New NBER Research

1 July 2016

Formulary Design in Medicare Part D Plans

Most Medicare beneficiaries receive prescription drugs and other medical care through separate insurance plans. Kurt Lavetti and Kosali Simon find that this fragmentation leads to inefficiencies in overall care delivery, as insurers who are responsible only for prescription drug insurance may not consider the cost savings for other components of care when deciding whether to offer coverage for particular medicines.

30 June 2016

The Effect of Pollution on Worker Productivity:
Evidence from Call-Center Workers in China

Higher levels of air pollution are associated with reductions in the number of calls that call-center employees in China complete each day, research by Tom Chang, Joshua Graff Zivin, Tal Gross, and Matthew Neidell shows. They find that the decreases in productivity are due to increases in time spent on breaks rather than to increases in the duration of customer phone calls.

29 June 2016

Tuskegee and Physician Visits by Black Men

After disclosure of the Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male — in which hundreds of adult black males with syphilis were passively monitored despite the availability of effective treatment — there was a substantial decline in older black males' interactions with physicians, Marcella Alsan and Marianne Wanamaker find.
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NBER in the News

New in the NBER Reporter

Productivity and Misallocation

Studies of firm-level data from a growing number of countries in Latin America and Europe find wide gaps in revenue productivity, consistent with substantial misallocation. Chang-Tai Hsieh and Pete Klenow look at five forces that might be important to explaining the gaps in the current issue of the quarterly NBER Reporter.

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This Week's Working Papers

New in the NBER Digest

What Judges, Umpires, and Loan Officers Share

A bias against deciding the same way in successive situations can affect whether a foreigner is deported, a business gets a loan, or a batter strikes out, according to research on the Gambler's Fallacy featured in the June edition of The NBER Digest. Also in the monthly Digest: Working Papers investigating the origins of ISIS fighters, analyzing the growth rate of U.S. labor productivity, documenting an apparent bias against novelty in scientific research, calculating the impact of foreign aid on recipients, and exploring the relationship between old-age assistance and labor supply.

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NBER Macroeconomics
Annual 2015

Major trends and cycles in the Chinese economy, the large differences among countries in the effect of rising public debt, and the influence of CFOs’ growth expectations on their firms’ investments are among topics probed in the 30th volume of the NBER Macroeconomics Annual. Researchers also explore the network structure of the U.S. economy, the usefulness of household belief studies for understanding economic phenomena, and downward trends in unemployment and workforce participation. Edited by Martin Eichenbaum and Jonathan A. Parker. Just published by The University of Chicago Press.

Tax Policy and the Economy

The effect of state-level fiscal policies on neighboring states, the welfare consequences of tax-policy changes, and the increase in pass-through businesses are among topics explored by NBER researchers in volume 30 of the Tax Policy and the Economy series. Edited by Jeffrey R. Brown, it is now available from The University of Chicago Press.

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