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The Digest

A free monthly publication featuring non-technical summaries of research on topics of broad public interest
Black and Hispanic students who earn high grades face social costs in terms of their popularity. In the United States, the academic achievement of the average black child lags that of the average white child at kindergarten entry and the achievement difference grows throughout the school years. A typical black 17 year old reads at the same level as a typical white 13 year old. On the Scholastic Aptitude Test, the average black student scores more than a standard...

Research Summaries

These widespread effects of capital controls suggest that even though they may yield limited benefits in certain circumstances, they also have substantial and often unexpected economic costs. During much of the 1990s it was widely accepted that countries would achieve greater economic growth if they relaxed their "capital controls," a reference to various laws and regulations that restrict foreign investments in such areas as stock markets, banks and domestic firms....
Average incomes of South African men and women fell by about 40 percent between 1995 and 2000, and that there has been little improvement since then. South Africans are worse off than they were before the end of apartheid, at least as measured by real incomes. In Incomes in South Africa Since the Fall of Apartheid (NBER Working Paper No. 11384), co-authors Murray Leibbrandt, James Levinsohn, and Justin McCrary document that decline and attempt to explain what has...
As economies get richer, they can afford to question the need for further riches. In a country where people are starving, economic growth remains regarded as a vital objective to overcome hunger and other poverty problems. Traditionally, economists and others measure a nation's progress and prosperity by looking at Gross Domestic Product (GDP), that is, the total output of good and services a country produces for its own inhabitants or for sale to other nations. There...
Bank supervisory strategies that focus on forcing accurate information disclosure and not distorting the incentives of private creditors to monitor banks facilitate efficient corporate finance. Although banks provide a substantial proportion of external finance to enterprises around the globe, there had been no studies of whether international differences in bank supervision influence the obstacles that corporations face in raising external finance. International...

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