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Tag Archives: Organisation of Markets

Consumer spending during unemployment: evidence from US bank account data

Summary Unemployment insurance (UI) benefits provide an important financial cushion for the many people who lose their jobs, helping to stabilize their consumer spending while they look for new work opportunities. But is the typical duration of UI benefits in the United States of six months the appropriate length of time – or might some people be better off with a longer period, perhaps at a lower level...

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Jury verdicts: evidence from eighteenth century London of the dangers of sequential decision-making

Summary When juries in criminal courts determine whether a defendant is guilty or not guilty, are their decisions at all influenced by the verdict and characteristics of the previous trial on which they were sitting? In an ideal world, every case should be assessed solely on its own merits, but a new study suggests that there is a strong element of what economists call ‘path dependency’ in jury...

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The Age of Mass Migration: contrasting economic and political effects

Summary Recent waves of immigration to Europe and the United States have triggered concerns about the economic impact on the native populations, as well as calls for tighter restrictions. There are historical echoes in the Age of Mass Migration in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when more than 30 million European immigrants moved to the United States, and the share of immigrants in the...

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Performance management and workplace culture: evidence from a US trucking firm

Summary Firms increasingly collect data on their employees’ performance, a management practice that they can use to promote comparisons among staff and potentially boost productivity. At the same time, there is growing corporate emphasis on employee empowerment, teamwork, and happiness – again with the goal of improving overall performance. Are these two objectives compatible? A new study investigates...

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The impact of new entry in regulated transport markets: evidence from New York City taxis

Summary Traditional taxi services are giving way to ride-hailing companies such as Uber in many cities around the world – partly as a result of new technologies that make it easier to match waiting passengers with searching drivers; and partly because new entrants have been able to avoid local price and entry regulation. A new study uses data from New York City yellow cabs before the arrival of Uber to...

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Who benefits from rent control? Evidence from San Francisco

Summary Steadily rising rents in many American cities have brought the issue of affordable housing to the forefront of policy debate. This column reports evidence on the effects of an expansion of rent control in San Francisco on tenants, landlords, and inequality. The researchers find that while the policy prevented short-term displacement of incumbent tenants, landlords responded by converting rental...

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Effects of vertical mergers in multichannel TV markets: evidence from regional sports programming

Summary When producers of TV channels, such as Time Warner, and distributors of those channels, such as AT&T, are merged, what are the impacts on consumers, rival producers and rival distributors? Because ‘vertical integration’ of this kind can have both efficiency and anti-competitive effects, competition authorities and courts evaluating a prospective merger need to assess both the potential...

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Providing low-cost labor market information to assist jobseekers

Summary People who are receiving unemployment benefits and looking for a job are typically required to consider occupations beyond their preferred line of work, at least after an initial period of joblessness. But how should jobseekers decide which occupations to consider, and how should employment agencies advise them? A team of economists has developed a new...

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Understanding the Average Impact of Microcredit

Summary The global microloan portfolio is now worth over 102 billion dollars and is growing yearly. This research estimates the impact of the policy and the extent to which this impact is different across different contexts. It finds that overall, the best existing evidence suggests that the average impact of these loans is small and that in the future, it may be beneficial to seek alternative approaches...

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Market power and the Laffer curve

Summary Arthur Laffer, who was recently awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, is famous for sketching an inverted U-shaped diagram of the supposed trade-off between tax rates and tax revenues. The Laffer curve originates from the economist’s 1974 conversation with Wall Street Journal reporter Jude Wanniski, and politicians Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld. During the meeting, Laffer is said to have...

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