2013 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report
Source: Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (University of Pennsylvania)
The Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP) at the University of Pennsylvania released its seventh annual 2013 Global Go To Think Tanks Report on Wednesday January 22, 2014, at a morning press conference in Washington DC, hosted by the World Bank. The 2013 Global Go To Think Tank Index (GGTTI) marks the seventh year of continued efforts by the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program at the University of Pennsylvania (TTCSP) to acknowledge the important contributions and emerging global trends of think tanks worldwide. Our initial effort to generate a ranking of the world’s leading think tanks in 2006 was a response to a series of requests from donors, government officials, journalists, and scholars, to produce regional and international rankings of the world’s preeminent think tanks. Since its inception, our ongoing objective for the GGTTI report is to gain understanding of the role think tanks play in governments and civil societies. Using this knowledge, we hope to assist in improving the capacity and performance of think tanks around the world.
Information and Incentives in Online Affiliate Marketing (PDF)
Source: Harvard Business School Working Papers
We examine online affiliate marketing programs in which merchants oversee thousands of affiliates they have never met. Some merchants hire outside specialists to set and enforce policies for affiliates, while other merchants ask their ordinary marketing staff to perform these functions. For clear violations of applicable rules, we find that outside specialists are most effective at excluding the responsible affiliates, which we interpret as a benefit of specialization. However, in-house staff are more successful at identifying and excluding affiliates whose practices are viewed as “borderline” (albeit still contrary to merchants’ interests), foregoing the efficiencies of specialization in favor of the better incentives of a company’s staff. We consider the implications for marketing of online affiliate programs and for online marketing more generally.
Wind Power Can Be Cost-Comparable, New Analysis Reveals
Source: Syracuse University School of Information Studies
The costs of using wind energy and natural gas for electricity are virtually equal when accounting for the full private and social costs of each, making wind a competitive energy source for the United States, according to a new study on the federal tax credit for wind energy.
Just released by researchers at Syracuse University and the University of California, the analysis shows that wind energy comes within .35 cents per kWh when levelized over the 20-year life of a typical wind contract, compared on an equivalent basis to the full costs for natural gas-fired energy, according to Jason Dedrick, associate professor at Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies (iSchool).
Innovative Mobility Carsharing Outlook: Carsharing Market Overview, Analysis, and Trends
Source: University of California-Berkeley (Transportation Sustainability Research Center)
North American Carsharing:
· As of January 1, 2013, there were 46 active programs in North America with 1,033,564 members sharing 15,603 vehicles.
· As of January 1,2013, 20 Canadian operators claimed 141,351 members and shared 3,432 vehicles. In the United States, 891,953 members shared 12,131 vehicles among 25 operators. In Mexico, 620 members shared 40 vehicles among one operator.
· Between January 2012 and January 2013, carsharing membership grew 24.1% in the United States and 53.4% in Canada. Between January 2012 and January 2013, carsharing fleets grew 23.6% in the United States and 35.9% in Canada.
· As of January 1, 2013, U.S. member-vehicle ratios were 73:1, representing a 0.4% increase between January 2012 and January 2013. In Canada, the ratio was 41:1, representing a 12.9% increase over the same period.
· As of October 2012, carsharing was operating in 27 countries and 5 continents, accounting for an estimated 1,788,000 members sharing over 43,550 vehicles.
· North America remains the largest carsharing region, with Europe and North America accounting for 38.7% and 50.8% of worldwide carsharing membership, respectively.
· Europe accounts for the majority of fleets deployed in 2012: 47.0% in contrast to 36.2% in North America.
· As of October 2012, one-way carsharing was operating in seven countries worldwide including (Austria, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States).
Personal Vehicle Sharing
· As of October 2012, there were 33 personal vehicle sharing operators worldwide, with 10 active or in pilot phase, three planned, and four defunct in North America.
NLRB Director for Region 13 issues Decision in Northwestern University Athletes Case</strong>
Source: National Labor Relations Board
Regional Director, Peter Sung Ohr, has issued a Decision in 13-RC-121359 finding the Grant-in-aid scholarship football players are employees under the NLRA and has directed an election to take place.
The parties have until April 9, 2014 to file with the Board in Washington, D.C. a Request for Review of the Decision.
Congressional Officials Grant Access Due To Campaign Contributions: A Randomized Field Experiment (PDF)
Source: University of California-Berkeley
Concern that lawmakers grant preferential treatment to individuals because they have contributed to political campaigns has long occupied jurists, scholars, and the public. However, the effects of campaign contributions on legislators’ behavior have proven notoriously difficult to assess. We report the first randomized field experiment on the topic. In the experiment, a political organization attempted to schedule meetings between 191 Members of Congress and their constituents who had contributed to political campaigns. However, the organization randomly assigned whether it informed legislators’ offices that individuals who would attend the meetings were contributors. Congressional offices made considerably more senior officials available for meetings when offices were informed the attendees were donors, with senior officials attending such meetings more than three times as often (p < 0.01). Influential policymakers thus appear to make themselves much more accessible to individuals because they have contributed to campaigns, even in the absence of quid pro quo arrangements. These findings have significant implications for ongoing legal and legislative debates. The hypothesis that individuals can command greater attention from influential policymakers by contributing to campaigns has been among the most contested explanations for how financial resources translate into political power. The simple but revealing experiment presented here elevates this hypothesis from extensively contested to scientifically supported.
Think Tank Review — Special Issue — EU-US Relations
Source: European University Institute Library
On the occasion of the EU-US Summit we compiled the first Special Issue of the Think Tank Review, featuring publications on EU-US relations referenced in the Think Tank Reviews since its inception in late 2013. The collection has an obvious focus on the negotiations of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), however we also found analyses all other recent highlights in transatlantic relations, from security to finance.
March 2014 Think Tank Review (PDF)
Source: European University Institute Library
Welcome to issue 11 of the Think Tank Review compiled by the EU Council Library. It references papers published in February 2014. As usual, we provide the link to the full text and a short abstract.
Time and again, developments on the ground in Ukraine catch the world off-guard. While the EU Council and – in this very days – EU Heads of State and Government keep Ukraine at the centre of their deliberations, and despite the risk of offering something obsolete, the TTR this month has a Special focus on Ukraine. A number of papers are (logically) a few weeks behind the times, but we kept those that offered background on, for example, the opposition movements in the country, its track record of integration with the EU, the energy policy implications of the crisis.
Predictably, an alysing the Ukrainian crisis led think tanks to direct some attention to EU – Russia relations, to the Eastern Partnership and indeed to the EU’s political engagement in Central Asia. Still in external relations, we highlight papers ranging from broad geopolitical notions (Eurasia) to micro analyses such as the one on Chinese investment in Greece. Readers interested in specific regions will find references to publications on Switzerland and Syria, the Arab countries and Afghanistan, the Asian Development Bank and the EU – Africa summit.
The papers on energy policy, energy security, nuclear and renewables resonate with climate and energy being on the agenda of the March European Council .
Are Top Executives Paid Enough? An Evidence-Based Review (PDF)
Source: Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
Our review of the evidence found that the notion that higher pay leads to the selection of better executives is undermined by the prevalence of poor recruiting methods. Moreover, higher pay fails to promote better performance. Instead, it undermines the intrinsic motivation of executives, inhibits their learning, leads them to ignore other stakeholders, and discourages them from considering the long-term effects of their decisions on stakeholders. Relating incentive payments to executives’ actions in an effective manner is not possible. Incentives also encourage unethical behaviour. Organizations would benefit from using validated methods to hire top executives, reducing compensation, eliminating incentive plans, and strengthening stockholder governance related to the hiring and compensation of executives.
Garbage: Disrupting the World’s Oldest Industry
Nature wastes nothing. Human beings are less frugal. We have been generating garbage for thousands of years, and are only now starting to confront the reality that our waste streams are poisoning the planet. Governments have begun to regulate how we dispose of what we no longer want; large corporations are working to find sustainable solutions that are also profitable; and smaller “green” companies and non-profits are aiming for zero-waste-to-landfill, which may be as close as we can come to the example set by nature. This special report, sponsored by the Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership (IGEL) and Rubicon Global, looks at where we have been, where we are going and how we are getting there.
A Treacherous Journey: Child Migrants Navigating the U.S. Immigration System (PDF)
Source: University of California-Hastings College of the Law, Center for Gender & Refugee Studies
CGRS and Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) have collaborated to produce an important report urging lawmakers to reform the U.S. immigration system for migrant children who are coming to our borders with surging frequency. They come, often unaccompanied by an adult, in search of safety, stability, and protection. These children face a system that was created for adults, does not provide them legal counsel, and is not required to consider the child’s best interests, despite the potentially enormous impact of the proceedings on the child’s life and future.
What Does it Take to Call a Strike? Three Biases in Umpire Decision Making (PDF)
Source: MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference
Do Major League Baseball umpires call balls and strikes solely in response to pitch location? We analyze all regular season calls from 2009 to 2011—over one million pitches—using non-parametric and structural estimation methods. We find that the strike zone contracts in 2-strike counts and expands in 3-ball counts, and that umpires are reluctant to call two strikes in a row. Effect sizes can be dramatic: in 2-strike counts the probability of a called strike drops by as much as 19 percentage points in the corners of the strike zone. We structurally estimate each umpire’s aversions to miscalling balls and his aversions to miscalling strikes in different game states. If an umpire is unbiased, he would only need to be 50% sure that a pitch is a strike in order to call a strike half the time. In fact, the average umpire needs to be 64% sure of a strike in order to call strike three half the time. Moreover, the least biased umpire still needs to be 55% sure of a strike in order to call strike three half the time. In other words, every umpire is biased. Contrary to their formal role as unbiased arbiters of balls and strikes, umpires are biased by the state of the at-bat when deciding whether a pitch intersects the strike zone.