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Bloomberg

Bloomberg reporter Benjamin Bain writes that Prof. Gary Gensler has been confirmed as the new head of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Bain writes that Gensler is “poised to confront everything from the fallout of the GameStop Corp. trading frenzy to the deluge of special purpose acquisition companies and the collapse of Archegos Capital Management.”

Associated Press

Prof. Gary Gensler has been approved to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission, reports Marcy Gordon for the AP. The appointment signals “an emphasis on investor protection for the Wall Street watchdog agency after a deregulatory stretch during the Trump administration,” writes Gordon.

Financial Times

In a letter to the Financial Times, graduate student Daniel Aronoff writes that “the US may avoid inflation, but it cannot escape the consequences of increased government spending, for good or ill.”

Women in Economics Podcast

Prof. Nancy Rose speaks with Mary Suiter of the Women in Economics podcast about what led her to study economics, her time working at the U.S. Department of Justice, and why teaching and mentoring are so important to her. “A couple of extraordinarily influential teachers are the reason I’m an economist today, and so part of it is just trying to pass on my enthusiasm for economics and my appreciation for what it’s enabled me to do to students,” says Rose.

The Atlantic

A new study by Prof. Jeffrey Harris finds that the extensive research invested in developing a vaccine for HIV has contributed to the successful development of Covid-19 vaccines, writes Derek Thompson for The Atlantic. Nearly 90 percent of COVID-19 vaccines that made it to clinical trials used technology that “could be traced back to prototypes tested in HIV vaccine trials,” Harris found.

The Economist

A new study by Prof. Jessika Trancik and postdoctoral associate Micah Ziegler examining the plunge in lithium-ion battery costs finds that “every time output doubles, as it did five times between 2006 and 2016, battery prices fall by about a quarter,” reports The Economist. “A doubling in technological know-how, measured by patent filings, is associated with a 40% drop in price.”

Politico

In an article for Politico, Professor of the practice Zeynep Ton explores how pay disclosures could help shed led on whether workers are earning enough money to support their families. “Building an economy founded on good jobs will require deep, structural transformation, but you can only manage change if you measure," writes Ton and her co-author Katie Bach. “The best way to spur movement towards creating good jobs may be to start requiring that companies publish take-home pay data.”

BBC News

Prof. Jessika Trancik speaks with the BBC Newshour about her new study analyzing the dramatic decline in the costs of lithium-ion batteries. Trancik explains that the reduced price, “opens up markets for electric vehicles for more people. The battery makes up a substantial portion of the total cost of an electric vehicle and the fact that costs have fallen by 97% over the last few decades means that these cars are no longer just for the wealthy.”

New York Times

Writing for The New York Times, Prof. Amy Finkelstein emphasizes the effectiveness of randomized clinical trials. Finkelstein notes that she hopes “truly rigorous testing of social policy will become as commonplace as it is for new vaccines. That would help ensure that government services are delivered as effectively and efficiently as possible.”

Forbes

Writing for Forbes, Elisabeth Reynolds, executive director of the MIT Task Force on the Work of the Future, underscores the need to improve job quality, increase access to education and training, and invest in technologies that augment workers. “The public and private sectors must also be innovative in the ways in which they can collaborate in creating a work of the future that leads to greater shared prosperity,” writes Reynolds.

Bloomberg

Bloomberg reporter Craig Torres spotlights alumna Stacey Tevlin PhD ’95 who leads the Federal Reserve’s Research and Statistics division and is “the most important person in U.S. economics that you have probably never heard of.” Tevlin’s team is entrusted with “the forecasts for policy makers as they weigh interest rates every six weeks,” writes Torres. 

WESA

Graduate student Caroline White-Nockleby discusses her new white paper that explores the regional impact of the decline in coal production. “Employment in the [coal] industry has decreased from around 3,800 jobs to around 2,800 direct jobs in the past five years,” says White-Nockleby .”They also have a big role in the tax base. Coal companies pay taxes on the value of the coal itself that’s underground, and they also pay property taxes.”

New York Times

Profs. Daron Acemoglu and David Autor speak with New York Times columnist Kevin Roose about the impact of automation on the labor market. “A lot of professional work combines some element of routine information processing with an element of judgment and discretion,” says Autor. “That’s where software has always fallen short. But with A.I., that type of work is much more in the kill path.”

Reuters

Reuters reporter Trevor Hunnicutt spotlights how Elisabeth Reynolds, executive director of the MIT Task Force on the Work of the Future, has been tapped by the Biden administration to serve on the National Economic Council.

GBH

Writing for GBH, lecturer Malia Lazu explores how to build racial equity into the innovation economy. “Without centering the value of Black contributions to our economy,” writes Lazu, “economic equity in our country will be nothing more than a good intention.”