AN NBER PUBLICATION ISSUE: No. 6, June 2007

The Digest

A free monthly publication featuring non-technical summaries of research on topics of broad public interest
Students who saw silent videos picked the right candidate 58 percent of the time, whereas those viewers who heard full sound or muddled sound were only right 52 and 48 percent of the time, respectively, no better than the results of random guessing. Forget the campaigns. Disregard the position papers and attack ads. One of the best ways to tell who's going to win an election is to see the candidates on TV, watching them for 10 seconds and keeping the sound off. That's...

Research Summaries

Article
After 9/11 office properties in the three main Chicago landmark buildings and the surrounding areas experienced more severe increases in vacancy rates than office properties not located in the vicinities of landmark buildings. The 9/11 attacks drastically increased the perceived risk of large-scale terrorist attacks in Central Business Districts and placed particularly large pressures on major financial centers, like New York, London, and Chicago. From the point of...
Article
Teacher salary incentives are associated with higher levels of student performance. Despite the growing interest in merit pay for teachers in American schools, the first U.S. evidence of a positive correlation between student test scores and financial incentive systems that reward individual teachers appears in Individual Teacher Incentives and Student Performance (NBER Working Paper No. 12627) by David Figlio and Lawrence Kenny. Up until now, the large school-survey...
Article
Higher drug co-payments save money on drug spending, but cost money on outpatient spending and have much smaller effects on overall spending. In the past 15 years, national spending on prescription drugs has grown dramatically, far outpacing the growth rate of spending on hospitals and physicians. In response to these rapid spending increases, many health insurance plans have reduced the generosity of their prescription drug benefits. Consequently, patients have been...
Article
The impact of the earnings subsidy persisted after the SSP payments ended. Sixty to ninety percent of the entitlement incentive effects persisted immediately post-entitlement, but faded relatively quickly, at a decay rate of about 3 percent per month. During the 1990s, the Canadian government funded a large-scale social experiment to evaluate the feasibility of a high-powered earnings subsidy for those leaving the welfare system. The program, known as the Self...
Article
Globalization has had little effect on the rate of inflation in the United States. Many observers have suggested that the behavior of U.S. inflation has been changed by the "globalization" of the economy. In 2005, for example, The Economist declared that recent experience "makes a mockery of traditional economic models of inflation, which ignore globalization." According to such commentators, globalization has helped to reduce inflation in the recent past and will...

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