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.
14 November 2012
The dates of Advanced Placement (AP) exams taken by high school students change from year to year, so students who take two subject exams in one year may have a different number of days between those exams than students who take the same tests in a different year. Ian Fillmore
and Devin Pope
find that having less time between exams is associated with lower scores, particularly on the second of the two. The researchers estimate that students who take exams ten days apart are 8 percent more likely to pass both of them than students who take the same two exams one day apart.
13 November 2012
Over the course of the business cycle, fluctuations in residential investment precede fluctuations in GDP in the United States and Canada, while these two economic variables move together in other developed economies. Fluctuations in nonresidential investment are the opposite, either following changes in GDP or occurring simultaneously with them. Finn Kydland
, Peter Rupert
, and Roman Sustek
conclude that changes in interest rates in general and mortgage rates in particular help to explain these differences.
12 November 2012
analyzes the labor market effects over time of recent changes in safety net programs. Because people from the middle and above-middle parts of the skill distribution can become eligible overnight for safety net programs such as unemployment insurance and SNAP (formerly known as food stamps) merely by becoming unemployed for a period of time, these safety net program rules even affect the incentives for skilled people to seek and retain work. Mulligan finds that wide swaths of the skill distribution saw their marginal tax rates increase by more than 5 percentage points between 2007 and 2009, and this increase was most dramatic for unmarried household heads.