30 July 2014

The Impact of Quantitative Easing

Simon Gilchrist and Egon Zakrajsek study the effect of the Federal Reserve’s announcement of Large-Scale Asset Purchase Programs (so-called Quantitative Easing) on credit markets. They find that these announcements led to a substantial reduction in the cost of insuring against default risk for both investment-grade and speculative corporate credits.

29 July 2014

Credit Market Seasonality for Corporate Borrowers

Justin Murfin and Mitchell Petersen discover significant seasonal variation in the corporate credit market. Firms that borrow from banks during late spring and fall do so at an average borrowing rate 19 basis points lower than winter and summer borrowers.

28 July 2014

The Impact of Expansions in the School Breakfast Program

Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach and Mary Zaki find that two experimental expansions of the School Breakfast Program, universal free school breakfast and the "Breakfast in the Classroom" program, increased the take-up rate of school breakfast. Most of the increase, however, reflected shifting breakfast consumption from home to school; they find little evidence of overall improvements in the 24-hour nutritional intake of participants.

25 July 2014

Does it Pay to Invest in Firms with High Workplace Satisfaction?

Alex Edmans, Lucius Li, and Chendi Zhang find that high employee satisfaction is correlated with positive abnormal stock market returns in countries with flexible labor markets, such as the United States, but not in countries with low labor market flexibility, such as Germany. The study compares companies in 14 countries with heterogeneous labor markets.

24 July 2014

Property Values and Brownfield Remediation

Kevin Haninger, Lala Ma, and Christopher Timmins study the effect of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Brownfields Program that develops once-contaminated sites. Using non-public EPA administrative records and detailed property price data, they estimate that a brownfields cleanup raises house prices nearby by between 5 and 11%.

23 July 2014

Informed Shoppers and the Brand Premium

Bart Bronnenberg, Jean-Pierre Dubé, Matthew Gentzkow, and Jesse Shapiro find that more informed consumers, measured in various ways, are less likely to pay extra to buy national brands. For example, pharmacists choose national brands of headache remedies only 9 percent of the time, compared to 26 percent of the time for the average consumer. For pantry staples such as salt and sugar, chefs devote 12 percentage points less of their purchases to national brands than demographically similar non-chefs.

22 July 2014

Teacher Absence in India

Karthik Muralidharan, Jishnu Das, Alaka Holla, and Aakash Mohpal study the determinants of teacher absence in a panel data set comprising schools in 1297 Indian villages. They find that 24 percent of teachers in public schools are absent during unannounced visits. More frequent inspections are strongly correlated with teacher attendance; hiring more inspectors may be ten times more cost-effective in raising teacher-student contact time than hiring more teachers.

21 July 2014

New Evidence on Who Bears State Corporate Income Taxes

Juan Carlos Suárez Serrato and Owen Zidar use variation in state corporate income tax rates and apportionment rules to estimate who bears these taxes. Their results suggest that the owners of firms bear about 40% of the tax burden in reduced after-tax profits, owners of land in the taxing state bear about 25% in reduced rents, and workers bear about 35% of the corporate tax as a result of lower wages.

18 July 2014

Prices, Oil Production, and Oil Exploration

Soren Anderson, Ryan Kellogg, and Stephen Salant analyze oil production and exploration in Texas, and find that while production from existing wells is not responsive to price incentives, drilling activity increases strongly when prices rise. Their analysis helps to explain why production is typically constrained.

17 July 2014

Long Term Unemployment and the Great Recession

Kory Kroft, Fabian Lange, Matthew Notowidigdo, and Lawrence Katz find that shifts in demographics, occupation, industry, region, and the reason for unemployment jointly account for very little of the observed increase in long term unemployment during and after the Great Recession. Allowing for duration-dependence in the job-finding rate and in the rate of transitions from unemployment to non-participation, in contrast, contributes significantly to explaining the post-2008 pattern.
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