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AN NBER PUBLICATION ISSUE: No. 4, April 2005

The Digest

A free monthly publication featuring non-technical summaries of research on topics of broad public interest
Statistical results firmly refute the notion that the 2000 drop in retirement was linked to the stock market. Conventional wisdom - backed by some statistical studies - holds that a plunging stock market causes workers to postpone retirement, and conversely that a booming market inspires early retirement. But in Bulls, Bears, and Retirement Behavior (NBER Working Paper No. 10779), authors Courtney Coile and Phillip Levine find no evidence that changes in the stock...

Research Summaries

Article
Switching from a proportional coinsurance payment formula to a formula based on flat co-payments in the soon-to-be-enacted Medicare prescription drug benefit may lead to increased compliance, while maintaining budget-neutrality. In the United States, overall drug spending in the private sector rose by 15-20 percent per year during the 1990s. In 2002 alone, national spending on prescription drugs exceeded $160 billion. Because of these increased costs, some employers...
Article
the [tax] rebates did increase consumer spending significantly, helping to end the recession of 2001. In March 2001, the U.S. economy entered a recession. In response, the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 included a large income tax rebate program intended to stimulate consumption demand and ameliorate the recession. The program sent tax rebates, typically $300 or $600 in value, to about two-thirds of U.S. households. Because there have been...
Article
The effect of Proposition 13 on mobility varies widely depending on the size of the subsidy, with the largest effects occurring in coastal California cities where the increase in property values has been greatest. Proposition 13, adopted by California voters in 1978, mandates a property tax rate of one percent, requires that properties be assessed at market value at the time of sale, and allows assessments to rise by no more than 2 percent per year until the next sale...
Article
The increased use of these four new treatments was responsible for more than 90 percent of the 1995-8 drop in the mortality rate... the cost per life-year saved was approximately $22,000. From 1991 to 1995, HIV/AIDS was the leading cause of death among men between the ages of 25 and 44 in the United States and the disease was the eighth - leading cause of death overall. In a four-month period from November 1995 through March of 1996, the U.S. Food and Drug...
Article
Incomes fared relatively poorly in the parts of Mexico that experienced little of the effects of globalization when compared to the so-called high exposure states of northern Mexico whose export-oriented industries have been magnets for foreign investors. With all the talk these days about globalization and its discontents, the tendency is to focus on the alleged damage suffered by people with the greatest exposure to its most common manifestations, such as lower...

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