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NBER Working Papers and Publications
|January 2014||The Fiscal Stress Arising from State and Local Retiree Health Obligations|
with Louise Sheiner: w19779
A major factor weighing down the long-term finances of state and local governments is the obligation to fund retiree benefits. While state and local government pension obligations have been analyzed in great detail, much less attention has been paid to the costs of the other major retiree benefit provided by these governments: retiree health insurance. The first portion of the paper uses the information contained in the annual actuarial reports for public retiree health plans to reverse engineer the cash flows underlying the liabilities given in the report. Obtaining the cash flows allows us to construct liability estimates which are consistent across governments in terms of the discount rate, actuarial method and assumptions concerning medical cost inflation and mortality. We find that...
Published: Byron Lutz & Louise Sheiner, 2014. "The fiscal stress arising from state and local retiree health obligations," Journal of Health Economics, vol 38, pages 130-146.
|August 2013||The Fiscal Stress Arising from State and Local Retiree Health Obligations|
with Louise Sheiner
in State and Local Health Plans for Active and Retired Public Employees, Robert Clark and Joseph Newhouse, organizers
|September 2009||The Effects of School Desegregation on Crime|
with David A. Weiner, Jens Ludwig: w15380
One of the most striking features of crime in America is its disproportionate concentration in disadvantaged, racially segregated communities, which has long raised concern that segregation itself may contribute to criminal behavior. Yet little is known about whether government efforts to reduce segregation can reduce crime. We address this question by studying the most important large-scale policy to reduce segregation in American life - court-ordered school desegregation. Our research design exploits variation across large urban school districts in the timing of when they were subject to local Federal court orders to desegregate. We find that for black youth, homicide victimization declines by around 25 percent when court orders are implemented; homicide arrests decline significantly as ...