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AN NBER PUBLICATION ISSUE: No. 9, September 2019

The Digest

A free monthly publication featuring non-technical summaries of research on topics of broad public interest
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Individuals who participated in the NIH’s Associate Training Program entered research, published, and earned grant funding at higher rates.   Introducing young doctors to intensive research programs early in their careers can have a large impact on their long-term professional development and lead them to pursue productive academic research careers more often than similar doctors who do not participate in such programs, according to a study by Pierre Azoulay,...

Research Summaries

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Article
Quarterly emails about logging on to the Sallie Mae website to view FICO scores affected patterns of debt repayment. Failing to make minimum payments on credit accounts is a common and costly behavior for many borrowers. Recent research from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau suggests that, every quarter, 20 percent of consumer credit accounts are assessed a late fee. The cost of the associated late payments can be high, and tardy payments can lower consumers’...
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Article
State-level credits increase average entrepreneurial activity by around 7 percent; counties in states with R&D credits experience a rise in new firm formation of more than 20 percent over 10 years. Tax credits for research and development (R&D) spending were initially designed to encourage existing firms to increase their investments in R&D, and many studies suggest that these policies achieve this goal. There is little evidence, however, on whether R...
Article
Cross-state analysis of data on wages, prices, and the unemployment rate suggests that a tight labor market is associated with higher inflation. The Phillips curve, named for the New Zealand economist A.W. Phillips, who reported in the late 1950s that wages rose more rapidly when the unemployment rate was low, posits a trade-off between inflation and unemployment. When unemployment is low, and the labor market is tight, there is greater upward pressure on wages and,...
Article
Each dollar of initial spending on Medicaid expansion for children yielded $1.78 in future tax revenue and savings on government transfer programs. Which government programs provide the most benefits per dollar spent? Nathaniel Hendren and Ben Sprung-Keyser examine 133 historical policy changes in the United States over the past half century to explore this question. In A Unified Welfare Analysis of Government Policies (NBER Working Paper No. 26144), they analyze...
Article
School boards’ efforts to make sure white students had white teachers appear to explain a sharp decline in the number of black teachers in the Deep South. In 1970, more than 90 percent of African American students in the 11 states of the former Confederacy attended integrated schools, compared with fewer than 5 percent in 1964. But as the student bodies became more diverse, the percentage of black faculty  declined. In School Desegregation and Black...

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