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The Digest

A free monthly publication featuring non-technical summaries of research on topics of broad public interest
Replacing 1,000 old prescriptions with 1,000 new prescriptions will increase drug costs by $18,000 but will reduce the number of hospital stays by nearly six. Since the average cost of a hospital stay is $7,588, a total reduction of $44,469 in hospital costs could be expected. Americans' spending on prescription medication has grown significantly since the mid-1980s. Although the use of prescriptions is increasing, another important factor in the rapidly rising outlay...

Research Summaries

The strong performance of productivity growth in the second half of the 1990s was in fact attributable to accelerating technical change, not to poor measurement or to temporary factors. Productivity is one of the most closely watched indicators of long-term economic prospects. Rising productivity is the key to making possible permanent increases in the standard of living. In Productivity Growth in the 1990s: Technology, Utilization, or Adjustment (NBER Working Paper...
In a large sample of countries over a period since 1980, financial liberalization leads to a one percent increase on average in a country's annual growth rate over a five-year period. Does financial liberalization spur growth? The answer, according to a recent NBER Working Paper by Geert Bekaert, Campbell Harvey,and Christian Lundblad is "yes." Equity market liberalization, the researchers show, leads to a one percent increase in a country's annual growth rate over a...
In the long-term East Asian countries will go from a pre-crisis average annual growth rate of 7 percent to around 5 percent. In the modern history of economic upheavals, the East Asian financial crisis that began in 1997 with the fall of the Thai baht surprised economists in two ways: first, for the massive damage it inflicted upon Indonesia, Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines, and, second, for how quickly these countries bounced back from the battering...

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