Growthpolicy Exclusives: Interviews with Harvard Faculty on Jobs, Inequality & Preventing the Next Financial Crisis. Link

Growthpolicy Exclusives: Interviews with Harvard Faculty on Jobs, Inequality & Preventing the Next Financial Crisis: * Richard Parker (April 2016) * Jeffrey Frankel (December 2015) * Ricardo Hausmann (December 2015) * Henry Lee (November 2015) * Benjamin Friedman (October 2015) * Richard Zeckhauser (September 2015)

Productivity and Pay: is the link broken? Lawrence Summers, November 2017, Paper, “After growing in tandem for nearly 30 years after the second world war, since 1973 an increasing gap has opened between the compensation of the average American worker and her/his average labor productivity. Brynjolffson and McAfee (2014) use the phrase “the great decoupling” to describe this phenomenon; Bivens and Mishel (2015) refer to it as a “historic divergence”. In recent years discussion has centered on understanding why this phenomenon has occurred and how policy should respond.Link

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‘It’s crazy for a president to wrap himself in the stock market. Lawrence Summers, November 8, 2017, Audio, “Larry Summers thinks it’s “crazy” that President Donald Trump spends so much time bragging about how great he’s been for the stock market.  The former Treasury secretary and current Harvard professor argues that Trump, who tweets regularly about new stock market records, is setting himself up for a crushing blow if markets tumble.Link

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On The Pros And Cons Of GOP Tax Plan. Lawrence Summers, November 6, 2017, Audio, “Larry Summers, former U.S. treasury secretary and president emeritus of Harvard University, has spoken out against many aspects of the Republican tax overhaul plan. But there are some ideas he supports, like attacking tax shelters.Link

 

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Three (almost) inexplicable parts of the Republican tax plan. Lawrence Summers, November 5, 2017, Opinion, “With the release of the Republican tax proposal, the most important tax debate in a generation is in full swing. Most reasonable experts agree that tax reform has the potential to spur investment and raise wages while also simplifying the system and increasing its fairness and legitimacy. The right question for debate is not the desirability of tax reform or even of business tax reform directed at spurring investment. It is the likely economic effect of particular proposals.Link

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Corporate Tax Reform Is the Key to Growth. Martin Feldstein, November 5, 2017, Opinion, “The debate over tax reform is focusing on all the wrong things: the personal rates and the deduction for state and local taxes. What will truly matter for the economy is corporate tax reform, which will lead to a major increase in capital spending by companies.Link

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US Fed chair’s biggest problem will be staying out of Trump’s shadow. Kenneth Rogoff, November 3, 2017, Opinion, “With the appointment of Jerome Powell as the next chair of the United States Federal Reserve, Donald Trump has made perhaps the most important single decision of his presidency. It is a sane and sober choice that heralds short-term continuity in Fed interest rate policy, and perhaps a simpler and cleaner approach to regulatory policy.Link

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Thailand in a Larger Universe: The Lingering Consequences of Crypto-Colonialism. Michael Herzfeld, November 2, 2017, Paper, “The present parochialism of Thai studies, although partial, suggests parallels with the situation of Modern Greek studies in the early 1970s. The cultural and political conditions attendant on both in the respective time periods—especially the prudery, emphasis on bourgeois notions of respectability, and restrictions on the scope and content of scholarship—suggest that a comparative framework, already emergent, would benefit both Thailand and Thai studies today. Thailand and Greece both represent conditions of “crypto-colonialism,” in which the combination of adulation and resentment of powerful Western nations produces a distinctive set of attitudes.Link

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The Board’s New Innovation Imperative. Linda A. Hill, October/November 2017, Opinion, “As firms scramble for competitive advantage, boards—once the cautious voices urging management to mitigate risk—are now calling for breakthrough innovation. Indeed, avoiding risk is now seen as the riskiest proposition of all. In speaking with CEOs and board members from a range of industries, the authors identified four common obstacles most boards face in governing innovation: an outdated risk agenda, insufficient time, lack of expertise, and a relationship with management that needs retuning. Embracing innovation and its inherent risks requires that boards and senior management develop new ways of working together. To bolster out-of-the-box thinking at their companies, boards should promote diversity among members. They should foster “creative abrasion” to keep ideas flowing and rethink traditional methods of governing. And they must learn to embrace and encourage risk.Link

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