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AN NBER PUBLICATION ISSUE: No. 5, May 2008

The Digest

A free monthly publication featuring non-technical summaries of research on topics of broad public interest
A rapid expansion in the supply of credit to zip codes with high 1996 latent demand for mortgages -- namely sub-prime customers who were traditionally marginal borrowers unable to access the mortgage market -- led to both greater house price appreciation and the subsequent sharp increase in defaults from 2005 to 2007. The current credit crisis has increased the anxiety level of policymakers, investors, and financial markets. Before the crisis, there was a rise in...

Research Summaries

Article
The decline in New York (and London's Main Market) appears to come from a decline in the number of foreign firms worldwide that have the characteristics that would make a U.S. listing attractive. Since 2000, the major New York stock exchanges have been losing foreign listings while the London Stock Exchange has seen its share of foreign listings rise. What's behind the decline in the United States? One common explanation - and worry - is that Wall Street has become...
Article
A large portion of the decline in the U.S. violent crime rate between 1992 and 2002 may be attributable to reductions in gasoline lead exposure. Exposure to lead in childhood has been associated with increases in aggression, decreases in impulse control, and decreases in IQ. In Environmental Policy as Social Policy? The Impact of Childhood Lead Exposure on Crime (NBER Working Paper No.13097), Jessica Wolpaw Reyes tests the hypothesis that higher childhood lead...
Article
...24 percent of the managers were able to generate positive and significant alpha between 2001 and 2006. The average alpha of these "star" managers has been quite high and significant at 104 bps per month or 12.48 percent per year. Over the last twenty years, the notion of currency as an asset class has gained a wider following. Inspired, perhaps, by numerous studies reporting profitability in various types of currency trading strategies, investment consultants have...

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