AN NBER PUBLICATION ISSUE: No. 4, April 2012

The Digest

A free monthly publication featuring non-technical summaries of research on topics of broad public interest
If the unemployment rate is above 8 percent, the average earnings loss [for men under the age of 50 who lose their jobs, with at least three years of job tenure] equals 2.8 years of pre-displacement earnings. Economic downturns bring increases in permanent layoffs, even among workers with high prior tenure on the job. Using Social Security records for U.S. workers covering more than 30 years (1974-2005), researchers Steven J. Davis and Till von Wachter explore the...

Research Summaries

Article
Students at the for-profit schools leave school with considerably higher debt, and they default on their loans at a higher rate. Between 2000 and 2009, enrollment in private, for-profit, postsecondary degree granting institutions grew from 4.3 to 10.7 percent of all postsecondary enrollments among institutions eligible for Department of Education student financial aid under Title IV. In The For-Profit Postsecondary School Sector: Nimble Critters or Agile Predators? (...
Article
The Credit Lyonnais ruling was followed by slight increases in leverage and a modest increase in average firm values. One of the cornerstones of U.S. corporate governance is that directors and officers have a duty to manage their firms to maximize shareholder value. However, decisions that increase shareholder value may impose costs on other stakeholders, such as creditors and employees. To ensure that firms are run in shareholders' interest, directors and...
Article
Roughly 25 percent of women living within 25 miles of their mothers receive work-related childcare from them, [compared with] only 4.2 percent of women living more than 25 miles away. Married women with children under age 12 are 4-to-10 percent more likely to work if they live within 25 miles of their mothers or mothers-in law. In Family Proximity, Childcare, and Women's Labor Force Attachment (NBER Working Paper No. 17678), Janice Compton and Robert A. Pollak suggest...
Article
CEOs' retirement preferences have a significant impact on firms' takeover decisions and on shareholder value. The careers of most target firms' CEOs suffer after an acquisition. Mergers frequently force target CEOs to retire early, and the older the CEO, the more likely the merger is to end a career entirely. For CEOs, the private merger costs are the forgone benefits of staying employed until their planned retirement date. In CEO Preferences and Acquisitions (NBER...
Article
The domestic saving rate in developing Asia as a whole will remain roughly constant over the next twenty years. In The Determinants and Long-Term Projections of Saving Rates in Developing Asia (NBER Working Paper No. 17581), co-authors Charles Yuji Horioka and Akiko Terada-Hagiwara present and analyze trends between 1966 and 2007 in domestic saving rates in twelve developing Asian economies. They find that domestic saving rates in general have been high and rising but...

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