In recent weeks, a number of HLS faculty have weighed in on issues surrounding the fiscal cliff negotiations.
How (Not) to Negotiate Like Congress
A Q&A with HLS Professor Robert Mnookin: Congress passed a fiscal cliff deal on Jan. 1, but only after what appeared to be a lot of bickering, name-calling, foot-dragging, at least one obscene outburst … According to Robert Mnookin, a professor at Harvard Law School and director of the Harvard Negotiation Research Project, this isn’t just an example of buffoonish leadership—it’s actually cutthroat bargaining in action. … Mnookin talked to Bloomberg Businessweek about the last-minute deal [and] hard-line Republicans …
The Daily Beast
The Best Way to Reform Health Care—and Cut the Deficit
An opinion piece by HLS Professor Einer Elhauge: With the tax portion of the fiscal-cliff deal done—for better or worse—Washington’s attention will now turn to deficit reduction. And there’s one way that Obama can keep deficit hawks happy without sacrificing entitlements. … It’s the least painful way to lower health-care costs, because it actually increases quality. It’s bipartisan, because it adopts deregulatory reforms that should appeal to Republicans. … And best of all, it can be done through executive action, and thus spares us the agony of trying to pass another health-care statute. So what is it? It’s defragmenting health care.
Corporate Short-Termism in the Fiscal Cliff’s Shadow
An opinion piece by HLS Professor Mark Roe: Economic trends are sometimes more closely related to one another than news reports make them seem. … For example, one regularly encounters reports of governments’ financial troubles, like the “fiscal cliff” in the United States and the debt crisis in Europe. … And much attention has been devoted, often in nearby opinion pieces, to the view that hyperactive equities markets, particularly in the US and the United Kingdom, push large corporations to focus disproportionately on short-term financial results at the expense of long-term investments in their countries’ economies.
People Hate Losses and That Affects U.S. Budget Talks
An opinion piece by HLS Professor Cass Sunstein: Human beings dislike losses. In fact, they dislike losses a lot more than they like equivalent gains. … This simple point helps to explain what kinds of economic incentives are most likely to have an impact. It also places a bright spotlight on an overlooked obstacle to fiscal reform.
Negotiating the fiscal crisis
An opinion piece by Daniel L. Shapiro, founder and director of the Harvard International Negotiation Program: How can we avert a full-throttle drive over the fiscal cliff? Despite some promising signs of movement on both sides of the aisle, the current negotiation approach – positional bargaining – is bound to bring us dangerously close to the edge. … Democrats and Republicans have executed a form of negotiation called positional bargaining – and with text-book precision.