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National Bureau of Economic Research
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We show the extent of errors made in the award of disability insurance using matched survey-administrative data. False rejections (Type I errors) are widespread, and there are large gender differences in these type I error rates. Women with a severe, work-limiting, permanent impairment are 20 percentage points more likely to be rejected than men, controlling for the type of health condition, occupation, and a host of demographic characteristics. We investigate whether these gender differences in...
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Conventional models of production under uncertainty specify that output is produced in fixed proportions across states of nature. I investigate a representation of technology that allows firms to transform output from one state to another. I allow the firm to choose the distribution of its random productivity from a convex set of such distributions, described by a limit on a moment of productivity scaled by a natural productivity shock. The model produces a simple discount factor linked to produ...
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Do increases in federal minimum wage impact the financial health of small businesses? Using intertemporal variation in whether a state’s minimum wage is bound by the federal rate and credit-score data for approximately 15.2 million establishments for the period 1989–2013, we find that increases in the federal minimum wage worsen the financial health of small businesses in the affected states. Small, young, labor-intensive, minimum-wage sensitive establishments located in the states bound to the ...
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How does a country's economic geography evolve along the development path? This paper documents recent employment growth in 18,961 regions in eight of the world's main economies. Overall, market potential is losing importance, and local density is gaining importance, as correlates of local growth. In mature economies, growth is strongest in low-market-potential areas. In emerging economies, the opposite is true, though the association with market potential is also weakening there. Structural tra...
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We evaluate a randomized pilot study in which the IRS sent informational letters to 3.9 million taxpayers who paid a tax penalty for lacking health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Drawing on administrative data, we study the effect of the intervention on taxpayers’ subsequent health insurance enrollment and mortality. We find the intervention led to increased coverage in the two years following treatment and that this additional coverage reduced mortality among middle-aged adul...
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Prescription pharmaceuticals are frequently used consumer products, whose manufacturing location is commonly held as a trade secret by firms and U.S. regulatory agencies. Here we use previously non-publicly available data to describe levels and trends in the manufacturing locations of the most commonly used prescription pharmaceuticals, off-patent generic drugs, intended to be consumed by Americans. We find that the base ingredients required for the manufacturing of these prescription drugs are ...
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The old boys’ club refers to the alleged advantage that male employees have over their female counterparts in interacting with powerful men. For example, male employees may schmooze with their managers in ways that female employees cannot. We study this phenomenon using data from a large financial institution. We use an event study analysis of manager rotation to estimate the causal effect of managers’ gender on their employees’ career progression. We find that when male employees are assigned t...
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In recent years, electrification has re-emerged as a key priority in low-income countries, with a particular focus on electrifying households. Yet the microeconomic literature examining the impacts of electrifying households on economic development has produced a set of conflicting results. Does household electrification lead to measurable gains in living standards or not? Focusing on grid electrification, we discuss how the divergent conclusions across the literature can be explained by differe...
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The q-factor model shows strong explanatory power and largely summarizes the cross section of average stock returns. In particular, the q-factor model fully subsumes the Fama-French (2018) 6-factor model in head-to-head factor spanning tests. The q-factor model is an empirical implementation of the investment CAPM. The basic philosophy is to price risky assets from the perspective of their suppliers (firms), as opposed to their buyers (investors). As a disruptive innovation, the investment CAPM ...
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We use employer-employee matched administrative data from Ohio to study the role of firm pay premiums in explaining the large, persistent earnings losses of displaced workers. We estimate that earnings for displaced workers from the mid-2000s are depressed by 22 percent after four years, consistent with prior work. Drawing upon empirical approaches from the displaced worker and firm heterogeneity literature, we then estimate how much of this earnings loss can be explained by the forfeiture of a ...
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