Kenan Insights

Seven Forces Reshaping the Economy Amid and Beyond COVID-19

September 22, 2020

As the historic 2020 U.S. presidential election draws nearer, voters are taking stock of the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on their lives and livelihoods, and demanding that policymakers present their plans for economic recovery. In this Kenan Insight, we look at the major forces reshaping the U.S. economy and offer suggestions for forging an intentional and equitable path forward. More

Anti-immigrant Policies Will Hurt America’s COVID-19 Recovery

September 16, 2020

U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has recently ramped up efforts to keep immigrants from entering the country and force out some who are already here – arguing these to be necessary measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 and protect American jobs. However, in this Kenan Insight, we summarize why these policies risk having exactly the opposite effect, harming the future health, social well-being and economic viability of our nation. More

Why Affordable Housing Is Not Really About Housing

September 09, 2020 • Leonard W. Wood Center for Real Estate Studies

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, finding affordable housing was a persistent problem in the U.S. In this Kenan Insight, we look at the factors driving the nationwide affordable housing crunch, particularly for those most affected by it — low income, single-parent families.


Business Incubators: If you build it, will entrepreneurs succeed?

September 02, 2020

Business incubators are taking on a greater role in the development of entrepreneurial ecosystems, but debate continues over whether, how and in what situations they work. In this Kenan Insight, we explore what makes incubators successful and how communities can determine if one is right for them. More

Coronavirus Pandemic Refugees and the Future of American Cities

August 26, 2020

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. Within two months, nearly half a million people fled hard-hit New York City. Will they return once the crisis has passed? In this Kenan Insight, we explore how the ongoing pandemic is raising questions about the future attractiveness of large cities as places to live and do business. More

Can Social Entrepreneurship Deliver Impact?

August 19, 2020

Major strides have been taken in recent years to push toward more sustainable investing practices, yet it remains to be seen if such initiatives are actually meeting their goals. In this Kenan Insight, we look at the challenges of both implementing and measuring the effectiveness of social entrepreneurship and impact investing. More

The Land of Opportunity (Zones)

August 12, 2020

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) allowed for the creation of Opportunity Zones (OZs) — specially designated census tracts encompassing low-income neighborhoods meant to stimulate investment through large tax incentives. But critics say the program has not spurred additional investment as much as rewarded politically connected investors. In this Kenan Insight, we investigate what role, if any, bias and political party affiliation plays in the selection of OZs. More

UNC is Preparing for the Worst-case Scenario (and Why You Should, Too)

August 03, 2020

Battered by the COVID-19 pandemic, the precipitous drop in the economy and continuing racial justice protests, American colleges and universities are facing their most challenging period ever as they head into the fall semester. In this Kenan Insight, we explore what the long-term impact of such forces will be on higher education, and what policy and strategic actions might help mitigate the damage. More

Black Economic Futures

July 29, 2020

One of the long-standing damages of institutional racism in the United States has been a bleak economic outlook for African Americans. In this Kenan Insight, we ask whether today’s activism might prove to be a defining moment in turning the tide for Black economic futures, and if so, who will play the key roles in creating lasting change. More

Why America Needs High-Skilled Immigrants

July 22, 2020

In recent months, mechanisms that have allowed for high-skilled foreign nationals to study and work in the U.S. have been put on the policy chopping block. In this Kenan Insight, we discuss why high-skilled foreign workers are critical to America's economic health, and why policies must continue to support their entry into the U.S. More