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The Digest

A free monthly publication featuring non-technical summaries of research on topics of broad public interest
Children with working mothers and absent fathers are more likely to be subject to neglect and abuse.   Child neglect increases in states that cut their welfare benefit levels. This finding, in light of the recent reforms in the U.S. welfare system, is "particularly troubling," note NBER Research Associate Christina Paxson and Jane Waldfogel in Work, Welfare, and Child Maltreatment (NBER Working Paper No. 7343). Provisions of the reform call for reductions in...

Research Summaries

After adjusting for other differences between market areas, the mortality measure indicates that for-profit hospitals offer better quality. Issues of performance and quality in the delivery of health services are critical to assessing the effectiveness of different health care providers and to evaluating different health policies. However, policymakers and care providers have not had adequate measures of quality available because of the inherent problems in gathering...
Taxes on wireless phones cost the economy $2.56 billion more than the $4.79 billion raised in revenue. Cell phones are everywhere these days. You see people talking on their phones in cars, in restaurants, and walking along city sidewalks. The numbers confirm what your eyes observe. Since their introduction in 1983, use of wireless phones has grown at 25 to 35 percent per year, and there are now more than 69 million wireless telephones in the United States....
...the labor market is the main channel linking these effects of fiscal policy on growth. Higher wages cut into profits, reducing investment, and as a result, economic growth. Fiscal expansions sometimes have contractionary effects on the economy, and fiscal contractions may result in economic expansion. To understand why, we need to investigate the effect of fiscal policy on business investment. According to NBER Research Associate Alberto Alesina, Silvia Ardagana,...

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