Archive

Archive for the ‘Harvard University’ Category

An Economy Doing Half Its Job: Findings of Harvard Business School’s 2013 – 14 Survey on U.S. Competitiveness

November 4, 2014 Comments off

An Economy Doing Half Its Job: Findings of Harvard Business School’s 2013 – 14 Survey on U.S. Competitiveness (PDF)
Source: Harvard Business School

In 2013–14, Harvard Business School (HBS) conducted its third alumni survey on U.S. competitiveness. Our report on the findings focuses on a troubling divergence in the American economy: large and midsize firms have rallied strongly from the Great Recession, and highly skilled individuals are prospering. But middle- and working-class citizens are struggling, as are small businesses. We argue that such a divergence is unsustainable, explore its root causes, and examine actions that might mitigate it. We ask in particular, how can we create a U.S. economy in which firms both thrive in global competition and lift the living standards of the average American?

About these ads

Don’t Take ‘No’ for an Answer: An Experiment with Actual Organ Donor Registrations

November 3, 2014 Comments off

Don’t Take ‘No’ for an Answer: An Experiment with Actual Organ Donor Registrations
Source: Harvard Business School Working Paper

Over 10,000 people in the U.S. die each year while waiting for an organ. Attempts to increase organ transplantation have focused on changing the registration question from an opt-in frame to an active choice frame. We analyze this change in California and show it decreased registration rates. Similarly, a “field in the lab” experiment run on actual organ donor registration decisions finds no increase in registrations resulting from an active choice frame. In addition, individuals are more likely to support donating the organs of a deceased who did not opt-in than one who said “no” in an active choice frame.

Are Bankers Worth Their Pay? Evidence from a Talent Measure

October 31, 2014 Comments off

Are Bankers Worth Their Pay? Evidence from a Talent Measure (PDF)
Source: Harvard Business School Working Papers

This paper investigates empirically the source of the wage premium in the finance industry. We exploit the ranking in a competitive examination to build a precise measure of talent. By using a comprehensive compensation survey among an educational elite, we show that wage returns to talent are relatively high in the finance industry. This higher sensitivity to talent explains both the finance wage premium and its evolution.

Do Experts or Collective Intelligence Write with More Bias? Evidence from Encyclopædia Britannica and Wikipedia

October 22, 2014 Comments off

Do Experts or Collective Intelligence Write with More Bias? Evidence from Encyclopædia Britannica and Wikipedia (PDF)
Source: Harvard Business School Working Papers

Which source of information contains greater bias and slant-text written by an expert or that constructed via collective intelligence? Do the costs of acquiring, storing, displaying, and revising information shape those differences? We evaluate these questions empirically by examining slanted and biased phrases in content on U.S. political issues from two sources-Encyclopedia Britannica and Wikipedia. Our overall slant measure is less (more) than zero when an article leans towards Democrat (Republican) viewpoints, while bias is the absolute value of the slant. Using a matched sample of pairs of articles from Britannica and Wikipedia, we show that, overall, Wikipedia articles are more slanted towards Democrat than Britannica articles, as well as more biased. Slanted Wikipedia articles tend to become less biased than Britannica articles on the same topic as they become substantially revised, and the bias on a per word basis hardly differs between the sources. These results have implications for the segregation of readers in online sources and the allocation of editorial resources in online sources using collective intelligence.

Bitcoin

October 7, 2014 Comments off

Bitcoin
Source: Harvard Business School Working Papers

Bitcoin is an online communication protocol that facilitates virtual currency including electronic payments. Since its inception in 2009 by an anonymous group of developers, Bitcoin has served tens of millions of transactions with total dollar value in the billions. Users have been drawn to Bitcoin for its decentralization, intentionally relying on no single server or set of servers to store transactions and also avoiding any single party that can ban certain participants or certain types of transactions. Bitcoin is of interest to economists in part for its potential to disrupt existing payment systems and perhaps monetary systems, and also for the wealth of data it provides about agents’ behavior and about the Bitcoin system itself. This article presents the platform’s design principles and properties for a non-technical audience; reviews its past, present, and future uses; and points out risks and regulatory issues as Bitcoin interacts with the conventional financial system and the real economy.

Power plant standards could save thousands of U.S. lives every year

October 6, 2014 Comments off

Power plant standards could save thousands of U.S. lives every year
Source: Harvard, Syracuse, Boston Universities

ower plant standards to cut climate-changing carbon emissions will reduce other harmful air pollution and provide substantial human health benefits, according to a new study. The research shows that, depending on the policy options included in the final Clean Power Plan, the power plant standards could prevent thousands of premature deaths and hospitalizations, and hundreds of heart attacks in the United States every year.

In the new study, Health Co-benefits of Carbon Standards for Existing Power Plants, scientists at Harvard, Syracuse, and Boston Universities analyzed three options for standards to reduce carbon pollution from power plants. They modeled air quality and health benefits for these scenarios and compared them to business as usual in the year 2020. The analysis is called a “co-benefits” study because it focuses on the added benefits of a carbon standard that come from reducing other harmful power plant emissions such as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter. These pollutants are precursors to smog and soot that cause heart and lung disease, exacerbate asthma, and contribute to premature death.

Website linking: The growing problem of “link rot” and best practices for media and online publishers

September 12, 2014 Comments off

Website linking: The growing problem of “link rot” and best practices for media and online publishers

Source: Harvard Kennedy School of Government

The Internet is an endlessly rich world of sites, pages and posts — until it all ends with a click and a “404 not found” error message. While the hyperlink was conceived in the 1960s, it came into its own with the HTML protocol in 1991, and there’s no doubt that the first broken link soon followed.

On its surface, the problem is simple: A once-working URL is now a goner. The root cause can be any of a half-dozen things, however, and sometimes more: Content could have been renamed, moved or deleted, or an entire site could have evaporated. Across the Web, the content, design and infrastructure of millions of sites are constantly evolving, and while that’s generally good for users and the Web ecosystem as a whole, it’s bad for existing links.

In its own way, the Web is also a very literal-minded creature, and all it takes is a single-character change in a URL to break a link. For example, many sites have stopped using “www,” and even if their content remains the same, the original links may no longer work. The rise of CMS platforms such as WordPress have led to the fall of static HTML sites with their .htm and .html extensions, and with each relaunch, untold thousands of links die. And even if a core URL remains the same, many sites frequently append login information or search terms to URLs, and those are ephemeral. As the Web has grown, the problem has been complicated by search engines, which crawl the Web and archive — briefly — URLs and pages.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 962 other followers