19 February 2019

Infectious Disease Mortality in U.S. Cities, 1900-1948

Urban infectious mortality was greatest in the South every year from 1900 to 1948 and it declined later in southern cities than in cities in the other regions, James J. Feigenbaum, Christopher Muller, and Elizabeth Wrigley-Field find. This was driven primarily by extremely high mortality among African Americans.

15 February 2019

Economic Conditions and the Disability Insurance Program

The Great Recession induced nearly one million Social Security Disability Insurance applications that otherwise would not have been filed, resulting in over 400,000 new beneficiaries who made up 8.9 percent of all SSDI entrants between 2008-2012,Nicole Maestas, Kathleen J. Mullen, and Alexander Strand calculate.

14 February 2019

Firms in Benchmark Portfolios Face Lower Costs of Capital

Firms that are included in benchmark portfolios – such as the S&P500 Index – are effectively subsidized by asset managers, according to Anil K. Kashyap, Natalia Kovrijnykh, Jian Li, and Anna Pavlova. Managers have incentives to hold some of the equity of firms in these firms regardless of their risk characteristics, which raises share prices and lowers required returns.

13 February 2019

The Effects of Medicare Advantage on Opioid Use

Compared to enrollment in a stand-alone drug plan, enrollment in Medicare Advantage, which integrates drug coverage with other medical benefits, significantly reduces beneficiaries’ likelihood of filling an opioid prescription, Laurence C. Baker, Kate Bundorf, and Daniel Kessler find.

12 February 2019

The Evolution of Retirement Incentives in the U.S.

In a study of how the financial incentive to work at older ages has evolved since 1980, Courtney Coile finds that the implicit tax on work after age 65 has dropped by about 15 percentage points for a typical worker as a result of Social Security reforms. The shift from defined benefit to defined contribution pensions has reinforced this trend.

11 February 2019

Social Networks Help Overcome TB Underdetection

In an experiment with 3,182 patients at 128 tuberculosis treatment centers in India, Jessica Goldberg, Mario Macis, and Pradeep Chintagunta find that peer outreach identifies new TB cases at 25 to 35 percent of the cost of outreach by health workers.

8 February 2019

Volatility Risk Pass-through

An increase in a country's output volatility is associated with a decrease in its output, consumption, and net exports, a study by Riccardo Colacito, Mariano Max Croce, Yang Liu, and Ivan Shaliastovich shows. A one percent increase in output volatility increases consumption volatility by 0.5 percent.

7 February 2019

The Declining Labor Share in Manufacturing

Although the aggregate labor share in U.S. manufacturing declined from 62 percent in 1967 to 41 percent in 2012, the share in the typical manufacturing rose over this period. Matthias Kehrig and Nicolas Vincent find that this is due to the reallocation of value added to "hyper- productive" (HP) low-labor share establishments with very high revenue productivity.

6 February 2019

Patterns in Flu Shot Take-up

Individuals who do not get a flu shot and later contract the flu are more likely to get a flu shot the next year, while those who receive a flu shot but still contract the disease are less likely to obtain a shot the next year, according to a study by Ginger Zhe Jin and Thomas G. Koch.

5 February 2019

Border Walls

Treb Allen, Cauê de Castro Dobbin, and Melanie Morten estimate that a 2007-10 border wall expansion harmed Mexican workers and high-skill U.S. workers, but benefited low-skill U.S. workers.
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