Tag Archives: Government Spending

Use-it-or-Lose-it Budget Rules

From Jeff Liebman and Neale Mahoney, summarized by NBER’s Laurent Belsie: IT projects that were procured in the last week of the fiscal year were between two and six times more likely to have a lower quality rating. Federal agencies spend an … Continue reading

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Public R&D Investments and Private Sector Patenting: Evidence from NIH Funding Rules

From Pierre Azoulay, Joshua Graff-Zivin, Danielle Li, and Bhaven Sampat: This paper measures the impact of public R&D investments on innovation by private sector firms. We quantify the returns to grant spending at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in … Continue reading

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Public Insurance and Mortality: Evidence from Medicaid Implementation

From Andrew Goodman-Bacon: This paper provides new evidence that Medicaid’s introduction reduced mortality rates among nonwhite infants and children in the 1960s and 1970s. Medicaid required states to cover all cash welfare recipients, which induced substantial cross-state variation in the share … Continue reading

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Who Pays for Public Employee Health Costs?

From Jeff Clemens and David Cutler: We analyze the incidence of public-employee health benefits. Because these benefits are negotiated through the political process, relevant labor market institutions deviate significantly from the competitive, private-sector benchmark. Empirically, we find that roughly 15 percent … Continue reading

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How Changing Government Spending Affects Inequality

Juan Carlos Suárez Serrato, a friend and co-author of mine, has an interesting brief on government spending, inequality, and policy design. He analyzes “how differential valuations for government services between rich and poor lead to important implications for the link between … Continue reading

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The Time for Austerity: Estimating the Average Treatment Effect of Fiscal Policy

From Oscar Jorda and Alan Taylor: Elevated government debt levels in advanced economies have risen rapidly as sovereigns absorbed private-sector losses and cyclical deficits blew up in the Global Financial Crisis and subsequent slump. A rush to fiscal austerity followed but its justifications and impacts … Continue reading

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Transfer Payments and the Macroeconomy: The Effects of Social Security Benefit Changes

From Christy Romer and David Romer: From the early 1950s to the early 1990s, increases in Social Security benefits in the United States varied widely in size and timing, and were generally not undertaken in response to short-run macroeconomic developments. … Continue reading

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The Decline, Rebound, and Further Rise in SNAP Enrollment: Disentangling Business Cycle Fluctuations and Policy Changes

From Peter Ganong and Jeff Liebman: Approximately 1-in-7 people and 1-in-4 children received benefits from the US Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in July 2011, both all-time highs. We analyze changes in SNAP take-up over the past two decades. From 1994 … Continue reading

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Physician Beliefs and Patient Preferences: A New Look at Regional Variation in Health Care Spending

From David Cutler, Jonathan Skinner, Ariel Dora Stern, and David Wennberg: There is considerable controversy about the causes of regional variations in healthcare expenditures. We use vignettes from patient and physician surveys, linked to Medicare expenditures at the level of … Continue reading

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Subways, Strikes, and Slowdowns: The Impacts of Public Transit on Traffic Congestion

After recent debates about BART strikes, I found this paper from Michael Anderson to be pretty interesting. Transit accounts for only 1% of U.S. passenger miles traveled but attracts strong public support. Using a simple choice model, we predict that … Continue reading

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