Tag Archives: Government Spending

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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Are State Governments Roadblocks to Federal Stimulus? Evidence from Highway Grants in the 2009 Recovery Act

From Sylvain Leduc and Dan Wilson: We examine how state governments adjusted spending in response to the large temporary increase in federal grants under the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). We concentrate our analysis on ARRA highway grants, which … Continue reading

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Quantifying the Extent of “Mooching”

Here are two quick items that help provide perspective on the generosity (or lack thereof) of the safety net. First, the average household that receives food stamps gets less than $10 per day. In an average month in fiscal year … Continue reading

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Incidence and Price Discrimination: Evidence from Housing Vouchers

From Robert Collinson and Peter Ganong: What is the incidence of housing vouchers? In a frictionless, price-taking equilibrium, increased generosity of a narrowly-targeted subsidy causes in- creases in unit quality. However, search frictions may limit quality improve- ments and subsidies may … Continue reading

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