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Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues

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Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues

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Consumers will long associate the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic with seemingly apocalyptic searches for toilet paper, hand sanitizer and PPE. But even now, amid continued surges of the Delta variant, many global supply chains continue to experience disruptions at record rates. This week’s Kenan Insight invites our experts to weigh in on the immediate impact of these disruptions for business and society, the longer term effects across industries and the roles government and emerging tech should be playing to drive solutions.

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.

The widespread adoption of technological advances has made the move to working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic a success. In this Kenan Insight, we look at why the switch was such a win, its impact on worker productivity, and what it means in the long term for workers, office spaces and cities.

American Indian communities face a growing housing crisis, compounding long-standing social and economic challenges. In this Kenan Insight, we examine the structural and historic factors that underlie the current lack of affordable housing, and identify several promising options for both addressing the immediate crisis and improving the broader economic situation for tribal communities.

Román Orús, Ikerbasque Research Professor at the Donostia International Physics Center in San Sebastián, Spain, will present the findings from his research on determining the optimal trading trajectory for an investment portfolio of assets over a period of time. Dynamic portfolio optimization is well known to be NP-Hard and is central to quantitative finance.

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.

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.

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.

A slate of experts from UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School and its affiliated Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise will be offering a press briefing via teleconference on the tremendous effects of COVID-19 on business, workers and the economy at large. Join tomorrow, Tuesday, March 17, at 11 a.m.

The mission of the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise to develop and promote innovative, market-based solutions to vital economic issues—and its capacity for bringing together diverse constituencies to create those solutions were both on full display on Nov. 22 at the Investing in Affordable Housing Symposium.

We examine the link between endowment investment performance and the expertise of university board members. Harnessing detailed information on 11,019 members for 579 universities, we find that expertise in alternatives and larger professional networks are associated with higher allocations to alternatives and better investment results.