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Category: Policy

Pricing carbon, valuing people
January 12, 2022

In November, inflation hit a 39-year high in the United States. The consumer price index was up 6.8 percent from the previous year due to major increases in the cost of rent, food, motor vehicles, gasoline, and other common household expenses. While inflation impacts the entire country, its effects are not felt equally. At greatest risk are low- and middle-income Americans who may lack sufficient financial reserves to absorb such economic...

J-PAL North America announces five new partnerships with state and local governments | MIT News
December 17, 2021

J-PAL North America, a research center in MIT’s Department of Economics, has announced five new partnerships with state and local governments across the United States after a call for proposals in early February. Over the next year, these partners will work with J-PAL North America’s State and Local Innovation Initiative to evaluate policy-relevant questions critical to alleviating poverty in the United States. J-PAL...

Q&A: Can the world change course on climate? | MIT News
December 13, 2021

In this ongoing series on climate issues, MIT faculty, students, and alumni in the humanistic fields share perspectives that are significant for solving climate change and mitigating its myriad social and ecological impacts. Nazli Choucri is a professor of political science and an expert on climate issues, who also focuses on international relations and cyberpolitics. She is the architect and director of the Global System...

Six MIT students named 2023 Schwarzman Scholars | MIT News
December 6, 2021

Five MIT seniors — Sihao Huang, William Kuhl, Giramnah Peña-Alcántara, Sreya Vangara, and Kelly Wu — and graduate student Tingyu Li have been awarded 2022-23 Schwarzman Scholarships. They will head to Tsinghua University in Beijing next August to pursue a one-year master’s degree in global affairs. The students will also receive leadership training, career development, and opportunities to gain a greater...

Q&A: David Autor on the long afterlife of the “China shock” | MIT News
December 6, 2021

In 2001, the U.S. normalized long-term trade relations with China, and China joined the World Trade Organization — moves many expected to help both economies. Instead, over the next several years, inexpensive imports from China significantly undercut U.S. manufacturing, especially in industries such as textiles and furniture-making. By 2011, this “China shock” from trade was responsible for the loss of 1 million U.S....

Silicon Valley beckoned, but he went home to Delaware | MIT News
December 2, 2021

During his first year at MIT, Max Williamson felt lost and unsure of his long-term goals. By spring, he faced what felt like a career-altering decision: pursue a coveted summer computer science research position at MIT or return home to Delaware and intern for his senator. His friends thought he was crazy to pursue public service over a high-paying career in Silicon Valley. However, after working hands-on with local...

Rewriting the operating manual | MIT News
November 30, 2021

Suppose you were designing a system to allocate organ donations for the greater good. From one perspective, an optimized program might give organs to the youngest possible recipient, to maximize the number of life-years gained from each organ donation. However, such a system would likely be regarded as discriminatory based on its use of age, and would be unlikely to gain society-wide approval. “That’s not going...

Report: Economics drives migration from Central America to the U.S. | MIT News
November 23, 2021

A new report about migration, co-authored by MIT scholars, shows that economic distress is the main factor pushing migrants from Central America to the U.S. — and highlights the personal costs borne by people as they seek to move abroad. “The core issue is economics, at the end of the day, and this is where policymakers need to be focusing their energy,” says Sarah Williams, an MIT professor who helped produce the...

The reasons behind lithium-ion batteries’ rapid cost decline | MIT News
November 22, 2021

Lithium-ion batteries, those marvels of lightweight power that have made possible today’s age of handheld electronics and electric vehicles, have plunged in cost since their introduction three decades ago at a rate similar to the drop in solar panel prices, as documented by a study published last March. But what brought about such an astonishing cost decline, of about 97 percent? Some of the researchers behind that...

Exploring the human stories behind the data | MIT News
November 20, 2021

Shaking in the back of a police cruiser, handcuffs digging into his wrists, Brian Williams was overwhelmed with fear. He had been pulled over, but before he was asked for his name, license, or registration, a police officer ordered him out of his car and into back of the police cruiser, saying into his radio, “Black male detained.” The officer’s explanation for these actions was: “for your safety and...

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