NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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23 October 2014

Gender Differences among Top Earners, 1981–2012

Despite substantial gains over the past 30 years, women still constitute a small proportion of top earners in the U.S., according to an analysis by Fatih Guvenen, Greg Kaplan, and Jae Song. In 1981–85, women constituted just 1.9 percent of the top 0.1 percent of earners; in 2008–12 they comprised 10 percent.

22 October 2014

Energy Efficiency Subsidies Had Little Impact

The “Cash for Appliances” program, part of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, delivered $300 million to state governments to fund rebates to purchasers of energy-efficient appliances. Sébastien Houde and Joseph Aldy find the program did not have a meaningful impact on aggregate electricity consumption. They also find evidence the rebates may have induced some consumers to purchase larger appliances.

21 October 2014

Measuring the Effects of Consumer Bankruptcy Protection

Consumer bankruptcy is one of the largest social insurance programs in the United States. Will Dobbie and Jae Song analyze its impact on debtors using 500,000 bankruptcy filings matched to administrative tax and foreclosure data. They find that Chapter 13 protection increases annual earnings by $5,562, decreases five-year mortality by 1.2 percentage points, and decreases five-year foreclosure rates by 19.1 percentage points.

20 October 2014

Why Infant Mortality Is Higher in the U.S. than in Europe

The U.S. has substantially higher infant mortality than peer countries. Using data from the U.S., Austria, and Finland, Alice Chen, Emily Oster, and Heidi Williams find similar mortality in the first month after birth but a substantial US disadvantage thereafter. This postneonatal mortality disadvantage is driven almost exclusively by inequality in the U.S. Infants born to white, college-educated, married U.S. mothers have similar mortality to advantaged infants in Europe.
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