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Journal Cover Quarterly Journal of Economics
  [SJR: 20.761]   [H-I: 186]   [308 followers]  Follow
   Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
   ISSN (Print) 0033-5533 - ISSN (Online) 1531-4650
   Published by Oxford University Press Homepage  [393 journals]
  • Frontier Knowledge and Scientific Production: Evidence from the Collapse
           of International Science*
    • Authors: Iaria A; Schwarz C, Waldinger F.
      Pages: 927 - 991
      Abstract: We show that World War I and the subsequent boycott against Central scientists severely interrupted international scientific cooperation. After 1914, citations to recent research from abroad decreased and paper titles became less similar (evaluated by latent semantic analysis), suggesting a reduction in international knowledge flows. Reduced international scientific cooperation led to a decline in the production of basic science and its application in new technology. Specifically, we compare productivity changes for scientists who relied on frontier research from abroad, to changes for scientists who relied on frontier research from home. After 1914, scientists who relied on frontier research from abroad published fewer papers in top scientific journals, produced less Nobel Prize–nominated research, introduced fewer novel scientific words, and introduced fewer novel words that appeared in the text of subsequent patent grants. The productivity of scientists who relied on top 1% research declined twice as much as the productivity of scientists who relied on top 3% research. Furthermore, highly prolific scientists experienced the starkest absolute productivity declines. This suggests that access to the very best research is key for scientific and technological progress.
      PubDate: Mon, 15 Jan 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/qje/qjx046
      Issue No: Vol. 133, No. 2 (2018)
  • Distributional National Accounts: Methods and Estimates for the United
    • Authors: Piketty T; Saez E, Zucman G.
      Pages: 553 - 609
      Abstract: This article combines tax, survey, and national accounts data to estimate the distribution of national income in the United States since 1913. Our distributional national accounts capture 100% of national income, allowing us to compute growth rates for each quantile of the income distribution consistent with macroeconomic growth. We estimate the distribution of both pretax and posttax income, making it possible to provide a comprehensive view of how government redistribution affects inequality. Average pretax real national income per adult has increased 60% from 1980 to 2014, but we find that it has stagnated for the bottom 50% of the distribution at about $16,000 a year. The pretax income of the middle class—adults between the median and the 90th percentile—has grown 40% since 1980, faster than what tax and survey data suggest, due in particular to the rise of tax-exempt fringe benefits. Income has boomed at the top. The upsurge of top incomes was first a labor income phenomenon but has mostly been a capital income phenomenon since 2000. The government has offset only a small fraction of the increase in inequality. The reduction of the gender gap in earnings has mitigated the increase in inequality among adults, but the share of women falls steeply as one moves up the labor income distribution, and is only 11% in the top 0.1% in 2014.
      PubDate: Tue, 10 Oct 2017 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/qje/qjx043
      Issue No: Vol. 133, No. 2 (2017)
  • The Morale Effects of Pay Inequality*
    • Authors: Breza E; Kaur S, Shamdasani Y.
      Pages: 611 - 663
      Abstract: Relative-pay concerns have potentially broad labor market implications. In a month-long experiment with Indian manufacturing workers, we randomize whether coworkers within production units receive the same flat daily wage or differential wages according to their (baseline) productivity ranks. When coworkers’ productivity is difficult to observe, pay inequality reduces output by 0.45 standard deviations and attendance by 18 percentage points. It also lowers coworkers’ ability to cooperate in their own self-interest. However, when workers can clearly perceive that their higher-paid peers are more productive than themselves, pay disparity has no discernible effect on output, attendance, or group cohesion. These findings help inform our understanding of when pay compression is more likely to arise in the labor market
      PubDate: Tue, 10 Oct 2017 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/qje/qjx041
      Issue No: Vol. 133, No. 2 (2017)
  • Human Capital and Development Accounting: New Evidence from Wage Gains at
    • Authors: Hendricks L; Schoellman T.
      Pages: 665 - 700
      Abstract: We use new data on the pre- and postmigration wages of immigrants to the United States to measure wage gains at migration. The average immigrant from a middle-income or poor country increases their wage by a factor of two to three upon migration. This wage gain is small relative to the underlying gap in GDP per worker. In a development accounting framework, this finding implies that switching countries accounts for 40% of cross-country income differences, while human capital accounts for 60%. Wage gains decline with education, consistent with imperfect substitution between skill types. We augment our analysis to allow for this possibility and bound the human capital share in development accounting to between one-half and two-thirds. We also provide results on the importance of premigration sector of employment, assimilation, and skill transfer.
      PubDate: Wed, 06 Dec 2017 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/qje/qjx047
      Issue No: Vol. 133, No. 2 (2017)
  • Nation Building Through Foreign Intervention: Evidence from
           Discontinuities in Military Strategies*
    • Authors: Dell M; Querubin P.
      Pages: 701 - 764
      Abstract: This study uses discontinuities in U.S. strategies employed during the Vietnam War to estimate their causal impacts. It identifies the effects of bombing by exploiting rounding thresholds in an algorithm used to target air strikes. Bombing increased the military and political activities of the communist insurgency, weakened local governance, and reduced noncommunist civic engagement. The study also exploits a spatial discontinuity across neighboring military regions that pursued different counterinsurgency strategies. A strategy emphasizing overwhelming firepower plausibly increased insurgent attacks and worsened attitudes toward the U.S. and South Vietnamese government, relative to a more hearts-and-minds-oriented approach.
      PubDate: Mon, 11 Sep 2017 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/qje/qjx037
      Issue No: Vol. 133, No. 2 (2017)
  • Discretion in Hiring*
    • Authors: Hoffman M; Kahn L, Li D.
      Pages: 765 - 800
      Abstract: Job-testing technologies enable firms to rely less on human judgment when making hiring decisions. Placing more weight on test scores may improve hiring decisions by reducing the influence of human bias or mistakes but may also lead firms to forgo the potentially valuable private information of their managers. We study the introduction of job testing across 15 firms employing low-skilled service sector workers. When faced with similar applicant pools, we find that managers who appear to hire against test recommendations end up with worse average hires. This suggests that managers often overrule test recommendations because they are biased or mistaken, not only because they have superior private information.
      PubDate: Tue, 10 Oct 2017 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/qje/qjx042
      Issue No: Vol. 133, No. 2 (2017)
  • Transparency and Deliberation Within the FOMC: A Computational Linguistics
    • Authors: Hansen S; McMahon M, Prat A.
      Pages: 801 - 870
      Abstract: How does transparency, a key feature of central bank design, affect monetary policy makers’ deliberations' Theory predicts a positive discipline effect and negative conformity effect. We empirically explore these effects using a natural experiment in the Federal Open Market Committee in 1993 and computational linguistics algorithms. We first find large changes in communication patterns after transparency. We then propose a difference-in-differences approach inspired by the career concerns literature, and find evidence for both effects. Finally, we construct an influence measure that suggests the discipline effect dominates.
      PubDate: Tue, 31 Oct 2017 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/qje/qjx045
      Issue No: Vol. 133, No. 2 (2017)
  • Recommender Systems as Mechanisms for Social Learning*
    • Authors: Che Y; Hörner J.
      Pages: 871 - 925
      Abstract: This article studies how a recommender system may incentivize users to learn about a product collaboratively. To improve the incentives for early exploration, the optimal design trades off fully transparent disclosure by selectively overrecommending the product (or “spamming”) to a fraction of users. Under the optimal scheme, the designer spams very little on a product immediately after its release but gradually increases its frequency; she stops it altogether when she becomes sufficiently pessimistic about the product. The recommender’s product research and intrinsic/naive users “seed” incentives for user exploration and determine the speed and trajectory of social learning. Potential applications for various Internet recommendation platforms and implications for review/ratings inflation are discussed.
      PubDate: Wed, 20 Dec 2017 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/qje/qjx044
      Issue No: Vol. 133, No. 2 (2017)
  • Double for Nothing' Experimental Evidence on an Unconditional Teacher
           Salary Increase in Indonesia*
    • Authors: de Ree J; Muralidharan K, Pradhan M, et al.
      Pages: 993 - 1039
      Abstract: How does a large unconditional increase in salary affect the performance of incumbent employees in the public sector' We present experimental evidence on this question in the context of a policy change in Indonesia that led to a permanent doubling of teacher base salaries. Using a large-scale randomized experiment across a representative sample of Indonesian schools that accelerated this pay increase for teachers in treated schools, we find that the large pay increase significantly improved teachers' satisfaction with their income, reduced the incidence of teachers holding outside jobs, and reduced self-reported financial stress. Nevertheless, after two and three years, the increase in pay led to no improvement in student learning outcomes. The effects are precisely estimated, and we can rule out even modest positive impacts on test scores. Our results suggest that unconditional pay increases are unlikely to be an effective policy option for improving the effort and productivity of incumbent employees in public-sector settings.
      PubDate: Mon, 13 Nov 2017 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/qje/qjx040
      Issue No: Vol. 133, No. 2 (2017)
  • Social Mobility and Stability of Democracy: Reevaluating De Tocqueville*
    • Authors: Acemoglu D; Egorov G, Sonin K.
      Pages: 1041 - 1105
      Abstract: An influential thesis often associated with de Tocqueville views social mobility as a bulwark of democracy: when members of a social group expect to join the ranks of other social groups in the near future, they should have less reason to exclude these other groups from the political process. In this article, we investigate this hypothesis using a dynamic model of political economy. As well as formalizing this argument, our model demonstrates its limits, elucidating a robust theoretical force making democracy less stable in societies with high social mobility: when the median voter expects to move up (respectively down), she would prefer to give less voice to poorer (respectively richer) social groups. Our theoretical analysis shows that in the presence of social mobility, the political preferences of an individual depend on the potentially conflicting preferences of her “future selves,” and that the evolution of institutions is determined through the implicit interaction between occupants of the same social niche at different points in time.
      PubDate: Mon, 06 Nov 2017 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/qje/qjx038
      Issue No: Vol. 133, No. 2 (2017)
School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK
Tel: +00 44 (0)131 4513762
Fax: +00 44 (0)131 4513327
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