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AN NBER PUBLICATION ISSUE: No. 12, December 2016

The Digest

A free monthly publication featuring non-technical summaries of research on topics of broad public interest
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The first phase of quantitative easing in the U.S. made credit more easily available, lowered interest rates, and stimulated over $600 billion in refinancing activity and $76 billion in additional consumption. Central banks seeking to stimulate economic activity in the aftermath of the Great Recession have purchased a range of financial assets, including mortgages and corporate bonds. How such purchase programs operate, and whether they produce the desired result...

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VCs said that deal flow, deal selection, and VC value-add are all important contributors to value creation. They considered deal selection most important. In How Do Venture Capitalists Make Decisions? (NBER Working Paper 22587), Paul Gompers, William Gornall, Steven N. Kaplan, and Ilya A. Strebulaev report on the results of a survey of 885 institutional venture capitalists (VCs) conducted between November 2015 and March 2016. The survey asked detailed questions...
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Monarchists resisting an incipient democracy movement in Britain prevented a compromise that could have placated the American colonists. "No taxation without representation" — the rallying cry of the American Revolution — gives the impression that taxation was the principal irritant between Britain and its American colonies. But, in fact, taxes in the colonies were much lower than taxes in Britain. The central grievance of the colonists was their lack of a voice...
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Nearly 40 percent of applicants said that they would not take a job if its schedule fluctuated at the employer's will, even if it paid 25 percent more than the same job in a 9-to-5 schedule. Workers are willing to accept lower pay in return for a standard Monday to Friday work week and for the opportunity to work from home, but not for the right to determine how many hours they will work. These are among the findings of Valuing Alternative Work Arrangements (NBER...
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Contract workers more than doubled, to 3.1 percent of the workforce, in the decade ending in 2015, while independent contractors rose 1.5 percent. The alternative workforce — temp, on-call, and contract workers, freelancers, and independent contractors — has been growing rapidly, but not primarily from Uber, Task Rabbit, and other firms in the so-called "gig" economy, according to research presented in The Rise and Nature of Alternative Work Arrangements in the...
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Individuals from less privileged backgrounds may face higher barriers to entry into prestigious positions, meaning only the most skilled advance and succeed. In Family Descent as a Signal of Managerial Quality: Evidence from Mutual Funds (NBER Working Paper 22517), Oleg Chuprinin and Denis Sosyura find that mutual fund managers from poor families consistently achieve better investment results than fund managers from wealthier backgrounds. The researchers also find...

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