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Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues

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Please join us for an exclusive virtual conversation with North Carolina Secretary of Commerce Machelle Baker Sanders. This discussion is part of the Dean’s Speaker Series, hosted by Kenan-Flagler Business School Dean Doug Shackelford.

Federal, state and local governments worked hard to support businesses as they faced unprecedented challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic — and many of these programs were successful in helping small businesses stay open. In a recent UNC School of Government Carolina Across 100 blog post, Kenan Institute Executive Director Greg Brown breaks down how the government at all levels stepped up to the challenge.

Legislators have proposed a minimum tax on the financial accounting income, or book income, of corporations as one way to fund the Build Back Better Act. But is that the best solution? In this week's Kenan Insight, we dig deep on the intricacies and implications of taxing book income — expanding upon points made in an open letter to lawmakers by UNC Tax Center Research Director Jeff Hoopes and Academic Fellow Michelle Hanlon as covered in the Wall Street Journal this week.

CREATE Faculty Director and UNC Public Policy Professor Maryann Feldman recently served as a panelist examining conditions for technology-based economic development. While speaking to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology Sept. 29, Feldman cautioned against treating universities as lynchpins in the effort to drive regional innovation—noting reforms are needed to help university technology transfer offices recoup operating costs—and strongly advocated for new financing models to spur economic development in areas lacking venture capital support.

As the pandemic forced shutdowns across the globe, U.S. government entities at the federal, state and local levels worked swiftly to secure known drivers of economic growth and job creation – including entrepreneurial ecosystems and small businesses. And while the programs implemented were widely lauded as successful, the story of who benefitted – and who did not – is more complex. This week’s Kenan Insight explores our experts’ key findings around the roles of policy and implementation in supporting equal access to opportunity.

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.