Journal Cover
Quarterly Journal of Economics
Journal Prestige (SJR): 29.602
Citation Impact (citeScore): 11
Number of Followers: 395  
  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 0033-5533 - ISSN (Online) 1531-4650
Published by Oxford University Press Homepage  [406 journals]
  • Ever Failed, Try Again, Succeed Better: Results from a Randomized
           Educational Intervention on Grit*
    • Authors: Alan S; Boneva T, Ertac S.
      Pages: 1121 - 1162
      Abstract: We show that grit, a skill that has been shown to be highly predictive of achievement, is malleable in childhood and can be fostered in the classroom environment. We evaluate a randomized educational intervention implemented in two independent elementary school samples. Outcomes are measured via a novel incentivized real-effort task and performance in standardized tests. We find that treated students are more likely to exert effort to accumulate task-specific ability and hence more likely to succeed. In a follow up 2.5 years after the intervention, we estimate an effect of about 0.2 standard deviations on a standardized math test.
      PubDate: Tue, 19 Feb 2019 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/qje/qjz006
      Issue No: Vol. 134, No. 3 (2019)
  • Implicit Stereotypes: Evidence from Teachers’ Gender Bias*
    • Authors: Carlana M.
      Pages: 1163 - 1224
      Abstract: I study whether exposure to teacher stereotypes, as measured by the Gender-Science Implicit Association Test, affects student achievement. I provide evidence that the gender gap in math performance, defined as the score of boys minus the score of girls in standardized tests, substantially increases when students are assigned to math teachers with stronger gender stereotypes. Teacher stereotypes induce girls to underperform in math and self-select into less demanding high schools, following the track recommendation of their teachers. These effects are at least partially driven by lower self-confidence on math ability of girls exposed to gender-biased teachers. Stereotypes impair the test performance of girls, who end up failing to achieve their full potential. I do not detect statistically significant effects on student outcomes of literature teacher stereotypes.
      PubDate: Sat, 02 Mar 2019 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/qje/qjz008
      Issue No: Vol. 134, No. 3 (2019)
  • The Rate of Return on Everything, 1870–2015*
    • Authors: Jordà Ò; Knoll K, Kuvshinov D, et al.
      Pages: 1225 - 1298
      Abstract: What is the aggregate real rate of return in the economy' Is it higher than the growth rate of the economy and, if so, by how much' Is there a tendency for returns to fall in the long run' Which particular assets have the highest long-run returns' We answer these questions on the basis of a new and comprehensive data set for all major asset classes, including housing. The annual data on total returns for equity, housing, bonds, and bills cover 16 advanced economies from 1870 to 2015, and our new evidence reveals many new findings and puzzles.
      PubDate: Tue, 09 Apr 2019 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/qje/qjz012
      Issue No: Vol. 134, No. 3 (2019)
  • Industry Input in Policy Making: Evidence from Medicare*
    • Authors: Chan D; Dickstein M.
      Pages: 1299 - 1342
      Abstract: In setting prices for physician services, Medicare solicits input from a committee that evaluates proposals from industry. The committee itself comprises members from industry; we investigate whether this arrangement leads to regulatory capture with prices biased toward industry interests. We find that increasing a measure of affiliation between the committee and proposers by one standard deviation increases prices by 10%. We then evaluate whether employing a biased committee as an intermediary may nonetheless be desirable, if greater affiliation allows the committee to extract information needed for regulation. We find industry proposers more affiliated with the committee produce less hard evidence in their proposals. However, on soft information, we find evidence of a trade-off: private insurers set prices that more closely track Medicare prices generated under higher affiliation.
      PubDate: Wed, 17 Apr 2019 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/qje/qjz005
      Issue No: Vol. 134, No. 3 (2019)
  • Who Profits from Patents' Rent-Sharing at Innovative Firms*
    • Authors: Kline P; Petkova N, Williams H, et al.
      Pages: 1343 - 1404
      Abstract: This article analyzes how patent-induced shocks to labor productivity propagate into worker compensation using a new linkage of U.S. patent applications to U.S. business and worker tax records. We infer the causal effects of patent allowances by comparing firms whose patent applications were initially allowed to those whose patent applications were initially rejected. To identify patents that are ex ante valuable, we extrapolate the excess stock return estimates of Kogan et al. (2017) to the full set of accepted and rejected patent applications based on predetermined firm and patent application characteristics. An initial allowance of an ex ante valuable patent generates substantial increases in firm productivity and worker compensation. By contrast, initial allowances of lower ex ante value patents yield no detectable effects on firm outcomes. Patent allowances lead firms to increase employment, but entry wages and workforce composition are insensitive to patent decisions. On average, workers capture roughly 30 cents of every dollar of patent-induced surplus in higher earnings. This share is roughly twice as high among workers present since the year of application. These earnings effects are concentrated among men and workers in the top half of the earnings distribution and are paired with corresponding improvements in worker retention among these groups. We interpret these earnings responses as reflecting the capture of economic rents by senior workers, who are most costly for innovative firms to replace.
      PubDate: Wed, 27 Mar 2019 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/qje/qjz011
      Issue No: Vol. 134, No. 3 (2019)
  • The Effect of Minimum Wages on Low-Wage Jobs*
    • Authors: Cengiz D; Dube A, Lindner A, et al.
      Pages: 1405 - 1454
      Abstract: We estimate the effect of minimum wages on low-wage jobs using 138 prominent state-level minimum wage changes between 1979 and 2016 in the United States using a difference-in-differences approach. We first estimate the effect of the minimum wage increase on employment changes by wage bins throughout the hourly wage distribution. We then focus on the bottom part of the wage distribution and compare the number of excess jobs paying at or slightly above the new minimum wage to the missing jobs paying below it to infer the employment effect. We find that the overall number of low-wage jobs remained essentially unchanged over the five years following the increase. At the same time, the direct effect of the minimum wage on average earnings was amplified by modest wage spillovers at the bottom of the wage distribution. Our estimates by detailed demographic groups show that the lack of job loss is not explained by labor-labor substitution at the bottom of the wage distribution. We also find no evidence of disemployment when we consider higher levels of minimum wages. However, we do find some evidence of reduced employment in tradeable sectors. We also show how decomposing the overall employment effect by wage bins allows a transparent way of assessing the plausibility of estimates.
      PubDate: Thu, 02 May 2019 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/qje/qjz014
      Issue No: Vol. 134, No. 3 (2019)
  • Trade, Merchants, and the Lost Cities of the Bronze Age*
    • Authors: Barjamovic G; Chaney T, Coşar K, et al.
      Pages: 1455 - 1503
      Abstract: We analyze a large data set of commercial records produced by Assyrian merchants in the nineteenth century BCE. Using the information from these records, we estimate a structural gravity model of long-distance trade in the Bronze Age. We use our structural gravity model to locate lost ancient cities. In many cases, our estimates confirm the conjectures of historians who follow different methodologies. In some instances, our estimates confirm one conjecture against others. We also structurally estimate ancient city sizes and offer evidence in support of the hypothesis that large cities tend to emerge at the intersections of natural transport routes, as dictated by topography. Finally, we document persistent patterns in the distribution of city sizes across four millennia, find a distance elasticity of trade in the Bronze Age close to modern estimates, and show suggestive evidence that the distribution of ancient city sizes, inferred from trade data, is well approximated by Zipf’s law.
      PubDate: Wed, 27 Mar 2019 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/qje/qjz009
      Issue No: Vol. 134, No. 3 (2019)
  • Take-Up and Targeting: Experimental Evidence from SNAP*
    • Authors: Finkelstein A; Notowidigdo M.
      Pages: 1505 - 1556
      Abstract: We develop a framework for welfare analysis of interventions designed to increase take-up of social safety net programs in the presence of potential behavioral biases. We calibrate the key parameters using a randomized field experiment in which 30,000 elderly individuals not enrolled in—but likely eligible for—the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are either provided with information that they are likely eligible, provided with this information and offered assistance in applying, or are in a “status quo” control group. Only 6% of the control group enrolls in SNAP over the next nine months, compared to 11% of the Information Only group and 18% of the Information Plus Assistance group. The individuals who apply or enroll in response to either intervention have higher net income and are less sick than the average enrollee in the control group. We present evidence consistent with the existence of optimization frictions that are greater for needier individuals, which suggests that the poor targeting properties of the interventions reduce their welfare benefits.
      PubDate: Thu, 02 May 2019 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/qje/qjz013
      Issue No: Vol. 134, No. 3 (2019)
  • Regressive Sin Taxes, with an Application to the Optimal Soda Tax*
    • Authors: Allcott H; Lockwood B, Taubinsky D.
      Pages: 1557 - 1626
      Abstract: A common objection to “sin taxes”—corrective taxes on goods that are thought to be overconsumed, such as cigarettes, alcohol, and sugary drinks—is that they often fall disproportionately on low-income consumers. This paper studies the interaction between corrective and redistributive motives in a general optimal taxation framework and delivers empirically implementable formulas for sufficient statistics for the optimal commodity tax. The optimal sin tax is increasing in the price elasticity of demand, increasing in the degree to which lower-income consumers are more biased or more elastic to the tax, decreasing in the extent to which consumption is concentrated among the poor, and decreasing in income effects, because income effects imply that commodity taxes create labor supply distortions. Contrary to common intuitions, stronger preferences for redistribution can increase the optimal sin tax, if lower-income consumers are more responsive to taxes or are more biased. As an application, we estimate the optimal nationwide tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, using Nielsen Homescan data and a specially designed survey measuring nutrition knowledge and self-control. Holding federal income tax rates constant, our estimates imply an optimal federal sugar-sweetened beverage tax of 1 to 2.1 cents per ounce, although optimal city-level taxes could be as much as 60% lower due to cross-border shopping.
      PubDate: Mon, 27 May 2019 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/qje/qjz017
      Issue No: Vol. 134, No. 3 (2019)
  • Inputs, Incentives, and Complementarities in Education: Experimental
           Evidence from Tanzania*
    • Authors: Mbiti I; Muralidharan K, Romero M, et al.
      Pages: 1627 - 1673
      Abstract: We present results from a large-scale randomized experiment across 350 schools in Tanzania that studied the impact of providing schools with (i) unconditional grants, (ii) teacher incentives based on student performance, and (iii) both of the above. After two years, we find (i) no impact on student test scores from providing school grants, (ii) some evidence of positive effects from teacher incentives, and (iii) significant positive effects from providing both programs. Most important, we find strong evidence of complementarities between the programs, with the effect of joint provision being significantly greater than the sum of the individual effects. Our results suggest that combining spending on school inputs (the default policy) with improved teacher incentives could substantially increase the cost-effectiveness of public spending on education.
      PubDate: Wed, 24 Apr 2019 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/qje/qjz010
      Issue No: Vol. 134, No. 3 (2019)
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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