Free papers, reports, et al. Vol.21 (Professor Richard H. Thaler – 2017 Nobel Economics Prize laureate – Vol.1)

Here are tweets which include videos, podcasts, articles, papers, et al. on *Professor Thaler’s winning the 2017 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel.
* the Ralph and Dorothy Keller Distinguished Service Professor of Behavioral Science and Economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business


Australia Vol.14


https://twitter.com/canzuk/status/886323786424954884


https://twitter.com/Shell/status/881783695480430592


Free papers, reports, et al. Vol.20

Here are tweets which include free papers, reports/articles (citing others), et al.


Free papers, reports, et al. Vol.16

Here are tweets which include reports/articles (citing others), videos, voices, et al.


Free papers, reports, et al. Vol.4

Here are @_WorldSolutions’ RTs from late December to mid November 2016 which include free papers, reports, podcasts, video, et al.


Free papers, reports, et al. Vol.1

Here are @_WorldSolutions’ recent RTs which include free PDFs of papers, reports, et al.


US Policy Changes Vol.64 (Employment/Economy Vol.8 – Middle class, Income, Inequality…)

Here is an article on middle class, income, inequality, et al. Excerpt is on our own.

The Secret Shame of Middle-Class Americans: Nearly half of Americans would have trouble finding $400 to pay for an emergency. I’m one of them. (May 2016) | Neal Gabler @SUNY @TheAtlantic
…“monitor the financial and economic status of American consumers.”…49 percent of part-time workers would prefer to work more hours at their current wage; 29 percent of Americans expect to earn a higher income in the coming year; 43 percent of homeowners who have owned their home for at least a year believe its value has increased. … The Fed asked respondents how they would pay for a $400 emergency. The answer: 47 percent of respondents said that either they would cover the expense by borrowing or selling something, or they would not be able to come up with the $400 at all. …
…“financial impotence,”… “You are more likely to hear from your buddy that he is on Viagra than that he has credit-card problems,” says @DrBradKlontz @CreightonBiz… “Much more likely.” America is a country, as Donald Trump has reminded us, of winners and losers, alphas and weaklings. To struggle financially is a source of shame, a daily humiliation—even a form of social suicide. Silence is the only protection.
…economists… had unemployment statistics and income differentials and data on net worth, but none of these captured what was happening in households trying to make a go of it week to week, paycheck to paycheck, expense to expense. David Johnson @umisr, says, “People studied savings and debt. But this concept that people aren’t making ends meet or the idea that if there was a shock, they wouldn’t have the money to pay, that’s definitely a new area of research”—one that’s taken off since the Great Recession. …economists have long theorized that people smooth their consumption over their lifetime, offsetting bad years with good ones—borrowing in the bad, saving in the good. But recent research indicates that when people get some money — a bonus, a tax refund, a small inheritance — they are, in fact, more likely to spend it than to save it. … So if you really want to know why there is such deep economic discontent in America today, even when many indicators say the country is heading in the right direction, ask a member of that 47 percent.
…financial fragility, financial insecurity, financial distress… …the evidence strongly indicates that either a sizable minority or a slim majority of Americans are on thin ice financially. … A 2014 @Bankrate survey… only 38 percent of Americans would cover a $1,000 emergency-room visit or $500 car repair with money they’d saved. Two reports @pewtrusts… that 55 percent of households didn’t have enough liquid savings to replace a month’s worth of lost income, and that of the 56 percent of people who said they’d worried about their finances in the previous year, 71 percent were concerned about having enough money to cover everyday expenses. …@A_Lusardi @GWtweets, Peter Tufano @OxfordSBS, and Daniel Schneider @UCBerkeley asked individuals whether they could “come up with” $2,000 within 30 days for an unanticipated expense. …slightly more than one-quarter could not, and another 19 percent could do so only if they pawned possessions or took out payday loans. The conclusion: Nearly half of American adults are “financially fragile” and “living very close to the financial edge.” Yet another analysis…Jacob Hacker @Yale measured the number of households that had lost a quarter or more of their “available income” in a given year—income minus medical expenses and interest on debt—and found that in each year from 2001 to 2012, at least one in five had suffered such a loss and couldn’t compensate by digging into savings.
…Edward Wolff @NYUCAS…: There isn’t much net worth to draw on. Median net worth has declined steeply in the past generation—down 85.3 percent from 1983 to 2013 for the bottom income quintile, down 63.5 percent for the second-lowest quintile, and down 25.8 percent for the third, or middle, quintile. …@RussellSageFdn, the inflation-adjusted net worth of the typical household, one at the median point of wealth distribution, was $87,992 in 2003. By 2013, it had declined to $54,500, a 38 percent drop. And…the decline for the lower quintiles began long before the recession—as early as the mid-1980s…
…in 2013, prime-working-age families in the bottom two income quintiles had no net worth at all and thus nothing to spend. A family in the middle quintile, with an average income of roughly $50,000, could continue its spending for … six days. Even in the second-highest quintile, a family could maintain its normal consumption for only 5.3 months. Granted, those numbers do not include home equity. …“it’s much harder now to get a second mortgage or a home-equity loan or to refinance.” So remove that home equity, which in any case plummeted during the Great Recession…
…nearly one-quarter of households making $100,000 to $150,000 a year claim not to be able to raise $2,000 in a month. … According to an analysis of Federal Reserve and TransUnion data by the personal-finance site ValuePenguin, credit-card debt stood at about $5,700 per household in 2015. … About 38 percent of households carried some debt, according to the analysis, and among those, the average was more than $15,000. …
… William R. Emmons, an assistant vice president and economist for the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, traces the surge to a 1978 Supreme Court decision, Marquette National Bank of Minneapolis v. First of Omaha Service Corp. The Court ruled that state usury laws, which put limits on credit-card interest, did not apply to nationally chartered banks doing business in those states. That effectively let big national banks issue credit cards everywhere at whatever interest rates they wanted to charge, and it gave the banks a huge incentive to target vulnerable consumers just the way, Emmons believes, vulnerable homeowners were targeted by subprime-mortgage lenders years later. …
… As Bruce McClary, the vice president of communications for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, says, “During the initial phase of the Great Recession, there was a spike in credit use because people were using credit in place of emergency savings. … The personal savings rate peaked at 13.3 percent in 1971 before falling to 2.6 percent in 2005. As of last year, the figure stood at 5.1 percent, and according to McClary, nearly 30 percent of American adults don’t save any of their income for retirement. …
… Annamaria Lusardi and her colleagues found that, in general, the more sophisticated a country’s credit and financial markets, the worse the problem of financial insecurity for its citizens. …as the financial world has grown more complex, our knowledge of finances has not kept pace. …65 percent of Americans ages 25 to 65 were financial illiterates.
… Though household incomes rose dramatically from 1967 to 2014 for the top quintile, and more dramatically still for the top 5 percent, incomes in the bottom three quintiles rose much more gradually: only 23.2 percent for the middle quintile, 13.1 percent for the second-lowest quintile, and 17.8 percent for the bottom quintile. … The peak years for income in the bottom three quintiles were 1999 and 2000; incomes have declined overall since then—down 6.9 percent for the middle quintile, 10.8 percent for the second-lowest quintile, and 17.1 percent for the lowest quintile. …
In a 2010 report titled “Middle Class in America,” the U.S. Commerce Department defined that class less by its position on the economic scale than by its aspirations: homeownership, a car for each adult, health security, a college education for each child, retirement security, and a family vacation each year. … A 2014 analysis by USA Today concluded that the American dream, defined by factors that generally corresponded to the Commerce Department’s middle-class benchmarks, would require an income of just more than $130,000 a year for an average family of four. Median family income in 2014 was roughly half that.
… In a survey of American finances published last year by Pew, 60 percent of respondents said they had suffered some sort of “economic shock” in the past 12 months—a drop in income, a hospital visit, the loss of a spouse, a major repair. More than half struggled to make ends meet after their most expensive economic emergency. Even 34 percent of the respondents who made more than $100,000 a year said they felt strain as a result of an economic shock. …
… The American Psychological Association… The 2014 survey—in which 54 percent of Americans said they had just enough or not enough money each month to meet their expenses—found money to be the country’s No. 1 stressor. Seventy-two percent of adults reported feeling stressed about money at least some of the time, and nearly a quarter rated their stress “extreme.” … Thirty-two percent of the survey respondents said they couldn’t afford to live a healthy lifestyle, and 21 percent said they were so financially strapped that they had forgone a doctor’s visit, or considered doing so…
… “Financial insecurity is associated with depression, anxiety, and a loss of personal control that leads to marital difficulties,” says Brad Klontz, the financial psychologist. …
… A 2014 New York Times poll found that only 64 percent of Americans said they believed in the American dream—the lowest figure in nearly two decades. … As the Harvard economist Benjamin M. Friedman wrote in his 2005 book, The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth, “Merely being rich is no bar to a society’s retreat into rigidity and intolerance once enough of its citizens lose the sense that they are getting ahead.”
… In a 2014 Pew survey revealing that 55 percent of Americans spend as much as they make each month, or more, nearly the exact same percentage say they have favorable financial circumstances, which may just mean some of them are too frightened to admit they don’t. …
…A pre-recession survey by the Consumer Federation of America and the Financial Planning Association found that 21 percent of Americans felt the “most practical” way for them to get several hundred thousand dollars was to win the lottery…


US Policy Changes Vol.60 (Infrastructure Vol.6 – Transportation)

Here are articles on transportation, et al. Excerpts are on our own.

Transportation and the Cost of Convenience (w Podcast; 1/12/2016) | @whartonknows
…Edward Humes…Door to Door: The Magnificent, Maddening, Mysterious World of Transportation…
Humes:… …every time traffic delays the average UPS route a minute, that minute costs the company $12.5 million. …
…the delivery companies around the world are lusting after drones, but not little ones — big ones, 747-sized drones. That’s where they see unmanned aircraft as the next disruption and provider of efficiency, lower costs — obviously, because they’re eliminating humans — and also more safety.
…$1.4 billion was spent to add a lane onto a 10-mile stretch… …just inviting more cars to come to the party. Adding capacity without changing the driving behavior, without providing some kind of incentive or disincentive to drive at peak times doesn’t work. …
… We lost about $160 billion to the economy in 2015 just from traffic delays and congestion and the wasted fuel they cause. … If even 10% of the commuting population in a large city defers their commute by half an hour, it could reduce congestion almost magically.
… You could replace the gasoline tax…with congestion pricing. …it eliminates that 50% of rush hour drivers who don’t really need to be there.
…the rise of the smartphone has also empowered ride-sharing, which is a huge disruptor. And when you combine that with the evolving technology of driverless vehicles, that’s a new paradigm for how we use and deploy cars — and whether or not we even want to own them in the future. We may just buy car time like…
…tunnels that are 100 years old. … There’s a $3.6 trillion backlog in repairs to our transportation infrastructure. …
…60,000 bridges… Every day that was closed, it cost the trucking and goods-moving industry $2.5 million. …
… We can’t forsake the people who are at the heart of our goods movement industry now whose jobs would be at risk from driverless technology. …
… Solve the inconvenience of getting to the train station. The driverless car comes and drops you off. …
… It’s not just big cities. … But yes, those are the places where traffic and a lot of the negative issues associated with it are most intense. …

How four macro forces will shape Elaine Chao’s tenure as Transportation Secretary (1/10/2016) | @AdieTomer @BrookingsMetro
… The next Secretary will have a chance to craft their own digital legacy, including revised street designs to accommodate autonomous and shared vehicles, standardize infrastructure sensor technologies, finalize drone regulations, and respond to products not even yet invented. …
… Infrastructure jobs are one of the few areas of the economy where workers can earn a living wage or more without advanced education. Yet some of those same jobs are among those most threatened by automation, including long-distance truck driving and many other positions involved in logistics and warehousing. The fact that many transportation workers are nearing retirement is simultaneously putting new demands on workforce training programs to prepare the next wave of vital infrastructure employees. …
… Emphasizing that electrified transportation is the industry’s future while downplaying the carbon reduction benefits.
…a 55,000-person agency with a $75 billion annual budget. …TIGER…

Why Better Urban Planning Won’t Reduce Traffic — but Taxes Will (w Video; 2/9/2016) | @whartonknows
… But new research co-authored by Wharton real estate professor Gilles Duranton finds that such policies may not have as great an effect as planners believe. In “Urban Form and Driving: Evidence from U.S. Cities,” Duranton and Brown University professor Matthew A. Turner find that increases in density cause only minimal decreases in aggregate driving, meaning it is unlikely to be a cost-effective policy for responding to traffic congestion or automobile-related pollution. …
Urban Form and Traffic
… One is greenhouse gas emissions — i.e., carbon that fosters climate change, global warming and all of that. And the second one is much more localized: small particulates, which could affect people’s health.
Key Takeaways
…if you bring up density by about 10%, it leads to reduction in traveling of about 1%.
Surprising Conclusions
…there’s one major characteristic of cities that matters: the density around you.
‘Everything Else Will Not Do Much’
… To go after local pollution, you need a tax for congestion — i.e., the concentration of traffic in some areas of a city — so you need to make drivers pay for that. And you need to tax carbon emissions. For instance, the province of British Columbia does this in Canada — it’s a resounding success. …
Global Problems, Global Solutions
…they require federal interventions. …
What Sets the Research Apart
…a big survey done by the Department of Transportation with nearly a million trips. …
What’s Next
…congestion…

How Federal Policy Is Paving the Way for Driverless Cars (w Podcast; 9/28/2016) | @whartonknows
A proactive regulatory regime and a cooperative approach from auto makers are the key backdrops of the U.S. government’s policy for automated vehicles Federal Automated Vehicles Policy – Message from Secretary of Transportation Anthony R. Foxx https://www.transportation.gov/AV… …automated vehicles, such as self-driving cars, could potentially save thousands of lives, especially when 94% of crashes on U.S. roadways are caused by human choice or error…
“Tradeoffs and design choices are being made,” says Wharton management professor John Paul MacDuffie, who is also director of Program on Vehicle and Mobility Innovation at the School’s @MackInstitute. Safety in self-driving vehicles hinges on two critical aspects – “good object recognition and good distance estimation,” he adds. “It may only be that when we have got camera, radar and Lidar (distance estimation using laser illumination) all operating that we may get the accuracy that we need.”
Technology Pulls Ahead: Ride-hailing services provider Uber is piloting driverless cars in Pittsburgh, Penn.; Tesla has launched new software for self-driving cars; and auto component suppliers are realigning themselves…
…breakups, such as that between Tesla and its supplier Mobileye… Mobileye has since teamed up with component supplier Delphi to develop fully autonomous driving technology.
Ahead of the Curve:… Federal policy could also be adopted as the regulatory template by various U.S. states…
Cooperative Stance from Automakers:…in the case of automated vehicles, it is “different and potentially more cooperative,” …auto companies and industry interest groups feel that this time “the government got it right in terms of guidelines…
Preparing for 2021:…the much-anticipated year when the auto industry expects to have a full fledged launch of self-driving vehicles…
…Level 3…the stage where the responsibility for driving is handed back and forth between the artificial intelligence software and the driver. Levels 1 and 2 deal with features like cruise control and alerts when cars stray off lanes. Level 4, where there will be no human intervention in driving at all is much further away…
Perfecting the Technology:…designed to learn from experience, so all the data from testing goes back to help identify different situations that come up… …when vehicles could communicate with each other, such as with transponders and some agreed-upon standards…
…a mix of human drivers and early adopters of automated vehicles… …Uber driverless taxis in Pittsburgh always have one or two Uber employees in them to collect data…

Railroads Present A Bipartisan Case For Regulatory Reform (1/21/2017) | Edward R. Hamberger (@AAR_FreightRail) @Forbes
… Too often, for instance, regulators propose new rules in response to news events without thoroughly examining their effectiveness or how they add to the cumulative burden of existing red tape. Regulators also seek to sidestep legal challenges to rules unsupported by data or evidence by issuing “guidance” which typically has the same effect as regulations. …
Meanwhile the Surface Transportation Board (STB), the economic regulator of the sector, is still mulling a mandate for railroads to use their private infrastructure and equipment for the benefit of competitors. …

Mercury, other toxins drained into Columbia-area creeks as sewage systems failed (11/16/2016) | @sfretwell83 @thestate


US Policy Changes Vol.56 (Employment Vol.6 – incentive travel)

Here is an academic paper: The Motivational Power of Incentive Travel: The Participant’s Perspective (PDF; 2014) | Scott A. Jeffrey (@monmouthu) @IBAMConference. Excerpt is on our own. 

Abstract
…travel is highly motivating to employees and creates positive feelings towards the company by recipients of the incentive… there are limited negative feelings towards the company expressed by non-recipients…

Introduction
… The incentive travel market was $13.4 Billion US in 2006 and when motivational meetings and special events are included, this number rises to $77.1B… travel is a more effective motivator than cash and merchandise but this research fails to examine the specific elements of travel that make it motivating. …this is the first article that actually asks the recipients of travel incentives what makes a travel incentive motivating. …
…both academics and practitioners need to understand if firms should continue to invest in incentive travel and how best to design and deliver this type of incentive. …
…it addresses the viewpoint of recipients of incentive travel rather than the opinions of those who provide these incentives in order to explore why travel motivates (rather than whether or not it does)…

Literature review
What Motivates Employees
…whether or not employees believed they could achieve the required level of performance to become eligible for a reward… …instrumentality, the belief that if an employee did actually perform at the requisite level, company management would actually deliver the rewards… …valence, the amount the employee valued the reward…
…specific difficult goals drive better performance provided they were accepted and committed to. …commitment was more likely to goals that were viewed as fair and clear…
…beyond being more motivating in the valence-instrumentality-expectancy framework, high valence items improve employees moods, making them choose higher goals, perform better, and maintain a more positive view of their employers…
How Does Travel Motivate
Travel incentives accomplish motivation predominantly through valence. The travel event itself is frequently a unique event which an employee would find difficult to duplicate on their own. …
…Incentive awards in general provide a signal of recognition of good performance from employees which leads to more of the same behavior in the future… Higher levels of organizational commitment then lead to better task performance as well as an increase in the incidence of organizational citizenship behaviors…
Finally, the uniqueness of travel increases motivation through three additional mechanisms: justifiability, social reinforcement, and separability…
…it is difficult for people to purchase is using their own funds, as they have difficulty clearing a “justifiability” hurdle.
… This physical reminder of the incentive reinforces the feeling of being valued by the company…
… A separate “mental account” is set up for non-cash incentives which means they tend to be viewed in isolation and therefore less susceptible to these negative effects…
Past Research on Incentive Travel
…sales people and asked for pairwise comparisons of their preferences between pay raises, promotion opportunities, fringe benefits, recognition, and incentive awards … sales people had a strong preference for pay raises over all of the other potential rewards. Incentive awards came in fourth in the list of five. …
Drawing the conclusion that travel is not as motivational as cash would be premature, as past research has shown that what employees say they want is not necessarily that for which they will exert the most effort. In a laboratory study among university staff members, a strong preference for a cash incentive was found yet the performance uplift was stronger for a non-cash tangible incentive. …
…travel is still widely used as an incentive for salespeople. If it were not effective, then companies would most likely have stopped using it a long time ago. …the additional value that comes from rewards that provide a tangible reminder of the performance that led to their receipt. …travel incentives can increase organizational commitment it can contribute to job commitment and thereby improve performance. The provision of recognition through the use of different types of incentives, particularly travel, can increase commitment through an increase in perceived organizational support. …
… To the extent that travel incentives can increase organizational commitment it can contribute to job commitment and thereby improve performance. The provision of recognition through the use of different types of incentives, particularly travel, can increase commitment through an increase in perceived organizational support.

Method

Results
Sample Description
Overall Motivational Power
Motivational Power of Elements of Incentive Travel
Attitudes of Participants
Motivational Power of Travel vs. Other Alternatives
Implementation Issues

Discussion
The most important finding reported in this article is the high levels of motivation reported by participants with respect to travel. This was true for both sales employees (the standard group of subjects) and non-sales employees, although sales people did report being more motivated. …
…people feel personal responsibility for not earning the award rather than any ill will towards the firm offering the rewards. …
…reported envy was uncorrelated with the willingness to work hard for the incentive in the future. Employees also did not seem to believe that the same people were earning the travel incentive every year. …
…the recognition aspect of travel is the most motivating element. Also motivating to employees was the ability to experience something unique, and the ability to develop closer relationships with peers. …
…the elements that employees said could make travel more motivating to them. High on the list was an increase in destination choices, but at the top of that list was an increase in leisure activities and more free time. …

Conclusion
This article reports the results of a survey conducted on 1003 workers who had been eligible to earn travel incentives. Seven hundred and fourteen qualified for the travel, while 289 respondents did not earn the travel. This article is a unique contribution to the literature on travel incentives because it explores the perspective of recipients rather than the opinions of those who design or sell incentive travel programs. In addition, this article is unique because it addresses the opinions of non-sales employees in addition to sales employees who tend to be the focus of most research in this area.
The results reported in this article show that travel incentives still deserve a place in a firm’s motivational portfolio, even though there is often a stated preference for gift cards and cash. Incentive travel motivates employees by making them feel valued and giving them the opportunity to enjoy a unique experience that they would have a hard time replicating on their own.
Finally, the provision of incentive travel increases positive feelings in those who earn the incentive towards an employee’s firm without discouraging those who don’t qualify for travel. Because these positive feelings can increase organizational commitment, this provides another positive reason to keep incentive travel in the firm’s motivational tool kit.
The findings from this article increase the knowledge of both academics and practitioners. For academics, it begins to open up the black box of motivation by examining the elements of travel that increase the valence of the incentive. For practitioners, this article provides information on how to improve the motivational power of travel through both the design and implementation of incentive programs.