13 January 2017

Bombs and Babies: U.S. Navy Bombing Activity
and Infant Health in Vieques, Puerto Rico

Increased in utero exposure to bombing activity on the naval practice range in Puerto Rico was associated with increases in extremely premature births, the incidence of congenital anomalies, and low APGAR scores in a study by Gustavo J. Bobonis, Mark Stabile, and Leonardo Tovar.

12 January 2017

Elections and Turnover in the Federal Government

Using Office of Personnel Management data on the careers of millions of federal employees between 1988 and 2011, Alexander Bolton, John M. de Figueiredo, and David E. Lewis find that the departure rate of senior career employees rises after presidential elections, particularly in agencies with divergent views relative to the new president and at the start of presidential terms.

11 January 2017

Stimulating Housing Markets

A study by David Berger, Nicholas Turner, and Eric Zwick estimates that the First-Time Homebuyer Credit induced a cumulative increase in home sales of between 7.8 and 10.7 percent nationally. The program likely sped the process of reallocating homes from distressed sellers to new buyers, which stabilized house prices.

10 January 2017

The New Lifecycle of Women's Employment

For women born prior to the 1950s, employment increased from their 20s until their 40s, then hit a peak, and began declining when these individuals reached their 50s. According to research by Claudia Goldin and Joshua Mitchell, a new lifecycle of women’s employment emerged with cohorts born in the 1950s: initially high and flat, with a dip in middle-aged and a slow decline over a longer period than for older cohorts.

9 January 2017

Growth Policy, Agglomeration, and Competition in China

Industrial clusters are promoted by Chinese policy and generally viewed as having increased growth and development, but Wyatt J. Brooks, Joseph P. Kaboski, and Yao Amber Li find evidence of non-competitive pricing within some clusters. The level of non-competitive pricing is about four times higher in Chinese special economic zones than outside those zones.

6 January 2017

The Impact of Increased Cost-sharing on Utilization
of Low Value Services: Evidence from Oregon

Jonathan Gruber, Johanna Catherine Maclean, Bill J. Wright, Eric S. Wilkinson, and Kevin Volpp find that a value-based insurance design program implemented between 2010 and 2013 at a large public employer in Oregon significantly reduced utilization of targeted services that were believed to be of low value and overused.

5 January 2017

Long-Run Effects of Childhood Insurance Coverage:
Medicaid Implementation, Health and Work Outcomes

labor force participation, up to 50 years later, according to a study by Andrew Goodman-Bacon. The return on government outlays to provide childhood coverage is between 2 and 7 percent per year, mostly as a result of lower cash transfer payments.

4 January 2017

Investment-less Growth: An Empirical Investigation

Private fixed investment in the U.S. over the past 30 years has been weak relative to measures of profitability and valuation. Germán Gutiérrez and Thomas Philippon show that the investment gap is driven by firms owned by quasi-indexers and by firms in industries with less entry and more concentration. These firms are prone to spend free cash buying back their shares.

3 January 2017

Many Stock Return 'Anomalies' Appear to be Spurious

Using cross-sectional stock return data spanning the 20th century, Juhani T. Linnainmaa and Michael R. Roberts find that many accounting-based stock return anomalies may be the result of data-snooping. When examined out-of-sample, by moving either backward or forward in time, anomalies' average returns decrease, and volatilities and correlations with other anomalies increase.

30 December 2016

Accounting for Business Income
in Measuring Top Income Shares in Norway

The amount of earnings retained within businesses in Norway increased sharply after a reform of the personal income tax in 2005, Annette Alstadsæter, Martin Jacob, Wojciech Kopczuk, and Kjetil Telle find. This change in firm behavior led to a doubling, in some years, of the reported income of the top 0.1 percent of earners.
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