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AN NBER PUBLICATION ISSUE: No. 12, December 2014

The Digest

A free monthly publication featuring non-technical summaries of research on topics of broad public interest
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  High school graduates who work in retail firms with 1,000 or more employees earn 15 percent more than those in shops with fewer than 10 workers. Contrary to widespread belief, big-box stores and chains have increased wages in the retail sector as they have spread, according to Do Large Modern Retailers Pay Premium Wages? (NBER Working Paper No. 20313). Retail wages rise markedly with the size of the chain and the individual store, according to the study...

Research Summaries

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Article
  The maximum pace of extraction is constrained by pressure inside the well and does not react to price changes. Since Harold Hotelling developed his classic model of exhaustible resource extraction in 1931, economists have modeled the optimal extraction of a fixed stock of an exhaustible resource under the assumption that resource owners can reallocate extraction across different periods without constraint. In Hotelling Under Pressure (NBER Working Paper...
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Article
  U.S. manufacturers that were heavily exposed to Chinese competition in 1999-2007 continued to see rapid job losses even when competitive pressure eased. In Import Competition and the Great U.S. Employment Sag of the 2000s (NBER Working Paper No. 20395), Daron Acemoglu, David Autor, David Dorn, Gordon H. Hanson, and Brendan Price determine that, from 1999 to 2011, Americans experienced net job losses of 2 to 2.4 million due to the rise in import...
Article
  Mortgage delinquency and default decline as unemployment benefits rise; higher benefits improve credit access for the poor. The United States and other developed countries have robust social safety nets that provide households with assistance in the case of job loss, a workplace accident, disability, or health or other problems. Throughout the Great Recession, as home values declined and foreclosures proliferated, housing issues dominated debates on...
Article
  In communities with high mortality, both women who lost children and women who were childless were more likely to have children. Natural disasters that increase child mortality also may cause aggregate fertility rates to rise. In The Effects of Mortality on Fertility: Population Dynamics after a Natural Disaster (NBER Working Paper No. 20448), Jenna Nobles, Elizabeth Frankenberg, and Duncan Thomas find a significant increase in aggregate fertility in...
Article
  ...40 percent of the economic benefits accrue to companies and their shareholders, 35 percent to workers, and 25 percent to landowners. State-level policymakers often adjust corporate income-tax rates to keep or lure businesses. Many of these changes are enacted without full understanding of the impact such tax moves and economic incentives have on companies, workers, and landowners. In Who Benefits From State Corporate Tax Cuts? A Local Labor Markets...

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