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AN NBER PUBLICATION ISSUE: No. 3, March 2006

The Digest

A free monthly publication featuring non-technical summaries of research on topics of broad public interest
"Parenting an additional female child increases the propensity of a member of Congress to vote liberally on women's issues, particularly reproductive rights." Economists have long concerned themselves with environmental influences on an individual's beliefs and behaviors. There has been significant research done on the effects of environmental factors such as neighborhood, peers, parents, and siblings on such behaviors as educational attainment, welfare use, and...

Research Summaries

Article
Never in the history of modern economics has a large industrial country run persistent current account deficits of the magnitude posted by the U.S. since 2000. The amount of foreign capital inflows required to sustain an American economy in which both the government and individuals eschew savings and spend beyond their means -- and imports far exceed exports --has soared to record highs. But even if the foreign appetite for U.S. Treasury securities and other U.S....
Article
"It is striking that the Michigan Survey of Consumers produces aggregate forecasts of CPI inflation that beat time-series, Phillips curve economic models, and forecasts based on interest rates. The Livingston and SPF surveys do better still." In Do Macro Variables, Asset Markets or Surveys Forecast Inflation Better? (NBER Working Paper No. 11538), authors Andrew Ang, Geert Bekaert, and Min Wei compare and contrast four traditional methods of predicting inflation in...
Article
"Families with children in higher poverty and minority schools in the district are more likely to request teachers who provide high 'value-added' in terms of student achievement scores." In many school districts across the United States parents can express a preference for their child's elementary school teacher. Given that all teachers have distinct strengths and weaknesses, the requests that parents make may provide insight into the things they value in education...
Article
"From 1992 to 2000, 'service offshoring" accounted for around 11 percent of the productivity growth in U.S. manufacturing industries." It is increasingly common today that when U.S. consumers seek out help with their American-made product, the person handling the call or Internet chat session is sitting at a desk on the other side of the world. This is just one example of the growing tendency in the U.S. manufacturing sector to "outsource" key services -- which can...

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