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AN NBER PUBLICATION ISSUE: No. 2, February 2009

The Digest

A free monthly publication featuring non-technical summaries of research on topics of broad public interest
Success and performance are more strongly correlated with execution-type skills than with interpersonal and team-related skills. In Which CEO Characteristics and Abilities Matter? (NBER Working Paper No. 14195), authors Steven Kaplan, Mark Klebanov, and Morten Sorensen study the characteristics and abilities of CEO candidates for companies involved in buyout (LBO) and venture capital (VC) transactions and relate those characteristics to hiring decisions,...

Research Summaries

Article
[The authors] estimate very small positive effects of in-shoring and even smaller negative effects of offshore outsourcing. These effects are estimated with substantial precision. The net effect of in-shoring and offshore outsourcing is positive for U.S. workers. With the rise of service work being outsourced to China and India has come something new for Americans: for the first time ever, educated U.S. workers are competing with educated but low-paid foreign workers...
Article
The authors suggest that working in a licensed job is associated with about 15 percent higher wages, other things being equal - about the same as estimates for the effect of unions. In The Prevalence and Effects of Occupational Licensing (NBER Working Paper No. 14308), authors Morris Kleiner and Alan Krueger use newly available data from a nationally representative sample of Americans surveyed by the Gallup Organization to analyze the influence of occupational...
Article
Underlying price changes of items within indexes vary greatly across locations, even for narrowly defined product categories (for example, eggs). Because more distant locations consume more disparate sets of goods, the increased dispersion in prices seen as the distance between cities grows is largely attributable to compositional effects. In Understanding International Price Differences Using Barcode Data (NBER Working Paper No. 14017), Christian Broda and David...
Article
Extensive integration in international capital markets exposes countries to sudden stops, even in the absence of domestic vulnerabilities. Currency crises have plagued the last decade of the twentieth century, transcending national borders and regions. The Thai crisis, for example, engulfed Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines within days, while the Russian crisis spread quickly to countries as far apart as Brazil and Pakistan. These events triggered an intense...
Article
[The authors] find consistently negative effects of exposure to pollution, especially carbon monoxide, both during and after birth. The effects are considerably larger for smokers than for nonsmokers, and for older mothers. The effects of pollution also may be larger for babies born to mothers at risk for poor birth outcomes. In Air Pollution and Infant Health: Lessons from New Jersey (NBER Working Paper No. 14196), co-authors Janet Currie, Matthew Neidell, and...

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