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AN NBER PUBLICATION ISSUE: No. 12, December 1999

The Digest

A free monthly publication featuring non-technical summaries of research on topics of broad public interest
Students who attend colleges with higher average tuition costs or spending per student tend to earn higher incomes later on.   In today's high-tech economy, just about everybody has gotten the message that it pays to get a college degree. What is less clear to many parents and their college-bound youngsters is whether it makes economic sense to attend an elite school with a total four-year price tag big enough to buy a nice suburban house in many parts of the...

Research Summaries

Article
Contrary to theoretical predictions, USAA's reinsurance program protects it from smaller losses and leaves it relatively uncovered in the event of the largest ones. Also flying in the face of theory is the fact that USAA paid premiums that were, according to the author's calculations, 9.1 times the actuarially fair premium.   During the era of frequent citywide fires, many fire insurance companies failed when all of their insured houses went up in smoke at the...
Article
Between 1960 and 1990 the death rate for children aged five to14 fell 48 percent ... a growing share of the accelerating reduction in child mortality arises from a sharp drop in deaths from unintentional injury or accident. Many different factors contributed to this decline in accidental injury, Glied explains. "The late 1960s and early 1970s were the heyday of the U.S. consumer protection movement," she notes. Washington's Consumer Product Safety Commission produced...
Article
Urban households were affected more adversely than the rural ones and the increase in the cost of living was smaller the richer a household was. In January 1998, Indonesia was rocked by a major financial crisis. Between December 1996 and January 1998, the Rupiah plummeted from 2400 to the dollar to 16,000 to the dollar. The price index for food rose as much in January 1998 as it had for the six prior months combined. As a result of this financial crisis, prices for a...

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