5 May 2016

Preference for the Workplace, Human Capital, and Gender

On average, undergraduate women are more attracted to jobs with greater work flexibility and job stability, while undergraduate men are drawn to jobs with higher earnings growth, according to research by Matthew Wiswall and Basit Zafar. Students in their sample perceive jobs offered to humanities majors to have more work-time flexibility and higher stability than jobs offered to economics and business majors.

4 May 2016

Selective Hearing: Physician-Ownership
and Physicians' Response to New Evidence

In 2002, the New England Journal of Medicine published results of a trial showing that a widely practiced surgery was ineffective in combatting a common form of arthritis in knees. Analyzing more than 500,000 knee operations in Florida in which the procedure was used, David H. Howard, Guy David, and Jason Hockenberry find that use of the procedure after the trial declined less in physician-owned surgery centers than in hospitals.

3 May 2016

Causes and Consequences of Test Score Manipulation:
Evidence from the New York Regents Examinations

Before recent reforms, the design and decentralized, school-based scoring of New York's high school exit exams – the Regents Examinations – allowed systematic manipulation of test sores just below important proficiency cutoffs. Thomas S. Dee, Will Dobbie, Brian A. Jacob, and Jonah Rockoff estimate that teachers inflated approximately 40 percent of test scores near the proficiency cutoffs.

2 May 2016

The Limited Macroeconomic Effects
of Unemployment Benefit Extensions

Unemployment benefit extensions have only limited influence on state-level macroeconomic outcomes, a study by Gabriel Chodorow-Reich and Loukas Karabarbounis finds. Their estimates indicate that the increase in duration of benefits during the Great Recession increased the unemployment rate by at most 0.3 percentage points.

29 April 2016

Faculty Preferences over Unionization:
Evidence from Two Research Universities

Faculty with higher pay and greater research productivity are less supportive of unionization, a study by Joel Waldfogel finds. After accounting for pay and productivity, faculty in fields that are documented elsewhere to have more politically liberal participants are also more likely to support unionization.

28 April 2016

Real Effects of Liquidity during the Financial Crisis:
Evidence from Automobile Sales

The decline in auto sales during the financial crisis was caused in part by a reduction in the available credit from the most important providers of consumer finance in the auto loan market, a study by Efraim Benmelech, Ralf R. Meisenzahl, and Rodney Ramcharan finds. The researchers conclude that interventions in short-term credit markets might have helped contain the real effects of the crisis.

27 April 2016

Uninformative Feedback and Risk Taking:
Evidence from Retail Forex Trading

Retail day traders in the Forex market, especially novice traders, attribute random success to their own skill and, as a consequence, increase risk-taking, Itzhak Ben-David, Justin Birru, and Viktor Prokopenya show. Although past performance does not predict future success for these traders, they increase their trade size dramatically following winning weeks.

26 April 2016

Investors Overestimate
the Risk of Market Declines

Recent market declines and adverse market events made salient by the financial press lead individual and institutional investors to raise their estimates of the probability of a severe, single-day stock market decline, often to levels much higher than what is suggested by historical data, according to an analysis by William N. Goetzmann, Dasol Kim, and Robert J. Shiller.

25 April 2016

The Inclusive Cost of Pandemic Influenza Risk

Victoria Y. Fan, Dean T. Jamison, and Lawrence H. Summers estimate that the expected annual cost of pandemic influenza, the probability of an outbreak multiplied by the sum of the economic value of lost lives and lost output, falls between 0.4 and 1.0 percent of global GDP.

22 April 2016

Are Online and Offline Prices Similar?
Evidence from Large, Multi-Channel Retailers

In the first large-scale comparison of online and offline prices simultaneously collected from the websites and physical stores of 56 large multi-channel retailers in 10 countries, Alberto F. Cavallo finds price levels are identical about 72 percent of the time for the products sold in both locations. The similarity is highest in electronics and clothing and lowest for drugstores and office-supply retailers.
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