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AN NBER PUBLICATION ISSUE: No. 7, July 1998

The Digest

A free monthly publication featuring non-technical summaries of research on topics of broad public interest
In 1910-31, 25 percent of babies died by day ten if they weighed between 1500 and 1999 grams; in 1988, only 3 percent of babies in the same weight range died. In Unequal At Birth: A Long-Term Comparison of Income and Birth Weight(NBER Working Paper No. 6313), NBER Faculty Research Fellow Dora Costa examines the relationship among income, birth weight, and infant health. Using data from the period 1910 to 1988, she finds that differences in birth weight by income class...

Research Summaries

Article
...401(k) assets almost surely will be an important component of the retirement wealth of future generations of retirees. A large fraction of families approach retirement with virtually no personal financial assets (which do not include balances in IRAs, 401(k)s, or other personal retirement accounts) saved. The median level of personal financial assets -- that is, the point at which half of families own more and half less -- was about $7,000 in 1992 for family heads...
Article
...changing demographics will induce a 2.0 to 2.4 percentage point decline in Hong Kong's GDP per capita growth rate, a 2.5 to 3.0 percentage point decline in Singapore, a 1.9 to 2.2 percentage point decline in Korea, and a .9 to 1.1 percentage point decline in Japan. Despite the numerous shocks that have recently rocked several East Asian countries, the region's rapidly accelerated growth over the past several decades still stands as a phenomenal achievement, and...
Article
...in response to a rise in expected inflation above target, each central bank on average raised nominal rates enough to raise real interest rates. On the eve of the European Monetary Union, squabbling between Germany and France over governance dominated the headlines in the financial press. Beneath this bickering over leadership, however, lies a more fundamental debate: What kind of monetary policy will the new European Central Bank undertake? In addition, are there...

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