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Kenan Institute 2023 Grand Challenge: Workforce Disrupted
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Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues

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In recent years, the importance of reducing wealth inequality and spurring inclusive economic growth has become apparent. Most approaches to reducing wealth inequality have been on the policy side, for example, through changing taxation. But economic prosperity can also occur for people in the lower half of the wealth distribution through market-based actions. The business sector has innovated and found profitable opportunities by serving lower income or lower wealth communities — for example, fintech or telehealth are two domains in which for-profit businesses have created opportunities for those in more disadvantaged situations to improve their well-being, including their finances.

Perez-Truglia, a Kenan Institute Distinguished Fellow, will summarize the latest research, including his own, to provide a better understanding of the effectiveness of pay transparency laws.

Generative AI such as ChatGPT holds the potential to alter many kinds of work, but analysis of a new report shows the occupations most likely to be affected are populated by more women than men.

CEO pay is the latest point of contention in the political fight over ESG, but the arguments have become oversimplified. When we think about good corporate governance, what does the evidence say about CEO pay? The results may surprise you.

With direct care facilities and workers in crisis, we explore trends behind the labor shortages in the industry as well as a menu of solutions that could possibly alleviate the issue.

Recent infrastructure legislation offers an opportunity to focus on how new projects can increase wealth in communities with the greatest needs and minimize harm to the environment, all while supporting the broader economy.

This paper investigates how bank supervisors’ enforcement decisions and orders (EDOs) influence the allocation of mortgage lending across demographic groups underlying a banks’ borrower base. Specifically, we investigate how banks’ mortgage lending to minority borrowers relative to white borrowers changes following the resolution of severe EDOs.

Apprenticeship programs have not historically been successful in reaching a diverse array of people. A report by the institute-affiliated NCGrowth examines trends within apprenticeship and offers a set of best practices to continue diversifying these programs

As a destination for both migration and business growth, North Carolina must reassess the capabilities of local entrepreneurial and small-business ecosystems to ensure that its diverse population of aspiring entrepreneurs and small-business owners has equitable access to opportunities.

Some analysis indicates companies with diverse executive teams drive more revenue and are more likely to experience higher profits relative to their nondiverse peers, yet founding teams for both high-growth startups and the private capital groups that fund them stand in stark contrast to the U.S. working age population. Why? And why should it matter? In this week’s Kenan Insight, Kenan Institute Distinguished Fellow Emmanuel Yimfor unpacks statistics on the composition of both high-growth startups and private capital groups, explores the economic and societal implications of their lack of diversity and provides suggestions to facilitate change.

Last month our home state of North Carolina was named “America’s Top State for Business” by CNBC (see the full ranking here). It wasn’t long after when some commentators pointed out that Oxfam had recently ranked N.C. as the worst state for workers. The extreme juxtaposition of rankings made me wonder if this was a coincidence or if there are systematic factors that make states good for businesses and bad for workers. Perhaps “right-to-work” laws, lax worker protection regulation or regional wage differences attract businesses looking to take advantage of areas with weak labor bargaining power. This in turn leads to business growth and thus job migration to states that are less desirable for individual workers. At the end of the day, economic planning should have the best interest of residents in mind when crafting business policy, so it seems worth unpacking what drives the rankings.

Three institute-associated experts provided analysis for the July 30 edition of WRAL-TV’s “On the Record” news program. In a segment on dwindling child care options in the Raleigh area, Director of Research Paige Ouimet talked about how child care access affects the ability of women to work.