Australia's goods and services tax (GST) was born of a political compromise and any discussion of potential changes to its scope and rate remains too sensitive for legislators to touch, particularly during an election year. But there's a growing realisation that GST reform could improve Australia's competitive advantage. So let the debate begin. Neil Warren, a professor of taxation at the Australian School of Business, looks at options and says the GST is a far more efficient tax than many existing levies. KPMG has been testing scenarios. Warren also notes that changing the GST would require all states to cooperate with the Commonwealth, something that's easier said than done.
From: June 18, 2013 Women at the Top: Never Mind the Quotas, Develop the Pipeline
Gender diversity in the boardroom has its advantages but there is no business case for female quotas, says Renée Adams, a professor and Commonwealth Bank (CBA) Chair in Finance at the Australian School of Business. Too much emphasis on placing women at the top obscures the systemic difficulties many women face in pursuing and maintaining full-time careers. Policy-makers should concentrate on working from the bottom up to build a talent pipeline. Carolyn Kay, a non-executive director at CBA, sees progress being made in female representation but says more needs to be done, noting that “we are still losing women at senior levels”.
From: June 18, 2013 Who Do Social Media Followers Belong to - You, or Your Business?
When Pope Benedict XVI left the Vatican on February 28, his more than two million Twitter followers stayed behind. While hardly known for being cutting edge, the Vatican was prescient enough to set up a social media account that expressly belonged to the papacy and not to an individual pope. But recent legal skirmishes at companies using social media suggest that these boundaries are not always so clear. Who owns a Twitter or Facebook account when personal and business uses are blurred? When an employee quits, can he take his account – and his followers – with him? Wharton experts weigh in.
From: March 14, 2013 More Questions Than Answers: Assessing China's Leadership Transition
Capping months of public speculation and behind-the-scenes political manoeuvring, China's 18th Communist Party Congress officially ended on November 15, setting the stage for a new roster of leaders who will rule China for the next decade. As expected, Xi Jinping succeeded Hu Jintao as the Party general secretary and was also named chairman of the Central Military Commission, which oversees the country's armed forces. In addition, vice premier Li Keqiang moved into position to replace Wen Jiabao as prime minister when government posts are staffed next spring. A seven-member list of members of the Politburo Standing Committee has been released. Still, experts say recent events suggest unresolved differences remain among various Party factions and interest groups. These ultimately show just how fragile the political process remains for one of the world's most powerful countries.
From: November 22, 2012 Economist Justin Yifu Lin: Why Continued Growth in China Is a Win for the World
Following the announcement of China’s leadership change this month, the world is wondering: Can the government of Xi Jinping keep the country’s economy going? According to Justin Yifu Lin, a former chief economist of the World Bank, China has the potential to keep growing at 8% for the next 20 years if policymakers continue with the right economic reforms.
From: November 22, 2012 What Now, Mr. President?
The election is over. After three feisty debates, hundreds of campaign stops, billions spent on ads and countless candidate "robo-calls," America has re-elected Barack Obama as Commander in Chief. Now the real work begins. The economy is eking out a half-hearted recovery, and housing is slowly beginning to perk up. However, unemployment remains at a stubborn 7.9%, investors are skittish and businesses are still reluctant to spend.
From: November 08, 2012 B Lab's Bart Houlahan: Building More Socially Responsible Corporations
AND 1, a sporting shoe and apparel company Bart Houlahan helped lead during the 1990s, was in many ways a socially responsible business before the concept was popular. "It is not that we intended it that way," said Houlahan during a recent Wharton Social Impact Lecture. "Our customers didn't care. After all, we were selling basketball kicks to 18-year-olds."
From: November 08, 2012 Rising Tensions: The Impact of the China-Japan Territorial Dispute
The recent flare-up in a long standing territorial dispute between China, the world's second-largest economy, and Japan, its third largest, appears to be cooling slightly, but it is far from resolved. The impact on both economies from violent anti-Japanese protests over disputed islands in the East China Sea is likely to persist at least through next year. If it lasts longer, experts warn, it could drag down global growth.
From: October 25, 2012 Parents' Incomes and Children's Outcomes: Can Tax Policy Level the Field?
In Lake Wobegone, the fictional Midwestern town that "Prairie Home Companion" radio host Garrison Keillor made famous, all children are above average - as new parents always wish. Sadly, that isn't so in the real world, especially for children born to low-income families without sufficient financial resources to nurture their inherent abilities. But as a new study coauthored by Wharton professor Alexander Gelber shows, a fresh twist on tax policy might level the odds and pay dividends across the whole population, rich and poor.
From: October 16, 2012 The Dark Knight's Dark Secret: Bill Finger's Uncredited Role in the Story of Batman
The closing credits of the summer's blockbuster film, The Dark Knight Rises, say the following: "Based upon Batman characters created by Bob Kane." This statement is, at best, only a half truth. As author Marc Tyler Nobleman notes in his recent book, Bill: The Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman, the Dark Knight was co-created by Bill Finger, who has never received credit, or money, for his role in the character's origin. Nobleman talks about his book - and the troubling issues it raises.
From: October 16, 2012