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AN NBER PUBLICATION ISSUE: No. 5, May 2016

The Digest

A free monthly publication featuring non-technical summaries of research on topics of broad public interest
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Participation in a fourth-grade class for the gifted raised reading and math scores of high-achieving black and Hispanic students, with little effect on whites. For years, researchers have debated the impact of high-achievement classes on minority students. Are there significant gains for those who participate in special classes for gifted and high-achieving students? Do other students who are "left behind" in traditional classrooms experience a declining quality...

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High-school test scores, college enrollments, and early-adult earnings suffer. Teachers, parents, and researchers have long recognized that unruly students in classrooms can impact the quality of education for other pupils, but it has been difficult to estimate their impact. In The Long-Run Effects of Disruptive Peers (NBER Working Paper No. 22042), Scott E. Carrell, Mark Hoekstra, and Elira Kuka report that classroom disruptions lead to more than just short-term...
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Men who grow up in poor families, especially in areas of concentrated poverty, are less likely to be employed at age 30 than are women of that age from similar families. The traditional gender gap in employment rates is between more-employed men and less-employed women. But in Childhood Environment and Gender Gaps in Adulthood (NBER Working Paper No. 21936), Raj Chetty, Nathaniel Hendren, Frina Lin, Jeremy Majerovitz, and Benjamin Scuderi find that the reverse is...
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When the fraction of earnings replaced by disability insurance benefits is lower, earnings are higher among some disability-payment recipients who were previously high earners. Disability insurance protects workers against unfavorable health shocks that make it difficult or impossible to work, but it can also affect work incentives among those who, while disabled, may still be able to participate in the labor market. Some beneficiaries may reduce their work effort...
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Agglomeration generally increases productivity, but spatial patterns of wages and rents in the U.S. differ from those in Brazil, China, and India. Do insights about the economics of cities that have been developed largely from studies in the United States and Europe apply with equal force in the developing world, where in coming years the majority of the world's urban population will reside? The authors of What Is Different About Urbanization in Rich and Poor...
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When Norway changed its laws to give universities a major share of the profits from their professors' patents and startups, the rate of innovation was halved. Prior to 2003, Norwegian researchers employed by universities retained blanket rights to the income from any new businesses they started and to the patents they received. Then, Norway adopted legislation that gave universities the rights to two-thirds of the returns from such activities. In University...

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