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NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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1 April 2015

Physician Incentives and the Rise in C-sections: Evidence from Canada

Sara Allin, Michael Baker, Maripier Isabelle, and Mark Stabile investigate whether the fraction of babies who are delivered by Cesarean section is affected by the difference in physician reimbursements between C-sections and vaginal deliveries. They analyze data from the single-payer, universal-coverage Canadian Medicare system, and find that doubling compensation for a C-section relative to a vaginal delivery increases the likelihood that a baby is delivered by C-section by 5.6 percentage points.

31 March 2015

New Evidence on the Impact of Financial Crises in Advanced Countries

Christina D. Romer and David H. Romer analyze the aftermath of financial crises in 24 OECD countries for the period 1967–2007. They construct a new data series based on assessments of the health of countries’ financial systems from a consistent, real-time narrative source and classify financial distress on a relatively fine scale, rather than treating it as a 0-1 variable. They find that output declines following crises were highly variable, on average only moderate, and often temporary.

30 March 2015

State Pension Plans Biased toward In-State Firms' Shares

Examining the investment behavior of 27 state pension plans that manage their own equity portfolios, Jeffrey R. Brown, Joshua M. Pollet, and Scott J. Weisbenner find that the plans substantially over-weight their portfolios with equity of in-state companies. They also find that the pension plans are more likely to hold stock in firms headquartered in counties that gave a high fraction of their campaign contributions to the current governor.
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NBER Reporter 2015:1
Health Economics

The latest edition of the NBER's quarterly summary of affiliates' research focuses on health and economic impacts of recession, pollution, unhealthy behaviors and health care insurance. Other articles look at the potential for slower U.S. growth for the medium and long term, new perspectives on the first wave of globalization, financial services dynamics in developing countries, and effects of monetary and fiscal policy.

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Foreign-Exchange Operations and
Monetary Policy in the 20th Century

 Drawing on a trove of previously confidential data, "Strained Relations," a new NBER book from The University of Chicago Press, reveals the evolution of U.S. policy regarding currency-market intervention and its interaction with monetary policy. The authors consider how foreign-exchange intervention was affected by changes such as the abandonment of the international gold standard as well as by political and bureaucratic factors.

 
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