Virtual, Visible, and Actionable: Data assemblages and the sightlines of justice. Sheila Jasanoff, August 16, 2017, Paper, “This paper explores the politics of representing events in the world in the form of data points, data sets, or data associations. Data collection involves an act of seeing and recording something that was previously hidden and possibly unnamed. The incidences included in a data set are not random or unrelated but stand for coherent, classifiable phenomena in the world. Moreover, for data to have an impact on law and policy, such information must be seen as actionable, that is, the aggregated data must show people both something they can perceive and something that demands interrogation, explanation, or resolution. Actionable data problematize the taken-for-granted order of society by pointing to questions or imbalances that can be corrected or rectified, or simply better understood, through systematic compilations of occurrences, frequencies, distributions, or correlations.Link

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Inequality in Knowledge Repository Use in Scaling Service Operations. Amy Edmondson, August 15, 2017, Paper, “To scale service operations requires sharing knowledge across the organization. However, prior work highlights that individuals on the periphery of organizational knowledge sharing networks may struggle to access useful knowledge at work. A knowledge repository (KR) has the potential to help peripheral individuals gain access to valuable knowledge because it is universally available and can be used without social interaction. However, for it to serve this equalizing function, those on the periphery of the organizational knowledge sharing networks must actually use it, possibly overcoming barriers to doing so. In this paper, we develop a multi-level model of knowledge use in teams to explore how individuals on the periphery of knowledge networks – due to inexperience, location, lack of social capital, gender, and role – access knowledge from a KR.Link

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Production and Welfare: Progress in Economic Measurement. Dale Jorgenson, 2017, Paper, “While the GDP was intended by its originators as a measure of production, the absence of a measure of welfare in the national accounts has led to widespread misuse of the GDP to proxy welfare. Measures of welfare are needed to appraise the outcomes of changes in economic policies and evaluate the results. Concepts that describe the income distribution, such as poverty and inequality, fall within the scope of welfare rather than production. This paper reviews recent advances in the measurement of production and welfare within the national accounts, primarily in the United States and the international organizations. Expanding the framework beyond the national accounts has led to important innovations in the measurement of both production and welfare.Link

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The Mexican Paradox. Dani Rodrik, August 10, 2017, Opinion, “After a series of macroeconomic crises in the mid-1990s, Mexico undertook bold reforms, from liberalizing its economic policies to investing in education. But, while these efforts brought some benefits, they failed to spur significant productivity and economic growth.Link

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Rising Medical Costs Mean More Rough Times Ahead. David Cutler, August 8, 2017, Opinion, “Medical costs are rising again, after recent years of historic lows. As the figure shows, growth rates of real per person medical spending in the past 3 years have averaged 3.4% annually, up from 0.9% in 2011 to 2013. Although the current growth rate is low in a historical context, it exceeds the economy’s growth as a whole. Thus, health costs are expected to reappear on the radar screen of governments, businesses, and households.Link

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Populist Trade Policies will not Protect Jobs Anywhere in the World. Kenneth Rogoff, August 2, 2017, Opinion, “As US and European political leaders fret about the future of quality jobs, they would do well to look at the far bigger problems faced by developing Asia – problems that threaten to place massive downward pressure on global wages. In India, where per capita income is roughly a tenth that of the US, more than 10 million people a year are leaving the countryside and pouring into urban areas, and they often cannot find work even as chaiwalas, much less as computer programmers. The same angst that Americans and Europeans have about the future of jobs is an order of magnitude higher in Asia.Link

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Dealing with Monetary Paralysis at the Zero Bound. Kenneth Rogoff, Summer 2017, Paper, “Recently, the key constraint for central banks is the zero lower bound on nominal interest rates. Central banks fear that if they push short-term policy interest rates too deeply negative, there will be a massive flight into paper currency. This paper asks whether, in a world where paper currency is becoming increasingly vestigial outside small transactions (at least in the legal, tax compliant economy), there might be relatively simple ways to finesse the zero bound without affecting how most ordinary people live. Surprisingly, this question gets little attention compared to the massive number of articles that take the zero bound as given and look for out-of-the-box solutions for dealing with it. In an inversion of the old joke, it is a bit as if the economics literature has insisted on positing ‘assume we don’t have a can opener,’ without considering the possibility that we might be able to devise one. It makes sense not to wait until the next financial crisis to develop plans.Link

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Business Responsibilities for Human Rights: A Commentary on Arnold. Nien-he Hsieh, 2017, Paper, “Human rights have come to play a prominent role in debates about the responsibilities of business. In the business ethics literature, there are two approaches to the question of whether businesses have human rights obligations. The ‘moral’ approach conceives of human rights as antecedently existing basic moral rights. The ‘institutional’ approach starts with contemporary human rights practice in which human rights refer to rights enumerated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and subsequent international documents, and in which states are the primary duty bearers of human rights. This commentary argues that the implications of adopting one or the other approach are much greater than most scholars recognize, and that we have reason to reject the moral approach and to adopt the institutional approach instead. The commentary highlights key questions that need to be addressed if human rights are to play a central role in framing the responsibilities of business.Link

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Recovery is Not Resolution. Carmen Reinhart, August 1, 2017, Opinion, “Earlier this year, the consensus view among economists was that the United States would outstrip its advanced-economy rivals. The expected US growth spurt would be driven by the economic stimulus package described in President Donald Trump’s election campaign. But the most notable positive economic news of 2017 among the developed countries has been coming from Europe.Link

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Wealth Inequality and Accumulation. Alexandra Killewald, July 2017, Paper, “Research on wealth inequality and accumulation and the data upon which it relies have expanded substantially in the twenty-first century. Although the field has experienced rapid growth, conceptual and methodological challenges remain. We begin by discussing two major unresolved methodological concerns facing wealth research: how to address challenges to causal inference posed by wealth’s cumulative nature and how to operationalize net worth given its highly skewed distribution. Next, we provide an overview of data sources available for wealth research. To underscore the need for continued empirical attention to net worth, we review trends in wealth levels and inequality and evaluate wealth’s distinctiveness as an indicator of social stratification. We then review recent empirical evidence on the effects of wealth on other social outcomes, as well as research on the determinants of wealth. We close with a list of promising avenues for future research on wealth, its causes, and its consequences.Link

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