AN NBER PUBLICATION ISSUE: No. 11, November 1999

The Digest

A free monthly publication featuring non-technical summaries of research on topics of broad public interest
Cashouts typically reduce average 401(k) assets at age 65 by only about 5 percent. The annual contribution flow to 401(k) savings programs now exceeds $100 billion. More than 35 million workers are participating in these plans offered by their employers. In Pre-retirement Cashouts and Foregone Retirement Saving: Implications for 401(k) Asset Accumulation (NBER Working Paper No. 7314), NBER Research Associates James Poterba, Steven Venti, and David Wise consider the...

Research Summaries

Article
There will be a substantial decline in the prominence of Japanese banks as the financial markets become as liberalized as U.S. markets. Japanese banks are among the largest in the world, yet they are some of the least profitable. Burdened by recent bank failures and the poor performance of the economy, the Japanese banking sector is in transformation. In The Japanese Banking Crisis: Where Did it Come From and How Will it End? (NBER Working Paper No. 7250), Takeo...
Article
Social Security differentially disenfranchises the children of low and middle income families from receiving inheritances. In Simulating the Transmission of Wealth Inequality Via Bequests (NBER Working Paper No. 7183), Jagadeesh Gokhale, Laurence Kotlikoff, James Sefton, and Martin Weale find two things that run contrary to popular belief. First, most U.S. inheritances may be unintended. Second, were it not for Social Security, inheritances would probably mitigate,...
Article
Based on some measures of corruption - the more corrupt the government is, the more aid it actually receives. International programs to alleviate poverty include bilateral aid from rich countries to poor countries, multilateral aid from international organizations, grants below market interest rates, technical assistance, and debt forgiveness programs, such as the World Bank/IMF's Highly Indebted Poor Country initiative. The World Bank, in particular, increasingly...

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