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: * 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) * Jesse Fried (March 2019) * […]

The Wise Company: How Companies Create Continuous Innovation. Hirotaka Takeuchi, 2019, Book, “High-velocity change is the fundamental challenge facing companies today. Few companies, however, are prepared to continuously innovate-because they focus on the short-term and do not emphasize the wisdom needed to make sure that their interests are aligned with those of society. Practical wisdom is the bases of continuous innovation, where companies ceaselessly and repeatedly creating new knowledge, disseminating it throughout the organization, and converting knowledge to action over time. In The Wise Company, legendary management experts Ikujiro Nonaka and Hirotaka Takeuchi highlight how various companies have confronted the challenge of rapid change to create new products and new ways of doing business that benefit employees, consumers, and society.Link

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Creating Moves to Opportunity: Experimental Evidence on Barriers to Neighborhood Choice. Raj Chetty, Nathaniel Hendren, Lawrence Katz, August 2019, Paper, “Low-income families in the United States tend to live in neighborhoods that offer limited opportunities for upward income mobility. One potential explanation for this pattern is that families prefer such neighborhoods for other reasons, such as affordability or proximity to family and jobs. An alternative explanation is that they do not move to high-opportunity areas because of barriers that prevent them from making such moves. We test between these two explanations using a randomized controlled trial with housing voucher recipients in Seattle and King County. We provided services to reduce barriers to moving to high-upward-mobility neighborhoods: customized search assistance, landlord engagement, and short-term financial assistance. The intervention increased the fraction of families who moved to high-upward-mobility areas from 14% in the control group to 54% in the treatment group.Link

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Trump Is Losing the Trade War With China. Jason Furman, August 19, 2019, Opinion, “President Trump’s China strategy is failing. His tougher approach has yielded no meaningful Chinese concessions but is increasingly damaging the U.S. economy. Today China is more integrated with the rest of the world while the U.S. is more isolated. To combat China’s unfair, statist economic practices effectively, the U.S. must change its approach, enlisting allies and international institutions to advance a more focused set of demands.Link

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The Value of Intermediation in the Stock Market. Marco Di Maggio, Mark Egan, August 2019, Paper, “Brokers continue to play a critical role in intermediating institutional stock market transactions. More than half of all institutional investor order flow is still executed by high-touch (non-electronic) brokers. Despite the continued importance of brokers, we have limited information on what drives investors’ choices among them. We develop and estimate an empirical model of broker choice that allows us to quantitatively examine each investor’s responsiveness to execution costs and access to research and order flow information. Studying over 300 million institutional trades, we find that investor demand is relatively inelastic with respect to commissions and that investors are willing to pay a premium for access to top research analysts and order-flow information. There is substantial heterogeneity across investors. Relative to other investors, hedge funds tend to be more price insensitive, place less value on sell-side research, and place more value on order-flow information. Furthermore, using trader-level data, we find that investors are more likely to trade with traders who are located physically closer and are less likely to trade with traders that have misbehaved in the past. Lastly, we use our empirical model to investigate the unbundling of equity research and execution services related to the MiFID II regulations. While under-reporting for the average firm is relatively small (4%), we find that the bundling of execution and research allows some institutional investors to under-report management fees by up to 15%.Link

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A Unified Welfare Analysis of Government Policies. Nathaniel Hendren, August 2018, Paper, “We conduct a comparative welfare analysis of 133 historical policy changes over the past half-century in the United States, focusing on policies in social insurance, education and job training, taxes and cash transfers, and in-kind transfers. For each policy, we use existing causal estimates to calculate both the benefit that each policy provides its recipients (measured as their willingness to pay) and the policy’s net cost, inclusive of long-term impacts on the government’s budget. We divide the willingness to pay by the net cost to the government to form each policy’s Marginal Value of Public Funds, or its “MVPF”. Comparing MVPFs across policies provides a unified method of assessing their impact on social welfare. Our results suggest that direct investments in low-income children’s health and education have historically had the highest MVPFs, on average exceeding 5. Many such policies have paid for themselves as governments recouped the cost of their initial expenditures through additional taxes collected and reduced transfers.Link

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The currency manipulation game is afoot – but that’s better than a trade war. Jeffrey Frankel, August 13, 2019, Opinion, “The trade war between the United States and China is heating up again, with U.S. President Donald Trump abruptly announcing plans to impose a 10-per-cent tariff on the US$300-billion worth of imports from China that he had so far left untouched. The Chinese authorities then allowed their currency, the renminbi, to fall below the symbolic threshold of seven yuan for every U.S. dollar. The Trump administration promptly responded by naming China a “currency manipulator” – the first time the U.S. had done that to any country in 25 years. Pundits declared a currency war, and investors immediately sent global stock markets lower.Link

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William Hogan on Electricity Markets, Solutions for Climate Change, and Carbon Tax Policy August 2019. GrowthPolicy’s Devjani Roy interviewed William Hogan, Raymond Plank Research Professor of Global Energy Policy at Harvard Kennedy School and Research Director of the Harvard Electricity Policy Group, on electricity markets, climate change, and carbon tax policy. | Click here for […]

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Extending the role of headquarters beyond the firm boundary: entrepreneurial alliance innovation. Andy Wu, August 14, 2019, Paper, “Prior research on corporate headquarters (CHQ) characteristics identifies the impact of CHQ location and composition on the innovation outcomes of internal subsidiaries. However, given that external strategic alliances with high-tech entrepreneurial firms represent a key source of innovation for the corporation, corporations must also consider how their choices of CHQ location and composition affect the innovation outcomes of these partners. In a study of 36 incumbent pharmaceutical corporations in 377 strategic alliances with 143 VC-backed biotechnology startups, we leverage detailed hand-collected data on CHQ locations and functions to estimate the effect of the CHQ on the innovation performance of the corporations’ entrepreneurial alliance partners. We find that a 1000-km decrease in CHQ–partner distance leads to an increase of 28 forward citations for the alliance partner, i.e., a 1% decrease in the distance is associated with a 1.7% increase in innovation performance. We find that the co-located presence of the corporation’s R&D function at the CHQ attenuates the benefit of CHQ–partner proximity, particularly for alliances structured for horizontal collaboration at the same part of the value chain. This study contributes to the literatures on both CHQ design and technology alliances.Link

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