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20 November 2014

Asymmetric Pass-Through of Tariffs

An examination by Douglas A. Irwin of the landed and the duty-inclusive prices of raw sugar in New York City from 1890 to 1930 reveals a striking asymmetry: Tariff decreases were immediately passed through to consumers with no impact on import prices, while 60 percent of tariff increases were absorbed by foreign exporters in the form of reduced import prices. The apparent explanation: Imports collapse in response to increases, but do not surge after reductions.

19 November 2014

Obesity and Gun Violence Offset Other Health Gains

Reduced smoking, safer driving and cars, and reduced heavy alcohol use led to health improvements estimated at 1.82 years of quality-adjusted life between 1960 and 2010, according to a study by Susan T. Stewart and David M. Cutler. However, these gains were roughly offset by increased obesity, and increased death rates from firearms and poisonous substances, which together reduced quality-adjusted life expectancy by 1.77 years.

18 November 2014

Do Tax Credits Affect R&D Expenditures by Small Firms? Evidence from Canada

Privately owned firms that became eligible for increased tax credits on a broader range of qualifying R&D expenditures increased R&D spending by an average of 15 percent, Ajay Agrawal, Carlos Rosell, and Timothy S. Simcoe discover in their analysis of 2004 changes in the Canadian Scientific Research and Experimental Development tax credit. They see evidence that small firms had lower responsiveness to the changes.

17 November 2014

Would Lump Sum Payments Delay Social Security Claiming?

The average American would voluntarily work longer before claiming Social Security benefits if offered an actuarially fair lump sum instead of the delayed retirement annuity offered in the present system, Raimond Maurer, Olivia S. Mitchell, Ralph Rogalla, and Tatjana Schimetschek find. Those who would currently claim at the youngest ages are likely to be most responsive to the offer of a lump sum benefit.
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 Leading economic researchers consider the contributions of education and technology to American economic growth and well-being, the experience of women in the workforce, and how trends in marriage and family affected broader economic outcomes. An NBER book published by the University of Chicago Press

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