New NBER Research

23 September 2014

Health Care Costs and Limited Network Insurance Plans

Jonathan Gruber and Robin McKnight study the effect of a reform in the health insurance plan for Massachusetts state employees that introduced a major financial incentive for one group of employees, but not others, to choose limited network plans. They find that those who switched to these plans spent considerably less on medical care, reducing both the quantity of services used and the prices paid per service. Spending on primary care actually rose for those who switched to these plans; the reduction in spending came entirely from spending on specialists and on hospital care.

22 September 2014

Who Benefits from Gifted Education?

David Card and Laura Giuliano analyze data from a large urban school district to study how assignment to separate gifted classrooms affected fourth grade students. They find that a separate classroom environment has little impact on the performance of students who were selected based on IQ test results, but that it raises performance for students selected on past achievement on subject matter tests, particularly for disadvantaged students who are often excluded from gifted and talented programs.

19 September 2014

Population Dynamics after a Natural Disaster

Jenna Nobles, Elizabeth Frankenberg, and Duncan Thomas study the fertility response to an unanticipated mortality shock that resulted from the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, which killed large shares of the residents of some Indonesian communities but caused no deaths in neighboring communities. They find that mothers who lost one or more children in the disaster were significantly more likely to bear additional children after the tsunami and that women without children before the tsunami initiated family-building earlier in communities where tsunami-related mortality rates were higher.
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