AN NBER PUBLICATION ISSUE: No. 5, May 2014

The Digest

A free monthly publication featuring non-technical summaries of research on topics of broad public interest
...SSDI applications do not appear to respond to UI exhaustion. At the end of 2012, 8.8 million American adults were receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. The share of the American public receiving SSDI has more than doubled since 1990. This rapid growth has prompted concerns about SSDI's sustainability: recent projections suggest that the SSDI trust fund will be exhausted in 2016. SSDI recipients tend to remain in the program, and out of...

Research Summaries

Article
...Promise Academy students display some evidence of lifestyle changes: a decline in the rate of teen pregnancy for female students and in the rate of incarceration for males. A number of recent studies have shown that high-performing charter schools increase test scores for many urban students, but there is relatively little evidence on whether this translates into changes in other dimensions of human capital acquisition such as college enrollment, reduction in the...
Article
...family CEOs devote 8 percent fewer hours than professional managers to their corporate responsibilities. Young firms with substantial family ownership often wrestle with the choice between having a member of the family serve as CEO and recruiting an outsider, a professional manager, as the CEO. Are there differences in behavior between the two groups? In Managing the Family Firm: Evidence from CEOs at Work (NBER Working Paper No. 19722), Oriana Bandiera, Andrea...
Article
Local residents who bought second homes earned more from their properties ... than out-of-town investors. Out-of-towners may have the cash to buy second homes, but they may not be as savvy as investors who focus their attention locally, according to Alex Chinco and Christopher Mayer in Misinformed Speculators and Mispricing in the Housing Market (NBER Working Paper No. 19817). Local residents who bought second homes earned more from their properties, and tended to...
Article
...the tendency for increased stratification has contributed to greater inequality... Assortative mating is the process by which people of similar backgrounds, such as educational attainment or financial means, select a partner. Over the past half-century, there has been an increase in positive assortative mating within the marriage market. In Marry Your Like: Assortative Mating and Income Inequality (NBER Working Paper No. 1982), authors Jeremy Greenwood, Nezih Guner...
Article
...caps on damages do not seem to affect observable health care quality... Medical malpractice laws are often promoted as deterrents to poor patient care. In Does Medical Malpractice Law Improve Health Care Quality? (NBER Working Paper No. 19841), Michael Frakes and Anupam Jena explore the relationship between caps on awards of non-economic damages in malpractice lawsuits and a variety of health care quality indicators. They find that although caps on damages do not...

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