Colombia: Organizing for Competitiveness. Michael Porter, Jorge Ramirez-Vallejo, September 10, 2009, Case. “The case is designed to explore the process of building competitiveness, particularly in an unstable environment, with a focus on organizing for competitiveness.” May require purchase or user account. Link

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Location Strategies for Agglomeration Economies. Juan Alcacer, September 2009, Paper. “Geographically concentrated industry activity creates pools of skilled labor, specialized suppliers, and increases opportunities for knowledge spillover. These agglomeration economies offer potential advantage for  firms, but research exploring their strategic implications is incomplete.  Therefore, we develop a three-layer framework of why firms agglomerate for each agglomeration economy. The first layer assesses the relative importance of skilled labor, suppliers, and knowledge spillovers…” Link

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Virtue out of Necessity? Compliance, Commitment and the Improvement of Labor Conditions in Global Supply Chains. Akshay Mangla, September 2009, Paper. “Private, voluntary compliance programs, promoted by global corporations and nongovernmental organizations alike, have produced only modest and uneven improvements in working conditions and labor rights in most global supply chains. Through a detailed study of a major global apparel company and its suppliers, this article argues that this compliance model rests on misguided theoretical and empirical assumptions…” Link

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The Building Blocks of Economic Complexity. Ricardo Hausmann, September 2009, Paper. “For Adam Smith, wealth was related to the division of labor. As people and firms specialize in different activities, economic efficiency increases, suggesting that development is associated with an increase in the number of individual activities and with the complexity that emerges from the interactions between them. Here we develop a view of economic growth and development that gives a central role to the complexity of a country’s economy by interpreting trade data as a bipartite network in which…” Link

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Clusters and Industrial Districts – Common Roots, Different Perspectives. Michael Porter, Christian Ketels, August 31, 2009, Book Chapter. “In 1990, two books appeared which addressed the role of locations in competitiveness and company performance. Industrial Districts and Inter-Firm Co-operation in Italy (Pyke, Becattini and Sengenberger 1990) discussed Giacomo Becattini’s notion of industrial districts (IDs), ‘socio-territorial entities characterized by the active presence of both a community of people and a population of firms in one naturally and historically bounded area [with] a dominant industrial activity’…” May require purchase or user account. Link

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The Future of Inequality: The Other Reason Education Matters So Much, Lawrence Katz, Claudia Goldin, August 22, 2009, Paper. “As almost every economic policy maker is aware, the gap between the wages of educated and less-educated workers has been growing since the early 1980s – and that change has been both large and pervasive even when the measurement is narrowed by gender, industry or occupation. What’s not widely known, though, is that expanding wage inequality is a relatively new phenomenon. In fact, inequality actually narrowed from around 1910 to the 1950s, and then remained fairly stable until the 1980s…” Link 

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Presidential Address: Sophisticated Investors and Market Efficiency. Jeremy Stein, August 2009, Paper. “Stock-market trading is increasingly dominated by sophisticated professionals, as opposed to individual investors. Will this trend ultimately lead to greater market efficiency? I consider two complicating factors. The first is crowding–the fact that, for a wide range of “unanchored” strategies, an arbitrageur cannot know how many of his peers are simultaneously entering the same trade. The second is leverage–when an arbitrageur chooses a privately optimal leverage ratio, he may create a fire-sale externality…” Link

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The Trouble with Cases. Richard Zeckhauser, August 2009, Paper. “For several decades now a debate has raged about policy-making by litigation. Spurred by the way in which tobacco, environmental, and other litigation has functioned as an alternative form of regulation, the debate asks whether policy-making or regulation by litigation is more or less socially desirable than more traditional policy-making by ex ante rule-making by legislatures or administrative agencies. In this paper we step into this debate, but not to come down on one side or another, all things considered. Rather, we seek to show that any form of regulation that is…” Link

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Mitigating the Potential Inequity of Reducing Corporate Rates. Daniel Halperin, July 29, 2009, Paper. “Since the statutory marginal U.S. income tax rate on corporate income is higher than the marginal rate imposed by all of our trading partners except Japan, there have been a number of proposals to reduce the U.S. marginal corporate rate. At the same time, it seems likely that the top individual rate will be increased. However, a differential between marginal corporate and individual rates could reduce the overall rate of tax on corporate distributions and enable higher-income taxpayers to shelter their income from services or...” Link

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Selection Stories: Understanding Movement Across Health Plans. David Cutler, Richard Zeckhauser, July 2009, Paper. “This study assesses the factors influencing the movement of people across health plans. We distinguish three types of cost-related transitions: adverse selection, the movement of the less healthy to more generous plans; adverse retention, the tendency for people to stay where they are when they get sick; and aging in place, where lack of all movement makes plans with initially older enrollees increase in cost over time. Using data from the Group Insurance Commission in Massachusetts, we show that aging in…” Link

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