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The Digest

A free monthly publication featuring non-technical summaries of research on topics of broad public interest
The fraction of high-income families in superstar cities is 43 percent higher than in average cities, and those cities' share of poor families is 11 percent lower. Between 1950 and 2000, the price of housing grew by an inflation-adjusted annual rate of 2.2 to 3.5 percent in the ten U.S. metropolitan areas with the highest rates of growth, and by 0.5 to 1.1 percent in the ten U.S. metropolitan areas with the lowest rates of growth. Over the same time period, the number...

Research Summaries

An additional four years of education lowers five-year mortality by 1.8 percentage points; it also reduces the risk of heart disease by 2.16 percentage points, and the risk of diabetes by 1.3 percentage points. There is a well known, large, and persistent association between education and health. This has been observed in many countries and time periods, and for a wide variety of health measures. The differences between the more and the less educated are significant:...
The evidence strongly suggests that export growth and incoming foreign investment have reduced poverty everywhere from Mexico to India to Poland. Yet at the same time currency crises can cripple the poor. Does globalization, as its advocates maintain, help spread the wealth? Or, as its critics charge, does globalization hurt the poor? In a new book titled Globalization and Poverty, edited by NBER Research Associate Ann Harrison, 15 economists consider these and other...
There is an important inconsistency in Medicare reimbursement policy, and an important general problem in contracting in the presence of asymmetric information. Anyone who has consulted a doctor, plumber, or an auto mechanic has experienced the tradeoffs in consulting a single expert for both diagnosing and treating a problem. On the one hand, integrated diagnosticians - those who also sell treatments -- may have an incentive to give advice that is not in the buyer's...

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