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AN NBER PUBLICATION ISSUE: No. 10, October 1997

The Digest

A free monthly publication featuring non-technical summaries of research on topics of broad public interest
...variable annuity premiums increased five fold between 1991 and 1994. How will the Woodstock generation, the roughly 76 million baby boomers born from 1946 to 1964, fare financially in retirement? Are boomers putting aside enough money for their retirement? With the debate over Social Security reform percolating, and employers expecting their workers to take more responsibility for their retirement funding, questions like these are increasingly driving scholarly...

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Article
...in states with more restrictive licensing laws for dentists, dental health is no higher than in states with less restrictive laws, but dental prices are. For decades, economists have debated the effects of occupational licensing on the well-being of consumers. On the one hand, as Milton Friedman and Simon Kuznets pointed out in a famous 1945 NBER study, restrictive licensing of a profession reduces the supply, which necessarily raises the price. Thus, in their view...
Article
...today's segregation is characterized by decentralized forces; whites pay more than blacks to live in predominantly white areas. Racial segregation in the United States remains at a very high level. On average, 60 percent of blacks would have to move in order for blacks and whites to be equally distributed in American cities. Why is segregation so high? Will it continue to remain high, or will it fall in the future? These are some of the questions that David Cutler...
Article
... a worsening in a host government's corruption level from that of Singapore to that of Mexico is equivalent to about a 21 percentage point increase in the marginal tax rate for foreign investors. From the booming "tigers" of East Asia to the rapidly liberalizing markets of Latin America, corruption has become a significant drag on attracting much-needed foreign direct investment (FDI), in some instances acting with the prohibitive power of a 20 percent tax hike,...

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