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American Economic Review

Jason Abaluck, Jonathan Gruber
We explore the in- and out- of sample robustness of tests for choice inconsistencies based on parameter restrictions in parametric models, focusing on tests proposed by Ketcham, Kuminoff and Powers (KKP). We argue that their non-parametric alternatives are inherently conservative with respect to detecting mistakes. We then show that our parametric model is robust to KKP's suggested specification checks, and that comprehensive goodness of fit measures perform better with our model than the expected utility model...
December 2017: American Economic Review
Emma Aguila, Arie Kapteyn, Francisco Perez-Arce
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
May 2017: American Economic Review
Sendhil Mullainathan, Ziad Obermeyer
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
May 2017: American Economic Review
Margaret Kyle, Heidi Williams
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
May 2017: American Economic Review
Jason Abaluck, Leila Agha, Chris Kabrhel, Ali Raja, Arjun Venkatesh
A large body of research has investigated whether physicians overuse care. There is less evidence on whether, for a fixed level of spending, doctors allocate resources to patients with the highest expected returns. We assess both sources of inefficiency exploiting variation in rates of negative imaging tests for pulmonary embolism. We document enormous across-doctor heterogeneity in testing conditional on patient population, which explains the negative relationship between physicians' testing rates and test yields...
December 2016: American Economic Review
Philippe Aghion, Ufuk Akcigit, Angus Deaton, Alexandra Roulet
In this paper we analyze the relationship between turnover-driven growth and subjective wellbeing. Our model of innovation-led growth and unemployment predicts that: (i) the effect of creative destruction on expected individual welfare should be unambiguously positive if we control for unemployment, less so if we do not; (ii) job creation has a positive and job destruction has a negative impact on wellbeing; (iii) job destruction has a less negative impact in US Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) within states with more generous unemployment insurance policies; (iv) job creation has a more positive effect on individuals that are more forward-looking...
December 2016: American Economic Review
Oded Galor, Ömer Özak
This research explores the origins of observed differences in time preference across countries and regions. Exploiting a natural experiment associated with the expansion of suitable crops for cultivation in the course of the Columbian Exchange, the research establishes that pre-industrial agro-climatic characteristics that were conducive to higher return to agricultural investment, triggered selection, adaptation and learning processes that generated a persistent positive effect on the prevalence of long-term orientation in the contemporary era...
October 2016: American Economic Review
Jason Abaluck, Jonathan Gruber
We study choice over prescription insurance plans by the elderly using government administrative data to evaluate how these choices evolve over time. We find large "foregone savings" from not choosing the lowest cost plan that has grown over time. We develop a structural framework to decompose the changes in "foregone welfare" from inconsistent choices into choice set changes and choice function changes from a fixed choice set. We find that foregone welfare increases over time due primarily to changes in plan characteristics such as premiums and out-of-pocket costs; we estimate little learning at either the individual or cohort level...
August 2016: American Economic Review
Amitabh Chandra, Amy Finkelstein, Adam Sacarny, Chad Syverson
The conventional wisdom for the healthcare sector is that idiosyncratic features leave little scope for market forces to allocate consumers to higher performance producers. However, we find robust evidence - across several different conditions and performance measures - that higher quality hospitals have higher market shares and grow more over time. The relationship between performance and allocation is stronger among patients who have greater scope for hospital choice, suggesting that patient demand plays an important role in allocation...
August 2016: American Economic Review
Eric Budish, Benjamin N Roin, Heidi L Williams
A well-developed theoretical literature - dating back at least to Nordhaus (1969) - has analyzed optimal patent policy design. We re-present the core trade-off of the Nordhaus model and highlight an empirical question which emerges from the Nordhaus framework as a key input into optimal patent policy design: namely, what is the elasticity of R&D investment with respect to the patent term? We then review the - surprisingly small - body of empirical evidence that has been developed on this question over the nearly half century since the publication of Nordhaus's book...
May 2016: American Economic Review
Catherine Buffington, Benjamin Cerf Harris, Christina Jones, Bruce A Weinberg
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
May 2016: American Economic Review
Anna Aizer, Shari Eli, Joseph Ferrie, Adriana Lleras-Muney
We estimate the long-run impact of cash transfers to poor families on children's longevity, educational attainment, nutritional status, and income in adulthood. To do so, we collected individual-level administrative records of applicants to the Mothers' Pension program-the first government-sponsored welfare program in the United States (1911-1935)-and matched them to census, WWII, and death records. Male children of accepted applicants lived one year longer than those of rejected mothers. They also obtained one-third more years of schooling, were less likely to be underweight, and had higher income in adulthood than children of rejected mothers...
April 2016: American Economic Review
Leandro S Carvalho, Stephan Meier, Stephanie W Wang
We study the effect of financial resources on decision-making. Low-income U.S. households are randomly assigned to receive an online survey before or after payday. The survey collects measures of cognitive function and administers risk and intertemporal choice tasks. The study design generates variation in cash, checking and savings balances, and expenditures. Before-payday participants behave as if they are more present-biased when making intertemporal choices about monetary rewards but not when making intertemporal choices about non-monetary real-effort tasks...
February 2016: American Economic Review
Esther Duflo, Pascaline Dupas, Michael Kremer
A seven-year randomized evaluation suggests education subsidies reduce adolescent girls' dropout, pregnancy, and marriage but not sexually transmitted infection (STI). The government's HIV curriculum, which stresses abstinence until marriage, does not reduce pregnancy or STI. Both programs combined reduce STI more, but cut dropout and pregnancy less, than education subsidies alone. These results are inconsistent with a model of schooling and sexual behavior in which both pregnancy and STI are determined by one factor (unprotected sex), but consistent with a two-factor model in which choices between committed and casual relationships also affect these outcomes...
September 2015: American Economic Review
Katherine Casey
Many lament that weak accountability and poor governance impede economic development in Africa. Politicians rely on ethnic allegiances that deliver the vote irrespective of performance, dampening electoral incentives. Giving voters information about candidate competence counters ethnic loyalty and strengthens accountability. I extend a canonical electoral model to show how information provision flows through voter behavior and ultimately impacts the distribution of political spending. I test the theory on data from Sierra Leone using decentralization and differential radio coverage to identify information's effects...
August 2015: American Economic Review
Eric Budish, Benjamin N Roin, Heidi Williams
We investigate whether private research investments are distorted away from long-term projects. Our theoretical model highlights two potential sources of this distortion: short-termism and the fixed patent term. Our empirical context is cancer research, where clinical trials - and hence, project durations - are shorter for late-stage cancer treatments relative to early-stage treatments or cancer prevention. Using newly constructed data, we document several sources of evidence that together show private research investments are distorted away from long-term projects...
July 2015: American Economic Review
David Laibson
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
May 2015: American Economic Review
Jon Kleinberg, Jens Ludwig, Sendhil Mullainathan, Ziad Obermeyer
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
May 2015: American Economic Review
James J Heckman
This paper presents Gary Becker's approach to conducting creative, empirically fruitful economic research. It describes the traits and methodology that made him such a productive and influential scholar.
May 2015: American Economic Review
Nicole Maestas, Kathleen J Mullen, Alexander Strand
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
May 2015: American Economic Review
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