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AN NBER PUBLICATION ISSUE: No. 6, June 2019

The Digest

A free monthly publication featuring non-technical summaries of research on topics of broad public interest
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Rapid wage growth and a stable labor share of national income coincided with automation in the past because other technological changes counterbalanced its impact. Whether automation is driving down the wages of middle-class workers, particularly those without college degrees, is a topic of great current interest as well as controversy. In Automation and New Tasks: How Technology Displaces and Reinstates Labor (NBER Working Paper No. 25684), Daron Acemoglu and...

Research Summaries

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Article
  Investors increase the share of equities in their portfolios by about 0.7 percentage points when the return that they expect to earn on stocks rises by 1 percentage point. Textbooks in economics and finance often caution investors against trying to "time the market," but survey evidence suggests that there is substantial variation over time in the return investors expect to earn by holding corporate stocks. How does such variation in expected returns...
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Article
A study using Swedish data finds that individuals in families that include a health professional are more likely to engage in preventive health care, live longer, and are less likely to suffer from chronic conditions. There is a large and rising gap between life expectancy for high- and low-income individuals in the United States. For men born in 1930, for example, life expectancy at age 50 for those in the top fifth of the income distribution is more than five...
Article
Press reports on contributors to market volatility have long emphasized news about GDP, inflation, and other economic aggregates, but news about policy has become increasingly important. Drawing on newspaper stories about stock market volatility, Scott R. Baker, Nicholas Bloom, Steven J. Davis, and Kyle J. Kost examine the importance of various types of news in contributing to swings in equity prices. The researchers create an Equity Market Volatility (EMV)...
Article
Interactions with fake news sites by users of both Facebook and Twitter rose steadily in 2015 and 2016, but have fallen more than 60% since then on Facebook. Concern about the societal implications of the rise of fake news sites on social media platforms has led to calls for a variety of public policy actions, as well as internal changes in some platforms. In Trends in the Diffusion of Misinformation on Social Media (NBER Working Paper No. 25500), Hunt Allcott,...
Article
A modified program that raise the tax incentive for low-income vehicle buyers and lowered it for high-income buyers could have induced the same increase in overall EV purchases at a smaller revenue cost. Federal tax incentives, which totaled $725 million in 2014, are generally credited for the rapid increase in sales of electric vehicles (EVs) in the past decade. Because EVs offer a locally cleaner alternative to cars that run on gasoline, the U.S. government...

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