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AN NBER PUBLICATION ISSUE: No. 5, May 2003

The Digest

A free monthly publication featuring non-technical summaries of research on topics of broad public interest
Based on a plausible range of definitions and assumptions, health insurance is affordable for between one quarter and three quarters of adults who are not insured. A common explanation for the fact that 15 percent of U.S. citizens do not have health coverage is that a significant proportion of the population cannot afford to pay for coverage. Yet the "affordability" of health insurance is a subject that is poorly understood and that has received relatively little...

Research Summaries

Article
Very little happens to countries' trade openness upon joining the WTO. The World Trade Organization (WTO) has become one of the world's most controversial multilateral organizations, perhaps rivaling only the International Monetary Fund as the favorite target for anti-globalization activists, who argue that the body's policies and rules favor trade at the expense of workers and the environment. But, according to the research of NBER Research Associate Andrew Rose,...
Article
A number of studies have documented that the prices of houses exhibit both "momentum" (that is, a tendency to move together in the short run) and "reversion" (cycle around a trend). From these studies, and from the observed behavior of housing prices in regional markets, it is clear that the extent of momentum or reversion varies with location, for example between coastal and inland cities. This is important because it is only possible for large housing price bubbles to...
Article
The positive association between substance use and sexual activity, or risky sexual behavior, is not causal and more likely attributable to some other variables.. Rates of teen pregnancy and out-of-wedlock birth in the United States are high, the latter having risen from seven per 1000 in 1940 to 46 per 1000 in 1994.The current rates are nearly twice those of Britain and Canada. And, survey data indicate that in 1999, 25 percent of sexually active students had used...
Article
Increasing IT investment in manufacturing industries by one percent increased supplier investments by 0.6 percent, and customer investments by 0.3 percent. Evangelists for the computer revolution predicted that rapid advances in information processing technology would create a new economy. Vastly increased computing power would revolutionize working arrangements, leading to previously unmatched improvements in productivity and a new age for consumers. But actual...
Article
If anything, both home and host countries would be worse off in a world without globe trotting multinationals. While critics of globalization view the foreign ventures of multinational corporations as damaging exports, jobs, and wages at home and abroad, an exhaustive review of research into the effects of "foreign direct investment" credits multinationals with being far more beneficial than detrimental -- for both their "home" and "host" countries. In Home and Host...

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