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Capital Flight: Can Tax Inversions Be Prevented?

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Legislators in Washington are up in arms over a wave of companies pursuing overseas acquisitions so they can escape high U.S. taxes. But can the capital flight be stopped?

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A Brief History of America’s Attitude Toward Taxes

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The changing attitudes toward and laws around income taxes has been a major driver of the rise of America’s modern talent-based, knowledge economy.

Two things strike me as I study the history. First, it is hard to see the historical development of US income taxation as a gradual evolution. Rather, it is characterized by major swings. Second, it is interesting to see a very consistent cycle in the tax treatment of the super-rich. I think that today we are approaching an inflection point. ...

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Why Terrorist Groups Are So Bureaucratic

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I typed the words into the pristine white search field, hoping they didn’t land me on the NSA’s no-fly list: “How to manage a terrorist organization.”

There is a lot of academic work out there on what constitutes terrorism; the psychology of terrorists and terrorist acts; and the military precepts of asymmetric warfare. There’s not a lot on the basic management issues faced by your run-of-the-mill al Qaeda cell.

But that’s exactly what Princeton professor and former Naval officer Jacob Shapiro ...

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Making African Health Care Radically Cheaper

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When I flew into Lagos last month – only a few days after Nigeria had confirmed its first case of the Ebola Virus Disease – the city was clearly deep in risk management mode. Government agencies were scrambling to communicate consistent information releases to locals, while international companies were lining up employees at airport departure lounges to fly them to safety. Nearby in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the situation was even more dire, with border closures and international flight ...

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What Good Is Impact Investing?

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Impact investing is on the rise. Yay! But, um, what is it? Last year, Michael Drexler and Abigail Noble of the World Economic Forum took a stab at defining it as “an investment approach intentionally seeking to create both financial return and positive social impact that is actively measured.” That is, you have to intend to do good, and you have to measure whether you’re succeeding. This was in a report called From the Margins to the Mainstream that ...

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Use Data to Fix the Small Business Lending Gap

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Access to credit is a key constraint for entrepreneurs. And limited credit is in part caused by the difficulty of predicting which small businesses will and won’t succeed. In the past, a community bank would have a relationship with the businesses on Main Street, and when it came time for a loan, there would be a wealth of informal information to augment the loan application. Today, community banks are being consolidated and larger banks are relying more and more ...

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If You’re Feminine-Faced, You’re Better Off Negotiating by Phone

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Prior to online negotiations with strangers, research participants indicated that they expected greater cooperation if photos of the strangers (whether male or female) showed more-feminine facial features, such as less-prominent eyebrow ridges and smaller noses (6.84 versus 6.05 for strangers with less-feminine features, on a 7-point expected-cooperation scale). In subsequent negotiations, participants also demanded significantly more from feminine-faced counterparts, say Eric Gladstone and Kathleen M. O’Connor of Cornell. Masculine-faced people enter negotiations with a built-in advantage, because their counterparts tend ...

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A Test to Weed Out Consultants You Shouldn’t Hire

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We’ve seen a lot of consulting “misses” over the years — polished management products and services that fail to achieve what the clients want. Often it’s because executives recruit their consultants the wrong way.

They usually start the search sensibly — looking for recommendations from respected colleagues or friends, a reputation for cutting-edge work, a portfolio of similar jobs done elsewhere, deep subject-matter expertise, and industry experience. These are all good reasons to include a firm in your initial list of ...

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When Taking a Break Could Be a Matter of Life and Death

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New Wharton research finds that over the course of a work day, employees pay less and less attention to the secondary tasks that, while not as central to their jobs, can create big problems if overlooked.

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The Marshmallow Test for Grownups

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Originally conducted by psychologist Walter Mischel in the late 1960s, the Stanford marshmallow test has become a touchstone of developmental psychology. Children at Stanford’s Bing Nursery School, aged four to six, were placed in a room furnished only with a table and chair. A single treat, selected by the child, was placed on the table. (In addition to marshmallows, the researchers also offered Oreo cookies and pretzel sticks.) Each child was told if they waited for 15 minutes before ...

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