NBER Publications by Amy Ellen Schwartz

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Working Papers and Chapters

February 2000Cigarettes and Alcohol: Substitutes or Complements?
with Sandra L. Decker: w7535
Taxation of cigarettes and alcohol can raise revenue and reduce consumption of goods with negative external effects. Despite medical and psychological evidence linking their consumption, little previous work has investigated the significance of cross-price effects in cigarette and alcohol consumption. We use individual-level data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System to investigate cigarette and alcohol consumption in the US, estimating both own and cross-price elasticities. Results suggest significant cross-price effects. Specifically, we find that higher alcohol prices decrease both alcohol consumption and smoking participation (suggesting a complementarity in consumption), while higher cigarette prices tend to decrease smoking participation but increase drinking. The sign...
February 1995Spatial Productivity Spillovers from Public Infrastructure: Evidence from State Highways
with Douglas Holtz-Eakin: w5004
Is public sector infrastructure a key determinant of productivity? Traditional, project-based analyses of benefits and costs typically do not find large rates of return. Proponents of infrastructure spending instead point to regression-based analyses of the links between private productivity and public infrastructure that imply large productivity effects from public spending. The disparity in estimated returns is often attributed to geographic spillovers in productivity benefits that are not captured by disaggregated analyses. We examine the degree to which state highways provide productivity benefits beyond the narrow confines of each state's borders. Despite the fact that state highways -- especially the interstate highway system -- are designed at least in part with interstate linka...
August 1994Infrastructure in a Structural Model of Economic Growth
with Douglas Holtz-Eakin: w4824
Researchers, commentators, and politicians have devoted steadily more attention to infrastructure in response to claims that inadequate accumulation of public capital has contributed to substandard U.S. economic growth. Despite this, the link between infrastructure and productivity growth remains controversial. In this regard, it is somewhat surprising that infrastructure research has developed in isolation from the large literature on economic growth. We develop a neoclassical growth model that explicitly incorporates infrastructure and is designed to provide a tractable framework within which to analyze the empirical importance of public capital accumulation to productivity growth. We find little support for claims of a dramatic productivity boost from increased infrastructure outlay...
January 1992State Infrastructure and Productive Performance
with Catherine J. Morrison: w3981
The impact of public infrastructure investment on the productive performance of firms has been an important focus of the recent literature on productivity growth. The size of this impact has important implications for policymakers' decisions to invest in public capital, and productivity analysts' evaluation of productivity growth fluctuations and declines. However, detailed evaluation of the infrastructure impact is difficult using existing studies which rely on restricted models of firms' technology and behavior. In this paper we construct a more complete production theory model of firms' production and input decisions. We then apply our framework to state-level data on the output production and input (capital, nonproduction and production labor and energy) use of manufacturing firms to e...

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