New NBER Research
7 March 2014
Tom Chang, Joshua Graff Zivin, Tal Gross, and Matthew Neidell study the productivity of indoor workers at a pear-packing factory as the level of outdoor air pollution varies. They find that an increase in the concentration of fine particulate matter is associated with a statistically and economically significant decrease in packing speeds inside the factory, with effects arising at levels well below current air quality standards.
6 March 2014
Dirk Czarnitzki, Bronwyn Hall, and Hanna Hottenrott find that a successful patent application improves access to financial capital for small firms, but they do not detect any effect for larger firms that already have well-developed financial ties.
5 March 2014
Dennis Novy and Alan Taylor find that imports are more volatile than domestic economic activity using monthly data since 1962. They attribute this to a sharp decline in the demand for inventory of intermediate goods on the part of domestic firms when U.S. economic activity slows.
4 March 2014
James Poterba finds substantial heterogeneity in the health and economic circumstances of elderly U.S. households and explores the implications of these differences for the provision of retirement security as the U.S. population ages in the next four decades. Between 2014 and 2050 the percentage of the population over the age of 65 will rise by seven percentage points, and the percent over 85 will double from its current level.
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3 March 2014
Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan, Emiliano Luttini, and Bent Sørensen study output fluctuations in European nations over the 1990-2010 period, and conclude that fiscal austerity programs during the recent sovereign debt crisis reduced the degree of international risk sharing.
28 February 2014
James Banks, Carl Emmerson, and Gemma Tetlow estimate that it would take a very large reduction in the level of disability insurance benefits in the U.K. to significantly increase the employment rate of older workers, because the benefits many workers qualify for are low by comparison with their earnings from continued work.
27 February 2014
Tian Tang and David Popp study 486 wind power projects in China over the 2002-2009 period to analyze the determinants of technological change in this industry. They find that firms that produce wind turbines learn primarily from their own R&D and installation experience; the spillovers across firms are small.
26 February 2014
Alan Auerbach and Yuriy Gorodnichenko explore whether government purchases stimulate economic activity, using data from Japan for the 1960-2012 period. Their full-sample estimates are consistent with those for other OECD countries, but estimates for more recent periods provide weaker support for the expansionary power of government spending.
25 February 2014
Serguey Braguinsky, Atsushi Ohyama, Tetsuji Okazaki, and Chad Syverson study the effect of mergers in the Japanese cotton spinning industry at the start of the twentieth century. They find that when more profitable firms purchased less profitable competitors, the acquired firms became more profitable largely as a result of better inventory management and a reduction in facility downtime -- evidence of managerial improvements -- rather than as a result of greater productivity when operating.
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