AN NBER PUBLICATION ISSUE: No. 12, December 2017

The Digest

A free monthly publication featuring non-technical summaries of research on topics of broad public interest
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In India, labor market practices and the fixed cost of acquiring capital goods combine to make medium-size farms less productive than smaller or larger counterparts. Small farms are the norm in low-income countries, while large farms are more common in high-income countries. In China, India, and Indonesia, for example, 80 percent of farms are less than 10 acres in size. In the United States and Canada, in contrast, only 10 percent of farms are this small....

Research Summaries

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Article
Modest corporate investment relative to profitability and tax rules that discourage repatriation of foreign cash are key drivers of the recent increase in aggregate corporate cash. The total amount of cash held by corporations has increased since 2000, and some prominent firms have amassed very large cash holdings, raising questions about why this cash is not being invested or distributed to shareholders. To put these trends in context, and to understand recent...
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Rhode Islanders who live on the coast are less concerned about the risk of flooding than their inland neighbors. How are the risks of storm damage, rising sea levels, and other weather-related events priced into shoreline properties? The answer depends on whether potential home buyers share similar beliefs about these risks. If some potential buyers are more optimistic than others about the cost of such risks, they will be prepared to pay more for coastal...
Article
Although they reduced speculation and underpricing, event ticket auctions failed to catch on. Artists, athletic teams, and other performers often underprice tickets for their performances, creating a large and very profitable market for ticket sales. In 2003, Ticketmaster introduced an auction system that was designed to direct more of the revenue toward the artists and less toward online resellers. In Primary-Market Auctions for Event Tickets: Eliminating the...
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Changes in H-1B visa availability instituted beginning in 2004 resulted in a greater concentration of India-born workers in computer-related fields. In response to concerns that foreign workers were taking jobs from Americans, especially in high-technology fields, Congress declined to renew previous temporary increases, which reduced the annual quota on new H-1B visas from 195,000 to 65,000, beginning with fiscal year 2004. A study by Anna Maria Mayda, Francesc...
Article
Home equity run-ups due to house price increases raise use of paid home health care and unpaid informal care, but don't affect utilization of nursing home care. The daunting costs of long-term health care pose a challenge for senior citizens. Half of adults who live to the age of 65 will require long-term care services at some point. For those who need such care, the average annual cost of these services rings in at $133,700 in 2015 dollars. For a small subset of...

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