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Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues

Economic Development

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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.

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.

Theoretically, wealthier people should buy less insurance, and should self-insure through saving instead, as insurance entails monitoring costs. Here, we use administrative data for 63,000 individuals and, contrary to theory, and that the wealthier have better life and property insurance coverage. Wealth-related differences in background risk, legal risk, liquidity constraints, financial literacy, and pricing explain only a small
fraction of the positive wealth-insurance correlation.

Kenan Institute Director of Research Christian Lundblad appeared on the Saturday, June 26 episode of WRAL's "On the Record." Lundblad joined host Lena Tillett, Virtue Events Owner Joye Speight, Pizzeria Toro Owner Gray Brooks and Zweli's Kitchen Owner Leonardo Williams to discuss the debate over how the government should be dealing with the post-COVID economy.

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.

Kenan Institute Director of Research Christian Lundblad and UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School Professor Paige Ouimet talk with Capital Tonight’s Tim Boyum to explore the forces and intricacies behind the struggle of businesses to fill open positions during the pandemic economic recovery.

Research Director Christian Lundblad explores the implications of a long-brewing skills mismatch for companies’ bottom lines and our approach to combatting income inequality.

The Anchor Institutions Create Economic Resilience (AICER) initiative seeks to stimulate distressed economies through anchor institution-community partnerships

The current narrative around the U.S. labor market is a mixed bag, with unemployment numbers well above pre-pandemic rates while many companies struggle to fill jobs. In this Kenan Insight Q&A, three experts weigh in on the critical issues behind this dichotomy.

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.

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.

Our Economic Development Experts

Jeanne Milliken Bonds

Professor of the Practice, Impact Investment and Sustainable Finance, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

    Maryann P. Feldman

    S.K. Heninger Distinguished Professor of Public Policy and Professor of FinanceFaculty Director of CREATE

    Jim Johnson

    William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, Director of the Urban Investment Strategies Center 

    Mark Little

    Executive Director, CREATE

    Centers & Initiatives

    Urban Investment Strategies Center

    Assessing demographic and economic trends in order to prescribe policy that leads to prosperity for the urban disadvantaged.

    NCGrowth

    Helping businesses create good jobs and helping communities create sustainable and equitable opportunities for their people.

    CREATE

    Helping to create a future where economic growth is more equitably shared.