AN NBER PUBLICATION ISSUE: No. 1, January 2015

The Digest

A free monthly publication featuring non-technical summaries of research on topics of broad public interest
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  Generics reduce early-stage innovation in their market segments; patents encourage diffusion, while price regulation discourages it. Two recent studies focus on government policies that affect the development and pricing of new drugs, and the effect of such policies on marketing practices both in the United States and abroad. In Starving (or Fattening) the Golden Goose?: Generic Entry and the Incentives for Early -Stage Pharmaceutical Innovation (NBER...

Research Summaries

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Article
As of December 2010, approximately 20 percent of households with mortgages could have refinanced profitably but did not do so. Buying and financing a house is one of the most important financial decisions a household makes. It can have substantial long-term consequences for household wealth accumulation. In the United States, where housing equity makes up almost two thirds of the median household's total wealth, public policies have been crafted to encourage home...
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  Declining rates of creative destruction and factor reallocation raise concerns about future productivity growth and youth employment. U.S. labor markets lost much of their fluidity well before the onset of the Great Recession, according to Labor Market Fluidity and Economic Performance (NBER Working Paper No. 20479). The economy's ability to move jobs quickly from shrinking firms to young, growing enterprises slowed after 1990. Job reallocation rates...
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In the vast majority of the 51 cleanup sites in the United States, total economic benefits exceed cleanup costs by an order of magnitude. Revitalizing contaminated land is a costly process and for sites known as brownfields, where health hazards are low, it is unclear that the health benefits of remediation outweigh the costs. However, even though these sites may not be especially toxic, their oftentimes poor aesthetic quality, combined with their need for...
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Full-time classes for the gifted don't raise scores of high-IQ gifted students but have positive effects on other high achievers. In Does Gifted Education Work? For Which Students? (NBER Working Paper No. 20453), David Card and Laura Giuliano report that full-time classes set up for gifted students don't raise the achievement of gifted students, but have large positive effects on non-gifted high achievers in those classes - especially on the reading and math...
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Managers strategically time the disclosure of discretionary corporate news to coincide with the scheduled vesting of their equity grants. The timely release of news, from corporate quarterly reports to information about mergers or other significant corporate events, can have major impacts on companies; share prices. Chief executives are well aware of this. As Alex Edmans, Luis Goncalves-Pinto, Yanbo Wang, and Moqi Xu show in Strategic News Releases in Equity Vesting...

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