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Quarterly Journal of Economics

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https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27818531/worms-at-work-long-run-impacts-of-a-child-health-investment
#1
Sarah Baird, Joan Hamory Hicks, Michael Kremer, Edward Miguel
This study estimates long-run impacts of a child health investment, exploiting community-wide experimental variation in school-based deworming. The program increased labor supply among men and education among women, with accompanying shifts in labor market specialization. Ten years after deworming treatment, men who were eligible as boys stay enrolled for more years of primary school, work 17% more hours each week, spend more time in nonagricultural self-employment, are more likely to hold manufacturing jobs, and miss one fewer meal per week...
November 2016: Quarterly Journal of Economics
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/26769984/the-response-of-drug-expenditure-to-non-linear-contract-design-evidence-from-medicare-part-d
#2
Liran Einav, Amy Finkelstein, Paul Schrimpf
We study the demand response to non-linear price schedules using data on insurance contracts and prescription drug purchases in Medicare Part D. We exploit the kink in individuals' budget set created by the famous "donut hole," where insurance becomes discontinuously much less generous on the margin, to provide descriptive evidence of the drug purchase response to a price increase. We then specify and estimate a simple dynamic model of drug use that allows us to quantify the spending response along the entire non-linear budget set...
May 2015: Quarterly Journal of Economics
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/26740727/how-does-peer-pressure-affect-educational-investments
#3
Leonardo Bursztyn, Robert Jensen
When effort is observable to peers, students may try to avoid social penalties by conforming to prevailing norms. To test this hypothesis, we first consider a natural experiment that introduced a performance leaderboard into computer-based high school courses. The result was a 24 percent performance decline. The decline appears to be driven by a desire to avoid the leaderboard; top performing students prior to the change, those most at risk of appearing on the leaderboard, had a 40 percent performance decline, while poor performing students improved slightly...
2015: Quarterly Journal of Economics
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/26937053/fungibility-and-consumer-choice-evidence-from-commodity-price-shocks
#4
Justine S Hastings, Jesse M Shapiro
We formulate a test of the fungibility of money based on parallel shifts in the prices of different quality grades of a commodity. We embed the test in a discrete-choice model of product quality choice and estimate the model using panel microdata on gasoline purchases. We find that when gasoline prices rise consumers substitute to lower octane gasoline, to an extent that cannot be explained by income effects. Across a wide range of specifications, we consistently reject the null hypothesis that households treat "gas money" as fungible with other income...
November 2013: Quarterly Journal of Economics
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/23966752/marriage-institutions-and-sibling-competition-evidence-from-south-asia
#5
Tom S Vogl
Using data from South Asia, this article examines how arranged marriage cultivates rivalry among sisters. During marriage search, parents with multiple daughters reduce the reservation quality for an older daughter's groom, rushing her marriage to allow sufficient time to marry off her younger sisters. Relative to younger brothers, younger sisters increase a girl's marriage risk; relative to younger singleton sisters, younger twin sisters have the same effect. These effects intensify in marriage markets with lower sex ratios or greater parental involvement in marriage arrangements...
August 2013: Quarterly Journal of Economics
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/25802926/national-institutions-and-subnational-development-in-africa
#6
Stelios Michalopoulos, Elias Papaioannou
We investigate the role of national institutions on subnational African development in a novel framework that accounts for both local geography and cultural-genetic traits. We exploit the fact that the political boundaries on the eve of African independence partitioned more than 200 ethnic groups across adjacent countries subjecting similar cultures, residing in homogeneous geographic areas, to different formal institutions. Using both a matching type and a spatial regression discontinuity approach we show that differences in countrywide institutional structures across the national border do not explain within-ethnicity differences in economic performance, as captured by satellite images of light density...
2013: Quarterly Journal of Economics
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/23293397/the-oregon-health-insurance-experiment-evidence-from-the-first-year
#7
Amy Finkelstein, Sarah Taubman, Bill Wright, Mira Bernstein, Jonathan Gruber, Joseph P Newhouse, Heidi Allen, Katherine Baicker
In 2008, a group of uninsured low-income adults in Oregon was selected by lottery to be given the chance to apply for Medicaid. This lottery provides an opportunity to gauge the effects of expanding access to public health insurance on the health care use, financial strain, and health of low-income adults using a randomized controlled design. In the year after random assignment, the treatment group selected by the lottery was about 25 percentage points more likely to have insurance than the control group that was not selected...
August 2012: Quarterly Journal of Economics
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/23935217/portage-and-path-dependence
#8
Hoyt Bleakley, Jeffrey Lin
We examine portage sites in the U.S. South, Mid-Atlantic, and Midwest, including those on the fall line, a geomorphological feature in the southeastern U.S. marking the final rapids on rivers before the ocean. Historically, waterborne transport of goods required portage around the falls at these points, while some falls provided water power during early industrialization. These factors attracted commerce and manufacturing. Although these original advantages have long since been made obsolete, we document the continuing importance of these portage sites over time...
May 2012: Quarterly Journal of Economics
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/22454838/comparison-friction-experimental-evidence-from-medicare-drug-plans
#9
Jeffrey R Kling, Sendhil Mullainathan, Eldar Shafir, Lee C Vermeulen, Marian V Wrobel
Consumers need information to compare alternatives for markets to function efficiently. Recognizing this, public policies often pair competition with easy access to comparative information. The implicit assumption is that comparison friction—the wedge between the availability of comparative information and consumers' use of it—is inconsequential because when information is readily available, consumers will access this information and make effective choices. We examine the extent of comparison friction in the market for Medicare Part D prescription drug plans in the United States...
2012: Quarterly Journal of Economics
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/22448394/testing-for-altruism-and-social-pressure-in-charitable-giving
#10
Stefano DellaVigna, John A List, Ulrike Malmendier
Every year, 90% of Americans give money to charities. Is such generosity necessarily welfare enhancing for the giver? We present a theoretical framework that distinguishes two types of motivation: individuals like to give, for example, due to altruism or warm glow, and individuals would rather not give but dislike saying no, for example, due to social pressure. We design a door-to-door fund-raiser in which some households are informed about the exact time of solicitation with a flyer on their doorknobs. Thus, they can seek or avoid the fund-raiser...
2012: Quarterly Journal of Economics
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/22719135/home-computer-use-and-the-development-of-human-capital
#11
Ofer Malamud, Cristian Pop-Eleches
This paper uses a regression discontinuity design to estimate the effect of home computers on child and adolescent outcomes by exploiting a voucher program in Romania. Our main results indicate that home computers have both positive and negative effects on the development of human capital. Children who won a voucher to purchase a computer had significantly lower school grades but show improved computer skills. There is also some evidence that winning a voucher increased cognitive skills, as measured by Raven's Progressive Matrices...
May 2011: Quarterly Journal of Economics
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/21836746/adjustment-costs-firm-responses-and-micro-vs-macro-labor-supply-elasticities-evidence-from-danish-tax-records
#12
Raj Chetty, John N Friedman, Tore Olsen, Luigi Pistaferri
We show that the effects of taxes on labor supply are shaped by interactions between adjustment costs for workers and hours constraints set by firms. We develop a model in which firms post job offers characterized by an hours requirement and workers pay search costs to find jobs. We present evidence supporting three predictions of this model by analyzing bunching at kinks using Danish tax records. First, larger kinks generate larger taxable income elasticities. Second, kinks that apply to a larger group of workers generate larger elasticities...
May 1, 2011: Quarterly Journal of Economics
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/22844158/the-geographic-concentration-of-enterprise-in-developing-countries
#13
John S Felkner, Robert M Townsend
A nation's economic geography can have an enormous impact on its development. In Thailand, we show that a high concentration of enterprise in an area predicts high subsequent growth in and around that area. We also find spatially contiguous convergence of enterprise with stagnant areas left behind. Exogenous physiographic conditions are correlated with enterprise location and growth. We fit a structural, micro-founded model of occupation transitions with fine-tuned geographic capabilities to village data and replicate these salient facts...
2011: Quarterly Journal of Economics
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/22295276/the-role-of-hospital-heterogeneity-in-measuring-marginal-returns-to-medical-care-a-reply-to-barreca-guldi-lindo-and-waddell
#14
Douglas Almond, Joseph J Doyle, Amanda E Kowalski, Heidi Williams
In Almond et al. (2010), we describe how marginal returns to medical care can be estimated by comparing patients on either side of diagnostic thresholds. Our application examines at-risk newborns near the very low birth weight threshold at 1500 g. We estimate large discontinuities in medical care and mortality at this threshold, with effects concentrated at “low-quality” hospitals. Although our preferred estimates retain newborns near the threshold, when they are excluded the estimated marginal returns decline, although they remain large...
2011: Quarterly Journal of Economics
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/22256343/saving-babies-revisiting-the-effect-of-very-low-birth-weight-classification
#15
Alan I Barreca, Melanie Guldi, Jason M Lindo, Glen R Waddell
We reconsider the effect of very low birth weight classification on infant mortality. We demonstrate that the estimates are highly sensitive to the exclusion of observations in the immediate vicinity of the 1,500-g threshold, weakening the confidence in the results originally reported in Almond, Doyle, Kowalski, and Williams (2010).
2011: Quarterly Journal of Economics
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/22256342/how-does-your-kindergarten-classroom-affect-your-earnings-evidence-from-project-star
#16
Raj Chetty, John N Friedman, Nathaniel Hilger, Emmanuel Saez, Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, Danny Yagan
In Project STAR, 11,571 students in Tennessee and their teachers were randomly assigned to classrooms within their schools from kindergarten to third grade. This article evaluates the long-term impacts of STAR by linking the experimental data to administrative records. We first demonstrate that kindergarten test scores are highly correlated with outcomes such as earnings at age 27, college attendance, home ownership, and retirement savings. We then document four sets of experimental impacts. First, students in small classes are significantly more likely to attend college and exhibit improvements on other outcomes...
2011: Quarterly Journal of Economics
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/22148133/competition-and-product-quality-in-the-supermarket-industry
#17
David A Matsa
This article analyzes the effect of competition on a supermarket firm's incentive to provide product quality. In the supermarket industry, product availability is an important measure of quality. Using U.S. Consumer Price Index microdata to track inventory shortfalls, I find that stores facing more intense competition have fewer shortfalls. Competition from Walmart—the most significant shock to industry market structure in half a century—decreased shortfalls among large chains by about a third. The risk that customers will switch stores appears to provide competitors with a strong incentive to invest in product quality...
2011: Quarterly Journal of Economics
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/22148132/why-do-mothers-breastfeed-girls-less-than-boys-evidence-and-implications-for-child-health-in-india
#18
Seema Jayachandran, Ilyana Kuziemko
Breastfeeding is negatively correlated with future fertility because nursing temporarily reduces fecundity and because mothers usually wean on becoming pregnant again. We model breastfeeding under son-biased fertility preferences and show that breastfeeding duration increases with birth order, especially near target family size; is lowest for daughters and children without older brothers because their parents try again for a son; and exhibits the largest gender gap near target family size, when gender is most predictive of subsequent fertility...
2011: Quarterly Journal of Economics
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/22073409/identity-morals-and-taboos-beliefs-as-assets
#19
Roland Bénabou, Jean Tirole
We develop a theory of moral behavior, individual and collective, based on a general model of identity in which people care about “who they are” and infer their own values from past choices. The model sheds light on many empirical puzzles inconsistent with earlier approaches. Identity investments respond nonmonotonically to acts or threats, and taboos on mere thoughts arise to protect beliefs about the “priceless” value of certain social assets. High endowments trigger escalating commitment and a treadmill effect, while competing identities can cause dysfunctional capital destruction...
2011: Quarterly Journal of Economics
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/22073408/the-potato-s-contribution-to-population-and-urbanization-evidence-from-a-historical-experiment
#20
Nathan Nunn, Nancy Qian
We exploit regional variation in suitability for cultivating potatoes, together with time variation arising from their introduction to the Old World from the Americas, to estimate the impact of potatoes on Old World population and urbanization. Our results show that the introduction of the potato was responsible for a significant portion of the increase in population and urbanization observed during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. According to our most conservative estimates, the introduction of the potato accounts for approximately one-quarter of the growth in Old World population and urbanization between 1700 and 1900...
2011: Quarterly Journal of Economics
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