for stocks as 2017 has been.

PENN WHARTON PPI
RESOURCE SPOTLIGHT:

  • <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>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>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>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>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>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>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>