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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.”

The New York Times

Researchers at MIT and elsewhere have provided an analysis of the successes and shortcomings of President Biden’s climate bill, reports Brad Plumer for The New York Times. The report says “the biggest obstacles facing renewable electricity are logistical,” writes Plumer. “Wind and solar are facing lengthy waits to connect the nation’s clogged electric grids, and it can take a decade or more to get permits for new high-voltage transmission lines and build them.”

Axios

Axios reporter Courtenay Brown spotlights a new report by researchers from MIT and the Brookings Institute that finds poorer counties in the U.S. with lower employment rates have, “attracted a large share of the hundreds of billions of dollars allocated for clean energy projects, semiconductor mega-factories and more.” Brian Deese, an Innovation Fellow at MIT, explains that: “Distressed communities are attracting new clean energy and semiconductor investment at roughly twice the rate of traditional private investment. If this trend continues, it has the potential to change the economic geography of the country and create economic opportunity in parts of this country that too many people have written off in the past.”  

Reuters

Reuters reporter Timothy Appell spotlights a new study by researchers from MIT and the Brookings Institution that finds, “a surge of factory building fueled by Biden administration investments in ‘strategic sectors’ such as clean energy and semiconductors has so far flowed disproportionately to U.S. counties with relatively distressed economies and notably has not tracked ‘Democratic geography.’”

Forbes

Prof. Ernest Moniz and his colleagues have designed a new consortium that plans to create an organized market for hydrogen, reports Llewellyn King for Forbes. This will allow hydrogen to become “a viable option in the pursuit of net-zero emissions,” writes King.

The New York Times

New York Times reporter Ana Swanson spotlights a working paper co-authored by Prof. David Autor which suggests “the sweeping tariffs that former President Donald J. Trump imposed on China and other American trading partners were simultaneously a political success and an economic failure.” Autor and his colleagues found that “the aggregate effect on U.S. jobs of the three measures — the original tariffs, retaliatory tariffs and subsidies granted to farmers — were ‘at best a wash, and it may have been mildly negative.’”

The Boston Globe

A more than $40 million investment to add advanced nano-fabrication equipment and capabilities to MIT.nano will significantly expand the center’s nanofabrication capabilities, reports Jon Chesto for The Boston Globe. The new equipment, which will also be available to scientists outside MIT, will allow “startups and students access to wafer-making equipment used by larger companies. These tools will allow its researchers to make prototypes of an array of microelectronic devices.”

The Hill

Prof. Emeritus Henry Jacoby writes for The Hill about the potential impact of the 2024 presidential election on climate change. “Laissez-faire, ‘do nothing’ climate policy is a recipe for present and future climate and societal harm,” Jacoby writes. “The climate system will not magically self-repair if we continue to pump greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.”

New York Times

New York Times opinion writer Peter Coy spotlights the MIT Shaping the Future of Work Initiative, a new effort aimed at analyzing the forces that are eroding job quality for non-college workers and identifying ways to move the economy onto a more equitable trajectory. Nothing is “inexorable,” said Prof. Daron Acemoglu during the project’s kickoff event. “The answer in most cases is, AI will do whatever we choose it to do.”

The Boston Globe

Writing for The Boston Globe, Prof. Gang Chen emphasizes the harm caused by the “China Initiative.” Chen notes that “some initiatives by the government, such as the China Initiative and the National Institutes of Health’s investigation into academics’ collaborations with China, weaken rather than strengthen US national security. American scientific prowess has been built on the United States’ ability to attract the best and the brightest minds from around the world.” He adds that the China Initiative has been deterring scientists from pursuing their research and careers in the United States.”

The Wall Street Journal

MIT irradiation facilities engineer Andriy Tuz and Prof. Jacopo Buongiorno speak with Jennifer Hiller of the Wall Street Journal about Tuz’s path from Ukraine to MIT. Tuz joined the Institute “through the U.S. government’s Uniting for Ukraine program, which provides a way for Ukrainian citizens displaced by the war to stay temporarily in the U.S.,” writes Hiller.

Newsweek

Prof. Jessika Trancik writes for Newsweek about the importance of government policy in supporting the transition to electric vehicles. “Policy is needed to make EVs widely accessible to people while the technology and markets continue to mature,” writes Trancik, “and to ensure the process moves quickly enough to help slow the build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.”

Wired

Writing for Wired, Institute Prof. Daron Acemoglu predicts that expectations for generative AI will need to recalibrated during the year ahead. Acemoglu notes that he believes in 2024, “generative AI will have been adopted by many companies, but it will prove to be just ‘so-so automation’ of the type that displaces workers but fails to deliver huge productivity improvements.”

Fortune

Prof. Florian Berg speaks with Fortune reporter Paolo Confino about the future of ESG initiatives. “The problem is that companies and also investors are often not really honest about their intentions,” Berg says. “They might actually sell something that’s purely a profit-driven decision and then write it in a report as they’re doing a lot for society even though they’re just engaging in profit maximization.”

GBH

Prof. Jonathan Gruber speaks with Boston Public Radio hosts Jim Braude and Margery Eagan to explain the US deficit and its impact on the economy. Gruber says “there are four options to lowering the deficit. The first is to get inflation under control. Second is to ensure a stable and responsible government. Third, is to decrease spending. And the fourth option is to raise taxes.”