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AN NBER PUBLICATION ISSUE: No. 5, May 2006

The Digest

A free monthly publication featuring non-technical summaries of research on topics of broad public interest
"The next generation of second-generation workers, who will make up an important part of the workforce in 2030, may suffer from a sizable wage disadvantage of around 10 percent." The famous U.S. "melting pot" that turns immigrants and their children into cultural and prosperous native "Americans" may not be working so well with the new arrivals of recent years. That's a thesis raised by NBER researcher George Borjas in Making it in America: Social Mobility in the...

Research Summaries

Article
"Hurricane Katrina reduced the reported happiness of a nationally representative sample of Americans, and that happiness is correlated with but distinct from consumer sentiment." The University of Michigan Monthly Survey of Consumers is widely regarded as a valuable tool for gauging Americans' sense of personal well-being. A team of researchers has now examined the data collected in recent surveys to determine if the respondents' feelings of happiness or unhappiness...
Article
"One year with a male English teacher would eliminate nearly a third of the gender gap in reading performance among 13 year olds and would do so by improving the performance of boys and simultaneously harming that of girls. Similarly, a year with a female teacher would close the gender gap in science achievement among 13 year olds by half and eliminate entirely the smaller achievement gap in mathematics." In kindergarten, boys and girls do equally as well on tests of...
Article
Higher match rates do significantly raise both the probability that the taxpayers will participate in an IRA and the size of their contribution. Considerable attention has been paid recently to the fact that American consumers on average currently have a negative savings rate - they spend more than their income - or a savings rate close to that. As a result, policymakers, economists, researchers, and others have been debating the merits of various plans or suggestions...

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