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AN NBER PUBLICATION ISSUE: No. 3, March 2022

The Digest

A free monthly publication featuring non-technical summaries of research on topics of broad public interest
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Across OECD nations, more fluid job markets are associated with greater accumulation of worker skills and faster wage growth. Job-to-job labor market flows vary substantially across countries. In Labor Market Fluidity and Human Capital Accumulation (NBER Working Paper 29698), Niklas Engbom finds that greater labor market fluidity — more frequent job changes per worker — is associated with greater human capital accumulation as workers acquire new skills. Greater...

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Policies that preemptively reduced capital inflows from foreigners and the accumulation of foreign exchange debt reduced external finance risk premia following risk-off shocks. Reactive monetary policy may not be able to insulate domestic output from external economic shocks in emerging economies with floating exchange rates. If monetary policy cannot offset the output effects of capital flows and credit growth, nations may consider preemptive active-management...
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In tight labor markets, expansionary monetary policy has its largest impact on employment growth for demographic groups with lower than average labor market attachment. Employment among populations with lower labor force attachment responds more to expansionary monetary policy in tight labor markets than employment among more attached groups, according to Nittai K. Bergman, David A. Matsa, and Michael Weber in Inclusive Monetary Policy: How Tight Labor Markets...
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California homes built after 2008 and subject to statewide wildfire building codes are 40 percent less likely to be destroyed if a wildfire strikes than homes built in 1990. Wildfires have ravaged California in recent decades, often destroying homes and displacing residents. Building codes that require fire resistance in new construction have been one of the responses to this devastation. In Mandated vs. Voluntary Adaptation to Natural Disasters: The Case of US...
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Providing youths in a New York City summer jobs program with recommendation letters increased their subsequent employment and earnings. Providing summer youth workers with letters of recommendation to use in job applications raised their employment and earnings, according to Sara B. Heller and Judd B. Kessler in The Effects of Letters of Recommendation in the Youth Labor Market (NBER Working Paper 29579). The researchers partnered with the New York City Summer...
Article
The real price of nails fell by a factor of 10 from the late 1700s to the middle of the twentieth century, largely as a result of productivity growth in manufacturing. In The Price of Nails since 1695: A Window into Economic Change (NBER Working Paper 29617), Daniel E. Sichel tracks nail prices over three centuries. He uses this extraordinary data series to explore changes in manufacturing processes and productivity growth. He focuses on nails because they are a...
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