Skip to main content
AN NBER PUBLICATION ISSUE: No. 3, March 2005

The Digest

A free monthly publication featuring non-technical summaries of research on topics of broad public interest
Average mutual fund managers show stock-picking skill, in the sense that the subsequent earnings announcement returns on their weight-increasing stocks are significantly higher than those on their weight-decreasing stocks. Can mutual fund managers pick stocks that "beat the market"? This question has long interested economists because of its practical importance to millions of investors, who currently hold over $3 trillion in U.S. corporate equities through mutual...

Research Summaries

Article
The finding that agent-owned homes are on the market longer and sell for more suggests that agents do deploy their specialized knowledge to maximize their profits rather than those of the homeowners they represent. Like physicians, automobile mechanics, and attorneys, realtors know more about their area of expertise than the people paying them for advice. In the absence of properly structured incentives, experts can use their specialized knowledge to further their own...
Article
Early education does increase reading and mathematics skills at school entry, but it also boosts children's classroom behavioral problems and reduces their self-control. Further, for most children the positive effects of pre-kindergarten on skills largely dissipate by the spring of first grade, although the negative behavioral effects continue. Does Prekindergarten Improve School Preparation and Performance? The share of children attending early education programs...
Article
Segregation in schools might have declined had it not been for the actions of federal courts. Are Southern public schools resegregating as judicial oversight wanes? Some people claim this is the case, pointing to the fact that the percentage of black students enrolled in schools with 90-100 percent nonwhite enrollment has been creeping upwards since 1990. In Local Control and the Specter of "Resegregation" in Southern Schools (NBER Working Paper No. 11086), authors...
Article
Control pyramids drive a wedge between the families' dominant control rights and the often-small amount of actual wealth invested in the companies they control. In (NBER Working Paper No. 10692), Randall Morck, Daniel Wolfenzon, and Bernard Yeung analyze the common phenomenon around the world of small numbers of controlling shareholders, usually wealthy families, governing vast groups of listed corporations. They review the growing literature on the impact of control...
Article
There are more buyers of wheat in Ethiopia than sellers of wheat at all levels of income -- an important result because it means that at all levels of living standards, more households benefit from food aid (and a subsequent reduction in wheat prices) than are hurt by it. The delivery of food aid to developing countries seems like an uncontroversial policy -- a straightforward effort that helps the poor and underscores the generosity of donor nations. Yet, economists...

NBER periodicals and newsletters are not copyrighted and may be reproduced freely with appropriate attribution.

See the Latest NBER Research
New Working Papers This Week