New NBER Research

27 March 2015

Regional Redistribution Through the U.S. Mortgage Market

Erik Hurst, Benjamin J. Keys, Amit Seru, and Joseph S. Vavra find that despite large differences across locations in the risk of mortgage default, there is virtually no spatial variation in the rates charged on mortgages extended by government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs). In contrast, interest rates in the private market do vary as a function of location-related risk factors. These findings suggest substantial region-related redistribution through GSEs.

26 March 2015

Grasp the Large, Let Go of the Small: The Transformation of the State Sector in China

Starting in the late 1990s, China dramatically transformed state-owned firms, closing or privatizing smaller firms while corporatizing larger firms and merging them into state-controlled industrial groups. The state also created many new large firms. Chang-Tai Hsieh and Zheng (Michael) Song find the reformation of the state sector was responsible for 20 percent of China’s aggregate total factor productivity growth from 1998 to 2007.

25 March 2015

Did the 2003 Dividend Tax Cut Increase Investment?

Danny Yagan studies the effect of the 2003 dividend tax cut on firm behavior and finds no evidence of a change in corporate investment or employee compensation. This policy change was one of the largest reforms ever to a U.S. capital income tax rate.
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March NBER Digest
Impacts of Capital Controls in Brazil Digest

Researchers find imposition of controls hurt the market value of companies, especially smaller and purely domestic firms. Articles in the latest NBER Digest also examine growth prospects in Asia, the impacts of educational credentials, the effectiveness of microlending, economic effects of mortage rate cuts, and impacts of tariff changes.

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Foreign-Exchange Operations and
Monetary Policy in the 20th Century

 Drawing on a trove of previously confidential data, "Strained Relations," a new NBER book from The University of Chicago Press, reveals the evolution of U.S. policy regarding currency-market intervention and its interaction with monetary policy. The authors consider how foreign-exchange intervention was affected by changes such as the abandonment of the international gold standard as well as by political and bureaucratic factors.

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