New NBER Research
16 April 2014
Jesper Bagger and Rasmus Lentz estimate the variation across workers in their skill levels, and across firms in their productivity levels, using matched Danish data on employers and employees. They find a positive correlation of 0.12 between worker skill and firm productivity, and conclude that differences across firms account for 11 percent of the variation in wages, while differences across workers accounts for 51 percent.
15 April 2014
Luc Behaghel, Didier Blanchet, and Muriel Roger find that a decline in the generosity of pension benefits and disability insurance benefits in France induces individuals to remain in the labor force until older ages.
14 April 2014
Hunt Allcott and Richard Sweeney conducted a field experiment at a large national retailer and found that incentives for sales personnel and rebates for consumers work together in raising purchases of energy-efficient durables. In a related consumer survey, they found that most consumers know about energy-efficient appliances, and may even overestimate their savings. This finding calls into question the role of limited information as an explanation for low demand for energy-saving durables.
11 April 2014
George Borjas and Kirk Doran study the impact of the post-1992 exodus of Soviet mathematicians on the productivity of non-émigrés. They find evidence of competition between the two groups in "idea space," as well as knowledge spillovers through collaboration between high-quality researchers.
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10 April 2014
Sumit Agarwal, Gene Amromin, Itzhak Ben-David, Souphala Chomsisengphet, and Yan Zhang study the decisions taken by mortgage servicers on delinquent properties with multiple mortgages. They find that whether the servicer forecloses, pursues a short sale, or modifies the loans is affected by whether the servicer owns the junior mortgage secured by the property. When it does, actions are skewed toward maximizing the value of the junior claim.
9 April 2014
Nava Ashraf, Diego Aycinena, Claudia Martínez A., and Dean Yang study the factors that influence the home country savings held by international migrants. They analyze the results of an experiment that was run in partnership with a bank based in El Salvador, and find that migrants save more when they have greater control over their home-country account. They find little evidence that this increase in saving comes at the expense of reduced saving elsewhere.
8 April 2014
Rena Conti and Ernst Berndt study how the loss of U.S. patent exclusivity affected the prices and the utilization of specialty anti-cancer drugs between 2001 and 2007. They find substantial price erosion after generic entry. They also find an increase in volume, primarily for drugs that are taken orally and is not observed for drugs administered by a physician.
7 April 2014
Ajay Agrawal, John McHale, and Alexander Oettl analyze longitudinal university department-level data to investigate the consequences of a department hiring an academic "star." Stars do not increase the productivity of incumbent faculty members, but they increase the average quality of subsequent recruits.
4 April 2014
Dolan Antenucci, Michael Cafarella, Margaret C. Levenstein, Christopher Ré, and Matthew Shapiro use Twitter messages, for example the number of Tweets with phrases like "lost my job," to create indexes of job loss, job search, and job posting. Their measures track initial claims for unemployment insurance at medium and high frequencies and help to explain the prediction error of the consensus forecast for initial claims.
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