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AN NBER PUBLICATION ISSUE: No. 8, August 2007

The Digest

A free monthly publication featuring non-technical summaries of research on topics of broad public interest
For every 100 children who are enrolled in public insurance, 60 children lose private insurance. The last two decades have seen large expansions in publicly funded health insurance programs in the United States. The share of people who are not elderly and who are enrolled in public insurance programs rose from 13.7 percent in 1984 to 17.8 percent in 2004. The fraction of the non-elderly without health insurance also rose, from 13.7 percent to 17.5 percent. Some...

Research Summaries

Article
Many American school districts pay teachers with master's degrees substantially more, even though a number of studies - including this one -- suggest that having a master's degree has little if any effect on student achievement. Although people generally agree that teacher quality affects student achievement, there is much less agreement on how to measure teacher quality. Given the long held belief that more education produces better teachers, many American school...
Article
The corporate bond spread is high when the stock of government debt is low, while the spread is low when the stock of debt is high. In The Demand for Treasury Debt (NBER Working Paper No. 12881), Arvind Krishnamurthy and Annette Vissing-Jorgensen relate the yield spread between AAA-rated corporate bonds and Treasury securities to the U.S. government debt-to-GDP ratio -- that is, the ratio of the face value of publicly held U.S. government debt to U.S. GDP. They find...
Article
While trade liberalization was expected to help the less skilled, who are presumed to be the relatively abundant factor in developing countries, there is overwhelming evidence that they are generally not made better off relative to workers with higher skill or education levels. One of the few uncontroversial insights of trade theory is that changes in a country's exposure to international trade, and to world markets more generally, affect the distribution of incomes...
Article
 Fraud detection relies on a wide range of, often improbable, actors. No single type accounts for more than 20 percent of the cases detected...only just over 35 percent of the cases of fraud were revealed by the people appointed to search for it. The large and numerous corporate frauds that emerged in the United States at the onset of the new millennium provoked an immediate legislative response in the Sarbanes Oxley Act (SOX). This law was predicated upon the...

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