10 February 2016

Health Capacity to Work at Older Ages:
Evidence from the United States

Historical patterns of health status and labor force activity suggest that most older Americans are healthy enough to work longer than they do now, according to calculations made by Courtney Coile, Kevin S. Milligan, and David A. Wise. They estimate that the share of men working at ages 64 to 69 could be more than 30 percentage points higher than at present, and that women have a similar capacity for extending their work lives.

9 February 2016

Cables, Sharks and Servers: Technology and
the Geography of the Foreign Exchange Market

The installation of cable connections between local markets and major financial centers lowers the fixed costs of trading currencies, increases the share of currency trades occurring offshore, and reduces the spatial "frictions" that discourage long-distance trading, a study by Barry Eichengreen, Romain Lafarguette, and Arnaud Mehl finds. On balance, these connections raise the amount of trading done in global market centers, particularly London.

8 February 2016

Financial Intermediaries and Asset Price Determination

Zhiguo He, Bryan Kelly, and Asaf Manela find that variation in the equity capital ratio of primary dealer counterparties of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York is correlated with cross-sectional differences in the expected returns on various asset classes, suggesting that financial intermediaries are marginal investors in many asset markets.

5 February 2016

The Gender Wage Gap:
Extent, Trends, and Explanations

Francine D. Blau and Lawrence M. Kahn find that women’s work force interruptions and shorter hours are significant explanators of the gender pay gap, while differences in noncognitive skills between men and women play only a small to moderate role. They also discover that between 1980 and 2010, the gender pay gap declined much more slowly at the top of the wage distribution that at the middle or bottom.

4 February 2016

Is California the Most Energy-Efficient State?

California’s per capita electricity consumption is only half the nation average, but this could be due to many factors. In a study of properties operated across the U.S. by a major hotel chain, Matthew E. Kahn, Nils Kok, and Peng Liu find that after controlling for climate conditions and geographic location, the hotels operated in California are the most energy efficient, but only by a small margin.

3 February 2016

Collateral Laws Shape Lending and Sectoral Activity

Loan-to-value ratios of bank loans collateralized with movable assets are lower, relative to loans collateralized with immovable assets, in countries with weak collateral laws, research by Charles W. Calomiris, Mauricio Larrain, José M. Liberti, and Jason D. Sturgess shows. This limited access to credit tends to shrink the share of production of firms that rely more on moveable assets in the production process.

2 February 2016

School Quality and the Gender Gap in Education

David H. Autor, David N. Figlio, Krzysztof Karbownik, Jeffrey Roth, and Melanie Wasserman investigate the effect of school quality on the gender gap in educational outcomes. Basing their findings on middle school test scores, absences, and suspensions, they conclude that boys benefit more than girls from cumulative exposure to higher quality schools.

1 February 2016

Reminders & Recidivism:
Evidence from Low-Income Nonfilers

One-time reminders increase tax filing among lower-income earners who do not appear on a filed tax return but have income reported to the Internal Revenue Service by third parties, an analysis by John Guyton, Dayanand S. Manoli, Brenda Schafer, and Michael Sebastiani shows. The effects do not persist, but follow-up reminders continue to increase tax filings.

29 January 2016

Teacher Turnover and Student Achievement in D.C.

Studying the performance assessment and incentive system of public schools in the District of Columbia, Melinda Adnot, Thomas Dee, Veronica Katz, and James Wyckofff find significant improvement in students’ reading and math achievement when lower-performing teachers are induced to leave.

28 January 2016

Liquidity Regulation
and Financial Transformation in China

Shadow banking emerged in China as an effort by small and medium sized banks to avoid higher liquidity standards imposed by the government in the late 2000s, research by Kinda Cheryl Hachem and Zheng Michael Song shows. They argue that these banks attracted deposits that might otherwise have gone to big banks, which responded by using their interbank market power to try to undermine the shadow banks. The net effect was of the higher liquidity standards may therefore have been greater financial sector risk.
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