AN NBER PUBLICATION ISSUE: No. 3, March 2014

The Digest

A free monthly publication featuring non-technical summaries of research on topics of broad public interest
More than 40 percent of the workers who become unemployed end their unemployment spell by returning to work for their last employer. Unemployed individuals are typically assumed to be searching for a job in an environment in which they have imperfect information about employers, and employers have imperfect information about potential employees. This lack of information, coupled with the heterogeneity of jobs and workers, slows the job-finding process. However, if a...

Research Summaries

Article
Expanding Medicaid in Oregon did not affect beneficiaries' employment or earnings. Most studies of Medicaid focus on the effects of the program on health expenditures or health outcomes. In The Impact of Medicaid on Labor Force Activity and Program Participation: Evidence from the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment (NBER Working Paper No. 19547), authors Katherine Baicker, Amy Finkelstein, Jae Song, and Sarah Taubman consider a set of additional effects. They focus on...
Article
...the average pass-through in this market is over 80 percent... In Pass-through of Emissions Costs in Electricity Markets (NBER Working Paper No. 19613), Natalia Fabra and Mar Reguant analyze the Spanish wholesale electricity market before and after the European cap-and-trade program for carbon emissions was introduced. They find that the average pass-through in this market is over 80 percent, implying that a one euro increase in emissions costs translates into an...
Article
...there is a negative relationship between productivity and winning the Fields Medal... The production of knowledge is central to long-term economic growth. Yet little is known about how knowledge is produced, making it difficult to design incentives to elicit effort from knowledge producers. Prizes are a common incentive for knowledge production; hundreds of scientific prizes are awarded throughout the world and across all scientific disciplines. Although these...
Article
...IT projects that were procured in the last week of the fiscal year were between two and six times more likely to have a lower quality rating... Federal agencies spend an average of 4.9 times more in the last week of their fiscal year than in a typical week during the rest of the year, according to Do Expiring Budgets Lead to Wasteful Year-End Spending? Evidence from Federal Procurement (NBER Working Paper No. 19481), a new study by Jeffrey Liebman and Neale Mahoney...
Article
...mothers with two children were almost 8 percent less likely to say that their second child was one of the best in his class. Does birth order correlate with student performance, and if so, why? In Strategic Parenting, Birth Order and School Performance (NBER Working Paper No. 19542), V. Joseph Hotz and Juan Pantano present both empirical and theoretical evidence on these questions. They study all children born to the female respondents in the 1979 National...

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