Seminars

Christopher Robertson - Remedies for Institutional Corruption: Disclosures, Blinding, and Criminal Prosecution

The first Lab seminar of the 2015 spring semester was presented by Edmond J. Safra Lab Fellow, Christopher Robertson. Christopher Robertson is an Associate Professor at the James E. Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona and an affiliated faculty member at the Petrie Flom Center at Harvard Law School. Robertson’s research focuses on how the law can improve decisions by individuals and institutions attending to informational limits, conflicting interests, and cognitive biases. For his Lab presentation, Robertson discussed his project titled, “535 Felons: An Empirical...

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Andromachi Athanasopoulou - Coping with Moral Dilemmas at Work: Managers, Business School Academics, and Other Key Influences in Managers' Decision-Making and Ethical Leadership Development

The March 31, 2015 Lab seminar was presented by Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics Lab Fellow Dr Andromachi Athanasopoulou, who is also Associate Fellow - Executive Education (Organizational Behavior) at the Said Business School of the University of Oxford. Her Lab presentation titled, “Coping with Moral Dilemmas at Work: Managers, Business School Academics and the Development of Ethical Leaders” centered on the research she has been conducting during her fellowship year at the Center, which combines her interests in corporate social responsibility and leadership development to study...

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Richard Painter - Taxation Only With Representation: The Conservative Conscience and Campaign Finance Reform

The Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics convened for its sixth Lab seminar on October 28th, 2014.  Edmond J. Safra Lab Fellow, Richard Painter, who is the S. Walter Richey Professor of Corporate Law at the University of Minnesota Law School, gave a presentation based on a book he is currently working on titled, "Taxation Only With Representation: The Conservative Conscience and Campaign Finance Reform" which argues that political conservatives need to be concerned about, and embrace a solution to, the current system of campaign finance. Painter examined the campaign finance problem from...

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Prachi Sanghavi & Wally Roberts: Competing Strategies of Pre-hospital care in the U.S.: Alternative Life Support treatment and Basic Life Support treatment; An Investigation of Institutional Corruption in the Regulation of the U.S. Nursing Home Industry

The November 18th, 2014, Lab seminar featured two presentations, the first which was presented by Prachi Sanghavi, who is completing her PhD in Health Policy at Harvard University, and the second which was presented by Wallace Roberts, an investigative journalist and community organizer who is currently an Edmond J. Safra Network Fellow. Prachi Sanghavi’s talk centered on her research investigating the economies of influence that have prevented pre-hospital care from being rationalized in better ways, and ways in which the quality and efficiency of pre-hospital care in the...

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Samuel Loewenberg - Broken Promise: Investigating the Political and Institutional Barriers to Reforming Foreign Aid

The March 10, 2015, Lab seminar was presented by Sam Loewenberg, who is an investigative journalist and a 2014-15 Project for Public Narrative Fellow. Loewenberg covers the intersection of global health, business, government and politics, and during his fellowship, he will be investigating the political, economic, and institutional barriers to reforming American foreign assistance programs for global health and hunger.

Loewenberg began his presentation by explaining what initially caused him to begin to focus on hunger. In 2005, a hunger crisis in Niger affected 2.5 million people,...

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Dana Gold, Barbara Redman, and Michael Flaherman - How Regulatory Systems Can Hinder or Harness the Power of Whistleblowers to Address Institutional Corruption

The October 21st, 2014, Lab seminar featured three Edmond J. Safra Network Fellows whose work has bridged academic thought with professional practice. The first presenter, Dana Gold, is a Senior Fellow at the Government Accountability Project, the oldest whistleblower advocacy group in the United States. During her fellowship Gold intends to study how the systematic response of institutions to vilify, rather than support whistleblowers, is itself a form of corruption. Presenting second was Barbara Redman, an internationally respected researcher, teacher, and administrator in the...

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Julia Lee, Francesca Gino and Bidhan Parmar -- Communicating Ethics in Organizations

On March 3rd Lab fellow Dr. Julia Lee presented a collaborative project with Professor Bobby Parmar from the University of Virginia and Professor Francesca Gino from the Harvard Business School. Their research project is on learning how cheating and dishonest behavior affects how one thinks about one’s social network and how this could potentially trigger more dishonest behavior. The broader implications of this research are to better understand the mechanisms of how cheating and dishonesty become repetitive and institutionalized in the culture of an organization. 

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Marcia Hams, Wells Wilkinson, and Susannah Rose -- Measuring the Perceived Effectiveness of Conflict-of-Interest Policies at Academic Medical Schools

On November 25th 2014, Marcia Hams and Wells Wilkinson from Community Catalyst and Susannah Rose from the Cleveland Clinic presented their ongoing collaborative project for the Edmond J. Safra Center’s tenth seminar of the year. Their project analyzes the results of a survey developed to help academic medical centers assess their policies on conflicts of interest (COI).

In order to provide a framework for their project, Hams started off the seminar with a brief description of conflicts of interest in medicine. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, a...

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Israel Finkelshtain - Choice of Environmental Regulation in the Presence of Political Influence

On November 11th 2014, Israel Finkelshtain, Lab Fellow and Professor of Agricultural Economics at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, presented his current research project on environmental resource control in the presence of political influence. The seminar was divided into three segments, in which he discussed an economic model of campaign contributions and lobbying, the implications of this model for environmental policies, and finally his empirical research on the Israeli water economy. 

Finkelshtain began the seminar by comparing indirect and direct regulation, the...

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Jennifer Shkabatur - Transparency with(out) Accountability: The Effects of the Internet on the Administrative State

Jennifer Shkabatur, Edmond J. Safra Lab Fellow, presented her research at the Edmond J. Safra Lab Seminar on November 2. Shkabatur’s presentation, “Transparency with(out) Accountability: The Effects of the Internet on the Administrative State,” examined the difficulties of enforcing transparency as a regulatory tool for federal agencies in the age of the Internet.

Shkabatur noted that the common problems of offline transparency (agencies’ resistance to releasing information, barriers to public participation) have not been entirely eliminated in the...

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Luigi Zingales - Economists' Capture

The October 19 Lab seminar was led by Luigi Zingales, Robert C. McCormack Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Zingales’ presentation focused on the prevention of academic economists’ capture, arguing that academics may be just as prone to capture as regulators, though few will admit it. Seminar participants offered their insights on his outline of the forces that lead to capture, as well as some proposed remedies.

Zingales opened the seminar by noting that in general, both academic...

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Lawrence Lessig - Setting the Framework for the Study of Institutional Corruption

The first Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics Lab seminar of the 2014-2015 academic year convened on September 9, 2014, and was led by the Center’s Director, Professor Lawrence Lessig. During this introductory seminar, Lessig laid the framework for his definition of institutional corruption, discussed some common terminology relevant to this definition, and presented participants of the Lab seminar with several examples of its occurrence.

Lessig opened the seminar by contrasting his definition of institutional corruption with that of Dennis Thompson’s earlier conception of the term....

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Michael Jones - Cultural Cognition and Campaign Finance: Mapping Process and Reform Preferences

The November 16th Lab Seminar was led by Edmond J. Safra Lab Fellow Michael Jones, whose research is conducted in conjunction with Professor Dan Kahan of Yale Law School and the Cultural Cognition Project. Their project examines the ways that cultural cognition impacts how people process information about campaign finance reform. Based on their research thus far, they have found that while people are not generally informed about campaign finance and how it connects to issues they care about, they are generally oriented toward reform. Given that understanding, the next stage of their...

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Institutional Discrimination in Corporate America: Toward an Evidence-Based Approach to Promoting Equity

The Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics had its fourth seminar of the semester on October 7th 2014. Frank Dobbin, professor of Sociology at Harvard, presented the project he is currently working on with Alexandra Kalev, which involves developing an evidence-based approach to diversity management, studying the effects of corporate-diversity programs on actual diversity, and studying the effects of workforce diversity on corporate performance. He then used social science theories as a framework for understanding the patterns revealed in his research about how different management...

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Genevieve Pham-Kanter - The Effect of Physician Payment Disclosure Laws on Prescribing

Edmond J. Safra Lab Fellow Genevieve Pham-Kanter presented her paper, “The Effect of Physician Payment Disclosure Laws on Prescribing” (published in JAMA Internal Medicine) at the December 14 Lab seminar. The paper examines the effects of physician payment disclosure laws on physician prescribing habits and patient adherence to therapy, by comparing states which have enacted disclosure laws (Maine and West Virginia) to similar...

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