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  • Firming up Inequality*
    Q. J. Econ. (IF 7.863) Pub Date : 2018-10-25
    Song J, Price D, Guvenen F, et al.

    We use a massive, matched employer-employee database for the United States to analyze the contribution of firms to the rise in earnings inequality from 1978 to 2013. We find that one-third of the rise in the variance of (log) earnings occurred within firms, whereas two-thirds of the rise occurred due to a rise in the dispersion of average earnings between firms. However, this rising between-firm variance is not accounted for by the firms themselves but rather by a widening gap between firms in the composition of their workers. This compositional change can be split into two roughly equal parts: high-wage workers became increasingly likely to work in high-wage firms (i.e., sorting increased), and high-wage workers became increasingly likely to work with each other (i.e., segregation rose). In contrast, we do not find a rise in the variance of firm-specific pay once we control for the worker composition in firms. Finally, we find that two-thirds of the rise in the within-firm variance of earnings occurred within mega (10,000+ employee) firms, which saw a particularly large increase in the variance of earnings compared to smaller firms.

    更新日期:2018-10-26
  • Forward and Spot Exchange Rates in a Multicurrency World*
    Q. J. Econ. (IF 7.863) Pub Date : 2018-10-25
    Hassan T, Mano R.

    Separate literatures study violations of uncovered interest parity (UIP) using regression-based and portfolio-based methods. We propose a decomposition of these violations into a cross-currency, a between-time-and-currency, and a cross-time component that allows us to analytically relate regression-based and portfolio-based facts, and to estimate the joint restrictions they place on models of currency returns. Subject to standard assumptions on investors’ information sets, we find that the forward premium puzzle (FPP) and the “dollar trade” anomaly are intimately linked: both are driven almost exclusively by the cross-time component. By contrast, the “carry trade” anomaly is driven largely by cross-sectional violations of UIP. The simplest model that the data do not reject features a cross-sectional asymmetry that makes some currencies pay permanently higher expected returns than others, and larger time series variation in expected returns on the US dollar than on other currencies. Importantly, conventional estimates of the FPP are not directly informative about expected returns, because they do not correct for uncertainty about future mean interest rates. Once we correct for this uncertainty, we never reject the null that investors expect high-interest-rate currencies to depreciate, not appreciate.

    更新日期:2018-10-26
  • Busting the ‘Princelings’: The Campaign against Corruption in China's Primary Land Market
    Q. J. Econ. (IF 7.863) Pub Date : 2018-10-22
    Chen T, Kung J.

    Using data on over a million land transactions during 2004–2016 where local governments are the sole seller, we find that firms linked to members of China's supreme political elites—the Politburo—obtained a price discount ranging from 55.4% to 59.9% compared to those without the same connections. These firms also purchased slightly more land. In return, the provincial party secretaries who provided the discount to these “princeling” firms are 23.4% more likely to be promoted to positions of national leadership. To curb corruption, President Xi Jinping stepped up investigations and strengthened personnel control at the province level. Using a spatially matched sample (e.g., within a 500-meter radius), we find a reduction in corruption of between 50.1% and 43.6% in the provinces either targeted by the central inspection teams or whose party secretary was replaced by one appointed by Xi himself. Accordingly, this crackdown on corruption has also significantly reduced the promotional prospects of those local officials who rely on supplying a discount to get ahead.

    更新日期:2018-10-22
  • Marginal Tax Rates and Income: New Time Series Evidence*
    Q. J. Econ. (IF 7.863) Pub Date : 2018-02-20
    Mertens K, Montiel Olea J.

    Using new narrative measures of exogenous variation in marginal tax rates associated with postwar tax reforms in the United States, this study estimates short-run tax elasticities of reported income of around 1.2 based on time series from 1946 to 2012. Estimated elasticities are larger in the top 1% of the income distribution but are also positive and statistically significant for other income groups. Previous time series studies of tax returns data have found little evidence for income responses to taxes outside the top of the income distribution. The different results in this article arise because of additional efforts to account for dynamics, expectations, and especially the endogeneity of tax policy decisions. Marginal rate cuts lead to increases in real GDP and declines in unemployment. There is also evidence that the responses are to marginal tax rates rather than average tax rates. Counterfactual tax cuts targeting the top 1% alone are estimated to have short-run positive effects on economic activity and incomes outside of the top 1%, but to increase inequality in pretax incomes. Cuts for taxpayers outside of the top 1% also lead to increases in incomes and economic activity, but with a longer delay.

    更新日期:2018-10-10
  • Should Buyers or Sellers Organize Trade in a Frictional Market?*
    Q. J. Econ. (IF 7.863) Pub Date : 2018-04-14
    Shi S, Delacroix A.

    To answer the question in the title, this article characterizes the socially efficient organization of the market with search frictions. The efficient organization depends on the relative elasticity in the supply between the two sides of the market, the costs of participating in the market and organizing trade, and the (a)symmetry in matching. We also show that the social optimum can be implemented by a realistic market equilibrium where the organizers set up trading sites to direct the other side’s search. The results provide a unified explanation for why trade has often been organized by sellers in the goods market, by buyers (firms) in the labor market, and by both sides in the asset market. The analysis also sheds light on how the efficient market organization can change with innovations such as e-commerce and just-in-time production.

    更新日期:2018-10-10
  • Political Advertising and Election Results*
    Q. J. Econ. (IF 7.863) Pub Date : 2018-05-05
    Spenkuch J, Toniatti D.

    We study the persuasive effects of political advertising. Our empirical strategy exploits FCC regulations that result in plausibly exogenous variation in the number of impressions across the borders of neighboring counties. Applying this approach to detailed data on television advertisement broadcasts and viewership patterns during the 2004–12 presidential campaigns, our results indicate that total political advertising has almost no impact on aggregate turnout. By contrast, we find a positive and economically meaningful effect of advertising on candidates’ vote shares. Taken at face value, our estimates imply that a one standard deviation increase in the partisan difference in advertising raises the partisan difference in vote shares by about 0.5 percentage points. Evidence from a regression discontinuity design suggests that advertising affects election results by altering the partisan composition of the electorate.

    更新日期:2018-10-10
  • Racial Bias in Bail Decisions*
    Q. J. Econ. (IF 7.863) Pub Date : 2018-05-30
    Arnold D, Dobbie W, Yang C.

    This article develops a new test for identifying racial bias in the context of bail decisions—a high-stakes setting with large disparities between white and black defendants. We motivate our analysis using Becker’s model of racial bias, which predicts that rates of pretrial misconduct will be identical for marginal white and marginal black defendants if bail judges are racially unbiased. In contrast, marginal white defendants will have higher rates of misconduct than marginal black defendants if bail judges are racially biased, whether that bias is driven by racial animus, inaccurate racial stereotypes, or any other form of bias. To test the model, we use the release tendencies of quasi-randomly assigned bail judges to identify the relevant race-specific misconduct rates. Estimates from Miami and Philadelphia show that bail judges are racially biased against black defendants, with substantially more racial bias among both inexperienced and part-time judges. We find suggestive evidence that this racial bias is driven by bail judges relying on inaccurate stereotypes that exaggerate the relative danger of releasing black defendants.

    更新日期:2018-10-10
  • Global Evidence on Economic Preferences*
    Q. J. Econ. (IF 7.863) Pub Date : 2018-05-30
    Falk A, Becker A, Dohmen T, et al.

    This article studies the global variation in economic preferences. For this purpose, we present the Global Preference Survey (GPS), an experimentally validated survey data set of time preference, risk preference, positive and negative reciprocity, altruism, and trust from 80,000 people in 76 countries. The data reveal substantial heterogeneity in preferences across countries, but even larger within-country heterogeneity. Across individuals, preferences vary with age, gender, and cognitive ability, yet these relationships appear partly country specific. At the country level, the data reveal correlations between preferences and biogeographic and cultural variables, such as agricultural suitability, language structure, and religion. Variation in preferences is also correlated with economic outcomes and behaviors. Within countries and subnational regions, preferences are linked to individual savings decisions, labor market choices, and prosocial behaviors. Across countries, preferences vary with aggregate outcomes ranging from per capita income, to entrepreneurial activities, to the frequency of armed conflicts.

    更新日期:2018-10-10
  • Religious Competition and Reallocation: the Political Economy of Secularization in the Protestant Reformation*
    Q. J. Econ. (IF 7.863) Pub Date : 2018-06-06
    Cantoni D, Dittmar J, Yuchtman N.

    Using novel microdata, we document an important, unintended consequence of the Protestant Reformation: a reallocation of resources from religious to secular purposes. To understand this process, we propose a conceptual framework in which the introduction of religious competition shifts political markets where religious authorities provide legitimacy to rulers in exchange for control over resources. Consistent with our framework, religious competition changed the balance of power between secular and religious elites: secular authorities acquired enormous amounts of wealth from monasteries closed during the Reformation, particularly in Protestant regions. This transfer of resources had significant consequences. First, it shifted the allocation of upper-tail human capital. Graduates of Protestant universities increasingly took secular, especially administrative, occupations. Protestant university students increasingly studied secular subjects, especially degrees that prepared students for public sector jobs, rather than church sector specific theology. Second, it affected the sectoral composition of fixed investment. Particularly in Protestant regions, new construction shifted from religious toward secular purposes, especially the building of palaces and administrative buildings, which reflected the increased wealth and power of secular lords. Reallocation was not driven by preexisting economic or cultural differences. Our findings indicate that the Reformation played an important causal role in the secularization of the West.

    更新日期:2018-10-10
  • Excess Sensitivity of High-Income Consumers*
    Q. J. Econ. (IF 7.863) Pub Date : 2018-06-12
    Kueng L.

    Using new transaction data, I find considerable deviations from consumption smoothing in response to large, regular, predetermined, and salient payments from the Alaska Permanent Fund. On average, the marginal propensity to consume (MPC) is 25% for nondurables and services within one quarter of the payments. The MPC is heterogeneous, monotonically increasing with income, and the average is largely driven by high-income households with substantial amounts of liquid assets, who have MPCs above 50%. The account-level data and the properties of the payments rule out most previous explanations of excess sensitivity, including buffer stock models and rational inattention. How big are these “mistakes?” Using a sufficient statistics approach, I show that the welfare loss from excess sensitivity depends on the MPC and the relative payment size as a fraction of income. Since the lump-sum payments do not depend on income, the two statistics are negatively correlated such that the welfare losses are similar across households and small (less than 0.1% of wealth), despite the large MPCs.

    更新日期:2018-10-10
  • Missed Sales and the Pricing of Ancillary Goods*
    Q. J. Econ. (IF 7.863) Pub Date : 2018-06-30
    Gomes R, Tirole J.

    Firms often sell a basic good as well as ancillary ones. Hold-up concerns have led to ancillary good regulations, such as transparency and price caps. The hold-up narrative, however, runs counter to evidence in many retail settings where ancillary good prices are set below cost (e.g., free shipping or limited card surcharging in countries where the “no-surcharge rule” was lifted). We argue that the key to unifying these conflicting narratives is that the seller may absorb partly or fully the ancillary good’s cost so as not to miss sales on the basic good. A supplier with market power on the ancillary good market then takes advantage of cost absorption and jacks up its wholesale price. Hold-ups occur only when consumers are initially uninformed or naive about the drip price and shopping costs are high. The price of the basic good then acts as a signal of the drip price, since a high markup on the basic good makes the firm more wary of missed sales. Regardless of whether consumers are informed, uninformed but rational, or naive, mandating price transparency and banning loss-making on the ancillary good leads to (i) an efficient consumption of the ancillary good, and (ii) a reduction of its wholesale price, generating strict welfare gains.

    更新日期:2018-10-10
  • What do Exporters Know?*
    Q. J. Econ. (IF 7.863) Pub Date : 2018-07-05
    Dickstein M, Morales E.

    Much of the variation in international trade volume is driven by firms’ extensive margin decisions of whether to participate in export markets. We evaluate how the information potential exporters possess influences their decisions. We estimate a model of export participation in which firms weigh the fixed costs of exporting against the forecasted profits from serving a foreign market. We adopt a moment inequality approach, placing weak assumptions on firms’ expectations. The framework allows us to test whether firms differ in the information they have about foreign markets. We find that larger firms possess better knowledge of market conditions in foreign countries, even when those firms have not exported in the past. Quantifying the value of information, we show that, in a typical destination, total exports rise while the number of exporters falls when firms have access to better information to forecast export revenues.

    更新日期:2018-10-10
  • The Elusive Costs of Inflation: Price Dispersion during the U.S. Great Inflation*
    Q. J. Econ. (IF 7.863) Pub Date : 2018-08-06
    Nakamura E, Steinsson J, Sun P, et al.

    A key policy question is: how high an inflation rate should central banks target? This depends crucially on the costs of inflation. An important concern is that high inflation will lead to inefficient price dispersion. Workhorse New Keynesian models imply that this cost of inflation is very large. An increase in steady-state inflation from 0% to 10% yields a welfare loss that is an order of magnitude greater than the welfare loss from business cycle fluctuations in output in these models. We assess this prediction empirically using a new data set on price behavior during the Great Inflation of the late 1970s and early 1980s in the United States. If price dispersion increases rapidly with inflation, we should see the absolute size of price changes increasing with inflation: price changes should become larger as prices drift further from their optimal level at higher inflation rates. We find no evidence that the absolute size of price changes rose during the Great Inflation. This suggests that the standard New Keynesian analysis of the welfare costs of inflation is wrong and its implications for the optimal inflation rate need to be reassessed. We also find that (nonsale) prices have not become more flexible over the past 40 years.

    更新日期:2018-10-10
  • The Mission: Human Capital Transmission, Economic Persistence, and Culture in South America*
    Q. J. Econ. (IF 7.863) Pub Date : 2018-10-08
    Caicedo F.

    This article examines the long-term consequences of a historical human capital intervention. The Jesuit order founded religious missions in 1609 among the Guarani, in modern-day Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. Before their expulsion in 1767, missionaries instructed indigenous inhabitants in reading, writing, and various crafts. Using archival records, as well as data at the individual and municipal level, I show that in areas of former Jesuit presence—within the Guarani area—educational attainment was higher and remains so (by 10%-15%) 250 years later. These educational differences have also translated into incomes that are 10% higher today. The identification of the positive effect of the Guarani Jesuit missions emerges after comparing them with abandoned Jesuit missions and neighboring Franciscan Guarani missions. The enduring effects observed are consistent with transmission mechanisms of structural transformation, occupational specialization, and technology adoption in agriculture.

    更新日期:2018-10-09
  • Moral Hazard: Experimental Evidence from Tenancy Contracts*
    Q. J. Econ. (IF 7.863) Pub Date : 2018-09-24
    Burchardi K, Gulesci S, Lerva B, et al.

    Agricultural productivity is particularly low in developing countries. Output-sharing rules that make farmers less-than-full residual claimants are seen as a potentially important driver of low agricultural productivity. We report results from a field experiment designed to estimate and understand the effects of sharecropping contracts on agricultural input choices, risk-taking, and output. The experiment induced variation in the terms of sharecropping contracts. After agreeing to pay 50% of their output to the landlord, tenants were randomized into three groups: (i) some kept 50% of their output; (ii) others kept 75%; (iii) others kept 50% of output and received a lump sum payment at the end of their contract, either fixed or stochastic. We find that tenants with higher output shares utilized more inputs, cultivated riskier crops, and produced 60% more output relative to control. Income or risk exposure have at most a small effect on farm output; the increase in output should be interpreted as an incentive effect of the output-sharing rule.

    更新日期:2018-09-25
  • From Hyperinflation to Stable Prices: Argentina’s Evidence on Menu Cost Models*
    Q. J. Econ. (IF 7.863) Pub Date : 2018-09-24
    Alvarez F, Beraja M, Gonzalez-Rozada M, et al.

    In this paper, we analyze how inflation affects firms’ price-setting behavior. For a class of menu cost models, we derive several predictions about how price-setting changes with inflation both at very high and at near-zero inflation rates. Then, we present evidence supporting these predictions using product-level-data underlying Argentina’s consumer price index from 1988 to 1997— a unique experience where monthly inflation ranged from almost 200 percent to less than zero. For low inflation rates, we find that: (i) the frequency and absolute size of price changes as well as the dispersion of relative prices do not change with inflation, (ii) the frequency and size of price increases and decreases are symmetric around zero inflation, and (iii) aggregate inflation changes are mostly driven by changes in the frequency of price increases and decreases, as opposed to the size of price changes. For high inflation rates, we find that: (iv) the elasticity of the frequency of price changes with respect to inflation is close to two-thirds, (v) the frequency of price changes across different products becomes similar, and (vi) the elasticity of the dispersion of relative prices with respect to inflation is one-third. Our findings confirm and extend available evidence for countries that experienced either very high or near-zero inflation. We conclude by showing that a hyperinflation of 500 percent per year is associated with a cost of approximately 8.5% of aggregate output per year as a result of inefficient price dispersion alone.

    更新日期:2018-09-25
  • Status Goods: Experimental Evidence from Platinum Credit Cards*
    Q. J. Econ. (IF 7.863) Pub Date : 2017-12-20
    Bursztyn L, Ferman B, Fiorin S, et al.

    This article provides field-experimental evidence on status goods. We work with an Indonesian bank that markets platinum credit cards to high-income customers. In a first experiment, we show that demand for the platinum card exceeds demand for a nondescript control product with identical benefits, suggesting demand for the pure status aspect of the card. Transaction data reveal that platinum cards are more likely to be used in social contexts, implying social image motivations. In a second experiment, we provide evidence of positional externalities from the consumption of these status goods. A final experiment provides suggestive evidence that increasing self-esteem causally reduces demand for status goods, indicating that social image might be a substitute for self-image.

    更新日期:2018-09-15
  • Long-Range Growth: Economic Development in the Global Network of Air Links*
    Q. J. Econ. (IF 7.863) Pub Date : 2017-12-20
    Campante F, Yanagizawa-Drott D.

    We study the impact of international long-distance flights on the global spatial allocation of economic activity. To identify causal effects, we exploit variation due to regulatory and technological constraints, which gives rise to a discontinuity in connectedness between cities at a distance of 6,000 miles. We show that improving an airport’s position in the network of air links has a positive effect on local economic activity, as captured by satellite-measured night lights. We find that air links increase business links, showing that the movement of people fosters the movement of capital. In particular, this is driven mostly by capital flowing from high-income to middle-income (but not low-income) countries. Taken together, the results suggest that increasing interconnectedness induces links between businesses and generates economic activity at the local level but also gives rise to increased spatial inequality locally, and potentially globally.

    更新日期:2018-09-15
  • Interfirm Relationships and Business Performance*
    Q. J. Econ. (IF 7.863) Pub Date : 2017-12-20
    Cai J, Szeidl A.

    We organized business associations for the owner-managers of young Chinese firms to study the effect of business networks on firm performance. We randomized 2,820 firms into small groups whose managers held monthly meetings for one year, and into a “no-meetings” control group. We find the following. (i) The meetings increased firm revenue by 8.1%, and also significantly increased profit, factors, inputs, the number of partners, borrowing, and a management score. (ii) These effects persisted one year after the conclusion of the meetings. (iii) Firms randomized to have better peers exhibited higher growth. We exploit additional interventions to document concrete channels. (iv) Managers shared exogenous business-relevant information, particularly when they were not competitors, showing that the meetings facilitated learning from peers. (v) Managers created more business partnerships in the regular than in other one-time meetings, showing that the meetings improved supplier-client matching.

    更新日期:2018-09-15
  • Ranking Firms Using Revealed Preference*
    Q. J. Econ. (IF 7.863) Pub Date : 2018-01-17
    Sorkin I.

    This article estimates workers’ preferences for firms by studying the structure of employer-to-employer transitions in U.S. administrative data. The article uses a tool from numerical linear algebra to measure the central tendency of worker flows, which is closely related to the ranking of firms revealed by workers’ choices. There is evidence for compensating differentials when workers systematically move to lower-paying firms in a way that cannot be accounted for by layoffs or differences in recruiting intensity. The estimates suggest that compensating differentials account for over half of the firm component of the variance of earnings.

    更新日期:2018-09-15
  • The Macroeconomic Effects of Government Asset Purchases: Evidence from Postwar U.S. Housing Credit Policy*
    Q. J. Econ. (IF 7.863) Pub Date : 2018-01-17
    Fieldhouse A, Mertens K, Ravn M.

    We document the portfolio activity of federal housing agencies and provide evidence on its impact on mortgage markets and the economy. Through a narrative analysis, we identify historical policy changes leading to expansions or contractions in agency mortgage holdings. Based on those regulatory events that we classify as unrelated to short-run cyclical or credit market shocks, we find that an increase in mortgage purchases by the agencies boosts mortgage lending, in particular refinancing, and lowers mortgage rates. Agency purchases also influence prices in other asset markets, stimulate residential investment, and expand homeownership. We compare these effects to those of conventional monetary policy shocks, and we provide evidence on the interactions between housing credit and monetary policies.

    更新日期:2018-09-15
  • Do Energy Efficiency Investments Deliver? Evidence from the Weatherization Assistance Program*
    Q. J. Econ. (IF 7.863) Pub Date : 2018-01-29
    Fowlie M, Greenstone M, Wolfram C.

    A growing number of policies and programs aim to increase investment in energy efficiency, because conventional wisdom suggests that people fail to take up these investments even though they have positive private returns and generate environmental benefits. Many explanations for this energy efficiency gap have been put forward, but there has been surprisingly little field testing of whether the conventional wisdom is correct. This article reports on the results of an experimental evaluation of the nation’s largest residential energy efficiency program—the Weatherization Assistance Program—conducted on a sample of approximately 30,000 households in Michigan. The findings suggest that the upfront investment costs are about twice the actual energy savings. Furthermore, the model-projected savings are more than three times the actual savings. Although this might be attributed to the “rebound” effect—when demand for energy end uses increases as a result of greater efficiency—the article fails to find evidence of significantly higher indoor temperatures at weatherized homes. Even when accounting for the broader societal benefits derived from emissions reductions, the costs still substantially outweigh the benefits; the average rate of return is approximately −7.8% annually.

    更新日期:2018-09-15
  • High-Frequency Identification of Monetary Non-Neutrality: The Information Effect*
    Q. J. Econ. (IF 7.863) Pub Date : 2018-01-29
    Nakamura E, Steinsson J.

    We present estimates of monetary non-neutrality based on evidence from high-frequency responses of real interest rates, expected inflation, and expected output growth. Our identifying assumption is that unexpected changes in interest rates in a 30-minute window surrounding scheduled Federal Reserve announcements arise from news about monetary policy. In response to an interest rate hike, nominal and real interest rates increase roughly one-for-one, several years out into the term structure, while the response of expected inflation is small. At the same time, forecasts about output growth also increase—the opposite of what standard models imply about a monetary tightening. To explain these facts, we build a model in which Fed announcements affect beliefs not only about monetary policy but also about other economic fundamentals. Our model implies that these information effects play an important role in the overall causal effect of monetary policy shocks on output.

    更新日期:2018-09-15
  • The Impacts of Neighborhoods on Intergenerational Mobility II: County-Level Estimates*
    Q. J. Econ. (IF 7.863) Pub Date : 2018-02-10
    Chetty R, Hendren N.

    We estimate the causal effect of each county in the United States on children’s incomes in adulthood. We first estimate a fixed effects model that is identified by analyzing families who move across counties with children of different ages. We then use these fixed effect estimates to (i) quantify how much places matter for intergenerational mobility, (ii) construct forecasts of the causal effect of growing up in each county that can be used to guide families seeking to move to opportunity, and (iii) characterize which types of areas produce better outcomes. For children growing up in low-income families, each year of childhood exposure to a one standard deviation (std. dev.) better county increases income in adulthood by 0.5%. There is substantial variation in counties’ causal effects even within metro areas. Counties with less concentrated poverty, less income inequality, better schools, a larger share of two-parent families, and lower crime rates tend to produce better outcomes for children in poor families. Boys’ outcomes vary more across areas than girls’ outcomes, and boys have especially negative outcomes in highly segregated areas. Areas that generate better outcomes have higher house prices on average, but our approach uncovers many “opportunity bargains”—places that generate good outcomes but are not very expensive.

    更新日期:2018-09-15
  • Divergent Paths: A New Perspective on Earnings Differences Between Black and White Men Since 1940
    Q. J. Econ. (IF 7.863) Pub Date : 2018-01-30
    Bayer P, Charles K.

    We present new evidence on the evolution of black–white earnings differences among all men, including both workers and nonworkers. We study two measures: (i) the level earnings gap—the racial earnings difference at a given quantile; and (ii) the earnings rank gap—the difference between a black man's percentile in the black earnings distribution and the position he would hold in the white earnings distribution. After narrowing from 1940 to the mid-1970s, the median black–white level earnings gap has since grown as large as it was in 1950. At the same time, the median black man's relative position in the earnings distribution has remained essentially constant since 1940, so that the improvement then worsening of median relative earnings have come mainly from the stretching and narrowing of the overall earnings distribution. Black men at higher percentiles have experienced significant advances in relative earnings since 1940, due mainly to strong positional gains among those with college educations. Large relative schooling gains by blacks at the median and below have been more than counteracted by rising return to skill in the labor market, which has increasingly penalized remaining racial differences in schooling at the bottom of the distribution.

    更新日期:2018-09-15
  • The Impacts of Neighborhoods on Intergenerational Mobility I: Childhood Exposure Effects*
    Q. J. Econ. (IF 7.863) Pub Date : 2018-02-10
    Chetty R, Hendren N.

    We show that the neighborhoods in which children grow up shape their earnings, college attendance rates, and fertility and marriage patterns by studying more than 7 million families who move across commuting zones and counties in the United States. Exploiting variation in the age of children when families move, we find that neighborhoods have significant childhood exposure effects: the outcomes of children whose families move to a better neighborhood—as measured by the outcomes of children already living there—improve linearly in proportion to the amount of time they spend growing up in that area, at a rate of approximately 4% per year of exposure. We distinguish the causal effects of neighborhoods from confounding factors by comparing the outcomes of siblings within families, studying moves triggered by displacement shocks, and exploiting sharp variation in predicted place effects across birth cohorts, genders, and quantiles to implement overidentification tests. The findings show that neighborhoods affect intergenerational mobility primarily through childhood exposure, helping reconcile conflicting results in the prior literature.

    更新日期:2018-09-15
  • E Price Ain’t Right? Hospital Prices and Health Spending on the Privately Insured*
    Q. J. Econ. (IF 7.863) Pub Date : 2018-09-04
    Cooper Z, Craig S, Gaynor M, et al.

    We use insurance claims data covering 28 percent of individuals with employer-sponsored health insurance in the US to study the variation in health spending on the privately insured, examine the structure of insurer-hospital contracts, and analyze the variation in hospital prices across the nation. Health spending per privately insured beneficiary differs by a factor of three across geographic areas and has a very low correlation with Medicare spending. For the privately insured, half of the spending variation is driven by price variation across regions and half is driven by quantity variation. Prices vary substantially across regions, across hospitals within regions, and even within hospitals. For example, even for a near homogenous service such as lower-limb MRIs, about a fifth of the total case-level price variation occurs within a hospital in the cross-section. Hospital market structure is strongly associated with price levels and contract structure. Prices at monopoly hospitals are 12 percent higher than those in markets with four or more rivals. Monopoly hospitals also have contracts that load more risk on insurers (e.g. they have more cases with prices set as a share of their charges). In concentrated insurer markets the opposite occurs – hospitals have lower prices and bear more financial risk. Examining the 366 mergers and acquisitions that occurred between 2007 and 2011, we find that prices increased by over 6 percent when the merging hospitals were geographically close (e.g. 5 miles or less apart), but not when the hospitals were geographically distant (e.g. over 25 miles apart).

    更新日期:2018-09-15
  • Consequences of the Clean Water Act and the Demand for Water Quality*
    Q. J. Econ. (IF 7.863) Pub Date : 2018-09-07
    Keiser D, Shapiro J.

    Since the 1972 U.S. Clean Water Act, government and industry have invested over ${\$}$1 trillion to abate water pollution, or ${\$}$100 per person-year. Over half of U.S. stream and river miles, however, still violate pollution standards. We use the most comprehensive set of files ever compiled on water pollution and its determinants, including 50 million pollution readings from 240,000 monitoring sites and a network model of all U.S. rivers, to study water pollution’s trends, causes, and welfare consequences. We have three main findings. First, water pollution concentrations have fallen substantially. Between 1972 and 2001, for example, the share of waters safe for fishing grew by 12 percentage points. Second, the Clean Water Act’s grants to municipal wastewater treatment plants, which account for ${\$}$650 billion in expenditure, caused some of these declines. Through these grants, it cost around ${\$}$1.5 million (2014 dollars) to make one river-mile fishable for a year. We find little displacement of municipal expenditure due to a federal grant. Third, the grants’ estimated effects on housing values are smaller than the grants’ costs; we carefully discuss welfare implications.

    更新日期:2018-09-15
Some contents have been Reproduced with permission of the American Chemical Society.
Some contents have been Reproduced by permission of The Royal Society of Chemistry.
化学 • 材料 期刊列表
Nature
Nature
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