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AN NBER PUBLICATION ISSUE: No. 2, February 2001

The Digest

A free monthly publication featuring non-technical summaries of research on topics of broad public interest
Although the introduction of Web trading seems to increase total trading, it does not appear to increase short-term trading or last-hour trading, suggesting that the Web may not be an important catalyst for speculative trading. The growing availability of online trading technologies is believed to have had a large effect on stock market volume and volatility. But is the increase in trading coincidental to the spread of the Web or a direct result of it? It may simply...

Research Summaries

Article
About one-third of the gun-homicide decline since 1993 is explained by the fall in gun ownership. Increases in gun ownership lead to a higher gun-homicide rate and legislation allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons does not reduce crime, according to a recent NBER Working Paper by Mark Duggan. After peaking in 1993, gun homicides in the United States dropped 36 percent by 1998, while non-gun homicides declined only 18 percent. In that same period, the fraction...
Article
Children who grew up in the "easier-divorce" states are in fact worse off in a number of ways. Most U.S. states now allow for unilateral no-fault divorce, whereby one spouse can obtain a divorce without the consent of his or her partner, solely on the grounds of spousal incompatibility. This stands in contrast to historical state regulations which provided for divorce only for grounds, such as infidelity and physical abuse, and when it was mutually agreed upon by both...
Article
From 1986 to 1998, China's GDP averaged 6.2 percent per year, 3 percent less than the officially reported figures of 9.2 percent. For policymakers, or even casual observers, few facts shape impressions about a country's well-being more than bedrock statistics on economic growth. This has been especially true in regards to conventional perceptions about modern day China. While there may be much debate about the country's human rights record and environmental policies,...

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