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How subprime lending emerged in minority neighbourhoods

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It is a commonly held belief that subprime lenders, who issue loans to risky borrowers, provide credit to high-risk communities that would not be able to get credit from low-risk lenders. Eglė Jakučionytė and Swapnil Singh challenge this view. They show that policy changes introduced in 1995 by US institutions Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac increased securitisation costs for lending […]

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    Our lobbyists don’t always advocate for what we want them to.

Our lobbyists don’t always advocate for what we want them to.

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Americans often express concern about the lobbying profession, and they should, but not necessarily for the reasons most think. The majority of people are represented by lobbyists, though they do not always realize it. The problem is that lobbyists may not always be lobbying in the best interests of the people they represent. In new research which examines lobbying […]

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    How the King of Late Night’s political influence helped turn public opinion against a president.

How the King of Late Night’s political influence helped turn public opinion against a president.

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Can comedians and entertainers make a difference in politics all the way to the top? In new research, Brian Calfano and Lori Han examine the influence of the host of The Tonight Show, Johnny Carson’s mentions, between 1972 and 1974, of the Watergate scandal and President Richard Nixon. They find that Carson’s comments on Watergate likely influenced public opinion […]

One year into his presidency, Biden is down but not out

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At the one year anniversary of Joe Biden’s inauguration, the President’s approval ratings are at their lowest point yet, with COVID-19 lingering, inflation rising, and key legislation stalled. With the 2022 midterms less than a year away, moderate and progressive Democrats alike are calling for a reset. Is that still possible? In this Q&A, Julie Norman discusses the highs […]

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    Corporations can’t afford to stop donations to candidates, even those who still support Trump.

Corporations can’t afford to stop donations to candidates, even those who still support Trump.

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After the January 6, 2021 US Capitol insurrection, many companies stopped their donations to candidates who supported President Trump and other enablers of the attack. Melissa M. Smith writes that the need for effective lobbying by these companies means that these donations were only paused. As we head into a midterm election year, and with campaign finance reform still […]

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    Has the golden age of American farm productivity growth ended?

Has the golden age of American farm productivity growth ended?

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There is robust and compelling evidence of a structural slowing of productivity growth in U.S. agriculture, following a mid-century surge. Philip G. Pardey and Julian M. Alston come up with three possible factors that, taken together, help explain the slowdown and indicate what to expect from now on.

Farm productivity growth has been central to the development of agriculture in […]

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    Three debates are now unfolding over what kind of democracy America is.

Three debates are now unfolding over what kind of democracy America is.

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Following the one-year anniversary of the January 6, 2021, US Capitol insurrection, Professor Peter Trubowitz looks at the state of American democracy. He writes that three intersecting debates about US democracy are now developing: over the US social contract, who will govern America and how, and over US global leadership.

As last week’s many reflections on the January 6 attack […]

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    The tragedies of Twin Parks and Grenfell are reminders that housing has become a matter of life or death for millions.

The tragedies of Twin Parks and Grenfell are reminders that housing has become a matter of life or death for millions.

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On January 9th, 17 people lost their lives in a fire at the Twin Parks apartment block in the Bronx in New York City. Glyn Robbins draws parallels between this tragedy and the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire in London. He writes that policies of private sector provision of affordable housing on both sides of the Atlantic have failed – […]

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    The 2022 Midterms: The three challenges Biden and the Democrats face as they try to avoid defeat in November.

The 2022 Midterms: The three challenges Biden and the Democrats face as they try to avoid defeat in November.

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The party of the US president often loses ground in midterm elections. As the midterms in November this year come into focus, Rob Ledger and Peter Finn review three issues that may be key in deciding whether Democrats are able to hold slender majorities in the US House of Representatives and the US Senate: the COVID-19 pandemic, Donald Trump, […]

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    Senate opposition means Democrats will struggle to pass voting rights bills.

Senate opposition means Democrats will struggle to pass voting rights bills.

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Democrats have begun 2022 with a renewed effort to pass voting rights legislation. And while President Joe Biden and senior Senate Democrats have been pushing for two key voting rights bills and changes to Senate rules to enable them to pass, they continue to be blocked by Republicans. Julie Norman discusses the context and content of the bills, the […]

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