New NBER Research
19 June 2013
Michael Ewens and Matthew Rhodes-Kropf examine many years of data on the investment performance of individual venture capitalists and analyze the results over time and as the VCs move between firms. They find differences in skill and style, even among partners investing at the same VC firm at the same time. They estimate that a partner’s human capital -- education, experience, skill -- is much more important than the VC firm’s organizational capital in explaining the firm's investment performance.
18 June 2013
In an experiment in the Oklahoma City Public Schools, students were provided with free cellular phones and then received daily text messages about how getting an education is linked to a better future. Roland Fryer finds that receiving this information via text message is reported to have influenced the students’ beliefs about the value of education and encouraged them to be more focused and to work harder in school. However, these cell phone messages did not lead to measurable changes in attendance, behavior, or test scores.
17 June 2013
In various studies, U.S. income has been measured as the market income of tax units based on tax return data from the IRS, the pre-tax but post-transfer cash income of households, and a combination of both of those data that also includes taxable realized capital gains. Philip Armour, Richard Burkhauser, and Jeff Larrimore start their analysis with a comprehensive definition of income that incorporates accrued capital gains, and thus measures yearly changes in wealth, rather than focusing on the realized taxable capital gains that appear in IRS tax return data. Using this approach reduces the previously observed growth in income inequality and, in particular, the rise in top-end income since 1989.
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14 June 2013
Given a sample of randomized interest rates offered across 80 regions by Mexico’s largest microlender, Compartamos, Dean Karlan and Jonathan Zinman find that a 10 percent increase in the cost of borrowing leads to a 19 percent decline in the demand for loans over the long run. However, they find no evidence of crowd-out of one lender over another. They confirm that lower borrowing prices bring in substantial numbers of new borrowers who do not differ with respect to income or education from existing borrowers. But the lower interest rates do not increase profits, because the costs of servicing additional clients offset any increase in revenues.
13 June 2013
Based on data on more than 35,000 juvenile offenders followed over a 10-year period, Anna Aizer and Joe Doyle find that juvenile incarceration results in large decreases in the likelihood of completing high school and in large increases in the likelihood of incarceration as an adult. These results are in stark contrast to the small effects typically found for adult incarceration, but are consistent with the larger impacts of policies that are aimed at adolescents.
12 June 2013
Medicare Advantage (MA) is a privately-administered alternative to the government-run Medicare health insurance program. MA pays more to health plans operating in larger Metropolitan Statistical Area counties, and that difference in payment rates creates a greater incentive for such plans to increase the generosity of their benefits, thus enrolling more beneficiaries in MA. By comparing data from counties just above and just below the population cutoff, Christopher Afendulis, Michael Chernew, and Daniel Kessler find that the expansion of MA reduces beneficiaries' rates of hospitalization and mortality.
11 June 2013
Angus Deaton and Arthur Stone find that elderly Americans who live in households with people under age 18 are less content and more stressed, worried, and angry than older Americans who do not live with younger people. In parts of the world where fertility rates are higher and it is more common for the elderly to live in multigenerational households with people under age 18, the elderly are less unhappy than those in similar circumstances in the United States. It seems that in those countries, the elderly -- like their children -- experience both positive and negative emotions from time spent with the younger generation.
10 June 2013
Christopher Nekarda and Valerie Ramey find that markups -- the amount by which product prices exceed marginal cost -- are generally pro-cyclical or acyclical: that is, they hit troughs (lows) during recessions and reach peaks (highs) in the middle of expansions. Both monetary shocks and government spending shocks cause markups and output to move together and in the same direction.
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