2 December 2016

Fighting Crises

In fighting a financial crisis, opacity (keeping the names of banks borrowing at emergency lending facilities secret) and stigma (the cost of having a bank’s name revealed) are desirable to restore confidence, according to research by Gary Gorton and Guillermo Ordoñez. Opacity creates an information externality that prevents runs even on banks not participating in lending facilities. Stigma keeps banks from revealing their participation and helps to sustain opacity.

    1 December 2016

Trends in Cumulative Marginal Tax Rates
Facing Low-Income Families, 1997-2007

Cumulative marginal tax rates across non-disabled, non-elderly, low-income families vary enormously, a study by Gizem Kosar and Robert A. Moffitt shows. For the large majority of families that participate in fewer than two welfare programs, MTRs are modest in magnitude, while families participating in two or more programs usually face considerably higher MTRs at higher earnings ranges.

30 November 2016

Discrimination as a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy:
Evidence from French Grocery Stores

Examining the performance of cashiers in a French grocery store chain, Dylan Glover, Amanda Pallais, and William Pariente find that manager bias negatively affects minority job performance. Minority cashiers scheduled to work with biased managers are absent more often, spend less time at work, scan items more slowly, and take more time between customers. When working with unbiased managers, minorities perform significantly better than do majority workers.

    29 November 2016

Innovation Network

Technological progress builds upon itself, with the expansion of invention in one domain propelling future work in linked fields, according to research by Daron Acemoglu, Ufuk Akcigit, and William Kerr.

28 November 2016

Business Income and Business Taxation
in the United States Since the 1950s

Conor Clarke and Wojciech Kopczuk find that business income in the United States is increasingly taxed through personal income taxes rather than a combination of corporate and personal taxes. This shift must be recognized when analyzing data on the income distribution that are drawn from tax returns.

23 November 2016

Racial and Gender Discrimination
in Transportation Network Companies

In a study of peer network transportation companies, Yanbo Ge, Christopher R. Knittel, Don MacKenzie, and Stephen Zoepf find a pattern of discrimination similar to what has previously been found among taxi drivers. Their data show longer waiting times for African American passengers in Seattle and more frequent cancellations of passengers with African American-sounding names in Boston.

22 November 2016

Public Policies and Incentives for Early Retirement

Many Baby Boomers appear at risk of a major decline in their living standard in retirement unless they opt to work harder and longer, according to an analysis by Alan J. Auerbach, Laurence J. Kotlikoff, Darryl R. Koehler, and Manni Yu. But the researchers find that a plethora of explicit and implicit federal and state taxes discourages work among Americans between the ages of 50 and 79.

21 November 2016

Effects of Adult Health Interventions on Children's Schooling:
Evidence from Antiretroviral Therapy in Zambia

In 2007, approximately one in five children in Zambia lived with an HIV positive adult. Adrienne M. Lucas, Margaret Chidothe, and Nicholas L. Wilson find that the availability of adult antiretroviral therapy increased the likelihood that children in households with HIV-positive heads started school on time and were the appropriate grade-for-age.

18 November 2016

Mobile Phones, Civic Engagement,
and School Performance in Pakistan

Evaluating a scalable program designed to improve governance and performance of primary and middle schools in Pakistani Punjab, Minahil Asim and Thomas Dee find that use of mobile-phone calls to provide sustained and targeted guidance to local school-council members led to meaningful increases in primary school enrollment and to improvements in teacher attendance and school facilities.

17 November 2016

Inattention and Switching Costs
as Sources of Inertia in Medicare Part D

Changes in the availability of various Medicare Part D plans to particular consumers, as well as in consumers’ health status and prescription drug needs, result in changes over time in the optimal plan choice for particular consumers. Despite these change drivers, Florian Heiss, Daniel McFadden, Joachim Winter, Amelie Wuppermann, and Bo Zhou find that only about 10 percent of consumers switch plans every year, and that on average, those who do not switch are less well matched to their plan in the subsequent year than those who do.
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