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HKS in the News April 20, 2012

1. Fixing up home improvement (Joint Center for Housing Studies) Forbes

2. Claims against Mitt Romney in new Priorities USA ad are technically true but paint an incomplete picture (Paterson) The Boston Globe

3. Oakland Police Caught Between Reform and Crime Surge (Stone) The New York Times

4. Harvard University's Joseph Nye on the strength of soft power (Nye) The Australian

5. Liability defense costly, even when doctors win (Chandra) American Medical News

6. In Race to Attract Investment, Indonesia Needs Rule of Law (Ash Center) The Jakarta Globe

7. Anthony Williams to head Federal City Council (Williams) Washington Business Journal


Fixing up home improvement

Forbes

April 19

Cited: Joint Center for Housing Studies research

Topic: Home improvement spending trends

Disappointing existing home sales and single-family housing starts in March and slipping builder confidence in April reconfirmed expectations that any overall recovery in the housing market will continue to be slow. But one component of fixed residential investment seems to be gaining ground: spending on home improvement. …

And experts with the Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies on Thursday projected annual spending on remodeling activity will see healthy growth in 2012, ending the year up 5.9 percent. …

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Claims against Mitt Romney in new Priorities USA ad are technically true but paint an incomplete picture

The Boston Globe

April 19

Quoted: Thomas Patterson, Shorenstein Center

Topic: Political advertising

THE AD: The pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA Action made its largest media buy of the campaign this week, spending $671,932 on an ad called “Romney’s World View,” which is running on TV and online in Florida, Ohio, Iowa and Virginia. …

THE IMPACT: “Romney’s World View” likely would not have been effective five years ago, said Thomas E. Patterson, a professor of government and the press at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. At that time, “people thought they were in the 1 percent or would be there soon,” Patterson said.

But as unemployment remains stubbornly high, Americans increasingly resent the nation’s highest earners and those who appear to protect their interests, he said. “If you’re looking for a soft spot on Romney,” Patterson said, “this is an easy one to go at.” …

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Oakland Police Caught Between Reform and Crime Surge

The New York Times

April 19

Quoted: Christopher Stone, Hauser Center

Topic: Law enforcement reform

Last month, at his first executive meeting as Oakland’s new police chief, Howard A. Jordan laid out his priorities for the police department in California’s most violent city. No. 1: reforms. No. 2: crime. …

After more than a decade of consent decrees, experts now say effective reform agreements take into account department sizes and service demands. Officers have grown frustrated that Oakland’s monitors do not seem concerned about the decrease in police services.

“If a police department is not hurting anybody and is not exhibiting any racial bias, it may look good by some of the first generation’s standards,” said Chris Stone, a professor of criminal justice at Harvard’s Kennedy School, who conducted a study on the efficacy of reforms at the Los Angeles Police Department. …

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Harvard University's Joseph Nye on the strength of soft power

The Australian

April 20

Quoted: Joseph Nye

Topic: Soft power

Power still grows from the barrel of a gun but the strength of a nation's civil society, including education, is also a source of authority.

And so when it comes to attracting international students Australia's advantage is in being what it is – "a vibrant democracy and free market,” says Joseph Nye, a professor at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and creator of the concept of “soft power,” which he made famous in a 2004 book.

Professor Nye was in Sydney this week to launch Macquarie University’s Soft Power and Advocacy Research Centre. The Centre’s research focus is the media in south Asia and China and developing a PhD program. An anonymous donor bequeathed a million dollars last year to support an annual lecture. …

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Liability defense costly, even when doctors win

American Medical News

April 20

Quoted: Amitabh Chandra

Topic: Costs of medical liability lawsuits

The cost of successfully defending a physician’s medical liability lawsuit averages $17,130, a significant amount given the outcome of the cases, says the author of a new study.

Lawsuits that result in a payment — either by settlement or jury verdict — cost an average defense bill of $45,070, according to the study in the April 5 New England Journal of Medicine ( ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22475613/). Generally, insurers pay the bulk of defense costs in medical liability suits.

“The administrative costs of fighting these claims, [such as] expert witnesses to testify for doctors, it’s a lot of spending,” said Amitabh Chandra, PhD, co-author of the study and a professor of public policy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School in Cambridge, Mass. …

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In Race to Attract Investment, Indonesia Needs Rule of Law

The Jakarta Globe

April 20

Cited: Ash Center report

Topic: Investing in Indonesia

As a representative of US business interests in Indonesia, I am often asked about the most important criteria for any investor. I respond with three words: rule of law. …

… Harvard Kennedy School’s Ash Center closely examines the rule of law in Indonesia in its report “From Reformasi to Institutional Transformation: A Strategic Assessment of Indonesia’s Prospects for Growth, Equity and Democratic Governance.” The report concludes “that local business interests have routinely used corrupt courts to extract concessions from foreign companies,” and it goes on to state that “the legal system — courts, prosecutors, police, lawyers — must uphold the law and the rights of citizens without bias.” …

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Anthony Williams to head Federal City Council

Washington Business Journal

April 19

Cited: Anthony Williams, Ash Center

Topic: Anthony Williams appointment

Former D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams has been tapped to replace John Hill as CEO of the Federal City Council, the organization announced Thursday.

The news comes after Hill announced in October that he would step down when his contract expires in August. Williams will assume his new position July 1. …

(Williams) is also is a lecturer in public management at the Harvard University Kennedy School and serves as a senior adviser to the Urban Policy Advisory Group at Harvard. …

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This selection of media appearances is compiled by the Office of Communications and Public Affairs.

To submit an item please email Jane Finn-Foley


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