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The Digest

A free monthly publication featuring non-technical summaries of research on topics of broad public interest
The bulk of the dispersion in wealth at retirement age is attributable to differences in the percentage of income that households choose to save. Why do some households have substantial wealth at retirement and others have very little? NBER Research Associates Steven Venti and David Wise look at data from the Health and Retirement Survey (HRS) and observe that no matter what the level of lifetime earnings, there is a large dispersion of accumulated wealth of families...

Research Summaries

The happiness of women, despite gains in the job market and legislation aimed at reducing gender discrimination, has diminished greatly. Does money buy happiness? Philosophers, psychiatrists, social commentators, and journalists have long pondered the question. Now economists David Blanchflower and Andrew Oswald weigh-in with their analysis in Well-Being Over Time in Britain and the USA (NBER Working Paper No. 7487). Their data source is the General Social Surveys of...
These changes in incentives lead to reductions in medical expenditures, especially expenditures on diagnostic treatments, with negligible effects on mortality and rates of cardiac complications. Medical malpractice liability law has two principal objectives: compensating patients who are injured through the negligence of health care providers, and deterring providers from practicing negligently. Considerable evidence suggests that the current liability system in the...
Victims' race, age, and criminal record all determine sentence length, even in vehicular homicides. Drivers who kill black victims get substantially shorter sentences, but drivers who kill women receive significantly longer sentences. Why do murderers receive different sentence lengths for the same crime? In The Determinants of Punishment: Deterrence, Incapacitation and Vengeance (NBER Working Paper No. 7676), Edward Glaeser and Bruce Sacerdote use Bureau of Justice...

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