Kenan Insights

Who CARES? Assessing the Impact of the CARES Act

July 15, 2020

In response to the economic chaos caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government launched its largest fiscal stimulus in modern history—the CARES Act. But with $2 trillion invested in small businesses, unemployment benefits and direct cash payments to households, the CARES Act has still fallen short of its goals to spur consumer spending and restore employment. This Kenan Insight analyzes what went wrong, and offers suggestions for the anticipated next round of federal economic aid. More

Reopening Amid COVID-19: The False Choice between Lives and Livelihoods

July 08, 2020

As federal, state and local governments struggle to reopen the economy as the COVID-19 pandemic surges onward, efforts to ensure people’s health and safety are seemingly at odds with attempts to spur economic activity. In this Kenan Insight, we explore how a data-driven approach to reopening North Carolina (and the U.S. as a whole) can help preserve both lives and livelihoods. More

The Long-term Benefits of Short-time Compensation

June 24, 2020

Unemployment insurance has been a lifeline for millions of Americans who have found themselves out of work in the wake of the economic shutdown triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. But with federal, state and local government coffers strained, the time has come for short-time compensation (STC) and partial unemployment insurance programs to receive a closer look. In this Kenan Insight, we explore how these little-known initiatives can benefit both employees and employers and provide relief to an ailing U.S. economy. More

Tax Income Shifting

June 10, 2020

There is growing evidence that many multinational corporations are lowering their tax obligations by engaging in income shifting—moving income from high-tax countries to low-tax countries or tax havens, and shifting deductions from low-tax countries to high-tax countries. By at least one estimate, the result is loss of nearly $100 to $240 billion annually in global tax revenues. In this Kenan Insight, we explore the extent of the problem and what might be done to address it. More

How Will the COVID-19 Pandemic Affect Personal Economic Decisions?

May 27, 2020

The mounting health and economic toll of the COVID-19 pandemic raises many questions about how this unprecedented event will affect the U.S. economy. In this Kenan Insight, we explore how people’s expectations about their own financial situation may hold some answers as to how the larger economy will perform. More

States’ Responses to COVID-19

May 20, 2020

Governors across the United States have reacted to the COVID-19 pandemic by implementing state-level executive actions to address a range of issues provoked by the crisis. Although it is too early to gauge the long-term effects of the pandemic and states’ responses to it, this Kenan Insight provides a preliminary analysis of actions governors have taken thus far, to help inform policymaking going forward. More

Decoding the Worst Quarter in Economic History

May 13, 2020

There is no doubt that the COVID-19 crisis has devastated the U.S. economy. But the particulars of this devastation are difficult to gauge, because unique aspects of the of the pandemic distort the data commonly used to assess such situations. In this Kenan Insight, we take a deep dive into the data to learn what it actually tells us about the economic impact of COVID-19, and suggest possibilities for a restart and recovery of the U.S. economy. More

A Strategic Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic for the African American Working Poor

May 06, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has been especially traumatic on our country’s African American working poor. From being disproportionately concentrated in low-wage hospitality and service sector jobs to struggling with caregiving and food insecurity issues due to shuttered daycare facilities and food banks, working-poor African Americans are facing an inequitable share of financial, social and psychological challenges. What can be done to ease the burdens of working-poor African Americans, both during the pandemic and moving forward? In this Kenan Insight, Urban Investment Strategies Center Director and William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship Jim Johnson invokes a little-known federal program, the Southeast Crescent Regional Commission (SCRC), as part of a strategic response to providing a coherent, place-based development plan. More

How Will COVID-19 Affect Commercial Real Estate?

April 29, 2020

Commercial real estate is a major asset class, with an estimated value of more than $12 trillion in the U.S. alone. But the stay-at-home orders and business closures precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic have the potential to negatively – and disastrously – affect commercial properties. What will the short- and long-term impacts be, which types of properties will be hardest hit and what policies can be put in place to help stem the tide of losses? UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School Professor and Leonard W. Wood Center for Real Estate Studies Faculty Advisor Andra Ghent and her colleagues examine these issues in this week’s Kenan Insight. More

Can Ed Tech Save Universities?

April 22, 2020

Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, institutions of higher education were under immense pressure to live up to their value propositions, with underlying tensions that have been developing for years posing an existential threat to their financial viability. As colleges and universities move classes and operations online in response to the pandemic, questions arise as to what such changes hold not just for now, but for the long-term success of higher education. Can ed tech provide a way forward? Find out in this week’s Kenan Insight. More