Monthly Archive for April, 2012

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New Working Papers from the NBER

Moral Hazard in Health Insurance: How Important Is Forward Looking Behavior?
by Aviva Aron-Dine, Liran Einav, Amy Finkelstein, Mark R. Cullen
Abstract; PDF

What Does Human Capital Do? A Review of Goldin and Katz’s The Race between Education and Technology
by Daron Acemoglu, David Autor
Abstract; PDF

Does Federal Student Aid Raise Tuition? New Evidence on For-Profit Colleges
by Stephanie Riegg Cellini, Claudia Goldin
Abstract; PDF

Student Aid Simplification: Looking Back and Looking Ahead

by Susan Dynarski, Mark Wiederspan
Abstract; PDF

Vote Trading With and Without Party Leaders
by Alessandra Casella, Thomas Palfrey, Sebastien Turban
Abstract; PDF

Challenges in Banking the Rural Poor: Evidence from Kenya’s Western Province
by Pascaline Dupas, Sarah Green, Anthony Keats, Jonathan Robinson
Abstract; PDF

Boundedly Rational Dynamic Programming: Some Preliminary Results
by Xavier Gabaix
Abstract; PDF

Toward an Understanding of Why People Discriminate: Evidence from a Series of Natural Field Experiments

by Uri Gneezy, John List, Michael K. Price
Abstract; PDF

Do College-Prep Programs Improve Long-Term Outcomes?
by C. Kirabo Jackson
Abstract; PDF

Stimulating Demand for AIDS Prevention: Lessons from the RESPECT Trial

by Damien de Walque, William H. Dow, Carol Medlin, Rose Nathan
Abstract; PDF

A Fair and Impartial Jury? The Role of Age in Jury Selection and Trial Outcomes
by Shamena Anwar, Patrick Bayer, Randi Hjalmarsson
Abstract; PDF

Approximating High-Dimensional Dynamic Models: Sieve Value Function Iteration
by Peter Arcidiacono, Patrick Bayer, Federico A. Bugni, Jonathan James
Abstract; PDF

Should Aid Reward Performance? Evidence from a Field Experiment on Health and Education in Indonesia
by Benjamin A. Olken, Junko Onishi, Susan Wong
Abstract; PDF

Does Universal Coverage Improve Health? The Massachusetts Experience
by Charles J. Courtemanche, Daniela Zapata
Abstract; PDF

Economix: On Teenage Pregnancy

Income Inequality and Teenage Pregnancy
Mokoto Rich | New York Times
April 3, 2012
Teenage childbearing is “a symptom, not a cause” of poverty and economic immobility, one researcher says.

Why is the Teen Birth Rate in the United States So High and Why Does it Matter?
Melissa Kearney and Phillip Levine | NBER Working Paper 17965
March 2012

Reproductive Health

Childbirth is Taking Longer, Study Finds
Nicholas Bakalar | New York Times
March 31, 2012

Changes in labor patterns over 50 years
S.K Laughon, D.W. Branch, J. Beaver, and Jun Zhang | American Journal of Obstretrics and Gynecology
In press, available March 10, 2012

Puberty Before Age 10: A New ‘Normal’?
Elizabeth Weil | New York Times
March 30, 2012

The Asian Population: 2010

2010 Census Shows Asians are Fastest-Growing Race Group
By: Elizabeth M. Hoeffel, Sonya Rastogi, Myoung Ouk Kim, and Hasan Shahid
Source: United States Census Bureau

From press release:

The U.S. Census Bureau today released a 2010 Census brief, The Asian Population: 2010 [PDF], that shows the Asian population grew faster than any other race group over the last decade. The population that identified as Asian, either alone or in combination with one or more other races, grew by 45.6 percent from 2000 to 2010, while those who identified as Asian alone grew by 43.3 percent. Both populations grew at a faster rate than the total U.S. population, which increased by 9.7 percent from 2000 to 2010.

Out of the total U.S. population, 14.7 million people, or 4.8 percent, were Asian alone. In addition, 2.6 million people, or another 0.9 percent, reported Asian in combination with one or more other races. Together, these two groups totaled 17.3 million people. Thus, 5.6 percent of all people in the United States identified as Asian, either alone or in combination with one or more other races.

2010 Census Brief (PDF)

2005-2009 American Community Survey County-to-County Migration Files

Source: United States Census Bureau

From press release:

The U.S. Census Bureau today released estimates from the American Community Survey showing how many people migrated from one specific county to another during the course of a year ─ the first such numbers published since these data were collected as part of the 2000 Census.

The American Community Survey compiles data over a five-year period and asks people where they lived one year prior to being surveyed. The first five-year estimates released covers the years from 2005 to 2009.

The 2005-2009 American Community Survey County-to-County Migration Files provide tables for each county in the nation, showing both “inflows” and “outflows.” Inflows are the number of people living in a given county who lived in another specific county one year earlier; outflows represent the number of people who lived in a particular county one year earlier who subsequently moved to another specific county.

Of the 48.1 million people who lived in a different residence in the United States one year earlier, 17.7 million lived in a different county.

Full report by Megan Benetsky and Kin Koerber (PDF)

County-to-County Migration Flow tables and data

Food Insufficiency and Income Volatility in U.S. Households

The Effects of Imputed Earnings in the Survey of Income and Program Participation
By: Molly Dahl, Thomas DeLeire, and Shannon Mok
Source: Congressional Budget Office


This paper explores how the use of imputed earnings data to measure income in the Survey of Income and Program Participation affects the observed relationship between household income volatility and food insufficiency. The study finds that the inclusion of imputed earnings data when measuring income volatility substantially understates the association between large drops in household income and food insufficiency. After excluding observations with imputed earnings, large drops in income are associated with a 1.3 percentage point increase in the probability of food insufficiency, although the estimate is not statistically significant at conventional levels.

Full text (PDF)

Investing in America’s Health

A State-By-State Look At Public Health Funding And Key Health Facts
By: Jeffrey Levi, Laura M. Segal, Rebbeca St. Laurent, and Albert Lang
Source: Trust for America’s Health

From publication website:

Investing in disease prevention is the most effective, common-sense way to improve health. It can help spare millions of Americans from developing preventable illnesses, reduce health care costs, and improve the productivity of the American workforce so we can be competitive with the rest of the world.

Tens of millions of Americans are currently suffering from preventable diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. And, today’s children are in danger of becoming the first generation in American history to live shorter, less healthy lives than their parents.

For eight years, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has supported the Trust for America’s Health in releasing an annual Investing in America’s Health report to examine public health funding and key health facts in states around the country.

Where you live should not determine how healthy you are. But, we’ve found that disease rates vary dramatically from city to city and region to region – and funding for public health and disease prevention programs also vary dramatically from neighborhood to neighborhood, community to community, city to city and state to state.

Full report (PDF)

Individual community reports

Census Bureau Stands By its Numbers for NYC

The Census Bureau rejects the NYC challenge, but mostly on technical grounds. Here are the rules for census challenges. The only other choice is to conduct a full census of NYC on the city’s dime.

Previous stories about this issue follow the updated news.

Census Rejects City Challenge
Pervaiz Shallwani | Wall Street Journal
April 1, 2012

A spokeswoman with the Department of City Planning, which oversees the census issues, said it is “unfortunate no mechanism exists to rectify the errors we identified.” She said department demographers planned to work with the Census Bureau to improve procedures for a more accurate count during the 2020 census.

. . .

In his letter rejecting the city’s claims, Arnold Jackson of the U.S. Census Bureau said that while there were errors, they didn’t fall
into the three areas that trigger a change in the count, such as geographic boundaries.

Census Numbers for City Won’t Change, Bureau Says
Matt Flegenheimer | New York TImes
April 1, 2012

Filing Challenge to Census, City Says 50,000 Weren’t Counted in 2 Boroughs
Sam Roberts | New York Times
August 10, 2011

Survey Hints at a Census Undercount in New York City
Sam Roberts | New York Times
May 24, 2011

Was Gompertz Right After All?

Death Gets in the Way of Old-Age Gains
Carl Bialik | Wall Street Journal
March 2, 2012
This study suggests that a previously detected slowdown in mortality growth after age 88 didn’t exist among Americans born between 1875 and 1895. This finding coupled with a lower-than-expected count of U.S. centenarians in the 2010 census, has some demographers re-examining their beliefs about how well people who survive to old ages stave off death.

Mortality Measurement at Advanced Ages: A Study of the Social Security Administration Death Master File
Leonid A. Gavrilov and Natalia S. Gavrilova | North American Actuarial Journal
Volume 15, Number 4