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AN NBER PUBLICATION ISSUE: No. 10, October 2018

The Digest

A free monthly publication featuring non-technical summaries of research on topics of broad public interest
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Since 2000, gross profit rates in the United States have risen and industry concentration has soared, but these trends are not found in the European Union. Until the late 1990s, most U.S. markets were viewed as highly competitive relative to their international counterparts. Many European countries implemented U.S.-style free market regulatory models during this time period. In How EU Markets Became More Competitive Than U.S. Markets: A Study of Institutional...

Research Summaries

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Article
The number of papers Chinese scholars are publishing in scientific journals today may be four to five times greater than it was in the year 2000. Between 2000 and 2016, the number of papers in scientific journals in the physical sciences, engineering, and mathematics by Chinese researchers increased dramatically. In 2000, China's share of papers in Scopus, a bibliometric database, was only 4 percent; by 2016, it was 18.6 percent, higher than the United States'...
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Article
Africans interviewed after key national team victories were 4 percentage points less likely to report a strong sense of ethnic identity than those interviewed just before the match. Nations struggling with ethnic, linguistic, or regional tensions appear to come together when their national soccer teams are successful. Building Nations Through Shared Experiences: Evidence from African Football (NBER Working Paper No. 24666), a study by Emilio Depetris-Chauvin,...
Article
There is no evidence of cost saving by acquiring hospitals; costs at merger targets decline about 1.5 percent. Most hospitals are part of integrated health systems that encompass multiple facilities. These systems are often the result of horizontal mergers in which one hospital acquires another. Reduced care costs and improved care quality are often invoked to justify such mergers. In Mergers and Marginal Costs: New Evidence on Hospital Buyer Power (NBER...
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Murder and suicide rates among young black males remain elevated years after crack cocaine-related violence swept America's cities, likely because of the increase in guns during the crack era. Reverberations of the crack epidemic of the 1990s continue to take a deadly toll on young black males in the United States. In Guns and Violence: The Enduring Impact of Crack Cocaine Markets on Young Black Males (NBER Working Paper No. 24819), William N. Evans, Craig...
Article
Many investors choose to hold stocks in individual firms, hoping to pick the 'the next Apple,' despite knowing that such investments are riskier than mutual funds. Many individuals appear to assign probabilities to events that differ from the objective likelihood of these events taking place. Despite the demonstrably slim odds of winning the lottery, millions of hopeful people buy tickets every day. One explanation for this behavior is that many individuals...

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