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Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues

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While economists have long theorized that wealthier individuals may purchase less life and property insurance because they can rely on their savings if something unexpected happens, a new study of more than 63,000 people shows that, in practice, quite the opposite is true. This week’s Kenan Insight offers a chance for our experts to explore the findings of their new study, which suggest disparities in insurance coverage could help explain and exacerbate existing financial inequalities.

The CREATE center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, in partnership with the AOM Technology and Innovation Management (TIM) division, is pleased to organize the “Emergence: Organizations, Markets, Platforms, and Regions” conference. The conference seeks to unpack the processes of emergence and re-emergence that are core to creating prosperous economies.

Could new legislation help drive the development of local tech clusters – and the growth of corresponding economic power and development – beyond Silicon Valley? In this week’s Kenan Insight, our experts explore the gravitational pull of Big Tech along with what it could mean if startups across the U.S. were better able to remain and grow in the communities where they launch.

While the COVID-19 pandemic was devastating for many, research shows its impact was not felt equally. Black Americans experienced disproportionate health and economic ramifications, which compounded the financial, social and psychological strain many felt pre-pandemic, and have contributed to growing inter-generational wealth disparities. In today’s Kenan Insight, our experts explore whether the multi-trillion dollar “Build Back Better” plan proposed by the Biden administration holds the potential to begin closing pervasive gaps in American society.

With consumer prices rising for a third straight month in June, consumer demand continuing to outstrip supply and stock valuations well above long-term averages, our experts explore whether the so-called “everything bubble” of asset prices could be set to burst – and examine what’s next for investors and firms.

As the U.S. economy begins to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and businesses grapple with ongoing labor shortages, the debate around increasing the federal minimum wage – which hasn’t budged in over a decade – has returned to the fore. In this Kenan Insight, we examine whether now is the right time to raise the standard minimum, why these benefits may come at a cost, and what approach might work best given the inevitable tradeoffs.

While technological advances have traditionally been a boon to the U.S. economy, the rapid rise of new platforms and the increased financialization of the economy in recent years have encouraged the growth of monopolies—driving an ever-widening geographic gap in the distribution of income across the country. New research from the Kenan Institute’s Professor Maryann Feldman explores the ramifications of this growing divide.

The Biden administration's $2.3 trillion American Jobs Plan comes with a hefty price tag, which the president hopes to pay in part by introducing a 15% minimum tax on corporate book income. Predictably, policymakers from both sides of the aisle are sounding off, but the argument is more complicated and nuanced than partisan rhetoric. In this Kenan Insight, we outline the intricacies and implications of taxing book income.

Are the agglomeration economies of technology hubs augmented by a localized market for start-ups – acquisitions, and IPOs? How does this affect the ability of places outside of those hubs to foster digital startups as a tool of local economic development? We study this with a particular focus on acquisitions by the seven largest American digital platforms – Amazon, Alphabet [Google], Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Oracle and Adobe, which we call, collectively, Big Tech. We cover the years 2001-2020. We show that firms acquired by Big Tech are, disproportionately to the sectors in which they operate, concentrated in major tech clusters, and particularly in the Silicon Valley (San Francisco/San Jose). We argue that the acquisition market – and its effects on both the major tech hubs and the left behind rest – depends crucially on the proprietary control of access to various digital network products. Regulation of these markets, particularly in the form of common carrier status and open standards, could achieve a considerable re-balancing.

North Carolina just inked an $850 million deal with Apple. CREATE Faculty Director Maryann Feldman wants the state to invest at least as much in its school-age residents.

As the Consumer Price Index rises, businesses sound the alarm over supply-chain bottlenecks, and federal stimulus checks spur spending, the chatter around inflation is increasing. In this Kenan Insight, we explore what effect this potential perfect storm for an inflation spike could have on a recovering U.S. economy.

Join NCGrowth, the North Carolina African American Heritage Commission and the Conservation Trust for North Carolina to explore how economically mindful heritage placemaking is taking shape in Black communities across the country.