New NBER Research
4 December 2013
Sari Pekkala Kerr, William Kerr, and William Lincoln examine how rising employment of skilled immigrants affects a firm's demand for native workers. Using matched firm-worker data, they document increases in the total number of skilled workers employed at firms that employ rising numbers of skilled immigrants.
3 December 2013
Kerry Back, Tao Li, and Alexander Ljungqvist find a negative relationship between the liquidity of the market for a company's stock and the activism of the investors who hold large blocks of its stock. They hypothesize that greater liquidity makes it easier for large investors to sell their shares, which is an alternative to trying to work internally to improve corporate performance.
2 December 2013
Ajay Agrawal, John McHale, and Alexander Oettl report that the concentration of research output, measured by citation-weighted publications, declined across university departments within fields, but increased across researchers, between 1980 and 2000. In evolutionary biology, for example, the share of research generated by the top fifth of departments declined from 75 to 60 percent, while the share produced by the top 20 percent of biologists rose from 70 to 80 percent. They attribute at least part of this change to variation in patterns of collaboration.
27 November 2013
Carmen Reinhart and Takeshi Tashiro compare financial flows in nine Asian economies over the 1998-2012 period, the fifteen years after the Asian financial crisis, with similar flows in these countries in the decade before the crisis. They find that the average investment to GDP ratio fell by 6 percentage points, 9 percentage points when India and China are excluded, and that both the public and private sectors became more reliant on domestic sources of finance after the crisis. They also observe that central bank reserve accumulation after the crisis often placed central banks in competition with private borrowers in the market for loanable funds.
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26 November 2013
David Abrams, Ufuk Akcigit, and Jillian Popadak examine data on patent revenue and patent citations for a sample of patents held by non-practicing entities, firms that own patents but do not engage in production. They find a U-shaped relationship between citations and patent value, with the most valuable and the least valuable patterns displaying lower rates of citation than patents in the middle value range. The authors develop a model with two types of patents, strategic and productive, that can account for this finding.
25 November 2013
Shigeru Fujita and Giuseppe Moscarini analyze data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) for the 1990-2011 period and find that more than 40 percent of workers who become unemployed returned to employment at their previous employer. Roughly one fifth of this group (8 percent of the unemployed) did not have any expectation of recall at the time their unemployment spell began. Individuals who return to their former employer after an unemployment spell experience better wage changes than those who find employment at a different firm.
22 November 2013
Kirabo Jackson and Henry Schneider examine how an experiment in managerial control affected revenue at an auto repair firm. When the firm provided detailed checklists to mechanics and managers monitored their use, revenue rose 20 percent. The authors estimate that a 10 percent increase in the commission rate paid to mechanics would have had a similar effect on revenue. They find that pay-for-performance measures, such as commission payments, are complementary to managerial monitoring.
21 November 2013
Yuriy Gorodnichenko, Jae Song, and Dmitriy Stolyarov explore how the unemployment rate and other macroeconomic conditions affect retirement decisions. They find that when the unemployment rate rises, retirement rates also increase, particularly for workers close to the normal retirement age. For younger workers, a higher unemployment rate is associated with a higher incidence of partial retirement, while for older workers, it is associated with an increased likelihood of transition to full retirement.
20 November 2013
Nancy Stokey explores the impact of policy uncertainty on corporate investment decisions. She shows that when there is substantial uncertainty about future policy, firms may adopt a "wait and see" strategy and postpone potential investments until after the direction of policy is resolved. Once policy is set, investment can rise sharply as firms undertake projects that were previously held back.
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