National Bureau of Economic Research NBER

Cambridge, MA, United States

National Bureau of Economic Research NBER

Cambridge, MA, United States
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Gelman M.,University of Michigan | Kariv S.,University of California at Berkeley | Shapiro M.D.,University of Michigan | Shapiro M.D.,National Bureau of Economic Research NBER | And 4 more authors.
Science | Year: 2014

This paper presents a new data infrastructure for measuring economic activity. The infrastructure records transactions and account balances, yielding measurements with scope and accuracy that have little precedent in economics. The data are drawn from a diverse population that overrepresents males and younger adults but contains large numbers of underrepresented groups. The data infrastructure permits evaluation of a benchmark theory in economics that predicts that individuals should use a combination of cash management, saving, and borrowing to make the timing of income irrelevant for the timing of spending. As in previous studies and in contrast to the predictions of the theory, there is a response of spending to the arrival of anticipated income. The data also show, however, that this apparent excess sensitivity of spending results largely from the coincident timing of regular income and regular spending. The remaining excess sensitivity is concentrated among individuals with less liquidity.


Bushnell J.B.,University of California at Davis | Bushnell J.B.,National Bureau of Economic Research NBER | Wolfram C.D.,National Bureau of Economic Research NBER | Wolfram C.D.,University of California at Berkeley
Journal of Environmental Economics and Management | Year: 2012

We analyze the effects of the New Source Review (NSR) environmental regulations on coal-fired electric power plants. Regulations that grew out of the Clean Air Act of 1970 required new electric generating plants to install costly pollution control equipment but exempted existing plants. Plants lost their exemptions if they made "major modifications." We examine whether this caused firms to invest less in grandfathered plants, possibly leading to lower efficiency and higher emissions. We find evidence that heightened NSR enforcement reduced capital investment at vulnerable plants. However, we find no discernible effect on other inputs or emissions. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.


Wen H.,Emory University | Hockenberry J.M.,Emory University | Hockenberry J.M.,National Bureau of Economic Research NBER | Cummings J.R.,Emory University
Journal of Health Economics | Year: 2015

We estimate the effect of medical marijuana laws (MMLs) in ten states between 2004 and 2012 on adolescent and adult use of marijuana, alcohol, and other psychoactive substances. We find increases in the probability of current marijuana use, regular marijuana use and marijuana abuse/dependence among those aged 21 or above. We also find an increase in marijuana use initiation among those aged 12-20. For those aged 21 or above, MMLs further increase the frequency of binge drinking. MMLs have no discernible impact on drinking behavior for those aged 12-20, or the use of other psychoactive substances in either age group. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.


Stewart S.T.,National Bureau of Economic Research NBER | Stewart S.T.,Harvard University | Cutler D.M.,Harvard University | Rosen A.B.,University of Massachusetts Medical School
American Journal of Public Health | Year: 2013

Objectives. We used data from multiple national health surveys to systematically track the health of the US adult population. Methods. We estimated trends in quality-adjusted life expectancy (QALE) from 1987 to 2008 by using national mortality data combined with data on symptoms and impairments from the National Medical Expenditure Survey (1987), National Health Interview Survey (1987, 1994-1995, 1996), Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (1992, 1996, 2000-2008), National Nursing Home Survey (1985, 1995, and 1999), and Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (1992, 1994-2008). We decomposed QALE into changes in life expectancy, impairments, symptoms, and smoking and body mass index. Results. Years of QALE increased overall and for all demographic groups-men, women, Whites, and Blacks-despite being slowed by increases in obesity and a rising prevalence of some symptoms and impairments. Overall QALE gains were large: 2.4 years at age 25 years and 1.7 years at age 65 years. Conclusions. Understanding and consistently tracking the drivers of QALE change is central to informed policymaking. Harmonizing data from multiple national surveys is an important step in building this infrastructure. Copyright © 2013 by the American Public Health Association®.


Gertler P.,University of California at Berkeley | Gertler P.,National Bureau of Economic Research NBER | Heckman J.,University of Chicago | Heckman J.,American Bar Foundation | And 7 more authors.
Science | Year: 2014

A substantial literature shows that U.S. early childhood interventions have important long-term economic benefits. However, there is little evidence on this question for developing countries.We report substantial effects on the earnings of participants in a randomized intervention conducted in 1986-1987 that gave psychosocial stimulation to growth-stunted Jamaican toddlers.The intervention consisted of weekly visits from community health workers over a 2-year period that taught parenting skills and encouraged mothers and children to interact in ways that develop cognitive and socioemotional skills. The authors reinterviewed 105 out of 129 study participants 20 years later and found that the intervention increased earnings by 25%, enough for them to catch up to the earnings of a nonstunted comparison group identified at baseline (65 out of 84 participants).


Herbst D.,Princeton University | Mas A.,Princeton University | Mas A.,National Bureau of Economic Research NBER | Mas A.,Institute for the Study of Labor IZA
Science | Year: 2015

We compare estimates of peer effects on worker output in laboratory experiments and field studies from naturally occurring environments. The mean study-level estimate of a change in a worker's productivity in response to an increase in a co-worker's productivity (γ) is γ = 0.12 (SE = 0.03, nstudies = 34), with a between-study standard deviation τ = 0.16. The mean estimated γ-values are close between laboratory and field studies (γlab - γfield = 0.04, P = 0.55, nlab = 11, nfield = 23), as are estimates of between-study variance τ2 (τ2lab - τ2field = -0:003, P = 0.89). The small mean difference between laboratory and field estimates holds even after controlling for sample characteristics such as incentive schemes and work complexity (γlab - γfield = 0.03, P = 0.62, nsamples = 46). Laboratory experiments generalize quantitatively in that they provide an accurate description of the mean and variance of productivity spillovers.


Akosa Antwi Y.,Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis | Moriya A.S.,Indiana University | Simon K.I.,National Bureau of Economic Research NBER
Journal of Health Economics | Year: 2015

The Affordable Care Act of 2010 expanded coverage to young adults by allowing them to remain on their parent's private health insurance until they turn 26 years old. While there is evidence on insurance effects, we know very little about use of general or specific forms of medical care. We study the implications of the expansion on inpatient hospitalizations. Given the prevalence of mental health needs for young adults, we also specifically study mental health related inpatient care. We find evidence that compared to those aged 27-29 years, treated young adults aged 19-25 years increased their inpatient visits by 3.5 percent while mental illness visits increased 9.0 percent. The prevalence of uninsurance among hospitalized young adults decreased by 12.5 percent; however, it does not appear that the intensity of inpatient treatment changed despite the change in reimbursement composition of patients. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.


Golec J.,University of Connecticut | Vernon J.A.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Vernon J.A.,National Bureau of Economic Research NBER
PharmacoEconomics | Year: 2010

EU countries closely regulate pharmaceutical prices, whereas the US does not.This paper shows how price constraints affect the profitability, stock returns and R&D spending of EU and US firms. Compared with EU firms, US firms are more profitable, earn higher stock returns and spend more on R&D.We tested the relationship between price regulation and R&D spending, and estimated the costs of tight EU price regulation. Although results show that EU consumers enjoyed much lower pharmaceutical price inflation, we estimated that price controls cost EU firms 46 fewer new medicines and 1680 fewer research jobs during our 19-year sample period.Had the US used controls similar to those used in the EU, we estimate it would have led to 117 fewer new medicines and 4368 fewer research jobs in the US. © 2010 Adis Data Information BV. All rights reserved.


Glaeser E.L.,Harvard University | Glaeser E.L.,National Bureau of Economic Research NBER | Ponzetto G.A.M.,University Pompeu Fabra | Tobio K.,Harvard University
Regional Studies | Year: 2014

Regional Studies. One approach to urban areas emphasizes the existence of certain immutable relationships, such as Zipf's or Gibrat's law. An alternative view is that urban change reflects individual responses to changing tastes or technologies. This paper examines almost 200 years of regional change in the United States and finds that few, if any, growth relationships remain constant, including Gibrat's law. Education does a reasonable job of explaining urban resilience in recent decades, but it does not seem to predict county growth a century ago. After reviewing this evidence, a simple model of regional change is presented and estimated, where education increases the level of entrepreneurship. Human capital spillovers occur at the city level because skilled workers produce more product varieties and thereby increase labour demand. It is found that skills are associated with growth in productivity or entrepreneurship, not with growth in quality of life, at least outside of the West. It is also found that skills seem to have depressed housing supply growth in the West, but not in other regions, which supports the view that educated residents in that region have fought for tougher land-use controls. Evidence is also presented that skills have had a disproportionately large impact on unemployment during the current recession. © 2012 © 2012 Regional Studies Association.


Spencer Banzhaf H.,Georgia State University | Spencer Banzhaf H.,National Bureau of Economic Research NBER
Journal of Environmental Management | Year: 2010

Over the past fifty years, economists have developed methods for estimating the public benefits of green spaces, allowing such information to be incorporated into land use planning. But the extent to which it is ever used is unclear. This paper reviews the literature on public values for lands on urban outskirts, not just to survey their methods or empirical findings, but to evaluate the role they have played - or have the potential to play - in actual US land use plans. Based on interviews with authors and representatives of land trusts and governments, it appears that academic work has had a mixed reception in the policy world. Reasons include a lack of interest in making academic work accessible to policy makers, emphasizing revealed preference methods which ignore important non-use values, and emphasizing average values over distributions of values. Nevertheless, some success stories illustrate how such information can play a role in the design of conservation policies. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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