23 January 2018

States' Occupational Licensing Reduces Migration

The between-state migration rate for individuals in occupations with state-specific licensing exam requirements is 36 percent lower than that of members of other occupations, Janna E. Johnson and Morris M. Kleiner find. Members of licensed occupations with national licensing exams show no evidence of limited interstate migration.

22 January 2018

Austerity and the Rise of the Nazi Party

Fiscally contractionary austerity measures, including spending cuts and tax rises, contributed to votes for the Nazi party especially among the middle- and upper-class Germans who had more to lose from such policies, according to a study by Gregori Galofré-Vilà, Christopher M. Meissner, Martin McKee, and David Stuckler. Each standard deviation increase in austerity was associated with between a 2 to 5 percentage point increase in vote share for the Nazis.

19 January 2018

Financial Spillovers and Macroprudential Policies

Peripheral economies that implement macroprudential policies increase their monetary independence from central economies when the latter implement expansionary monetary policies. This is also the case when the peripheral economies run current account deficits or experience credit expansions, according to Joshua Aizenman, Menzie D. Chinn, and Hiro Ito.

18 January 2018

The Geography of Poverty and Nutrition:
Food Deserts and Food Choices across the U.S.

In a study of why high-income families tend to eat more healthfully than the poor, Hunt Allcott, Rebecca Diamond, Jean-Pierre Dubé, Jessie Handbury, Ilya Rahkovsky, and Molly Schnell find that neighborhood environments do not have economically meaningful effects on healthy eating. Exposing low-income households to the same food availability and prices experienced by high-income households would reduce nutritional inequality by only 9 percent.

17 January 2018

House Price Beliefs And Mortgage Leverage Choice

Individuals’ beliefs about future house price changes are affected by recent house price experiences of geographically distant friends, a study by Michael Bailey, Eduardo Dávila, Theresa Kuchler, and Johannes Stroebel finds. More pessimistic homebuyers choose higher leverage, in particular in states where default costs are relatively low.

16 January 2018

Household Wealth Trends in the U.S., 1962 to 2016:
Has Middle Class Wealth Recovered?

Median wealth declined 44 percent between 2007 and 2010, inequality rose, and the relative indebtedness of the middle class expanded, Edward N. Wolff reports. Mean and median wealth rebounded from 2010 to 2016. While mean wealth surpassed its 2007 peak, median wealth was still down by 34 percent. The racial and ethnic disparity in wealth widened between 2007 and 2016, and the wealth of younger households declined.

15 January 2018

VC Investments and M&A Activity around the World

In a cross-country analysis, Gordon M. Phillips and Alexei Zhdanov find evidence of a strong positive association between venture capital investments and lagged merger and acquisition activity, supporting the hypothesis that an active M&A market provides viable exit opportunities for VC companies and therefore incentivizes them to engage in more deals.

12 January 2018

Health Shocks Have Family-wide Behavior Effects

Spouses and adult children immediately increase their health investments and improve their health behaviors in response to family shocks, and these effects persist for at least several years, a study by Itzik Fadlon and Torben Heien Nielsen shows.

11 January 2018

Credit-constrained and Poor Households Drove
Major Drop in Aggregate Consumption after 2007

The fraction of households facing borrowing constraints increased sharply during the Great Recession, driving a large drop in aggregate consumption because poorer families have a high marginal propensity to consume, according to a study by Gene Amromin, Mariacristina De Nardi, and Karl Schulze.

10 January 2018

Who Becomes an Inventor in America?
Wealth and Early Exposure to Innovation Are Important

Children from top 1 percent families are 10 times as likely to become inventors as those from below-median income families, an analysis by Alexander M. Bell, Raj Chetty, Xavier Jaravel, Neviana Petkova, and John Van Reenen shows. Exposure to innovation during childhood has significant causal effects, as does growing up in a neighborhood or family with a high innovation rate in a specific technology class.
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