HKS in the News January 27, 2012

January 27, 2012

1. Female politicians point the way towards equality (Pande)
Financial Times

2. The Sources of the SGR “Hole” (Chandra) The New England Journal of Medicine

3. The sound of saber-rattling against China (Glaeser) The Boston Globe

4. US needs popular support for viable foreign policy (Moore)

5. Expectations low for IAEA visit to Iran (Heinonen) Now Lebanon

Female politicians point the way towards equality
Financial Times
January 26
Quoted: Rohini Pande
Topic: Getting women involved in politics

New research by Rohini Pande, a professor of public policy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, finds that the quota system designating female leaders for certain village councils in India results in big aspirational gains for girls in those locations. “Quotas play an important role in exposing voters to what women can do,” she says.

“It’s not that they put women on the council and attitudes changed overnight; these attitudinal changes were gradual. But our research shows that perceptions of women as leaders improve.”

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The Sources of the SGR “Hole”
The New England Journal of Medicine
January 26
Research by: Amitabh Chandra
Topic: Causes and consequences of legally required cuts in Medicare spending

Recently, the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services announced a scheduled cut in Medicare physician fees of 27.4% for 2012. This cut stems from the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula used by the physician-payment system. Implemented in 1998 to curb the growth in expenditures on physicians' services, the SGR formula is used to determine annual adjustments to payments for those services. The SGR system sets a target for aggregate nationwide expenditures on the basis of growth in the per capita gross domestic product, growth in the number of Medicare Part B enrollees, changes in physicians' fees, and changes in laws or regulations. The actual expenditures on physicians' services are then compared with the target, and prices are adjusted to achieve the cumulative target over time.

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The sound of saber-rattling against China
The Boston Globe
January 27
Commentary by: Edward Glaeser, Taubman Center, Rappaport Institute
Topic: China-US relations

PRESIDENT OBAMA celebrated the Year of the Dragon by “announcing the creation of a Trade Enforcement Unit that will be charged with investigating unfair trading policies in countries like China.’’ Mitt Romney wants to begin his presidency “by designating China as the currency manipulator it is.’’

We couldn’t impose our will on Beijing when Douglas MacArthur led an army toward the Yalu River, and we have far less power today. American consumers will pay the price for trade sanctions on China, and intemperate action will ensure Chinese opposition in other vital areas, such as containing Iranian nuclear ambitions.

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US needs popular support for viable foreign policy
January 26
Commentary by: Jonathan Moore, Shorenstein Center
Topic: Mixed foreign policy views among 2012 presidential candidates

BOSTON — At this moment of urgent need to forge a U.S. foreign policy capable of dealing effectively with a radically changed world, we are reminded that no viable international strategy is possible in a democratic republic without strong domestic support.

The bad news emanating from the early Republican primaries is that we are moving in the wrong direction.

The debates, speeches, surveys and political ads constitute a chaotic mix of evasion, ignorance, bellicosity, isolationism, interventionism and above all, patriotic pandering. We are practicing exploitation rather than pursuing education at a perilous moment in our roiling world and our domestic crises.

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Expectations low for IAEA visit to Iran
NOW Lebanon
January 27
Quoted: Olli Heinonen, Belfer Center
Topic: Iran’s nuclear program

A UN atomic agency team visiting Iran from Sunday is highly unlikely to return with anything substantial enough to ease current tensions, experts including the IAEA's former chief inspector told AFP.

Iran's envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, said on Tuesday that Tehran hoped the three-day trip would "resolve any ambiguity and show [our] transparency and cooperation with the agency…."

"This is not a verification mission," Olli Heinonen, Nackaerts' predecessor and now at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School in the United States, told AFP.

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

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