New NBER Research
30 October 2014
Thais Lærkholm Jensen, Søren Leth-Petersen, and Ramana Nanda find that a mortgage reform in Denmark that exogenously increased access to credit had a positive impact on entrepreneurship. Their results provide evidence that credit constraints affect entrepreneurship, but that the overall magnitude is small and that individuals selecting into entrepreneurship when constraints are relaxed may be more likely to fail.
29 October 2014
U.S. federal debt issuance significantly affects corporate financial policies and balance sheets through its impact on investors’ portfolio allocations and the relative pricing of different assets, John Graham, Mark T. Leary, and Michael R. Roberts report. Government debt is strongly negatively correlated with corporate debt and investment, and strongly positively correlated with corporate liquidity.
28 October 2014
Carmen M. Reinhart and Christoph Trebesch find that debt relief achieved through default and restructuring averaged 21 percent of GDP for advanced economies in 1932-1939 and 16 percent for emerging markets in 1979-2010. They also find that once debt relief has been completed, countries experience higher income levels and growth rates, as well as lower debt-servicing burdens and government debt.
27 October 2014
China and India may grow much less rapidly than is currently anticipated, Lant Pritchett and Lawrence H. Summers write, for history teaches that abnormally rapid growth is rarely persistent. The authors suggest that high levels of state control and corruption along with high measures of authoritarian rule make a decline in growth in China more likely.
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24 October 2014
While the links between an individual's earnings history and subsequent Social Security benefits are complex, a survey of individuals between the ages of 50 and 70 by Jeffrey Liebman and Erzo Luttmer suggests high levels of understanding of the incentives for longer years’ work and higher wages. They find variation in the comprehension of other features, with the effects of delayed claiming well known, and the provisions surrounding spousal benefits less well understood.
23 October 2014
Despite substantial gains over the past 30 years, women still constitute a small proportion of top earners in the U.S., according to an analysis by Fatih Guvenen, Greg Kaplan, and Jae Song. In 1981–85, women constituted just 1.9 percent of the top 0.1 percent of earners; in 2008–12 they comprised 10 percent.
22 October 2014
The “Cash for Appliances” program, part of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, delivered $300 million to state governments to fund rebates to purchasers of energy-efficient appliances. Sébastien Houde and Joseph Aldy find the program did not have a meaningful impact on aggregate electricity consumption. They also find evidence the rebates may have induced some consumers to purchase larger appliances.
21 October 2014
Consumer bankruptcy is one of the largest social insurance programs in the United States. Will Dobbie and Jae Song analyze its impact on debtors using 500,000 bankruptcy filings matched to administrative tax and foreclosure data. They find that Chapter 13 protection increases annual earnings by $5,562, decreases five-year mortality by 1.2 percentage points, and decreases five-year foreclosure rates by 19.1 percentage points.
20 October 2014
The U.S. has substantially higher infant mortality than peer countries. Using data from the U.S., Austria, and Finland, Alice Chen, Emily Oster, and Heidi Williams find similar mortality in the first month after birth but a substantial US disadvantage thereafter. This postneonatal mortality disadvantage is driven almost exclusively by inequality in the U.S. Infants born to white, college-educated, married U.S. mothers have similar mortality to advantaged infants in Europe.
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