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NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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21 October 2014

Measuring the Effects of Consumer Bankruptcy Protection

Consumer bankruptcy is one of the largest social insurance programs in the United States. Will Dobbie and Jae Song analyze its impact on debtors using 500,000 bankruptcy filings matched to administrative tax and foreclosure data. They find that Chapter 13 protection increases annual earnings by $5,562, decreases five-year mortality by 1.2 percentage points, and decreases five-year foreclosure rates by 19.1 percentage points.

20 October 2014

Why Infant Mortality Is Higher in the U.S. than in Europe

The U.S. has substantially higher infant mortality than peer countries. Using data from the U.S., Austria, and Finland, Alice Chen, Emily Oster, and Heidi Williams find similar mortality in the first month after birth but a substantial US disadvantage thereafter. This postneonatal mortality disadvantage is driven almost exclusively by inequality in the U.S. Infants born to white, college-educated, married U.S. mothers have similar mortality to advantaged infants in Europe.

17 October 2014

The Value of Postsecondary Credentials in the Labor Market

In an experimental study of employers’ perceptions of postsecondary degrees, David Deming, Noam Yuchtman, Amira Abulafi, Claudia Goldin, and Lawrence Katz send fictitious resumes to real vacancy postings on a large online job board. Callbacks in response to the “applications” suggest that employers value college quality and the likelihood of a successful match when contacting applicants.

16 October 2014

No Child Left Behind’s Accountability Sanctions and School Performance

Some sanctions built into the No Child Left Behind accountability regime exert positive impacts on students, according to Thomas Ahn and Jacob Vigdor. They find the strongest positive effects from the leadership and management changes associated with school restructuring. They find that the gains from restructuring are pervasive, while the gains from other, more modest, sanctions are concentrated among low-performing students.
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