NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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11 December 2018

Persistent Low Returns and Household Retirement Saving

Vanya Horneff, Raimond Maurer, and Olivia S. Mitchell find that in periods of persistently lower real capital market returns, older workers build up less wealth in retirement saving accounts, claim Social Security benefits later, and work more. Lower returns are also associated with less wealth inequality.

10 December 2018

Electronic Benefits Transfers and WIC Participation

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) enrolls only 60 percent of eligible persons, and participants redeem only a fraction of available benefits. Andrew S. Hanks, Carolyn Gunther, Dean Lillard, and Robert L. Scharff find that allowing beneficiaries to use electronic benefits transfers increases redemptions, but does not affect participation.

7 December 2018

Permanent Residency Delays and STEM PhDs

Newly binding limits on permanent visas for Chinese and Indian scholars with advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are associated with a decline in the fraction of these individuals who stay in the United States, Shulamit Kahn and Megan MacGarvie find.

6 December 2018

Rising Defense Contractor Consolidation

Sharply increasing concentration in the U.S. defense industry in the 1990s is associated with a decline in competition in procurement and a shift from the use of fixed-price contracts towards cost-plus contracts, Rodrigo Carril and Mark Duggan find. Rising concentration has not, however, led to a significant increase in acquisition costs of large weapon systems.

5 December 2018

The Minimum Wage and Search Effort

A study by Camilla Adams, Jonathan Meer, and CarlyWill Sloan finds that increases to the minimum wage do not increase the likelihood of job searching, but do lead to large, transitory spikes in the intensity of search effort by individuals already looking for work.

4 December 2018

Online Competition and Pricing Behaviors

Online competition has raised both the frequency of price changes and the degree of uniform pricing across locations in the United States over the past 10 years, an analysis by Alberto Cavallo shows. These changes make retail prices more sensitive to aggregate "nationwide" shocks.

3 December 2018

Fatal Attraction? Extended Unemployment Benefits,
Labor Force Exits, and Mortality in Austria

Studying a program that encouraged early retirements among Austrian workers, Andreas Kuhn, Stefan Staubli, Jean-Philippe Wuellrich, and Josef Zweimüller find that men who retire one year earlier experience a 6.8 percent increase in the risk of premature death and on average die 0.2 years earlier.

30 November 2018

Happiness at Different Ages: Social Context Matters

John F. Helliwell, Max B. Norton, Haifang Huang, and Shun Wang find that social context affects the age pattern in individuals’ subjective expressions of life satisfaction. While average satisfaction follows a U-shape by age, bottoming in middle-age, the U becomes flatter after controlling for length of residence in the current community, for living in a couple, and for having a partner-like superior at work.

29 November 2018

The Minimum Wage, the EITC, and Criminal Recidivism

A minimum wage increase of $0.50 reduces the probability of recently released offenders returning to prison within a year by 2.8 percent, according to an analysis by Amanda Y. Agan and Michael D. Makowsky. The availability of state Earned Income Tax Credits also reduces recidivism, but only for women.

28 November 2018

Creating New Firms When Local Opportunities Arise

When favorable global commodity price movements increase the demand for local products in Brazil, the number of local firms rises, and this increase is almost entirely driven by young, skilled individuals, Shai Bernstein, Emanuele Colonnelli, Davide Malacrino, and Timothy McQuade find. The response is larger in areas with better access to finance and more skilled human capital.
 
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