6 May 2015

China's Housing Boom Unlikely to Go Bust,
According to Macroeconomic Conference Research

A lack of reliable statistics is fueling widespread fears that a housing bubble is developing in China that could burst with profound economic significance, Wei Xiong of Princeton University and the NBER (above) told participants in the 30th Annual NBER Conference on Macroeconomics. After studying housing prices and household income growth in 120 Chinese cities, he and his colleague reported to conferees that there is only modest cause for concern. The macroeconomic conference, held in Cambridge April 17-18, also reviewed research on Americans’ declining desire to work, public debt crises in the United States and Europe, and the effects of economic shocks on business networks.

Full texts, videos of presentations and brief interviews with researchers are posted here.

New NBER Research

6 May 2015

The Effect of Mandated Child Care on Female Wages in Chile

Mandated employer-provided child care in Chile is associated with lower starting wages for female workers in a study by María F. Prada, Graciana Rucci, and Sergio S. Urzúa. Their results indicate starting wages of the women hired by firms with 20 or more female workers are 9 to 20 percent below women hired by the same firm when there was no requirement to provide child care.

5 May 2015

Production Networks, Geography and Firm Performance

Low search and outsourcing costs lead firms to search more and find better suppliers, lowering their production costs, according to Andrew B. Bernard, Andreas Moxnes, and Yukiko U. Saito. They find evidence for this proposition by studying the opening of a high-speed (Shinkansen) train line in Japan which lowered the cost of passenger travel between various cities but left shipping costs unchanged.
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New in the NBER Digest

Greater Childhood Medicaid Coverage
Improves Earnings, Health in Adulthood

Two new studies exploit variation in children's eligibility for Medicaid across birth cohorts and across states with different Medicaid programs, along with rich longitudinal data on health care utilization and earnings, to estimate the long-run effects of Medicaid eligibility. The May issue of The NBER Digest also looks at the efficacy of NIH funding, employment effects of recession, residential segregation, impacts of macroeconomic volatility, and dynamics of momentum trading.

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or Read online

The Economics of African-American
Well-Being in the 19th-Century South

 In The Color Factor, Howard Bodenhorn has written the first full-length study of how color intersected with polity, society and economy in the 19th-century South. His NBER monograph, just published by Oxford University Press, compiles empirical economic research on plantation life, and pulls together and expands on previous research on the connection between color, wealth, and health. Publication date is June 1, but copies are now available here
NBER Reporter 2015:1

Effects of Monetary and Fiscal Policy

An article in the NBER's quarterly summary of affiliates' research focuses on effects of monetary and fiscal policy. Other articles examine prospects for slower U.S. growth, offer new perspectives on the first wave of globalization, and review financial services dynamics in developing countries. The lead article examines health and economic impacts of recession, pollution, unhealthy behaviors and health care insurance.

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