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AN NBER PUBLICATION ISSUE: No. 2, February 2020

The Digest

A free monthly publication featuring non-technical summaries of research on topics of broad public interest
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Sons of immigrant fathers experience more income growth than sons of US-born fathers, in large part because immigrants choose to settle where children have good prospects. Analyzing waves of immigrants to the United States between 1880 and 2015, Ran Abramitzky, Leah Platt Boustan, Elisa Jácome, and Santiago Pérez find that sons of first-generation immigrants have greater upward income mobility rates than sons of US-born parents. This mobility gap is observed...

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  Capital markets place positive value on oil reserves that are already developed, while the growth of undeveloped reserves has a negative effect on oil firm value. Although oil production has peaked and is now projected to be on a long-run global decline, the world is not running out of oil. Rather, particularly in North America, proved reserves and extraction have increased due to development of new production techniques such as fracking that overcome...
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Outcomes differ systematically across buyout type and with macroeconomic and credit conditions at the time of and after the buyout. Champions of private equity (PE) buyouts claim that such deals are engines of efficiency that create value by concentrating ownership of target firms, levering capital structures, and introducing high-powered financial incentives. Critics argue that these transactions are often associated with reductions in employment and wages, and with...
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In China, an air-quality monitoring and disclosure program focused on fine particulate matter pollution led residents to buy air purifiers and to delay going out when pollution was high. Although China has long had some of the most polluted cities in the world, few Chinese residents had access to accurate information about pollution levels. Then, in 2013, the country rolled out an air-quality monitoring and disclosure program, providing residents with real-time...
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German firms with shared governance had 40 to 50 percent larger long-term capital stocks than firms without workers on the board, with comparable wages. German corporations with labor representation at the board level tend to accumulate more capital than their counterparts. This finding rejects the view that labor representatives “hold up” management for higher wages, which come at the expense of investment spending. “Overall, shared governance does not appear to...
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In the two years following a fatal shooting, antidepressant prescriptions for young people living near the affected school were 21 percent higher than in areas farther away. Over 140 people have died in more than 230 shootings at US primary and secondary schools since the 1999 shooting at Colorado’s Columbine High School. Some 240,000 children have been present on school grounds during a shooting. These shootings have attracted intense public attention but little...

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