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AN NBER PUBLICATION ISSUE: No. 11, November 2004

The Digest

A free monthly publication featuring non-technical summaries of research on topics of broad public interest
Perks are a means to enhance executive productivity. The narrow implication of this finding is that a blanket indictment of the use of perks is unwarranted. The business press frequently reports on lavish executive compensation, particularly the many non-salary perks that CEOs and other titans of industry enjoy. Often, such perks are portrayed as wasteful corporate spending that hurts shareholders and contributes little to the bottom line. But is this interpretation...

Research Summaries

In today's more competitive environment, Ivy League connections are less important, top executives are more likely to come from outside a company, job tenure is much lower, and executives get to the top faster by holding fewer jobs. The executive suite at the world's most powerful corporations has changed substantially over the past twenty years with the leaders of today's global behemoths younger, more likely to be women, and less likely to be Ivy League educated...
By election day, the markets with an average absolute error of around 1.5 percentage points, were considerably more accurate than the Gallup poll projections, which erred by 2.1 percent. Prediction markets -- also known as information markets or events futures -- first drew widespread attention in July 2003 when it was revealed that the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) was establishing a Policy Analysis Market to allow trading in various...
Information made public by the bypass surgery reporting program has had an impact on both the volume of cases and the future quality at hospitals identified as poor performers. In schools, report cards are given to students to stimulate better academic performance. This same idea has been applied to hospitals that provide cardiac surgery to patients, and some research indicates that, as with report cards in schools, the goal is being met: the quality of care is...
Apart from a short-term effect of the ADA's requirement of special accommodations, the ADA was not causally linked to declining disabled employment over much of the 1990s. Congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), a law that broadly prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment and other settings, with an unusual degree of political consensus and popular support. Yet evidence suggests that employment levels of individuals...

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