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AN NBER PUBLICATION ISSUE: No. 11, November 1998

The Digest

A free monthly publication featuring non-technical summaries of research on topics of broad public interest
Managed care plans on the whole may offer lower quality care than fee-for-service plans. As authors Sarah Feldman and David A. Scharfstein point out in Managed Care and Provider Volume (NBER Working Paper No. 6523), numerous studies have attempted to measure the quality differences between managed care health plans and more traditional fee-for-service coverage. Yet few, if any, definitive conclusions have been drawn regarding the superiority of one type of health-...

Research Summaries

Article
Jolls finds that the average executive in her sample of firms with repurchase activity enjoyed a $345,000 increase in stock option value as a result of the repurchase activity. During the 1980s and 1990s, corporate managers increasingly chose to use corporate earnings for stock repurchases (buy-backs), or to increase corporate liquidity, rather than to pay dividends. In Stock Repurchases and Incentive Compensation(NBER Working Paper 6467) , Christine Jolls suggests...
Article
The profitability of momentum strategies does indeed decline sharply with market capitalization. In Bad News Travels Slowly: Size, Analyst Coverage, and the Profitability of Momentum Strategies (NBER Working Paper 6553) , Harrison Hong, Terence Lim, and Jeremy Stein cite a number of studies that show that stock returns exhibit momentum: in the medium term past winners continue to perform well, while past losers continue to perform badly. They then go on to ask, what...
Article
As much as one-fourth of the decline in labor force participation in the early postwar period can be attributed to the growth in pension coverage. Since World War II, workers have been retiring at earlier ages. Between 1950 and 1989, the labor force participation rates of men decreased from 46 percent to 17 percent for those aged 65 and over, and from 87 percent to 67 percent for those aged 55 to 64. In the same period, participation rates for women age 65 and over...

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