News

Charlottesville violence gives white supremacist movement the attention it wanted, professor says

Charlottesville violence gives white supremacist movement the attention it wanted, professor says

August 15, 2017

The weekend clashes between white nationalist demonstrators and counterprotesters in Charlottesville, Va., that killed a 32-year-old woman and injured others has reignited long-simmering fears that racist hate groups are resurgent nationally and now may feel emboldened to push their goals publicly.

President Donald Trump, whose 2016 campaign was embraced by right-wing groups, drew criticism from both political parties for initially blaming all sides and being slow to explicitly disavow the white nationalists, who included Ku Klux Klansmen and neo-Nazis.

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Rethinking Measurement of Pay Disparity and Its Relation to Firm Performance

August 11, 2017

Among this paper’s contributions is evidence that different types of pay disparity matter in different ways to firm employees, and that disparity created by pay that is unrelated to the economics of the firm negatively impacts employee satisfaction, with consequences for firm performance. The paper also gives investors and proxy advisors a roadmap to interpret pay ratios and pay disparity. This roadmap may help regulators and firms to, respectively, mandate and prepare more informative disclosures.

Analyst gauges the political bias of lawyers

Analyst gauges the political bias of lawyers

August 10, 2017

News that special counsel Robert Mueller has empaneled a second grand jury in Washington, D.C., and has hired 16 top attorneys to work on the investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russian interference in the last U.S. election has stoked accusations in conservative media that the probe’s outcome is likely to be unfair and illegitimate.

President Trump and his top aides have led the outcry

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Location of WWII internment camp linked to long-term economic inequality

Location of WWII internment camp linked to long-term economic inequality

August 4, 2017

Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 drew the United States into World War II and spawned a massive wave of shock and fear across the country. It also prompted the U.S. government to round up and send more than 100,000 Japanese-Americans to internment camps.

Scholars have long studied this dark chapter in American history and its denial of basic freedoms, but until recently little was known about the long-term economic effects on the lives of the people who were interned, their businesses, homes, and possessions hastily left behind.

Harvard economist Daniel Shoag and

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Study finds optimism can lead to inaction

Study finds optimism can lead to inaction

August 4, 2017

Two Democratic fundraising emails were sent to supporters. In one version, the candidate was leading a closely contested race; in the other, he was trailing. Which email got more clicks and coaxed more donations?

Perhaps counterintuitively, the losing candidate’s message sparked the most action.

The experiment was part of a study that explored how optimism can lead to inaction. Behavioral scientist Todd

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Looking beyond D.C. debate, Harvard economist zeroes in on cost

Looking beyond D.C. debate, Harvard economist zeroes in on cost

August 3, 2017

A bipartisan group of lawmakers is working to address flaws in the Affordable Care Act while President Trump, upset at the failure of repeal and replace, threatens to gut the law by cutting subsidies to insurers. Republican leaders, meanwhile, seem intent on moving on to other legislative priorities.

David Cutler is the Otto Eckstein Professor of Applied Economics in

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In Pursuit of Everyday Creativity

July 31, 2017

Teresa M. Amabile describes the most compelling research trends around creativity and innovation. It suggests that 1) creative behavior of ordinary individuals is likely to become more important to the development of products and services, and 2) future studies should focus on such creative behavior—and related psychological states and environmental contexts—as it happens.

Why psychopathic brains overvalue immediate rewards

Why psychopathic brains overvalue immediate rewards

July 27, 2017

Joshua Buckholtz wants to change the way you think about psychopaths — and he’s willing to go to prison to do it.

An associate professor of psychology at Harvard, Buckholtz is the senior author of a study that relies on brain scans of nearly 50 prison inmates to help explain why psychopaths make poor decisions that often lead to violence or other anti-social behavior.

What they found, he said, is that psychopaths’ brains are wired in a way that leads them to overvalue immediate

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