New NBER Research

11 July 2014

Board Quotas and Labor Market Outcomes for Women

Marianne Bertrand, Sandra Black, Sissel Jensen, and Adriana Lleras-Muney investigate the effects of a 2003 Norwegian law that mandated 40 percent representation of each gender on the board of public companies. Female board members appointed after this reform were observably more qualified than their female predecessors, and the gender gap in earnings within boards fell substantially. But there is little evidence of "trickle down" to higher earnings lower in the corporate hierarchy, and it appears that the reform had very little impact on women in business beyond its direct effect on the newly appointed female board members.

10 July 2014

"Business Climate," Growth, and Economic Inequality

David Neumark and Jennifer Muz find that states with more business-friendly tax and cost-of-business environments, as measured by their “business climate indexes,” have faster growth of employment, wages and output, as well as rising levels of economic inequality.

9 July 2014

New Estimates of the Return to Schooling

Manudeep Bhuller, Magne Mogstad, and Kjell Salvanes estimate the return to education using panel data from Norway that provides career-long earnings histories for many workers. The findings suggest that educational investments generate an internal rate of return of around 10 percent, after taking into account income taxes and earnings-related pension entitlements.

8 July 2014

New Evidence on the Productivity Slowdown

John Fernald documents a slow-down in U.S. labor and total factor productivity prior to the Great Recession, a time pattern that rules out recession-related economic disruptions and explanations that focus on housing or finance as explanations of the productivity decline. The slowdown is located in industries that produce information technology (IT) or that use IT intensively, consistent with a return to normal productivity growth after nearly a decade of exceptional IT-fueled gains.
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