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How to Persuade the Young and the Healthy to Sign Up for Health Insurance
Zelma Brezinska/EyeEm/Getty Images One of the big challenges in both expanding the number of Americans with health care coverage and keeping premiums affordable for people with chronic or serious illnesses has been persuading young and healthy adults to obtain policies. Critics argue that the new U.S. tax law has made this task even harder with its elimination of the individual mandate for health insurance, a part of the Affordable Care Act that requires individuals to buy insurance or risk having to pay a tax penalty. But the effect of the mandate on coverage was never particularl [...]
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Do Soda Taxes Work? Not Unless Retailers Raise Prices
Annabelle Breakey/Getty Images Soda’s empty calories are public enemy number one in the fight against obesity, and taxes on sugary drinks are an increasingly popular tool among local governments hoping to curb consumption. State and federal taxes on tobacco and alcohol have helped reduce consumption; local governments are simply assuming a soda tax will work in the same way. The idea is that making soda cost more will encourage consumers to drink less of it. But that only happens if retailers pass along the added cost to their customers — something that doesn’ [...]
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How Georgia State University Used an Algorithm to Help Students Navigate the Road to College
Yenpitsu Nemoto/Getty Images As AI continues to develop, a major test of its potential will be whether it can replace human judgment in individualized, complex ways. At Georgia State University, we investigated a test case where AI assisted high school students in their transition to college, helping them to navigate the many twists and turns along the way. From the perspective of an AI system, the college transition provides intriguing challenges and opportunities. A successful system must cope with individual idiosyncrasies and varied needs. For instance, after acceptance into college, stu [...]
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When an Email Exchange Turns Ugly
Hayon Thapaliya It was Monday morning, and Lee opened his inbox to find an email from his manager: “Lee, I’ve decided to have Carlos present to the governing board, instead of you. I’m sure you’re good with this.” Lee had spent the entire weekend preparing for the presentation. Not only did he know the numbers inside and out, he was also excited to get some face time with the board. Performing well would be a good move for his career. So, no, Lee wasn’t really “good with this.” He was crushed, defeated, and felt betrayed. But could he really sa [...]
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How to Make Sure People Won’t Hate Your New Open Office Plan
frank lloyd wright/ullstein bild/Getty Images Organizations are rushing to implement open office spaces in hopes of retaining talent, encouraging cross-functional collaboration, enhancing exposure to different kinds of expertise, and accelerating creativity and innovation. Sometimes this works, but often it doesn’t. In our research, we discovered that success with open offices may have as much to do with how people feel about the space — something called place identity — as with the space itself.  When place identity is higher, employees report more engagement in [...]
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How Automation Will Change Work, Purpose, and Meaning
eva bee/Getty Images The vast majority of humans throughout history worked because they had to. Many found comfort, value, and meaning in their efforts, but some defined work as a necessity to be avoided if possible. For centuries, elites in societies from Europe to Asia aspired to absolution from gainful employment. Aristotle defined a “man in freedom” as the pinnacle of human existence, an individual freed of any concern for the necessities of life and with nearly complete personal agency. (Tellingly, he did not define wealthy merchants as free to the extent that their minds we [...]
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How Working Parents Can Feel Less Overwhelmed and More in Control
Jeffery Coolidge/Getty Images Revise budget numbers. Parent/teacher conference Wednesday. Edit the marketing overview document. Finish summer camp applications. Give candidate interview feedback to HR. Grocery run — we’re out of everything. Start drafting quarterly forecast. Call the roofer for the estimate. Organize team strategy session. Schedule kids’ flu shots. Get back to Jayesh and Liu on IT plan. Get Tommy ready for math test tomorrow… If you’re a working parent, chances are excellent that at any given time, your to-do list looks like the o [...]
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How to Have a Good Debate in a Meeting
Hirokazu Jike/Getty Images The modern workplace is awash in meetings, many of which are terrible. As a result, people mostly hate going to meetings. The problem is this: The whole point of meetings is to have discussions that you can’t have any other way. And yet most meetings are devoid of real debate. To improve the meetings you run, and save the meetings you’re invited to, focus on making the discussion more robust. When teams have a good fight during meetings, team members debate the issues, consider alternatives, challenge one another, listen to minority views, and scru [...]
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What the Future of U.S. Antitrust Should Look Like
Purviance/William T./The New York Public Library Market concentration is rising while economic competition — the bedrock of a dynamic, free market economy — is under threat. No wonder the framework that has guided antitrust enforcement for the last four decades is coming under intense scrutiny. There are at least three schools of thought about the future of antitrust, each of which deserves consideration. To determine which one is best — and we do have a view — it’s helpful to review the growing evidence on why market concentration is so dangerous to the economy [...]
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Is Overregulation Really Holding Back the U.S. Economy?
Mina De La O/Getty Images With tax cuts now a done deal, Republicans are turning to regulatory reform to give economic growth a further boost. There, they may find more bipartisan support. Past reforms of airlines, rail, and trucking regulation were, after all, set in motion by Democrats. Today there is significant Democratic support for reform of financial regulation, especially for smaller community banks. Overregulated small businesses can be found in every congressional district, red or blue. But while regulatory reform could provide a big boost if it is done right, indiscriminate d [...]
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Research: We’re Less Likely to Collaborate in Bad Economic Times
Mordolff/Getty Images In the fall of 1930, the U.S. economy was on a path to recovery following a contraction that occurred the year before. However, worries about the state of the economy, and the banking system in particular, prompted an increasing number of bank customers to attempt to withdraw their funds, an event known as a bank run. Because banks normally keep only a small proportion of deposits in cash, bank runs create a self-fulfilling prophecy such that initial concerns about banks’ possible insolvency ultimately cause insolvency. The bank run of 1930 resulted in the worst e [...]
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When Bureaucracy Is Actually Helpful, According to Research
william bout/unsplash “Bureaucracy” has become a catchall term for the many ways in which organizations squander workers’ potential. From needless paperwork to delusional project timelines, administrative overhead can prevent workers from doing the meaningful tasks that contribute to the organization’s bottom line. Employees perceive bureaucracy to be an immovable beast, blocking their path toward efficient, satisfying work lives. And yet excising these bureaucratic elements from organizations would be nearly impossible. Projects that involve complex te [...]
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