Monthly Archive for January, 2016

NBER Working Papers

Parental Incentives and Early Childhood Achievement: A Field Experiment in Chicago Heights
by Roland G. Fryer, Jr., Steven D. Levitt, John A. List #21477
Abstract; PDF

When Incentives Backfire: Spillover Effects in Food Choice
by Manuela Angelucci, Silvia Prina, Heather Royer, Anya Samek #21481
Abstract; PDF

The Role of Time Preferences and Exponential-Growth Bias in Retirement Savings
by Gopi Shah Goda, Matthew R. Levy, Colleen Flaherty Manchester, Aaron Sojourner, Joshua Tasoff #21482
Abstract; PDF

The Impact of Social Security Income on Cognitive Function at Older Ages
by Padmaja Ayyagari, David Frisvold #21484
Abstract; PDF

Panel Data Hedonics: Rosen’s First Stage and Difference-in-Differences as “Sufficient Statistics”
by H. Spencer Banzhaf #21485
Abstract; PDF

The Effect of Hospital/Physician Integration on Hospital Choice
by Laurence C. Baker, M. Kate Bundorf, Daniel P. Kessler #21497
Abstract; PDF

Health Care Spending: Historical Trends and New Directions
by Alice Chen, Dana Goldman #21501
Abstract; PDF

The Effects of Test-based Retention on Student Outcomes over Time: Regression Discontinuity Evidence from Florida
by Guido Schwerdt, Martin R. West, Marcus A. Winters #21509
Abstract; PDF

The Value of Socialized Medicine: The Impact of Universal Primary Healthcare Provision on Birth and Mortality Rates in Turkey
by Resul Cesur, Pinar Mine Guenes, Erdal Tekin, Aydogan Ulker #21510
Abstract; PDF

Missing Unmarried Women
by Siwan Anderson, Debraj Ray #21511
Abstract; PDF

Assessing Incentives for Adverse Selection in Health Plan Payment Systems
by Timothy J. Layton, Randall P. Ellis, Thomas G. McGuire #21531
Abstract; PDF

School Vouchers: A Survey of the Economics Literature
by Dennis Epple, Richard E. Romano, Miguel Urquiola #21523
Abstract; PDF

Can Universal Screening Increase the Representation of Low Income and Minority Students in Gifted Education?
by David Card, Laura Giuliano #21519
Abstract; PDF

The Distributional Consequences of Public School Choice
by Christopher Avery, Parag A. Pathak #21525
Abstract; PDF

Toilets Can Work: Short and Medium Run Health Impacts of Addressing Complementarities and Externalities in Water and Sanitation
by Esther Duflo, Michael Greenstone, Raymond Guiteras, Thomas Clasen #21521
Abstract; PDF

Investing in Schools: Capital Spending, Facility Conditions, and Student Achievement
by Francisco Martorell, Kevin M. Stange, Isaac McFarlin #21515
Abstract; PDF

The Impact of Foreclosure Delay on U.S. Employment
by Kyle F. Herkenhoff, Lee E. Ohanian #21532
Abstract; PDF

Support for Redistribution in an Age of Rising Inequality: New Stylized Facts and Some Tentative Explanations
by Vivekinan Ashok, Ilyana Kuziemko, Ebonya Washington #21529
Abstract; PDF

Experimenting with Measurement Error: Techniques with Applications to the Caltech Cohort Study
by Ben Gillen, Erik Snowberg, Leeat Yariv #21517
Abstract; PDF

Demographics and Aggregate Household Saving in Japan, China, and India
by Chadwick C. Curtis, Steven Lugauer, Nelson C. Mark #21555
Abstract; PDF

Poverty and Financial Literacy

Max Ehrenfreund, writing for Wonkblog, examines research presented at the 2016 American Economic Association’s annual meeting by Anuj Shah and collaborators showing that the the poor do better on tests of financial common sense:

If you spend all your time thinking about money, chances are, you’re going to get pretty good at thinking about money. Indeed, new research suggests that the poor — for whom concerns about cash are inescapable — are not as prone to certain financial mistakes often made by the affluent.

“The poor spend a lot more time on mundane, everyday expenses. They’re focused on money,” said Anuj Shah, a psychologist at the University of Chicago and one of the authors of the research, which was published last year and presented earlier this month at the American Economic Association’s annual meeting.

A New FiveThirtyEight Podcast

In addition to their weekly podcast on data, What’s the Point?, as well as their sports podcast, Hot Takedown, FiveThirtyEight has launched an election podcast called, appropriately enough, FiveThirtyEight Elections.

Reasons People Give for Not Being in the Labor Force, 2004 & 2014

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released a chart comparing the reasons given for not being in the labor force in 2004 and 2014.

The proportion of the working-age population reporting school attendance as the main reason for being out of the labor force rose from 5.0 percent in 2004 to 6.4 percent in 2014. The percentage who cited illness or disability as the main reason increased from 5.5 percent to 6.5 percent over that same period. The proportion citing home responsibilities declined from 6.0 percent in 2004 to 5.4 percent in 2014.

For more information, see the Beyond the Numbers article “People who are not in the labor force: why aren’t they working?,” by Steven F. Hipple.

H/T Data Detectives

Kaggle Datasets

Kaggle, a platform for predictive modelling and analytics competitions, introduced a section for users to download and analyze public data.

At Kaggle, we want to help the world learn from data. This sounds bold and grandiose, but the biggest barriers to this are incredibly simple. It’s tough to access data. It’s tough to understand what’s in the data once you access it. We want to change this. That’s why we’ve created a home for high quality public datasets, Kaggle Datasets.

Kaggle Datasets has four core components:

  • Access: simple, consistent access to the data with clear licensing
  • Analysis: a way to explore the data without downloading it
  • Results: visibility to the previous work that’s been created on the data
  • Conversation: forums and comments for discussing the nuances of the data

Current datasets include U.S. Baby Names, 2013 American Community Survey, May 2015 Reddit Comments, U.S. Department of Education: College Scorecard, and Ocean Ship Logbooks (1750-1850).

NBER Working Papers

Quality and Accountability in Healthcare Delivery: Audit-Study Evidence from Primary Care in India
by Jishnu Das, Alaka Holla, Aakash Mohpal, Karthik Muralidharan #21405
Abstract; PDF

The Contribution of Female Health to Economic Development
by David E. Bloom, Michael Kuhn, Klaus Prettner #21411
Abstract; PDF

Social Interactions, Mechanisms, and Equilibrium: Evidence from a Model of Study Time and Academic Achievement
by Timothy Conley, Nirav Mehta, Ralph Stinebrickner, Todd Stinebrickner #21418
Abstract; PDF

The Medicaid Program
by Thomas Buchmueller, John C. Ham, Lara D. Shore-Sheppard #21425
Abstract; PDF

Worms at Work: Long-run Impacts of a Child Health Investment
by Sarah Baird, Joan Hamory Hicks, Michael Kremer, Edward Miguel #21428
Abstract; PDF

Intergenerational Transmission of Gender Attitudes: Evidence from India
by Diva Dhar, Tarun Jain, Seema Jayachandran #21429
Abstract; PDF

What Works? A Meta Analysis of Recent Active Labor Market Program Evaluations
by David Card, Jochen Kluve, Andrea Weber #21431
Abstract; PDF

Are Universities Becoming More Unequal?
by Yan Lau, Harvey S. Rosen #21432
Abstract; PDF

People and Machines: A Look at the Evolving Relationship Between Capital and Skill In Manufacturing 1860-1930 Using Immigration Shocks
by Jeanne Lafortune, Jose Tessada, Ethan Lewis #21435
Abstract; PDF

Mobile Politicians: Opportunistic Career Moves and Moral Hazard
by Duha T. Altindag, Naci Mocan #21438
Abstract; PDF

Long Run Health Repercussions of Drought Shocks: Evidence from South African Homelands
by Taryn Dinkelman #21440
Abstract; PDF

Measuring the Measurement Error: A Method to Qualitatively Validate Survey Data
by Christopher Blattman, Julian C. Jamison, Tricia Koroknay-Palicz, Katherine Rodrigues, Margaret Sheridan #21447
Abstract; PDF

The Logic of Agglomeration
by Gilles Duranton, William R. Kerr #21452
Abstract; PDF

The Effects of Two Influential Early Childhood Interventions on Health and Healthy Behaviors
by Gabriella Conti, James J. Heckman, Rodrigo Pinto #21454
Abstract; PDF

From Local to Global: External Validity in a Fertility Natural Experiment
by Rajeev Dehejia, Cristian Pop-Eleches, Cyrus Samii #21459
Abstract; PDF

Long Run Trends in Unemployment and Labor Force Participation in China
by Shuaizhang Feng, Yingyao Hu, Robert Moffitt #21460
Abstract; PDF

Making Summer Matter: The Impact of Youth Employment on Academic Performance
by Amy Ellen Schwartz, Jacob Leos-Urbel, Matthew Wiswall #21470
Abstract; PDF

The Growing Importance of Social Skills in the Labor Market
by David J. Deming #21473
Abstract; PDF

NBER Working Papers

Biological Health Risks and Economic Development
by Elizabeth Frankenberg, Jessica Y. Ho, Duncan Thomas #21277
Abstract; PDF

Suicide, Age, and Wellbeing: an Empirical Investigation
by Anne Case, Angus Deaton #21279
Abstract; PDF

Choosing a Human Capital Measure: Educational Attainment Gaps and Rankings
by Barbara M. Fraumeni #21283
Abstract; PDF

Compassion or Cash: Evaluating Survey Response Incentives and Valuing Public Goods
by V. Kerry Smith, Sharon L. Harlan, Michael McLaen, Jacob Fishman, Carlos Valcarcel, Marcia Nation #21288
Abstract; PDF

Can Employment Reduce Lawlessness and Rebellion? A Field Experiment with High-Risk Men in a Fragile State
by Christopher Blattman, Jeannie Annan #21289
Abstract; PDF

Human Capital Quality and Aggregate Income Differences: Development Accounting for U.S. States
by Eric A. Hanushek, Jens Ruhose, Ludger Woessmann #21295
Abstract; PDF

Why Work More? The Impact of Taxes, and Culture of Leisure on Labor Supply in Europe
by Naci H. Mocan, Luiza Pogorelova #21297
Abstract; PDF

The Welfare Effects of Supply-Side Regulations in Medicare Part D
by Francesco Decarolis, Maria Polyakova, Stephen P. Ryan #21298
Abstract; PDF

The Effects of Earnings Disclosure on College Enrollment Decisions
by Justine Hastings, Christopher A. Neilson, Seth D. Zimmerman #21300
Abstract; PDF

Self-Protection Investment Exacerbates Air Pollution Exposure Inequality in Urban China
by Siqi Zheng, Cong Sun, Matthew E. Kahn #21301
Abstract; PDF

Recent Declines in Labor’s Share in US Income: A Preliminary Neoclassical Account
by Robert Z. Lawrence #21296
Abstract; PDF

Beyond Statistics: The Economic Content of Risk Scores
by Liran Einav, Amy Finkelstein, Raymond Kluender, Paul Schrimpf #21304
Abstract; PDF

Cigarette Taxes and Youth Smoking: Updated Estimates Using YRBS Data
by Benjamin Hansen, Joseph J. Sabia, Daniel I. Rees #21311
Abstract; PDF

Inequality when Effort Matters
by Martin Ravallion #21394
Abstract; PDF

Early Math Coursework and College Readiness: Evidence from Targeted Middle School Math Acceleration
by Shaun Dougherty, Joshua Goodman, Darryl Hill, Erica Litke, Lindsay C. Page #21395
Abstract; PDF

Household Surveys in Crisis
by Bruce D. Meyer, Wallace K.C. Mok, James X. Sullivan #21399
Abstract; PDF

Do Risk Preferences Change? Evidence from Panel Data before and after the Great East Japan Earthquake
by Chie Hanaoka, Hitoshi Shigeoka, Yasutora Watanabe #21400
Abstract; PDF

School Entry Cutoff Date and the Timing of Births
by Hitoshi Shigeoka #21402
Abstract; PDF

Bargaining, Sorting, and the Gender Wage Gap: Quantifying the Impact of Firms on the Relative Pay of Women
by David Card, Ana Rute Cardoso, Patrick Kline #21403
Abstract; PDF

The Impact of Teacher-Student Gender Matches: Random Assignment Evidence from South Korea
by Jaegeum Lim, Jonathan Meer #21407
Abstract; PDF

Poor Little Rich Kids? The Determinants of the Intergenerational Transmission of Wealth
by Sandra E. Black, Paul J. Devereux, Petter Lundborg, Kaveh Majlesi #21409
Abstract; PDF

U.S. Census Bureau Open Source

The U.S. Census Bureau is committing to an open source policy. Their mission, “is to serve as the leading source of quality data about the nation’s people and economy. We honor privacy, protect confidentiality, share our expertise globally, and conduct our work openly. Where possible, the US Census Bureau will actively participate in open source projects aimed at increasing value to the public through our data dissemination efforts.”

Read a current list of the open source projects here.

H/T Flowing Data

Playing with Mortality Visualizations

Nathan Yau of Flowing Data has been doing some interesting (and beautiful) visualizations of when and how people die. First was Years You Have Left to Live, Probably. Next was Causes of Death. And today he posted How You Will Die.

Classifying Countries by Income

The World Bank has released a new working paper by Neil Fantom and Umar Serajuddin reviewing the World Bank’s classification of countries by income.


The World Bank has used an income classification to group countries for analytical purposes for many years. Since the present income classification was first introduced 25 years ago there has been significant change in the global economic landscape. As real incomes have risen, the number of countries in the low income group has fallen to 31, while the number of high income countries has risen to 80. As countries have transitioned to middle income status, more people are living below the World Bank’s international extreme poverty line in middle income countries than in low income countries. These changes in the world economy, along with a rapid increase in the user base of World Bank data, suggest that a review of the income classification is needed. A key consideration is the views of users, and this paper finds opinions to be mixed: some critics argue the thresholds are dated and set too low; others find merit in continuing to have a fixed benchmark to assess progress over time. On balance, there is still value in the current approach, based on gross national income per capita, to classifying countries into different groups. However, the paper proposes adjustments to the methodology that is used to keep the value of the thresholds for each income group constant over time. Several proposals for changing the current thresholds are also presented, which it is hoped will inform further discussion and any decision to adopt a new approach.

Read a summary of the findings.
Download the PDF.