Skip to main content
AN NBER PUBLICATION ISSUE: No. 9, September 2009

The Digest

A free monthly publication featuring non-technical summaries of research on topics of broad public interest
For the top quartile of female students... having a higher proportion of female professors in introductory math and science courses significantly increases the likelihood [of] ... choos[ing] a [science or technology] ... major. Although objective measures suggest that when they enter college women and men are roughly equal in their aptitude and preparedness for careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), female college students are 37 percent less...

Research Summaries

Article
The default effect is strong: single lifecycle fund investment rates are nearly 60 percent higher when those funds are automatically designated as the investment of choice by the employer. Recent lessons from behavioral economics on how to boost worker participation rates in individually-directed retirement plans -- including 'opt out' or 'automatic enrollment' provisions -- have stirred interest in a broader role for such strategies in retirement plan design,...
Article
State funding for kindergartens crowded out participation in federally funded early education, such as Head Start, among the poorest five-year olds. In the 1960s and 1970s, many states, particularly in the southern and western parts of the country, introduced grants for school districts to begin offering kindergarten programs. In Do Investments in Universal Early Education Pay Off? Long-term Effects of Introducing Kindergartens into Public Schools (NBER Working Paper...
Article
Job characteristics are more detrimental to the health of females and older workers than to men or younger workers. There is a cumulative negative effect of performing a physically demanding or environmentally hazardous job on worker health, but the effects vary substantially across age, race, and education groups. Individuals who work in jobs with the 'worst' conditions experience declines in their health. Job characteristics are more detrimental to the health...
Article
Canadian applicants who differed only by name had substantially different callback rates: those with English-sounding names received interview requests 40 percent more often than applicants with Chinese, Indian, or Pakistani names (16 percent versus 11 percent). Ethnic discrimination may explain a significant part of why recent skilled immigrants have much poorer prospects than non-immigrants in the Canadian labor market. In Why Do Skilled Immigrants Struggle in the...
Article
A recommendation away from the consensus is more likely to be influential. Analyst characteristics such as a high ranking, more overall experience, or more experience on a particular firm all increase the likelihood of the analyst being influential. Sometimes changes in analysts' recommendations appear to coincide with large changes in stock prices, while at other times seemingly analogous changes in recommendations appear to have no impact on market values. In...

NBER periodicals and newsletters are not copyrighted and may be reproduced freely with appropriate attribution.

See the Latest NBER Research
New Working Papers This Week