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The acceleration in U.S. total productivity after 1995: the role of information technology
Under standard conditions, total factor productivity (TFP) growth measures the pace of innovation or technological change in the economy. This article focuses on the period since the mid-1990s, when TFP accelerated. The authors find that most of the acceleration is accounted for by industries that use, rather than sectors that produce, information technology.
Financial Life After the Death of a Spouse
The death of a spouse results in a considerable decline in average income for the surviving spouse. The Social Security survivors benefits program compensates the surviving spouse, most often a woman, for almost all of the lost income, allowing them to work less, but many widows who are not yet eligible for the program struggle to meet their financial needs.
What is Business Interruption Insurance and How is it Related to the Covid-19 Pandemic?
After nonessential businesses shut down their operations to slow the spread of the Covid-19 virus in March 2020, many business owners looked to their property insurance policies for relief. Such policies often include business interruption (BI) insurance, which covers income losses if a business is forced to close. Given the shelter-in-place orders issued by state and local governments, BI coverage was assumed by many to apply. For example, Greg Wells, the chief executive of Atlantic Coast Athletic Clubs (ACAC), told the Washington Post: “That’s what you have this type of insurance for. ...
Taxes and International Risk Sharing
We examine the extent to which differences in international tax rates may account for the small correlations of per capita consumption fluctuations across countries. Theory implies a close relationship between relative consumption growth, and consumption and capital income tax rate differentials. We find strong empirical evidence for this relationship. Idiosyncratic output fluctuations account for the majority of cross country consumption growth variability, but trends in tax differentials are informative about the dynamic evolution of international risk sharing. In particular, adjusting for ...
The properties of income risk in privately held businesses
Our paper represents the first attempt in the literature to estimate the properties of business income risk from privately held businesses in the US. Using a new, large, and confidential panel of US income tax returns for the period 1987-2009, we extensively document the empirical stylized facts about the evolution of various business income risk measures over time. We find that business income is much riskier than labor income, not only because of the probability of business exit, but also because of higher income fluctuations, conditional on no exit. We show that business income is less ...