15 February 2013
In France, firms with 50 or more employees are more highly regulated than firms with fewer than 50 employees. Focusing on data for the years 1994-2000, François Gourio
and Nicolas Roys
find that the size distribution of firms is visibly distorted: there are many firms with exactly 49 employees. They estimate that eliminating the regulations would improve the allocation of labor across firms and lead to a productivity gain of around 0.3 percent if the number of firms remained the same.
14 February 2013
, Resul Cesur
, and Erdal Tekin
analyze data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health -- a nationally representative sample of U.S. seventh-through-twelfth-grade students during the 1994-5 academic year -- and find that adolescent depression does not predict the likelihood of engaging in violent crime or selling illicit drugs. However, adolescents who suffer from depression are more likely to engage in property crime, which the researchers estimate to have an economic cost of at least $200 million dollars annually.
13 February 2013
and Peter Schott
find that there was a sharp drop in U.S. manufacturing employment after the United States granted permanent normal trade relations to China in late 2000. The industries in which the threat of tariff hikes declined most experienced the largest employment losses. This occurred through diminished job creation, increased job destruction, and a substitution away from low-skill workers. These policy-related employment losses coincided with an overall increase in U.S. imports from China and the number of U.S.-China importer-exporter pairs.
12 February 2013
The ten largest school districts in North Carolina staggered the adoption of a curriculum reform that offered algebra to eighth graders. Past practice had offered algebra no earlier than ninth grade. Charlie Clotfelter
, Helen Ladd
, and Jake Vigdor
find that, overall, taking algebra in eighth grade increases the probability that students will pass Algebra I by tenth grade, but it depresses students' performance on the Algebra I test and decreases the likelihood that they will pass Geometry by eleventh grade. These effects vary across groups of students, with particularly strong negative effects among students who were in the bottom 60 percent of the achievement range in prior years.
11 February 2013
Using customs data on Chinese exports, Kalina Manova
and Zhiwei Zhang
find that firms that make a number of products of varying quality earn more in world markets from their more expensive, higher quality products. These exporters therefore tend to focus on those expensive goods and to drop cheaper articles from their product line. The researchers also find that the prices of exported goods are positively correlated with the prices of productive inputs for all of a firm's products.