A Look at What People Actually Are Consuming
Provides an Alternative Perspective on Inequality

Concern over sharp increases in income inequality has risen in recent years. But NBER Research Associate Bruce D. Meyer of the University of Chicago says income is not a good measure of real inequality and well-being. His research shows that — when measured in terms of consumption, what people actually have — inequality has declined for the lowest 20 percent of the distribution since 2005.

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New NBER Research

25 March 2019

Preferences for Boys and the Gender Gap in Math

Socialization at home can explain a non-trivial part of the observed gender disparities between boys and girls in mathematics performance and maternal gender attitudes correlate with those of their children, Gaia Dossi, David N. Figlio, Paola Giuliano, and Paola Sapienza find.

22 March 2019

Responses to Bank of Japan ETF Purchases

Bank of Japan share purchases made to boost domestic firms’ valuations and increase GDP growth predict equity issuances and fewer stock buybacks, Ben Charoenwong, Randall Morck, and Yupana Wiwattanakantang report. This unconventional stimulus is not substantially transmitted into real investment growth.

21 March 2019

Fertility Trends in the United States, 1980-2017

U.S. fertility reached a historic low in 2017, with the largest declines among young women and unmarried women, Kasey Buckles, Melanie E. Guldi, and Lucie Schmidt find. Much of the decline is attributable to reduced rates of unintended births.
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Impacts of a San Francisco Rent-Control Expansion:
More Long-Timers Can Stay, but Rental Supply Suffers

Policy-makers and community activists in many cities have used a variety of tools to shield long-term residents from being displaced or impoverished by evolving economic realities. NBER research associate Rebecca Diamond and her colleagues at Stanford University use changes in San Francisco's rent-control law made through a 1994 ballot initiative to explore the responses of tenants and landlords.

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The NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health

Black Men who Visit Black Primary Care Doctors
Are More Likely to Accept Preventative Health Care

Black men are less likely to visit a doctor and receive preventative services like diabetes screening than their non-black counterparts. A study summarized in the most recent issue of the NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health finds that black male patients who see black doctors elect to receive recommended preventative health screenings at a much higher rate than those who see a non-black doctor. Also featured in this edition of the Bulletin: A look at the long-term impacts of Hurricane Katrina on survivors' mortality rates and an analysis of how fragmentation of the kidney exchange market constrict hospitals' efforts to match donors to recipients.

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The NBER Digest

U-Michigan Pilot Program Successfully Attracts
Economically Disadvantaged High Achievers

Economically disadvantaged, academically gifted students historically have been unlikely to apply to the University of Michigan. A low-cost program that targets such students, assures them they’ve got what it takes, and promises a full-tuition scholarship offers hope for changing this, according to research featured in the current edition of the NBER Digest. Also summarized in this issue of the free monthly Digest are summaries of studies reporting the reactions of retail investors when interest rates fall, assessing a major privatization drive in China, exploring the impact of firms being awarded high-value patents, analyzing a major factor in slow employment growth during recent economic recoveries, and investigating the effects of stress on student scores on high-stakes tests, and gauging the effectiveness of laws passed to restrict juveniles’ access to firearms.

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Control of Infectious Diseases Benefited Both Genders;
Research Explores Why Women's Gains Were Greater

Before the 20th century, women in the United States did not live as long as men; today they live significantly longer, here and in most of the world. Control of infectious diseases extended life expectancy for both genders, but appears to have benefited women more. Research by Adriana Lleras-Muney of UCLA and Claudia Goldin of Harvard, both NBER research associates, identifies a possible reason.

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The NBER Reporter

Real Residential Real Estate Returns Are on a Par
with Returns on Equities — and Housing's Less Volatile

Contributing to the current debate over inequality, research featured in the current edition of the NBER Reporter finds that, on a global level and across most countries, the rate of return on capital was twice as high as the growth rate of the economy over the past 150 years. Long-run returns on housing and equities were similar, even though residential real estate is less volatile. Also in this issue of the quarterly are reports on the NBER's Household Finance Working Group, the role of financial factors in economic fluctuations, the price and quality of prescription drugs, and public sector personnel management in developing countries.

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New Research Associates
and Faculty Research Fellows for 2018

The NBER appointed 58 new research associates and 45 new faculty research fellows in 2018. New appointees must be faculty members at North American colleges and universities, and are recommended by program directors in the culmination of a highly competitive process.
New appointees and their research program affiliations


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