21 November 2012
, Robert Darko Osei
, Isaac Osei-Akoto
, and Christopher Udry
analyze the results of an experiment in northern Ghana in which farmers were randomly assigned to one group that received a cash grant, another that received free rainfall-index insurance or the opportunity to purchase it, and a third group that received a combination of the two. They find that the demand for rainfall insurance is strong, and that having such insurance leads farmers to invest more in their land and to choose production methods that on average yield more crops, but are more rain-sensitive. For farmers, the constraint to investing in agriculture appears to be uninsured rainfall risk.
20 November 2012
To study gender differences in wage negotiation and related issues, Andreas Leibbrandt
and John List
posted job advertisements for administrative assistant positions in nine major US cities, to which nearly 2,500 job-seekers responded. They find that when there is no explicit initial statement that wages are negotiable, men are more likely to negotiate than women. The researchers also find that men are relatively more likely to apply to jobs where negotiation of initial wages is ambiguous, while women prefer job environments where the "rules of wage determination" are concrete.
19 November 2012
, Peter Crosta
, and Clive Belfield
analyze administrative data -- including high school transcripts, remedial test scores, and college grades -- for tens of thousands of students in two community college systems to evaluate the efficacy of existing remedial course assignments. They find that roughly one in four test-takers in math, and one in three test-takers in English, are improperly assigned to remedial courses under the current test-based policies. They conclude that using high school transcript information -- either instead of or in addition to test scores -- could significantly reduce the number of assignment errors. They also find that if institutions took account of students’ high school performance, they could remediate substantially fewer students without lowering success rates in college-level courses.
16 November 2012
, Andrea Galeotti
, Gerrit Mueller
, and Stephen Pudney
analyze data collected from seniors in Wisconsin high schools in 1957 to evaluate the relationship between youthful popularity and success in later life. These students and their family members were surveyed periodically up to the year 2005. Using data on the number of friendship nominations received from schoolmates as a measure of popularity, the researchers estimate that moving from the 20th to the 80th percentile of the high-school popularity distribution yields a 10 percent wage premium nearly 40 years later.
15 November 2012
Using data from the Health and Retirement Study covering the time period 1992-2008, Kathleen McGarry
finds considerable variation over time in monetary transfers from parents to adult children. The data suggest that in a typical year, approximately 14 percent of children receive a transfer from their parents, but only 6 percent of the sample receives a transfer in any two consecutive survey years. Furthermore, 46 percent of the adult children in this sample receive a transfer at least once, but less than 1 percent receive a transfer in each of the nine waves of data. Changes over time in transfers are negatively related to changes in the adult child’s income.