Impact of Reporting Frequency on UK Public Companies. Robert Pozen, 2017, Paper, “Beginning in 2007, UK public companies were required to issue quarterly, rather than semiannual, financial reports. But the UK removed this quarterly reporting requirement in 2014. We studied the effects of these regulatory changes on UK public companies and found that the frequency of financial reports had no material impact on levels of corporate investment. However, mandatory quarterly reporting was associated with an increase in analyst coverage and an improvement in the accuracy of analyst earnings forecasts.Link

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Australian Squatters, Convicts, and Capitalists: Dividing Up a Fast-Growing Frontier Pie 1821-1871. Jeffrey Williamson, April 2017, Paper, “Compared with its nineteenth century competitors, Australian GDP per worker grew exceptionally fast, about twice that of the US and three times that of Britain. This paper asks whether the fast growth performance produced rising inequality. Using a novel data set we offer new evidence supporting unambiguously the view that, in sharp contrast with US, Australia underwent a revolutionary leveling in incomes between the 1820s and the 1870s. This assessment is based on our annual estimates of functional shares in the form of land rents, convict incomes, free unskilled incomes, free skill premiums, British imperial transfers and a capitalist residual.Link

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Larry Summers: Charlie Rose. Lawrence Summers, March 31, 2017 , Video, “Larry Summers is President Emeritus of Harvard University. He served as Treasury Secretary under President Clinton and as Director of President Obama’s National Economic Council. He joins us to talk about the economic policies of President Donald Trump.Link

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Interest Rate Conundrums in the Twenty-First Century. Samuel Hanson, March 31, 2017, Paper, “A large literature argues that long-term interest rates appear to react far more to high-frequency (for example, daily or monthly) movements in short-term interest rates than is predicted by the standard expectations hypothesis. We find that, since 2000, such high-frequency “excess sensitivity” remains evident in U.S. data and has, if anything, grown stronger. By contrast, the positive association between low-frequency changes (such as those seen at a six- or twelve-month horizon) in short- and long-term interest rates, which was quite strong before 2000, has weakened substantially in recent years. As a result, “conundrums”— defined as six- or twelve-month periods in which short rates and long rates move in opposite directions—have become far more common since 2000.Link

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Underestimating the Real Growth of GDP, Personal Income and Productivity. Martin Feldstein, March 2017, Paper, “The problems involved in estimating real output that I discuss in this paper cause the official government statistics to underestimate of the rates of growth of real GDP, real personal income, and productivity. That underestimation is important not just to economists trying to understand where the economy is going but also to the broader public and to the political system.  The understatement of real growth reflects the enormous difficulty of dealing with quality change and the even greater difficulty of measuring the value created by the introduction of new goods and services. Despite the vast amount of attention that has been devoted to this subject in the economic literature and by the government agencies, there remains insufficient understanding of just how imperfect the official estimates actually are. It is important for economists to recognize the limits of our knowledge and to adjust public statements and policies to what we can know.” Link

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Private Equity and Industry Performance. Josh Lerner, March 2017, Paper, “The growth of the private equity industry has spurred concerns about its potential impact on the economy more generally. This analysis looks across nations and industries to assess the impact of private equity on industry performance. Industries where PE funds have invested in the past five years have grown more quickly in terms of productivity and employment. There are few significant differences between industries with limited and high private equity activity. It is hard to find support for claims that economic activity in industries with private equity backing is more exposed to aggregate shocks. The results using lagged private equity investments suggest that the results are not driven by reverse causality. These patterns are not driven solely by common law nations such as the United Kingdom and United States, but also hold in Continental Europe.Link

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The Earnings of Undocumented Immigrants. George Borjas, March 2017, Paper, “Over 11 million undocumented persons reside in the United States, and there has been a heated debate over the impact of legislative or executive efforts to regularize the status of this population. This paper examines the determinants of earnings for undocumented workers. Using newly developed methods that impute undocumented status for foreign-born persons sampled in microdata surveys, the study documents a number of findings. First, the age-earnings profile of undocumented workers lies far below that of legal immigrants and of native workers, and is almost perfectly flat during the prime working years.Link

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The Spread of Modern Industry to the Periphery since 1871. Jeffrey Williamson, 2017, Book, “Explores the nineteenth- and twentieth-century spread of modern industry to the global periphery. Demonstrates how, in the twenty-first century, economies in Asia, Latin America and even sub-Saharan Africa are converging on the historically-wealthy economies of Europe and North America. Seeks to understand the economic, historical, and political implications of this shift in industry. Offers a comparative assessment of twelve regions: Russia, East-Central Europe, Southeast Europe, Italy, the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Northeast Asia, China, Northern Latin America, and Southern Latin America.Link

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The Decline of Big-Bank Lending to Small Business: Dynamic Impacts on Local Credit and Labor Markets. Samuel Hanson, Jeremy Stein, March 2017, Paper, “Small business lending by the four largest U.S. banks fell sharply relative to other banks beginning in 2008 and remained depressed through 2014. We explore the consequences of this credit supply shock, with a particular focus on the resulting dynamic adjustment process. Using a difference-indifference approach that compares counties where the Top 4 banks had a higher initial market share to counties where they had a smaller share, we find that the aggregate flow of small business credit fell and interest rates rose from 2006 to 2010 in high Top 4 counties. Economic activity also contracted in these affected counties: fewer businesses expanded employment, the unemployment rate rose, and wages fell. Moreover, the employment effects were concentrated in industries that are most reliant on external finance, such as manufacturing.Link

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Optimism over Trump a ‘sugar high’ with no signs of 3-4% economic growth, Larry Summers warns. Lawrence Summers, March 30, 2017, Video, “The highest consumer confidence reading in more than 16 years and the postelection stock market rally may not translate into more robust economic growth, former Clinton Treasury Secretary Larry Summers told CNBC on Thursday.Link

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