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AN NBER PUBLICATION ISSUE: No. 2, February 2003

The Digest

A free monthly publication featuring non-technical summaries of research on topics of broad public interest
The incidence of obesity is most prevalent among those sectors of the workforce (chiefly low-end wage earners, women, non-whites) whose real income has fallen even as more hours are devoted to work. Not all that long ago obesity was a fairly rare phenomenon among Americans. By now, however, it's well-established that the number of obese adults in the United States has grown by more than 50 percent over the last generation. Less well known is that obesity and its...

Research Summaries

Article
Examining the effects of casinos after at least four years of operation, the authors find that positive changes include: young adults moving back to reservations, fueling an 11.5 percent population increase; adult employment increasing by 26 percent; and a 14 percent decline in the number of working poor. In counties with or near a casino, the employment- to- population ratio has increased and mortality has declined. Indian tribes are sovereign nations under federal...
Article
As investors from foreign tax credit countries are able to mitigate or avoid repatriation taxes, the floor on tax competition is lowered or removed. Changes in the way multinational firms structure their operations abroad have made low tax rates increasingly important to a country's ability to attract foreign capital. This trend is particularly significant for European countries, where 10 percent higher tax rates are associated with 7.7 percent less foreign direct...
Article
Tuition assistance programs appear to allow firms to hire better quality, more educated, more productive, employees. Why do so many companies provide tuition assistance for their employees who pursue post-secondary education? College courses give employees new "general skills" that raise the ability of these workers to qualify for higher pay - their market wage - and may enable them to more easily jump to another job in another firm. General skills, such as...
Article
Plants with more sensitive populations (children and elderly) living nearby emit less air pollution. One of the most environmentally regulated sectors in the United States is the pulp and paper industry, a polluter of both air and water. Individual plants within the industry face very different regulatory pressures, though. Firms that do the pulping- processing raw wood or chips into fibers that are then used to produce paper- are heavier polluters. Separating the...
Article
Increased Internet access was not associated with better student scores on the math, reading, or the science sections of the Stanford Achievement Test. Claims that the Internet would revolutionize education and that students attending schools without Internet access would be left behind led to the creation of the E-Rate program in 1996. Operational in 1998, E-Rate provides up to $2.25 billion a year in subsidies to promote affordable Internet connections for schools...

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