NBER Working Papers by Austin Nichols

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Working Papers

May 2015The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)
with Jesse Rothstein: w21211
We review research on the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), focusing on work appearing since the Hotz and Scholz (2003) review. Recent work has confirmed earlier findings that labor supply effects are positive for single mothers, smaller and negative for married mothers, and essentially nonexistent for men. Where earlier estimates indicated that all responses were on the extensive margin, some recent studies find evidence of non-zero, but small, intensive margin effects. We also review research on the incidence of the credit, suggesting that employers capture some of the program benefits through lower wages; on the large impact of the program on poverty rates and on children’s outcomes; and on families’ apparent preferences for lump-sum refunds over smaller payments distributed throughout t...

Published: The Earned Income Tax Credit, Austin Nichols, Jesse Rothstein. in Economics of Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States, volume 1, Moffitt. 2016

April 2011Rural Hospital Ownership: Medical Service Provision, Market Mix, and Spillover Effects
with Jill R. Horwitz: w16926
Roughly one half of hospitals in the U.S. are in rural areas, yet researchers have largely studied the effects of hospital ownership in the urban context. We examine differences in the provision of profitable and unprofitable medical services in rural areas across nonprofit, for-profit, and government hospitals. We also consider the effect of hospital ownership mix within rural hospital markets. We find that rural nonprofit hospitals are more likely than for-profit hospitals to offer unprofitable services, many of which are underprovided services. Nonprofits respond less than for-profits to changes in service profitability. Nonprofits with more for-profit competitors offer more profitable services and fewer unprofitable services than those with fewer for-profit competitors.

Published: Jill R. Horwitz & Austin Nichols, 2011. "Rural Hospital Ownership: Medical Service Provision, Market Mix, and Spillover Effects," Health Services Research, vol 46(5), pages 1452-1472.

July 2007What Do Nonprofits Maximize? Nonprofit Hospital Service Provision and Market Ownership Mix
with Jill R. Horwitz: w13246
Conflicting theories of the nonprofit firm have existed for several decades yet empirical research has not resolved these debates, partly because the theories are not easily testable but also because empirical research generally considers organizations in isolation rather than in markets. Here we examine three types of hospitals - nonprofit, for-profit, and government - and their spillover effects. We look at the effect of for-profit ownership share within markets in two ways, on the provision of medical services and on operating margins at the three types of hospitals. We find that nonprofit hospitals' medical service provision systematically varies by market mix. We find no significant effect of for-profit market share on the operating margins of nonprofit hospitals. These results f...
September 2002The Welfare Implications of Increasing Disability Insurance Benefit Generosity
with John Bound, Julie Berry Cullen, Lucie Schmidt: w9155
The focus on efficiency costs in the empirical literature on Disability Insurance (DI) provides a misleading view of the adequacy of payment levels. In order to evaluate whether workers are over- or under-insured through the social insurance program, we develop a framework that allows us to simulate the benefits as well as the costs associated with marginal changes in payment generosity from a representative cross-sectional sample of the population. Under the assumption that individuals are reasonably risk averse, our simulations suggest the typical worker would value increased benefits somewhat above the average costs of providing them. However, we find that benefit increases tend to lower average utility when we average across all individuals in our sample, particularly at high levels...

Published: Bound, John, Julie Berry Cullen, Austin Nichols and Lucie Schmidt. "The Welfare Implications Of Increasing Disability Insurance Benefit Generosity," Journal of Public Economics, 2004, v88(12,Dec), 2487-2514. citation courtesy of

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