Policy & the Economy
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November 1, 2023

When Your Savings Account Is Also a Lottery Ticket

Prize-linked savings accounts can be more enticing to customers than interest rates—and banks like them, too.

two factories in the heat, with the smaller one melting
November 1, 2023

In a Warming U.S., Smaller Manufacturers Are Feeling the Heat

Smaller firms struggle in the face of temperature shocks, while larger ones are less affected—a trend that is driving industry consolidation.

group of younger employees waits outside older employees' offices
October 18, 2023

Why Younger Workers Just Can’t Get Ahead

In wealthy countries, the wage gap between older and younger workers is growing. A crowded promotion pathway could be to blame.

three people in line at a pharmacy with the same prescription and different priced receipts
October 6, 2023

Can We Build a Better Prescription Drug Market?

Medicare will soon be able to negotiate directly with drug makers. But one economist explains why “the goal should be to increase value, not just lower prices.”

smartphone on witness stand being questioned by lawyer while judge watches.
October 5, 2023

Big Tech Takes the Stand

Google may look like a monopoly, but is its power actually hurting consumers? A legal expert weighs in.

US electoral college map
October 2, 2023

How the Electoral College May Curb Election Fraud

This distinctive aspect of American democracy has come under increased scrutiny. But the very quality that most vexes its critics comes with an underrecognized upside.

woman displaying graph
October 2, 2023

Is Chinese Youth Unemployment as Bad as It Looks?

China’s exceptional growth in recent decades has influenced the education and career choices of young people and their families. But now that high-skilled jobs are drying up and recent graduates are struggling to find work, there is a growing mismatch between expectations and new realities.

two political candidates back to back at podiums. one saying Justice the other saying honor.
September 28, 2023

It’s Election Season. Here Comes the Morally Charged Language.

In the U.S., presidential candidates across the political spectrum lean on value-laden rhetoric—but emphasize different values.

long line of soldiers marching single file through a field
September 1, 2023

Why Do Long Wars Happen?

War is a highly inefficient way of dividing contested resources—yet conflicts endure when there are powerful incentives to feign strength.

group of young people in a cafeteria, with two of the people as TikTok screens.
August 16, 2023

Social-Media Algorithms Have Hijacked “Social Learning”

We make sense of the world by observing and mimicking others, but digital platforms throw that process into turmoil. Can anything be done?

autocrat leaning over battle map surrounded by yes-men.
August 10, 2023

How Autocracies Unravel

Over time, leaders grow more repressive and cling to yes-men—a cycle that’s playing out today in Putin’s Russia.

person in chair reading electronic tablet while octopus tentacles reach out
August 1, 2023

How Data Tracking Is Changing—and What That Means for You

Tech companies are phasing out cookies. Will consumers finally see meaningful privacy protections?

A graduate leaving university with a STEM degree.
July 27, 2023

Youth Unemployment and China’s Economic Future

For decades, China’s growth has followed the pattern of advanced economies, with rising incomes and educational attainment, shrinking family size, and growing female labor-force participation. But across these and other dimensions, the economy now appears to be going backward.

woman holding globe and flat earth
July 1, 2023

How to Prepare for AI-Generated Misinformation

“We have to be careful not to get distracted by sci-fi issues and focus on concrete risks that are the most pressing.”

golfer waits while official sews banners for PGA and LIV Golf together
July 1, 2023

Will the PGA–LIV Golf Merger Pass the Antitrust Test?

“Statements that LIV has made about breaking up the monopoly of the PGA may come back to haunt them.”

illustration of the exterior of the U.S. Supreme Court building.
June 30, 2023

The Supreme Court Ended Race-Conscious Admissions. A Sociologist Who Studies Bias in Elite Spaces Is Worried about the Ramifications.

“The decision represents a fundamental misunderstanding or misrecognition of what we know from science about how discrimination works.”

college graduate standing before Chinese flag
June 2, 2023

China’s Youth Unemployment Problem

If the record-breaking joblessness persists, as seems likely, China will have an even harder time supporting its rapidly aging population.

two groups of politicians negotiate while dangling upside down from the ceiling of a room
May 22, 2023

What’s at Stake in the Debt-Ceiling Standoff?

Defaulting would be an unmitigated disaster, quickly felt by ordinary Americans.

People pass an e-cigarette billboard
May 16, 2023

Take 5: Yikes! When Unintended Consequences Strike

Good intentions don’t always mean good results. Here’s why humility, and a lot of monitoring, are so important when making big changes.

robot waiter serves couple in restaurant
May 1, 2023

2 Factors Will Determine How Much AI Transforms Our Economy

They’ll also dictate how workers stand to fare.

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The Insightful Leader

June 20, 2024  ·  27:48 minutes
June 20, 2024  ·  1:09 minutes