New NBER Research
31 July 2014
Brianna Cardiff-Hicks, Francine Lafontaine, and Kathryn Shaw show that wage rates in retail rise sharply with firm size and establishment size. They conclude that the growth in modern retail, characterized by larger chains of larger establishments with more levels of hierarchy, is raising wage rates relative to traditional mom-and-pop retail stores.
30 July 2014
Lauren Cohen, Umit Gurun, and Scott Duke Kominers study the determinants of, and consequences of, lawsuits by non-practicing entities (NPEs) alleging that operating firms have infringed on the NPEs' patents. They find that NPEs are more likely to sue firms that have high levels of cash on hand, as well as firms that are busy with other non-patent litigation. They also report a negative effect of NPE litigation on the target firm's subsequent innovative activity.
29 July 2014
Justin Murfin and Mitchell Petersen discover significant seasonal variation in the corporate credit market. Firms that borrow from banks during late spring and fall do so at an average borrowing rate 19 basis points lower than winter and summer borrowers.
28 July 2014
Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach and Mary Zaki find that two experimental expansions of the School Breakfast Program, universal free school breakfast and the "Breakfast in the Classroom" program, increased the take-up rate of school breakfast. Most of the increase, however, reflected shifting breakfast consumption from home to school; they find little evidence of overall improvements in the 24-hour nutritional intake of participants.
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25 July 2014
Alex Edmans, Lucius Li, and Chendi Zhang find that high employee satisfaction is correlated with positive abnormal stock market returns in countries with flexible labor markets, such as the United States, but not in countries with low labor market flexibility, such as Germany. The study compares companies in 14 countries with heterogeneous labor markets.
24 July 2014
Kevin Haninger, Lala Ma, and Christopher Timmins study the effect of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Brownfields Program that develops once-contaminated sites. Using non-public EPA administrative records and detailed property price data, they estimate that a brownfields cleanup raises house prices nearby by between 5 and 11%.
23 July 2014
Bart Bronnenberg, Jean-Pierre Dubé, Matthew Gentzkow, and Jesse Shapiro find that more informed consumers, measured in various ways, are less likely to pay extra to buy national brands. For example, pharmacists choose national brands of headache remedies only 9 percent of the time, compared to 26 percent of the time for the average consumer. For pantry staples such as salt and sugar, chefs devote 12 percentage points less of their purchases to national brands than demographically similar non-chefs.
22 July 2014
Karthik Muralidharan, Jishnu Das, Alaka Holla, and Aakash Mohpal study the determinants of teacher absence in a panel data set comprising schools in 1297 Indian villages. They find that 24 percent of teachers in public schools are absent during unannounced visits. More frequent inspections are strongly correlated with teacher attendance; hiring more inspectors may be ten times more cost-effective in raising teacher-student contact time than hiring more teachers.
21 July 2014
Juan Carlos Suárez Serrato and Owen Zidar use variation in state corporate income tax rates and apportionment rules to estimate who bears these taxes. Their results suggest that the owners of firms bear about 40% of the tax burden in reduced after-tax profits, owners of land in the taxing state bear about 25% in reduced rents, and workers bear about 35% of the corporate tax as a result of lower wages.
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