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Session 20A 17:30-19:00 // day two

20A - Economics and Culture University of Warwick and Baruch College, CUNY

One of the most striking issues visible in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997–2013 is the discrepancy between wages of workers across different income backgrounds. In my research, I build on the existing literature and extend the contingent renewal model of the employment relationship by Bowles et al. (2001a) to account for distinct degrees of the fatalism of workers across their income backgrounds. An empirical research on panel data from NLSY97 will be conducted to assess the microeconomic model. Furthermore, heterogeneity analysis will explore the impact of findings across different population groups and results will be tested for their robustness with different measures of personal power.

The paper attempts to show that part of wage discrepancy can be explained by the higher degree of fatalism in workers with poor income background. It might be explained due to low family assets that make them financially insecure. According to this, as workers enrich themselves throughout life, the wage discrepancy should diminish as initial assets become of a lesser proportion of overall net worth. If true, it has implications for the employment contract theory as employers can expect higher productivity from low-income background workers, controlling for factors such as ability or knowledge. This excess productivity converges over time to the workers from high-income backgrounds, as does their lifetime income. The project will attempt to explain possible wage differentials across US citizens from different income backgrounds. It will suggest possible policy implications in terms of promoting non-cognitive skills development, potentially improving the education system.

The development of the modern museum – beginning with the cabinet of curiosity, progressing to the Salon and transformed by the theory of the white cube – has been driven by historical tension between the visual organisation of the collection and the intended versus actual experience of the viewer. A deliberate organisation of the physical space is intrinsically necessary for developing the overall visitor experience and, therefore, these trends reflect the various approaches museums have taken to better communicate with their audiences. This paper will explore the contemporary integration of technology within the museum as a continuation of this historical tension and discuss its effects on overall visitor experience and museum authority. It will use Bloomberg Connects as the starting point for discussing this modern trend.

Bloomberg Connects, a monetary initiative run through Bloomberg Philanthropies, aims to enhance the museum’s visitor experience through the integration of technology. This paper explores the digital interfaces of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, Brooklyn Museum, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and American Museum of Natural History – whose development of technology has been funded in some part by Bloomberg Connects. In doing so, it will not only assess the ways in which each interface engages or inhibits visitor experience, but it will also look at each interface as a reflection of this larger conversation between technology and the traditional institution, as well as how the introduction of technology represents a continuation of historic trends and a break from previous developments.

This paper aims to discuss the consequences of ‘financialisation’ – the domination of financial intermediaries, in particular investment banks, in contributing to ‘usury’ and the increasing wealth gap. While existing literature, especially after the Kay Review, has focused on the influences of institutional shareholders on companies, this paper primarily explores ‘financialisation’ from the perspective of wage-earners, i.e those who trust their funds with financial intermediaries. This paper will then argue that the dominance of financial intermediaries in the investment chain, both in exerting pressure on the companies and controlling information in manipulating stock prices, is detrimental to wage-earners.

The argument has three sections: firstly – in light of England’s determination to remain the global financial hub as emphasised in the recently issued White Paper on Brexit and the shareholder-centric corporate governance culture – it aims to demonstrate how ‘comply or explain’ and the facilitation of hostile takeovers allowed investment banks to dominate the market control, hence exerting pressures on the companies to pursue short-termism. The second section presents data on remuneration packages in investment banking, and the increasing wealth gap in the United Kingdom, to show that the dominance of financial intermediaries through information asymmetry has contributed to moral hazard. This section also explains the attractiveness of the remuneration package towards students. Finally, this paper attempts to consolidate the proposed reforms from (1) the society (as opposed to the banking regulation) perspective – societal awareness on the comprehension of risk per expected return, and (2) the law – the imposition of tax, minimum capital requirement and change in the regulatory philosophy of FCA and PRA.

In conclusion, drawing all three sections together, it is submitted that all the proposed reforms are unlikely to happen given the Bank’s superimposition ability on a nation’s economy, especially in the climate of Brexit.

The Boston Housing Authority (BHA) is a city agency that provides subsidized housing to over 58,000 residents across 63 developments. If federal funding were to decline, BHA could lose financial sustainability, which would directly translate into the inability to maintain the upkeep of its housing developments.

Our research group developed a pilot project as a hypothetical solution with the goal of creating a mutually beneficial public-private partnership that would transfer 60% ownership of one BHA development to the private developer, Boston Capital, in exchange for financing the renovation costs. This mixed-finance model, originally introduced through the federal HOPE IV program, has successfully allowed Boston to produce more than 2,300 housing units in the past 15 years.

Our project, named Greater Roxbury, proposes to transform five dilapidated buildings into green, mixed-income, and mixed-use (commercial and residential) spaces. Unlike regular public-private developments, our project would create a Community Benefit Agreement to ensure the community’s engagement. Boston Capital would have to make a $6.2 million investment. Rehabilitating existing apartments, transforming the first floors into commercial units, and constructing 50 additional units would cost $15 million. Separate from Boston Capital’s investment, in FY1, BHA would bring in $10.5 from public and private grants and rent from the commercial spaces. By the third year it is expected that Boston Capital would receive a 7% return on investment and an annual long-term gain of $2.1 million.

Profit projections were based on the research of construction and operational expenses as well as realistic revenue expectations. To further enhance the project’s feasibility, we prepared a risk assessment, marketing and collaborations plan. By addressing the project’s feasibility, the goal is to replicate this pilot project across cities and contribute towards better Social Welfare policies. Ultimately, public-private developments would allow cities to rehabilitate public housing and improve the quality of life of low-income residents.