AN NBER PUBLICATION ISSUE: No. 1, January 2012

The Digest

A free monthly publication featuring non-technical summaries of research on topics of broad public interest
Private equity buyouts catalyze the creative destruction process as measured by both gross job flows and the purchase-and-sale of business establishments. Do private equity transactions result in job losses or create new employment opportunities? In Private Equity and Employment (NBER Working Paper No. 17399), authors Steven Davis, John Haltiwanger, Ron Jarmin, Josh Lerner, and Javier Miranda analyze data from the U.S. Census Bureau's Longitudinal Business Database...

Research Summaries

Article
Unemployed workers do not increase their recreational physical activity enough to make up for the physical activity that was demanded by their lost jobs. In the United States, people get a substantial fraction of their exercise on the job, especially if those jobs are relatively physically demanding, for example in such sectors as construction, mining, and manufacturing. For the average individual between the ages of 25 and 55, work is responsible for about 26 percent...
Article
CEOs are more likely to ... delegate at least part of the decision process to others when it comes to their company's capital structure, payouts, investments, and capital allocation [than when a merger or acquisition is involved]. Within firms, which executives are the key decision-makers with respect to investment choices? In Capital Allocation and Delegation of Decision-Making Authority within Firms (NBER Working Paper No. 17370), authors John Graham, Campbell...
Article
Minority students perform better in classes when their instructors are of the same race or ethnicity. One of the most persistent features of the educational system in the United States is the achievement gap between minority students and non-minority students. African-American, Latino, and Native-American students have substantially lower test scores, grades, high school completion rates, college attendance rates, and college graduation rates than non-minority...
Article
Private firms invest substantially more... [and are] more responsive to changes in investment opportunities than are public firms. Although private firms form a substantial part of the U.S. economy, most of the evidence on corporate investment at the firm level has been based on stock-market listed (or "public") firms, mainly because of lack of available data. In Comparing the Investment Behavior of Public and Private Firms (NBER Working Paper No. 17394), co-authors...
Article
Illegal logging ... increases dramatically in the years leading up to local elections. Tropical deforestation accounts for almost one-fifth of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. Because of Indonesia's substantial deforestation, that country is thought to be the world's third largest producer of greenhouse gases, after the United States and China. In The Political Economy of Deforestation in the Tropics (NBER Working Paper No. 17417), co-authors Robin Burgess, Matthew...

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