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: * John Campbell (September 2019) * William Hogan (August 2019) * Pol Antràs (August 2019) * Paul Reville (July 2019) * Robert Stavins (July 2019) * Jeffrey Frankel (June 2019) * Benjamin Friedman (June 2019) * David Deming (May 2019) * […]

John Campbell on the Current Investing Environment, Asset Pricing, Stock Market Lessons from India, and Solutions for Financial Crises September 2019. GrowthPolicy’s Devjani Roy interviewed John Y. Campbell, Morton L. and Carole S. Olshan Professor of Economics at Harvard University, on the current investing environment, asset pricing, stock market lessons from India, and solutions for […]

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The effect of automatic enrolment on debt. John Beshears, David Laibson, September 17, 2019, Paper, “Automatic enrolment in defined contribution pension plans might be the most common policy application of behavioural economics. But does automatic enrolment increase pension savings at the expense of increased household debt? This column examines a natural experiment in which the US Army began automatically enrolling its civilian employees in its retirement savings plan. It finds strong evidence against the hypothesis that automatic enrolment increases financial distress and debt excluding auto loans and first mortgages.Link

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Creative Destruction or Idiot Winds: Schumpeterian Theory Meets the Educational Sector in Developing Countries. Mark Moore, 2019, Paper, “This is one of a series of working papers from “RISE”—the large-scale education systems research programme supported by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.Link

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Should We Worry About Income Gaps Within or Between Countries? Dani Rodrick, September 10, 2019, Opinion, “The rise of populist nationalism throughout the West has been fueled partly by a clash between the objectives of equity in rich countries and higher living standards in poor countries. Yet advanced-economy policies that emphasize domestic equity need not be harmful to the global poor, even in international trade.Link

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Reviewing the Climate Crisis Town Hall. Joseph Aldy, September 8, 2019, Audio, “Host Steve Curwood sits down with Joe Aldy, economist and Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, to take a look at carbon pricing, a just transition for fossil fuel workers, and other key topics from the climate crisis town hall.Link


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Collusion in Brokered Markets. Scott Duke Kominers, September 7, 2019, Paper, “The U.S. residential real estate agency market presents a puzzle for economic theory: commissions on real estate transactions have remained constant and high for decades even though agent entry is frequent and agents’ costs of providing service are low. We model the real estate agency market, and other brokered markets, via repeated extensive form games; in our game, brokers first post prices for customers and then choose which agents on the other side of the market to work with. We show that prices appreciably higher than the competitive prices can be sustained (for a fixed discount factor) regardless of the number of brokers; this is done through strategies that condition willingness to transact with each broker on that broker’s initial posted prices. Our results can thus rationalize why brokered markets exhibit pricing high above marginal cost despite fierce competition for customers; moreover, our model can help explain why agents and platforms who have tried to reduce commissions have had trouble entering the market.Link

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Redefining Engagement with Socio-spatially Marginalised Populations: Learning from Ghana’s Ministry of Inner City and Zongo Development. Michael Hooper, 2019, Paper, “Global interest in enhancing accountability and community participation has led many governments to engage socio-spatially marginalised populations left behind by urban development. This article examines an emergent example of these efforts: Ghana’s Ministry of Inner City and Zongo Development (MICZD). The MICZD’s objective is to improve the social and infrastructural development of zongos, or ‘stranger’s quarters’, which have historically housed Hausa migrants and are associated with slum-like conditions. The study draws on 38 interviews with government stakeholders, community organisations and local leaders as well as on four focus groups with zongo residents. The results reveal four key findings. First, the MICZD’s engagement with zongos is perceived as politically motivated, with this viewed negatively by some and positively by others. Second, the MICZD’s timeline is perceived differently depending on who is being asked. Third, respondents differ in their prioritisation of physical versus social improvements, with the MICZD focussing on physical interventions and zongo residents focussing on social and economic development. Finally, different groups have varied visions of success for the MICZD. The article concludes by identifying two paths towards more empowering state– society engagement—more continuous engagement and counterbalancing powers—and proposes how lessons from the MICZD can inform engagement with marginalised populations more broadly.Link

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