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AN NBER PUBLICATION ISSUE: No. 9, September 2013

The Digest

A free monthly publication featuring non-technical summaries of research on topics of broad public interest
When a woman's potential or real income is more than a man's, it can reduce marriage rates [and] women's labor force participation after marriage. Women experienced increases in their incomes and labor force participation rates in the second half of the last century, with the most rapid gains in the early part of that period. In Gender Identity and Relative Income Within Households (NBER Working Paper No. 19023), Marianne Bertrand, Jessica Pan, and Emir Kamenica...

Research Summaries

Article
Home workers increased the minutes they worked on each shift by 9.2 percent. CTrip is China's largest travel agency, with 16,000 employees and a market capitalization of about $US 5 billion. Beginning in December 2010, it conducted a randomized experiment that measured the productivity of employees working at home versus those working in one of its call centers. In Does Working From Home Work? Evidence from a Chinese Experiment (NBER Working Paper No. 18871), co-...
Article
Increasing Medicare Advantage market share by 10 percentage points results in a 2.4 percent decline in area hospitalization costs. Medicare, which pays for the health care of the vast majority of the elderly U.S. population, has two distinct components. Traditional Medicare pays a set fee for any covered service and patients are free to select the participating provider of their choice. Medicare Advantage, which covers about 27 percent of Medicare beneficiaries,...
Article
Existing energy demand forecasts could grossly underestimate future energy use in the developing world. About 1.5 billion people across the world live without electricity, mainly in developing countries. Observers believe that many of them eventually will obtain higher incomes through anti-poverty programs and economic growth, thus boosting their ability to acquire energy-using assets and increasing their energy consumption. In How Pro-poor Growth Affects the...
Article
Acquisitions mitigate financing constraints, potentially providing a source of value by enabling target firms to improve their investment policy. Managers often claim that an important source of value in acquisitions is the acquiring firm's ability to finance investments for the target firm. Firms will sometimes forego valuable investment opportunities because of financial constraints; through acquisition, the target firm can gain better access to capital markets...
Article
[Hospital] prices would rise by 3.7 percent if coinsurance rates were zero, but would drop by 16 percent if coinsurance rates were ten times as high as at present. Managed care organizations (MCOs) can obtain lower prices from healthcare providers than traditional fee-for-service purchasers because of their bargaining leverage. In part to counterbalance the growing market power of MCOs, some hospitals have merged in recent decades. In Mergers When Prices Are...

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