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AN NBER PUBLICATION ISSUE: No. 7, July 1997

The Digest

A free monthly publication featuring non-technical summaries of research on topics of broad public interest
...the direct benefit to the Lojack owner/insurer represents less than 10 percent of the overall social benefits of installing Lojack, since almost all of the benefits are the result of reduced auto theft in the area. Crime reduction devices that can be seen, including barbed-wire fences and deadbolt locks, may shift crime to those who don't have them. Unobservable precautions on the other hand, like the Lojack car retrieval system, may prevent crime for all in the...

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Research Summaries

Article
...although a consumption tax would reduce the percent of income paid by the highest-income households substantially it would not reduce it as much as is often thought. Critics often claim that consumption taxes would shift the tax burden away from high-income households because, under a consumption tax system, wages would be taxed fully while income from capital would not be taxed, and high-income households receive a large share of their income from capital. Now a...
Article
Discrimination against women in the hiring process has been alleged for a number of occupations, but is extremely difficult to demonstrate. Now, according to an NBER study by Claudia Goldin and Cecilia Rouse, a change in the way that symphony orchestras recruit musicians provides an unusual way to test for such bias. Most orchestras revised their audition policies in the 1970s and 1980s and began to use a "screen" of some sort to conceal the identity of the candidate from...
Article
Investing in global stock markets has become the focus of a baby boom generation obsessed with saving for retirement. Behind the flood of money into domestic and international equities by savers is a widespread appreciation that stocks yield a high rate of return over the long term. However, estimates for the rate of return on equity capital typically are based on 20th century U.S. data, which show an equity return (in excess of inflation) of about 6 percent. NBER Faculty...

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