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AN NBER PUBLICATION ISSUE: No. 8, August 2021

The Digest

A free monthly publication featuring non-technical summaries of research on topics of broad public interest
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Well before the legislation was passed, the industry began revamping plans for new construction and developing innovative abatement technology. The landmark Clean Air Act of 1970 did not take effect until 1972, but the electric power industry began taking steps to reduce pollution from power generation a decade earlier. In Impacts of the Clean Air Act on the Power Sector from 1938–1994: Anticipation and Adaptation (NBER Working Paper 28962), Karen Clay, Akshaya...

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Article
In a period of high uncertainty, shipping lines slowed the upgrading of their fleets and concentrated on a narrower and less-productive asset mix. A wave of Somali pirate attacks between 2009 and 2011 created substantial uncertainty for cargo shippers using the Suez Canal. In those three years, companies with ships sized to use the canal reduced their investment in new vessels by an estimated 38 percent, and reduced vessel retirements by 18 percent. The...
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Among business school undergraduate alumni, men were more willing than women to hold out for higher-paying first jobs after graduation. Gendered differences in men’s and women’s behavioral traits — namely, risk preferences and overconfidence — generate differences in job search behavior and may explain as much as 25 percent of the difference between men’s and women’s earnings in their first jobs, according to survey data on job search behavior analyzed by Patricia...
Article
Household income in municipalities where festivals coincide with planting or harvesting is lower than in other towns, and the transition from agriculture to services has been slower. Despite their popularity in Mexico’s agrarian communities, religious festivals that coincide with peak planting and harvesting months negatively affect household income, Eduardo Montero and Dean Yang conclude in Religious Festivals and Economic Development: Evidence from Catholic...
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The employment rates of women of similar age and educational attainment have not systematically differed by whether or not they have young children. In April 2021, the number of jobs in the US economy was about 8 million below the number in February 2020. As vaccinations spread and hard-hit sectors of the economy reopened, individuals who were not seeking employment appeared to play a major role in the low level of employment, since there were record numbers of...
Article
Requiring payday lenders to give potential borrowers information comparing the cost of their loans and other credit products reduced payday borrowing by 13 percent. Consumer protection regulation is motivated, in part, by concern that markets do not provide consumers with the information necessary to make optimal choices. Requiring firms to make disclosures is a core consumer protection tool. In The Effects of Disclosure and Enforcement on Payday Lending in...
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