Public Finance

New Jersey state capitol building

What’s the Value of Being a State Capital?

February 10, 2021

Cambridge, MA -- In a new study released today by Harvard Kennedy School, Linda Bilmes, the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Senior Lecturer in Public Policy, and a team of researchers published a detailed examination of the costs and benefits that accrue to capital cities that come from hosting state government. Specifically, the study, launched at the request of Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora, examined the unique costs incurred by the City of Trenton and the overall economic value...

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The view of Yosemite Valley from Tunnel View in Yosemite National Park, California, United States

For a moment, partisanship takes a backseat to conservation in the nation’s capital

July 28, 2020

As election season descends across the country and the political rhetoric emanating out of Washington only becomes more bitter, something rare happened last week on Capitol Hill—large bipartisan majorities passed one of the most far-reaching pieces of conservation legislation in a generation. The bill, known as the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) will pump billions of dollars into overdue repairs and maintenance of the country’s national parks and permanently fund a slew of other federal conservation programs. President Trump tweeted his support ahead of its passage before the House and is expected to sign the bill later this month.

For a moment, partisanship takes a backseat to conservation in the nation’s capital

July 28, 2020. As election season descends across the country and the political rhetoric emanating out of Washington only becomes more bitter, something rare happened last week on Capitol Hill—large bipartisan majorities passed one of the most far-reaching pieces of conservation legislation in a generation. The bill, known as the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) will pump billions of dollars into overdue repairs and maintenance of the country’s national parks and permanently fund a slew of other federal conservation programs. President Trump tweeted his support...

Read more about For a moment, partisanship takes a backseat to conservation in the nation’s capital
3-in-1: Governing a Global Financial Centre
Woo, Jun Jie. 2017. 3-in-1: Governing a Global Financial Centre. World Scientific Publishing, 128. Publisher's Version Abstract

Jun Jie Woo, World Scientific Publishing, August 2017

3-in-1: Governing a Global Financial Centre provides a comprehensive understanding of Singapore's past development and future success as a global financial centre. It focuses on three transformational processes that have determined the city-state's financial sector development and governance — globalisation, financialisation, and centralisation — and their impacts across three areas: the economy, governance, and technology. More importantly, this book takes a multidimensional approach by considering the inter-related and interdependent nature of these three transformational processes. Just like the 3-in-1 coffee mix that is such an ubiquitous feature of everyday life in Singapore, the individual ingredients of Singapore's success as a global financial centre do not act alone, but as an integrated whole that manifests itself in one final product: the global financial centre.

Stephen Goldsmith, January 2017  

This report discusses how the private sector should be deployed to help deliver and maintain the United State's crucial water infrastructure in a timelier and more cost-effective manner. To achieve this end, it is imperative to remove deep-seated obstacles and biases at the federal level that impede the use of private financing modalities, such as P3s. As discussed in this report, policies and legislative barriers need to be thoughtfully modernized and amended in order to enable the Nation to transfer risk, accelerate delivery, and secure life-cycle efficiency in the delivery of critical water resource infrastructure. 

In this report, Innovations in American Government Fellow Charles Chieppo outlines a number of reforms intended to put the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s (MBTA) fiscal house in order.  Specifically, Chieppo notes that the MBTA Fiscal Management and Control Board found that the T is looking at a $170 million shortfall for the current fiscal year, which is projected to grow to $427 million by fiscal year 2020. With increases in expenses far outpacing revenue growth, absent reform, the T’s financial problems will continue to compound in future years leading to deteriorating infrastructure and faltering service levels. 
Economics of the Public Sector
Stiglitz, Joseph E, and Jay Rosengard. 2015. Economics of the Public Sector. W.W. Norton & Company. Visit Publisher's Site Abstract
What should be the role of government in society? How should it design its programs? How should tax systems be designed to promote both efficiency and fairness? Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz and new co-author Jay Rosengard use their first-hand policy-advising experience to address these key issues of public-sector economics in this modern and accessible Fourth Edition.
 

Teaching

The Ash Center continues to develop new – and strengthen existing – executive education courses to offer an interactive learning experience to practitioners from China looking for a fresh approach to crafting public policy.

China Leaders in Finance Program
China Leaders in Finance Program is a two-week program for senior executives from China’s banking sector. The goal of the program is to equip participants with analytical...

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Tony Saich, August, 2013

This working paper focuses on an aspect of governance that is crucial to the next phase of China’s development: reducing state monopolies in order to enhance economic efficiency and promote more equitable growth. It is important to note that monopoly control in the Chinese political economy is not simply an economic phenomenon but also a phenomenon deeply embedded in a comprehensive system of power. Monopolies in the economic sphere (resources, prices, markets, and assets) are serious, but they are derived from the legacy of the centrally planned economy. They are also rooted in the traditional structure of Chinese society and its culture. In this paper, we will present a comprehensive examination of the phenomenon of monopoly control in the Chinese system.