Transport Pricing and Accessibility

Transport Pricing and Accessibility. Brookings Institution. Kenneth Gwilliam. July 2017

A common criticism of urban transport strategies is that they are unduly concerned with mobility or the ability to move rather than accessibility in which a desired journey purpose can be satisfied. It is often further argued that a consequence of this focus on mobility, particularly motorized mobility, is that transport is not affordable to the poor, and that this exclusion justified the use of subsidies to remedy the situation. A key element of “Moving to Access” is thus concerned with increasing the affordability of transport for the poor. The objective of this paper is to explore the relationships between mobility, accessibility, affordability and transport prices and subsidies in more detail with a view to better reconciling the economic efficiency of the urban transport systems with the welfare of the poor. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 46 pages, 595.9 KB].

The Patterns in Global Terrorism: 1970-2016

The Patterns in Global Terrorism: 1970-2016. Center for Strategic & International Studies. Anthony Cordesman. August 14, 2017

The Burke Chair at CSIS has prepared a graphic overview of the trends of terrorism development as of the end of 2016. It traces the patterns since 1970, and focuses on the period from 2011-2016 — the years since the sudden rise of massive political instability and extremism in the MENA region. It covers global, regional, and key national trends and compares different estimates and sources for 2015 and 2016.

The report draws primarily on reporting in the START database, but uses other reporting from sources like EU/Europol, IHS Jane’s, and the IEP to illustrate different estimates, different perspectives, and the uncertainties in the data. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 368 pages, 11.20 MB].

U.S. Direct Investment Abroad: Trends and Current Issues

U.S. Direct Investment Abroad: Trends and Current Issues. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. James K. Jackson. June 29, 2017

The United States is the largest direct investor abroad and the largest recipient of foreign direct investment in the world. For some Americans, the national gains attributed to investing overseas are offset by such perceived losses as offshoring facilities, displacing U.S. workers, and lowering wages. Some observers believe U.S. firms invest abroad to avoid U.S. labor unions or high U.S. wages, but 74% of the accumulated U.S. foreign direct investment is concentrated in high-income developed countries. In recent years, the share of investment going to developing countries has fallen. Most economists argue that there is no conclusive evidence that direct investment abroad as a whole leads to fewer jobs or lower incomes overall for Americans. Instead, they argue that the majority of jobs lost among U.S. manufacturing firms over the past decade reflect a broad restructuring of U.S. manufacturing industries responding primarily to domestic economic forces.

[PDF format, 18 pages, 855.61 KB].

Multinational Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel and Other High-Level Nuclear Waste: A Roadmap for Moving Forward

Multinational Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel and Other High-Level Nuclear Waste: A Roadmap for Moving Forward. American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Robert D. Sloan. July 2017.

The Academy’s work in its Global Nuclear Future project on the back-end of the nuclear fuel cycle has focused on identifying and developing nuclear waste solutions that are feasible and adoptable by legacy countries as well as by nuclear newcomers. The project acknowledges the fact that nuclear waste is a national responsibility for all countries that have, or are in the process of building, nuclear power plants. However, for many of these countries, domestic nuclear waste solutions (such as interim storage facilities and final repositories) might be difficult to establish—obstacles can include challenging economics for nations with small nuclear fleets (nuclear power, like most other energy technologies, profits from scale), unsuitable geophysical conditions, and public opposition.

Furthermore, there is a lack of international consensus on the importance of spent nuclear fuel. Those who value spent nuclear fuel see it as a potential feedstock, as part of a closed nuclear fuel cycle; others view it as an unattractive nuisance or worse because it contains fissile plutonium, a potential source of material for weapons, and therefore they wish to dispose of it in a permanent, nonretrievable repository. As a result, attempts to fashion a multilateral nuclear waste repository that can respond to these needs have not been successful. The partners or customers of such a permanent facility would have to agree to the nature of this storage: would it allow for retrievable spent fuel or not, and would all agree to the conditions under which such fuel would be permanently stored? [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 60 pages, 1.03 MB].

The Case for an American Productivity Revival

The Case for an American Productivity Revival. Peterson Institute for International Economics. Policy Brief, 17-26. Lee G. Branstetter and Daniel Sichel. June 2017

Labor productivity in the United States has been dismal for more than a decade. But productivity slowdowns are nothing new in the United States, and, like all its predecessors, the current slowdown will also come to an end as a new productivity revival takes hold. Four developments have the potential to contribute to faster productivity growth in the United States: improvements in the healthcare system, the increasing use of robots, a revolution in e-learning, and the globalization of invention. The authors gauge the potential productivity impact of these developments and suggest that US labor productivity growth would likely rise from the 0.5 percent average rate registered since 2010 to a pace of 2 percent or more. This outcome is more likely to depend on a supportive policy environment. The federal government should expand its support of basic scientific research; allow more immigration by highly skilled scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs; and preserve America’s longstanding commitment to open trade and investment policies. It should also strengthen the safety net rather than pare back support for workers displaced by the innovations that will drive future productivity growth. If they avoid policy errors, President Trump or his successor could have the good fortune of presiding over a productivity revival. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 11 pages, 248.47 KB].

The Price of Graduate and Professional School: How Much Students Pay

The Price of Graduate and Professional School: How Much Students Pay. Urban Institute. Sandy Baum, Patricia Steele. June 20, 2017

Graduate and professional school tuition prices vary not only by sector and degree type, but also by subject area. Subject and level of program, time to complete, and funding available to graduate students all influence the prices students pay. In addition, institutional aid covers much of the tuition for many research doctoral student. This brief examines how graduate degree prices have changed overtime and provides detailed information on published and net prices for graduate and professional degree students. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 20 pages, 1.98 MB].

The Romanian Anti-Corruption Process: Successes and Excesses

The Romanian Anti-Corruption Process: Successes and Excesses. Center for Strategic & International Studies. Heather A. Conley. June 14, 2017

Heather A. Conley, Senior Vice President for Europe, Eurasia, and the Arctic; and Director, Europe Program, testified before the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission) on, “The Romanian Anti-Corruption Process: Successes and Excesses.” [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 5 pages, 428.1 KB].