Reports & Papers

1569 Items

Discussion Paper - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements

An Economic Anatomy of Optimal Climate Policy

| August 2018

The authors introduce geoengineering into an optimal control model of climate economics. Together with mitigation and adaptation, carbon and solar geoengineering span all possible climate policies. Their wildly different characteristics have important implications for policy. They show in the context of their model that: (i) whether emissions are positive or zero the optimal carbon tax always equals the marginal cost of carbon geoengineering; (ii) the introduction of either form of geoengineering leads to higher emissions yet lower temperatures; (iii) in a world with above-optimal cumulative emissions, mitigation alone is insufficient and only a complete set of instruments can minimize climate damages.

This is an updated version of a paper first published in July 2017.

A person types on a laptop keyboard in North Andover, Mass, June 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

AP Photo/Elise Amendola

Paper - Cyber Security Project, Belfer Center

(Why) Is There a Public/Private Pay Gap?

| August 2018

The government is facing a severe shortage of skilled workers, especially in information technology and cyber security jobs. The conventional wisdom in branches of policy and public administration is that the shortage is driven by low salaries that are not competitive for attracting top talent. Using longitudinal data on high skilled workers between 1993 and 2013, this paper shows that, if anything, government employees earn more than their private sector counterparts. Although government workers tend to earn less in the raw data, these differences are driven by the correlation between unobserved ability and selection into private sector jobs. These results are robust to additional data from the Census Bureau between 2005 and 2016. Instead, this paper shows that a more plausible culprit behind the worker shortage in government is a lack of development opportunities and poor management.

Smoke rises above the skyline of Beijing on a moderately polluted day, Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein

Paper - Environment and Natural Resources Program, Belfer Center

High-resolution Carbon Emissions Data for Chinese Cities

| August 2018

China is currently the world’s largest energy consumer and CO2 emitter, and its cities contribute 85% of the total CO2 emissions in China. Given the magnitude and growth rate of Chinese cities’ carbon emissions, cities are considered to be the key areas for implementing policies designed to adapt to climate change and mitigate CO2 emissions.


Incentivizing Comprehensive Cybersecurity Solutions by Matching Accountability to Capability

| May 2018

Cyberattacks have become an increasingly common occurrence with profound and damaging effects for the public and the private sectors. Much of the resulting attention has naturally focused on how to prevent such attacks. However, the people and organizations held accountable for preventing an attack—by a court of law or the court of public opinion—are not necessarily the same as those that have the most robust capability to do so. We hypothesize that properly matching accountability with capability can help internalize the growing externality that cybersecurity incidents represent in an increasingly networked world.


RMB Internationalization

| May 2018

While China’s economy has become a major force on the global stage, its financial system remains underdeveloped, and the RMB is a minor player in global transactions. Despite its economic prowess, China plays a minor role in existing international financial institutions relative to the West, spurring frustration with the current system. Perhaps more importantly, China has seen the danger of allowing the U.S. to own the global financial system and potentially weaponize it against China. 

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives to testify before a joint hearing of the Commerce and Judiciary Committees on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, April 10, 2018

AP Photo / Pablo Martinez Monsivais


Tech Tock...

  • Howard Cohen
| May 2018

“Fake news” has become a term used by the U.S. President to discredit journalists. “Fake news” is becoming a means for governments around the world to justify censorship. And “fake news” threatened U.S. democracy and institutions in the 2016 Presidential election. The term itself is thrown around more than solutions to the problem, also referred to as misinformation (“the inadvertent sharing of false information”) and disinformation (“the deliberate creation and sharing of information known to be false”). I endeavor to change that with this article, which focuses on what can be done going forward to prevent the spread of mis- and disinformation

A cell tower over Perth, Australia, January 4, 2014. (Flickr User “Shari” / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Flickr User “Shari” / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Paper - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

The Public Square in the Digital Age

| June 2018

This paper addresses the question: how should Australia respond to the rising threat of cyber-enabled interference operations? While its focus is Australia, its findings and recommendations are intended to be relevant to a global audience. Australia has already been something of a ‘canary in the coal mine’ in putting the issue of foreign interference on the global agenda. Its geostrategic position—as a democracy in the middle of the increasingly volatile Indo-Pacific region—is likely to ensure it remains on the leading edge of the CEI-OPS threat.

Commuters use mobile phones in Tokyo, Japan.

Adobe Stock

Paper - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Combating Information Operations

  • Simon Jones
| June 2018

This paper focuses on developing an operating concept—composed of ends, ways, and means—for those who are tasked to respond and those affected by foreign interference and IO. Based on the principle of information superiority and drawing on best practice from efforts to counter cyberattacks, terrorism, and civil emergencies, the paper seeks to develop a more holistic and collaborative approach for planning for and responding disinformation, identify additional sources of support and expertise, and outline new norms and standards of behavior to assist an effective response.

Job One for Space Force


Report - Cyber Security Project, Belfer Center

Job One for Space Force: Space Asset Cybersecurity

| July 12, 2018

When we think about critical infrastructure, the first assets that come to mind include the electric grid, water networks and transportation systems. Further unpacking the definition of critical infrastructure, we consider industries such as agriculture, defense or the financial sector. However, we rarely think about where the underlying systems that enable technology functionality across these sectors physically reside, who developed the technology, and who can access and manage that technology.