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AN NBER PUBLICATION ISSUE: No. 3, March 2010

The Digest

A free monthly publication featuring non-technical summaries of research on topics of broad public interest
[a]bsent the rebate, the sharp decline in spending that is evident in aggregate data beginning in the third quarter of 2008 would have started in the second quarter. Between April and December of 2008, about 120 million individuals in the United States received one-time stimulus payments totaling $96 billion. Those payments began phasing out at incomes above $75,000 a year, in part because it was argued that lower-income households were more likely to spend their...

Research Summaries

Article
The net effect of a deep recession and a falling stock market may be an overall increase in retirements. The recent decline in stock market values will have only a muted impact on the retirement of the average early baby boomer, according to NBER Research Associate Alan Gustman and his co-authors Thomas Steinmeier and Nahid Tabatabai. In What the Stock Market Decline Means for the Financial Security and Retirement Choices of the Near-Retirement Population (NBER...
Article
Recurrent episodes of financial instability have more often than not been the result of credit booms gone wrong. In Credit Booms Gone Bust: Monetary Policy, Leverage Cycles and Financial Crises, 1870-2008 (NBER Working Paper No. 15512), researchers Moritz Schularick and Alan Taylor analyze the long-run behavior of money, credit, and macroeconomic indicators. They assemble a new annual dataset for the years 1870-2008 covering 12 countries: the United States, Canada,...
Article
The Promise Academy public charter schools in the Harlem Children's Zone will increase a [student's probability of scoring at grade level]...by 11.6 percent ... in sixth grade, 17.9 percent ... in seventh grade, and 27.5 percent ... by eighth grade. The Harlem Children's Zone occupies a 97-block area in New York City and offers over 20 programs to 8,058 youths and 5,291 adults. One of those programs is The Promise Academy elementary and middle schools, which enroll...
Article
The spatial concentration of ethnic inventors increased significantly from 1995 to 2004, especially in high-tech sectors like computer-related patenting. The ethnic composition of U.S. inventors is undergoing a significant transformation. While the foreign-born account for just over 10 percent of the U.S. working population, they represent 25 percent of the U.S. science and engineering (SE) workforce and nearly 50 percent of those with doctorates. The spatial...
Article
A one percent increase in employment in a US state, attributable only to immigration, is associated with a 0.4-0.5 percent increase in income per worker in that state. Immigration during the 1990s and the 2000s significantly increased the presence of foreign-born workers in the United States, but the increase was very unequal across states. In The Effect of Immigration on Productivity: Evidence from US States (NBER Working Paper No. 15507), NBER Research Associate...

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