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Financial Times

Prof. Yasheng Huang joins a Financial Times podcast to speak with James Kynge about how China’s technological advancement and economic growth could be threatened by the country’s increasing authoritarianism. “My own prediction is that if Chinese domestic policy doesn’t change substantially, the pace of technological and scientific progress that we have witnessed during the reform era, that pace is going to slow down,” Huang says.

The Washington Post

Writing for The Washington Post, Brian Deese, an MIT innovation fellow, lays out a framework for responding to China’s focus on increasing manufacturing. “The United States should send a clear message that the world will not absorb the costs of these distortionary policies,” Desse writes, “and should work with our allies toward a more durable framework for global growth.”

Bloomberg

Researchers at MIT have developed a new measure called “outdoor days,” which describes the number of days per year in which temperatures are comfortable enough for outdoor activities in specific locations around the world, reports Lebawit Lily Girma for Bloomberg News. “Changes in the number of outdoor days will impact directly how people around the world feel climate change,” says Prof. Elfatih Eltahir.

The Washington Post

GiveDirectly, a nonprofit co-founded by MIT and Harvard alumni, works with “economists to identify the most efficient ways to reduce poverty,” reports Katharine Houreld for The Washington Post. “Lump sums are the most efficient way to give cash, according to a study of GiveDirectly programs released in December that compared the impact of three methods,” explains Houreld. “Two years in, recipients of the lump sum have spent more money on health care, and more of their children have scored better on school exams, according to the study by MIT economics professor Abhijit Banerjee and others." 

The Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Jon Chesto spotlights how MIT President Sally Kornbluth is “determined to harness MIT’s considerable brainpower to tackle” climate change. During a clean-tech entrepreneurship event hosted by the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, Kornbluth highlighted the newly announced Climate Project at MIT, “which commits $75 million and dozens of faculty to solving some of the biggest climate problems.” Kornbluth also noted that MIT’s “culture of entrepreneurship” makes the Institute uniquely positioned to help address the challenges posed by climate change.

TechCrunch

MIT researchers have developed a new tool to quantify how climate change will impact the number of “outdoor days” where people can comfortably spend time outside in specific locations around the world, reports Tim DeChant for TechCrunch. “The MIT tool is a relatable application of a field of study known as climate scenario analysis, a branch of strategic planning that seeks to understand how climate change will impact various regions and demographics,” writes De Chant.

GBH

Prof. Jon Gruber speaks with GBH hosts Jim Braude and Margery Eagan about the impact of political corruption on economics worldwide. The United States “has an incredibly dedicated, professionalized civil government,” says Gruber. “People go into government and spend much of their careers serving really the public good.”

Bloomberg

Writing for Bloomberg, Prof. Carlo Ratti and Arianna Salazar-Miranda SM '16, PhD '23 explore the possibility and potential of developing 15-minute cities in America. “If implemented correctly, the 15-minute city can be an agent of freedom: freedom from traffic jams, freedom to live in a healthy environment and freedom to be outside,” they write. “It is not a one-size-fits-all solution, but our research shows that almost every community in America could benefit from a few more well-placed amenities.”

E&E News

Michael Mehling, deputy director of the Center for Energy and Environment Policy Research, speaks with E&E News reporter Benjamin Storrow about the impact of global climate deals on climate change. “The history of the Paris Agreement suggests that global climate deals do make a dent in emissions,” Mehling says. “But the impact can be subtle and felt over time.”

NPR

Prof. Tavneet Suri speaks with NPR reporter Nurith Aizenman about her ongoing research studying the impact of universal basic income with GiveDirectly, a U.S. charity that provides villagers in Kenya with a universal basic income. Suri says her results thus far, “add to the evidence that many poor people are trapped in poverty by a lack of capital for precisely the kinds of transformative investments they would need to vault them into higher incomes.”

NPR

Prof. Tavneet Suri speaks with NPR hosts Ari Shapiro and Nurith Aizenman about her research with GiveDirectly a U.S. based charity that provides villages in Kenya with universal basic income. Suri’s work studies how the method of income delivery payments – monthly income or single lump sum payments – can impact communities. “We need to see if these effects last,” says Suri. “Does it just disappear, or was this enough to keep them going forever?” 

Vox

New research by Prof. Tavneet Suri and Prof. Abhijit Banerjee explores how to most effectively direct cash to low-income households, reports Dylan Matthews for Vox.  Suri and Banerjee compare “three groups: short-term basic income recipients (who got the $20 payments for two years), long-term basic income recipients (who get the money for the full 12 years), and lump sum recipients, who got $500 all at once, or roughly the same amount as the short-term basic income group,” writes Matthews. “Suri and Banerjee found that the lump sum group earned more, started more businesses, and spent more on education than the monthly group.”

The Guardian

Prof. Tavneet Suri discusses GiveDirectly, the world’s largest universal basic income (UBI) program, which has been providing almost 5,000 people in Kenya with “a payment of about 75 cents (62p) a day since 2017,” reports Philippa Kelley for The Guardian. “We do see people leaving low wage jobs,” says Suri. “They are going and starting businesses, and the businesses are doing great because there’s money around.”

Financial Times

Writing for the Financial Times, Prof. Carlo Ratti explores the concept of the “15-minute city,” which is aimed at creating walkable neighborhoods. “The 15-minute city must be paired with investment in transport between neighborhoods,” writes Ratti, noting that investment is especially needed in public transportation to ensure that 15-minute cities do not contribute to greater segregation.