Author Archive for ljridley

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The Uninsured Under the ACA

By: Jason Millman
Source: WonkBlog (Washington Post)

An additional 10.3 million people gained health insurance in the first year of expanded coverage under the Affordable Care Act, according to an analysis published in the New England Journal of Medicine this summer. We still won’t have the most official count from the U.S. Census Bureau until next fall, but that’s the number the Obama administration is using. And that, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, leaves about 32 million people still lacking coverage heading into this ACA open enrollment period.

Here’s what we know about who’s still uninsured and what’s kept them from getting covered.

Keep reading
NEJM Analysis

Rethinking Parole

By: Jessica Glazer
Source: FiveThirtyEight

Parole conditions vary widely from state to state and case to case. As states attempt to reduce their prison populations, and as the number of parolees grows — now up to more than 851,000 people nationally — advocates are increasingly concerned that parole rules can be too restrictive for the average parolee, making it too easy to end up behind bars again for technical violations. As states contend with the high cost of incarceration and use parole to cut costs, advocates are calling for consistency in how it’s deployed.

Read the full story

When Urban Renewal for Millenials Prices Out the Poor

By: Emily Badger
Source: Wonkblog (Washington Post)

For Chicago, the debate over these buildings captures a larger tension that is simultaneously playing out in parts of Los Angeles and New York and Washington: The new owners and tenants moving in bring higher tax dollars, capital to revive old buildings and momentum to draw even more young professionals. But those benefits have come at a cost. Now Chicago is trying to save what amounts to 6,000 remaining SRO units, a small fraction of what once existed in the city as a housing stock of last resort for the poor.

Full story

A Strong Sense of Purpose Can Extend Life

By: Robert Preidt
Source: U.S. News & World Report (HealthDay News)

FRIDAY, Nov. 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) — Another study finds that having a sense of meaning and purpose in your life might do more than just give you focus — it might help you live longer, too.

The study, involving more than 9,000 British people averaging 65 years of age, found that those who professed to feeling worthwhile and having a sense of purpose in life were less likely to die during the more than eight years the researchers tracked them.

Over the study period, 9 percent of people with the highest levels of this type of well-being died, compared with 29 percent of those with the lowest levels, according to the report in the Nov. 7 issue of The Lancet.

The study comes on the heels of similar research published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In that study, a team led by Eric Kim of the University of Michigan found that older adults with a strong sense of purpose in life may be particularly likely to get health screenings such as colonoscopies and mammograms.

U.S. News & World Report story
Eric Kim’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences article
Lancet article (in press)

New Rules for Human-Subject Research Remain a “Priority” But Continue to Be Delayed

By: Christopher Shea
Source: Chronicle of Higher Education

In 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services had floated some ideas for changes in the rules governing such research. The aim was both to better protect the subjects and to reduce the much-resented bureaucratic burden on professors and university staff members.

… Today, more than two years after the conference, the regulations remain just where they were in 2011: still under development.

Full article

2 or More Children Raises Productivity, At Least For Academic Economists

By Ylan Q. Mui
Source: Wonkblog

A word of encouragement for my working moms: You are actually more productive than your childless peers.

That’s the conclusion of a recent study from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, which found that over the course of a 30-year career, mothers outperformed women without children at almost every stage of the game. In fact, mothers with at least two kids were the most productive of all.

Full story on Wonkblog
Parenthood and Productivity of Highly Skilled Labor, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Working Paper

The Economics of Parenting

By: Roberto A. Ferdman
Source: Wonkblog (Washington Post)

Strict parents — the sort who practice an authoritarian form of parenting that restricts children’s choices — are more common in countries with high inequality, according to a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research. The study used the World Value Survey to measure whether parents in different countries care more about qualities desired by stricter parents, like “hard work” and “obedience,” or qualities desired more by passive parents, like “imagination” and “independence.

It found that the more unequal a society, the more likely people were to favor strict parenting.

Wonkblog post
NBER Working Paper (PDF)

U.S. High School On-Time Graduate Rate is Growing

By: Ben Casselman
Source: FiveThirtyEight

In 2013, 85 percent of Elkhart’s students graduated on time, putting the district close to the state average. Perhaps even more remarkably, the graduation rate among Hispanics is now equal to — or even slightly above — that of the district’s overall population.

Elkhart’s improvement is a particularly dramatic example of a nation-wide trend: Graduation rates are improving, especially for Latinos. Nationally, the on-time graduation rate topped 80 percent for the first time in 2012, up from 74 percent five years earlier. For Latinos, the graduation rate is up more than 10 percentage points over the past five years, to 76 percent.

Read the full story

Working Papers from the NBER

Sorting Between and Within Industries: A Testable Model of Assortative Matching
by John M. Abowd, Francis Kramarz, Sebastien Perez-Duarte, Ian M. Schmutte #20472
Abstract; PDF

Slow to Hire, Quick to Fire: Employment Dynamics with Asymmetric Responses to News
by Cosmin Ilut, Matthias Kehrig, Martin Schneider #20473
Abstract; PDF

The Biocultural Origins of Human Capital Formation
by Oded Galor, Marc Klemp #20474
Abstract; PDF

Constitutional Rights and Education: An International Comparative Study
by Sebastian Edwards, Alvaro Garcia Marin #20475
Abstract; PDF

Labor Market Fluidity and Economic Performance
by Steven J. Davis, John Haltiwanger #20479
Abstract; PDF

Self-regulation and Health
by Henry Saffer #20483
Abstract; PDF

Polanyi’s Paradox and the Shape of Employment Growth
by David Autor #20485
Abstract; PDF

Fertility and Financial Development: Evidence from U.S. Counties in the 19th Century
by Alberto Basso, Howard Bodenhorn, David Cuberes #20491
Abstract; PDF

Household Debt: Facts, Puzzles, Theories, and Policies
by Jonathan Zinman #20496
Abstract; PDF

Cities and the Environment
by Matthew E. Kahn, Randall Walsh #20503
Abstract; PDF

Finishing Degrees and Finding Jobs: U.S. Higher Education and the Flow of Foreign IT Workers
by John Bound, Murat Demirci, Gaurav Khanna, Sarah Turner #20505
Abstract; PDF

Demographics and Entrepreneurship
by James Liang, Hui Wang, Edward P. Lazear #20506
Abstract; PDF

Misclassification in Binary Choice Models
by Bruce Meyer, Nikolas Mittag #20509
Abstract; PDF

The Impact of No Child Left Behind’s Accountability Sanctions on School Performance: Regression Discontinuity Evidence from North Carolina
by Thomas Ahn, Jacob Vigdor #20511
Abstract; PDF

Immigration, International Collaboration, and Innovation: Science and Technology Policy in the Global Economy
by Richard B. Freeman #20521
Abstract; PDF

Remittance Responses to Temporary Discounts: A Field Experiment among Central American Migrants
by Kate Ambler, Diego Aycinena, Dean Yang #20522
Abstract; PDF

Why is Infant Mortality Higher in the US than in Europe?
by Alice Chen, Emily Oster, Heidi Williams #20525
Abstract; PDF

Causal Inference in Urban and Regional Economics
by Nathaniel Baum-Snow, Fernando Ferreira #20535
Abstract; PDF

Regulation and Housing Supply
by Joseph Gyourko, Raven Molloy #20536
Abstract; PDF

The Effect of Substance Use Disorder Treatment Use on Crime: Evidence from Public Insurance Expansions and Health Insurance Parity Mandates
by Hefei Wen, Jason M. Hockenberry, Janet R. Cummings #20537
Abstract; PDF

Early Life Environment and Racial Inequality in Education and Earnings in the United States
by Kenneth Y. Chay, Jonathan Guryan, Bhashkar Mazumder #20539
Abstract; PDF

Distributional Effects of Means Testing Social Security: An Exploratory Analysis
by Alan Gustman, Thomas Steinmeier, Nahid Tabatabai #20546
Abstract; PDF

Annuitized Wealth and Post-Retirement Saving
by John Laitner, Daniel Silverman, Dmitriy Stolyarov #20547
Abstract; PDF

Compulsory Schooling Laws and Formation of Beliefs: Education, Religion and Superstition
by Naci Mocan, Luiza Pogorelova #20557
Abstract; PDF

The Glass Ceiling and The Paper Floor: Gender Differences among Top Earners, 1981-2012
by Fatih Guvenen, Greg Kaplan, Jae Song #20560
Abstract; PDF

Why Do People Give? Testing Pure and Impure Altruism
by Mark Ottoni-Wilhelm, Lise Vesterlund, Huan Xie #20497
Abstract; PDF

How Much Are Public School Teachers Willing to Pay for Their Retirement Benefits?
by Maria Donovan Fitzpatrick #20582
Abstract; PDF

The Great Recession, Decline and Rebound in Household Wealth for the Near Retirement Population
by Alan L. Gustman, Thomas L. Steinmeier, Nahid Tabatabai #20584
Abstract; PDF

Climate and Conflict
by Marshall Burke, Solomon M. Hsiang, Edward Miguel #20598
Abstract; PDF

The Comparative Advantage of Cities
by Donald R. Davis, Jonathan I. Dingel #20602
Abstract; PDF

Why You Can’t Find a Taxi in the Rain and Other Labor Supply Lessons from Cab Drivers
by Henry S. Farber #20604
Abstract; PDF

Knowledge-based Hierarchies: Using Organizations to Understand the Economy
by Luis Garicano, Esteban Rossi-Hansberg #20607
Abstract; PDF

Behavioral Economics of Education: Progress and Possibilities
by Adam M. Lavecchia, Heidi Liu, Philip Oreopoulos #20609
Abstract; PDF

The 2015 Steven H. Sandell Grant Program

The Center for Retirement Research sponsors the annual Steven H. Sandell Grant Program for scholars in the field of retirement research and policy. The program is funded by the U.S. Social Security Administration to provide opportunities for junior scholars from all academic disciplines to pursue cutting-edge projects on retirement income issues. Priority areas include:

  • Social Security
  • Macroeconomic analyses of Social Security
  • Wealth and retirement income
  • Program interactions
  • International research
  • Demographic research

Grant Awards

Up to three grants of $45,000 are awarded based upon the quality of the applicant’s proposal and his or her proposed budget. Applicants are required to complete the research outlined in the proposal within one year of the award. Grant recipients may be required to present their work to the Social Security Administration in Washington, DC or Baltimore.


The 2015 Sandell Grant Program deadline will be January 31, 2015. View the proposal guidelines and budget matrix.

Previous Awardees include Lauren Hersch Nicholas.

See the website for more information or to submit an application.