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AN NBER PUBLICATION ISSUE: No. 8, August 1997

The Digest

A free monthly publication featuring non-technical summaries of research on topics of broad public interest
...there are substantial differences between funds managed by managers from low- versus high-SAT schools that cannot be explained by differences in behavior, expenses, or survivorship. For years, economists have debated whether it is possible for mutual fund managers to "beat the market," either through superior stock picking abilities, or by correctly predicting the timing of overall market advances and declines. A related question is whether mutual fund performance...

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Research Summaries

Article
...exempting food, medical care, and housing would raise the sales tax rate from 17.2 percent to 30.3 percent. How high would a national retail sales tax have to be to replace not just the personal income tax, but also the corporate income tax and estate and gift taxes? According to a recent NBER study, Distributional Effects of Adopting a National Retail Sales Tax (NBER Working Paper No. 5885), the answer is 17.2 percent. Authors Daniel Feenberg, Andrew Mitrusi, and...
Article
...firms built upon a broader sense of trust perform better than firms where trust is focused within the family "Trust" -- the ability of people to cooperate with one another even if they're strangers -- is a measurable societal trait that can be linked to everything from the efficiency of the judiciary to the performance of large corporations; it can even affect the infant mortality rate, according to an NBER study by Rafael La Porta, Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes,...
Article
...the best single predictor of the growth of an economy remains its investment rate. "The four key issues for defining institutional quality are: the quality of the bureaucracy; rule of law; risk of expropriation; and repudiation of contracts by government." What explains the stellar economic performance of the East Asian nations since World War ll? How critical a role did government interventions and industrial policy play? And perhaps most importantly, what...

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