New NBER Research

23 July 2014

Informed Shoppers and the Brand Premium

Bart Bronnenberg, Jean-Pierre Dubé, Matthew Gentzkow, and Jesse Shapiro find that more informed consumers, measured in various ways, are less likely to pay extra to buy national brands. For example, pharmacists choose national brands of headache remedies only 9 percent of the time, compared to 26 percent of the time for the average consumer. For pantry staples such as salt and sugar, chefs devote 12 percentage points less of their purchases to national brands than demographically similar non-chefs.

22 July 2014

Teacher Absence in India

Karthik Muralidharan, Jishnu Das, Alaka Holla, and Aakash Mohpal study the determinants of teacher absence in a panel data set comprising schools in 1297 Indian villages. They find that 24 percent of teachers in public schools are absent during unannounced visits. More frequent inspections are strongly correlated with teacher attendance; hiring more inspectors may be ten times more cost-effective in raising teacher-student contact time than hiring more teachers.

21 July 2014

New Evidence on Who Bears State Corporate Income Taxes

Juan Carlos Suárez Serrato and Owen Zidarr use variation in state corporate income tax rates and apportionment rules to estimate who bears these taxes. Their results suggest that the owners of firms bear about 40% of the tax burden in reduced after-tax profits, owners of land in the taxing state bear about 25% in reduced rents, and workers bear about 35% of the corporate tax as a result of lower wages.

18 July 2014

Prices, Oil Production, and Oil Exploration

Soren Anderson, Ryan Kellogg, and Stephen Salant analyze oil production and exploration in Texas, and find that while production from existing wells is not responsive to price incentives, drilling activity increases strongly when prices rise. Their analysis helps to explain why production is typically constrained.
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