Weekend Reads: Iran’s Surprising Election, Why the Parenting Gap Matters, and more

Iran’s surprising presidential election; the parenting gap as a big factor in the opportunity gap; why businesses should invest more in global education; why U.S. manufacturing still matters; how China is coping with its tobacco epidemic. 

Iran Surprises itself and the World

by Suzanne Maloney

In the new Brookings essay, Senior Fellow and Iran expert Suzanne Maloney looks back at the extraordinary events of Iran’s 2013 presidential election—the campaign and victory of veteran cleric turned politician Hassan Rouhani—and forward to how he may take his country in a new direction, both internally and externally. Iran and America now have presidents who campaigned on the idea of hope, but as Iran’s nuclear program continues to advance, it will take more than hope to build confidence in each other, Maloney argues.

The Parenting Gap

by Richard Reeves and Kimberly Howard

According to a new Center on Children and Families paper, the parenting gap is a big factor in the opportunity gap. The chances of upward social mobility are lower for children with parents struggling to do a good job—in terms of creating a supportive and stimulating home environment. Children lucky enough to have strong parents are more likely to succeed at all the critical life stages, which means policies to help weaker parents do a better job can be investments in opportunity, and equality.

Investment in Global Education: A Strategic Imperative For Business

by Rebecca Winthrop, Gib Bulloch, Pooja Bhatt, and Arthur Wood

The authors discuss the crucial role that private sector investment plays in improving education, particularly in emerging and low-income countries. They note that corporate giving to global health is 16 times what it is to global education.

Catalyzing Manufacturing Competitiveness

by Mark Muro

In this testimony on manufacturing competitiveness to the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology’s Subcommittee on Research and Technology, Muro explains the renewed importance of manufacturing to U.S. economic competitiveness.

Mapping China’s Tobacco Industry and Anti-Smoking Campaign

by Cheng Li

Cheng Li provides analysis of China’s tobacco industry and its main stakeholders in light of the leadership change after the 18th Party Congress last November and the National People’s Congress last March.