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The Digest

A free monthly publication featuring non-technical summaries of research on topics of broad public interest
Compulsory schooling until age 16 reduces the probability of a birth before age 20 by 4.7 percent. Teenage motherhood has been associated with an array of negative outcomes, such as lower educational attainment, lower lifetime income, higher welfare dependence, and higher rates of crime among both mothers and their children. However, the determinants of teenage motherhood are poorly understood; as a result, it is not clear that government policies can have an effect...

Research Summaries

As the U.S. boom turned to bust, the monetary policy pursued by the Federal Reserve was far more aggressive than that followed by its counterpart, the Bank of Japan, in the 1990s and its decisive response may have helped the U.S. economy recover more quickly. During the late 1980s, Japan's economic system -- its innovative management methods, efficient manufacturing processes, and bold investments in new technologies -- was widely seen as a model to be emulated....
Patients suffering from serious illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer who use newer drugs are likely to live longer than patients using drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration in earlier years. In The Effect of Drug Vintage On Survival: Micro Evidence from Puerto Rico's Medicaid Program (NBER Working Paper No.10884), NBER Research Associate Frank Lichtenberg finds that patients suffering from serious illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes...
The largest slowdowns were in pipelines, auto repair, and oil and gas extraction - industries heavily affected by the energy crises of the 1970s. These industries also showed large declines in output growth over the same period. In a study described as "economic archeology," NBER Research Associate William Nordhaus analyzes the slow productivity growth that hit the U.S. economy during the 1970s. His paper, Retrospective on the 1970s Productivity Slowdown (NBER Working...
During 1987-2001, low-income households experienced an increase of 78 percent ($2624) in per capita expenditures on healthcare, double the increase for the highest income group of 34 percent ($1214)...But survival for the lowest income group during the 1990s grew by 0.2 years, compared to 0.8 years for the highest income group. Has U.S. health care become more equitable for the elderly during the past several decades? If equality is measured by Medicare expenditures,...

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