Here are a few excerpts from my NBER Working Papers Digest:
Robert Inman finds that Stimulus funding for the states is not correlated with state unemployment rates (that doesn’t mean it is not “stimulating” but it certainly makes it less likely):
As targeted assistance for stimulating local economies,
ARRA funding is uncorrelated with state unemployment rates. ARRA
funding appears to be decided by congressional politics, given the
desire to pass a major spending and tax relief package as quickly as
possible. States are important “agents” for federal macro-policy,
but agents with their own needs and objectives.
David Figlio and colleagues find that physically being in-class for microeconomics is slightly better than taking the same exact course online:
ounter to the
conclusions drawn by a recent U.S. Department of Education
meta-analysis of non-experimental analyses of internet instruction in
higher education, we find modest evidence that live-only instruction
dominates internet instruction. These results are particularly
strong for Hispanic students, male students, and lower-achieving
Sean Corcoran and William N. Evans find that increasing inequality has led to greater support for public schooling. I am not convinced of the mechanism through which this operates. Even so, 85% or so of the spending increase is due to other factors.
In contrast with recent theoretical and empirical work suggesting a negative relationship between inequality and public spending, we find results consistent with a median voter model, in which inequality that reduces the median voters tax share induces higher local spending on public education. We estimate that 12 to 22 percent of the increase in local school spending over this period is attributable to rising inequality.
Metcalf, et al argue that carbon pricing is actually less regressive than at first appears because the income of the wealthy is under-reported in consumer expenditure surveys:
Many distributional analyses of carbon pricing focus on the uses-side incidence of carbon pricing. This is the differential burden resulting from heterogeneity in consumption across households. Once
one allows for sources-side incidence (i.e. differential impacts of changes in real factor prices), carbon policies look more progressive. Perhaps more important than the findings from any one
scenario, our results on the progressivity of the leading cap and trade proposals are robust to the assumptions made on the relative importance of uses and sources side heterogeneity.
Henry Sauermann and Paula E. Stephan ask the question of how much science as practiced in academia and science as practiced within industry really differ:
ur results paint a complex picture of academic and industrial science. While we find significant industry-academia differences with respect to all four dimensions, we also observe remarkable similarities. For example, both academic institutions and private firms appear to allow their scientists to stay actively involved in the broader scientific community and provide them with considerable levels of independence in their jobs. Second, we find significant differences not just between industrial and academic science but also within each of the two sectors as well as across fields. Finally, while the nature of research is a significant predictor of other dimensions such as the use of patenting and publishing, it does not
fully explain the observed industry-academia differences in those dimensions. Overall, our results suggest that stereotypical views of industrial and academic science may be misleading and that future
work may benefit from a richer and more nuanced description of the organization of science.