26 May 2015

Macroeconomics Conference Paper Examines
How Various Types of Shocks Affect the Economy

Research presented at this spring’s NBER Annual Conference on Macroeconomics probed the ways in which a variety of shocks affect the economy through their impacts on networks. William Kerr (above) of Harvard University and the NBER says one of the project’s goals was to provide policymakers and business leaders, who need to react quickly to shocks, with a framework for understanding what the impact of a particular type of shock will be.

Full texts, videos of presentations and brief interviews with researchers are posted.

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28 May 2015

Preference for Boys, Family Size and Educational Attainment in India

Indian parents have a preference for male children. This preference increases family size, as parents who do not yet have a son have more children. Adriana D. Kugler and Santosh Kumar use this variation in family size associated with the gender to study the effect of family size on childrens’ education. They find that children from larger families have lower educational attainment and are less likely to have ever been enrolled in school.

27 May 2015

Does Exposure to Economics Bring in New Majors?

The University of St. Gallen, in Switzerland, requires all students to write a substantial first-year paper in business, economics, or law. Because business is oversubscribed, students are not necessarily able to write in their preferred area. Hans Fricke, Jeffrey Grogger, and Andreas Steinmayr find that being assigned to write in economics raises the probability of majoring in economics by 2.7 percentage points.
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Bulletin on Aging and Health: 2015, No.1

The Evolution of Health after Retirement:
The Better-Educated Are Healthier, Live Longer

Less-educated Americans have substantially higher mortality than those who are better-educated, primarily due their poorer health, researchers Florian Heiss, Steven Venti, and David Wise find in an examination of how health evolves after retirement. Their study is featured in the current edition of the NBER's Bulletin on Aging and Health. Worse health can explain about four-fifths of the relationship between education and mortality for women, and about two-thirds of the relationship for men, they report.

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New in the NBER Digest

Why Does Momentum Trading Persist
Despite Apparent Predictability of Crashes?

The fact that fund managers employing algorithmic momentum strategies suffer occasional dramatic losses suggests they either cannot anticipate momentum crashes or lack the incentives to take action to avoid losses, according to an article in May’s edition of The NBER Digest. Other articles examine outcomes of childhood Medicaid eligibility, results of NIH funding of biomedical research, employment effects of recession, residential segregation in the U.S., and levels of foreign asset holdings.

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or Read online

The Economics of African-American
Well-Being in the 19th-Century South

 In The Color Factor, Howard Bodenhorn has written the first full-length study of how color intersected with polity, society and economy in the 19th-century South. His NBER monograph, just published by Oxford University Press, compiles empirical economic research on plantation life, and pulls together and expands on previous research on the connection between color, wealth, and health. Publication date is June 1, but copies are now available here  
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