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AN NBER PUBLICATION ISSUE: No. 12, December 2019

The Digest

A free monthly publication featuring non-technical summaries of research on topics of broad public interest
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For low-income micro-entrepreneurs who had businesses before they received microcredit, credit access raised investment, labor input, and revenues. Microcredit programs make small loans to low-income individuals who lack access to traditional financial services. In Can Microfinance Unlock a Poverty Trap for Some Entrepreneurs? (NBER Working Paper 26346), Abhijit Banerjee, Emily Breza, Esther Duflo, and Cynthia Kinnan analyze the long-term effects of a microcredit...

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Article
Consumers who experience extreme changes in grocery prices are more likely to base inflation expectations on those changes than those who see little or moderate grocery-price movement.   Standard inflation measures such as the core Consumer Price Index (CPI), which do not focus on price changes in the food and energy sectors, may be omitting some of the price information that is most important for households as they form inflation expectations, according to...
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North Carolina students who were rezoned to schools with stricter discipline were 17 percent more likely to be arrested as adults and 20 percent more likely to be incarcerated. Early educational experiences can affect adult criminality, but little is known about the channels through which these effects occur. In The School to Prison Pipeline: Long-Run Impacts of School Suspensions on Adult Crime (NBER Working Paper 26257), Andrew Bacher-Hicks, Stephen B. Billings, and...
Article
Where the War on Poverty's Legal Services Program opened offices, divorce rates, non-marital births, and enrollment in welfare programs increased. Family structure in the United States underwent dramatic changes beginning in the 1960s. Divorce rates rose, marriage rates fell, and non-marital births increased. In Changes in Family Structure and Welfare Participation Since the 1960s: The Role of Legal Services, (NBER Working Paper 26238) Andrew Goodman-Bacon and...
Article
Means testing, income limits, higher fees, and more paperwork for bankruptcy filings all contributed to the decline, especially among lower-income households. Responding to a five-fold increase in consumer bankruptcy filings — from 0.3 percent of households annually in the early 1980s to 1.5 percent in the early 2000s — Congress in 2005 adopted measures to make filing for bankruptcy more difficult, more expensive and less financially advantageous for households....
Article
When asked to describe their performance on a test, women reported that they performed worse than men, when on average the scores were equal. As workers advance in their careers, they often are called upon to engage in self-promotional activities, such as job interviews and annual reviews, during which they must self-assess their performance and abilities. In situations like those, women systematically provide less favorable self-assessments than equally-performing...

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