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AN NBER PUBLICATION ISSUE: No. 8, August 2016

The Digest

A free monthly publication featuring non-technical summaries of research on topics of broad public interest
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Some money market funds responded to low interest rates by holding riskier investments; other funds closed. The Federal Reserve's ultra-low interest rate policy has had important effects on money market funds (MMFs) and on the asset management industry more generally. Zero and near-zero rates have reduced the profitability of MMFs. Almost universally, these funds have reduced investor fees in an attempt to deliver more return for their customers, Marco Di Maggio...

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Disclosure of the Tuskegee syphilis study in 1972 coincided with increases in medical mistrust and mortality among black males. The "Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro," conducted in the mid-20th century in Macon County, Alabama, is one of the most infamous medical experiments in American history. Conductors of the study allowed hundreds of unwitting black men to suffer needlessly for decades and sometimes die in agony, despite the availability of...
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Those who became eligible for Medicaid have less non-medical debt and are in better financial health. Extension of Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has not only shielded low-income Americans from out-of-pocket medical costs, but has also improved their overall financial health. That's the finding of a study by Luojia Hu, Robert Kaestner, Bhashkar Mazumder, Sarah Miller, and Ashley Wong on The Effect of the Patient Protection and Affordable...
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Social networks, even if spread over great geographic distances, can have large effects on members' housing investment decisions. After the last decade's housing market crash, scholars, analysts, and policy makers stepped up efforts to better understand how households' attitudes toward the housing market, such as their optimism or pessimism, influence house price fluctuations. While some have argued that market mood swings play a key role in the trajectory of...
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In a field experiment in Houston public schools, after two years students with specialized teachers lagged about a month behind those with non-specialized teachers. Industrial production methods utilizing highly specialized labor have raised the quality of manufactured goods while substantially reducing their costs. This success has encouraged school reform advocates to suggest that schools might benefit by shifting to specialized teachers. The advocates contend...
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Paying landowners to conserve their forests slows deforestation at relatively low cost. Trees absorb carbon dioxide through photosynthesis; they store the carbon in their biomass and release it when they die and decompose, or are burned as fuel. Worldwide, deforestation accounts for up to 15 percent of carbon emissions, second in carbon production only to the burning of fossil fuels. In Cash for Carbon: A Randomized Controlled Trial of Payments for Ecosystem...

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