NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Adalbert Mayer

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Working Papers

January 2013Tracing the Effects of Guaranteed Admission through the College Process: Evidence from a Policy Discontinuity in the Texas 10% Plan
with Jason Fletcher: w18721
The Texas 10% law states that students who graduated among the top 10% of their high school class are guaranteed admission to public universities in Texas. We estimate the causal effects of this admissions guarantee on a sequence of connected decisions: students’ application behavior, admission decisions by the university, students’ enrollment choices conditional on admission; as well as the resulting college achievement. We identify these effects by comparing students just above and just below the top 10% rank cutoff. While this design is in the spirit of a regression discontinuity, we note important differences in approach and interpretation. We find that students react to incentives created by the admissions guarantee - for example, by reducing applications to competing private univ...
January 2011A Simple Test of Private Information in the Insurance Markets with Heterogeneous Insurance Demand
with Li Gan, Feng Huang: w16738
A positive correlation between insurance coverage and ex post risk can be an indicator for private information in insurance markets. However, this test fails if agents have heterogeneous risk attitudes. We propose a new test that conditions on unobserved types of individuals who differ in their risks preferences. This makes it possible to detect asymmetric information without direct evidence of private information - even if agents have heterogeneous risk attitudes. We apply our technique to the market for long-term care insurance. Finkelstein and McGarry (2006) provide direct evidence for the existence of private information in this market. At the same time they fail to find a positive correlation between insurance coverage and ex post risk. Our method indicates the existence of private in...

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