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Jel Classification:O15 

Crime, house prices, and inequality: the effect of UPPs in Rio

We use a recent policy experiment in Rio de Janeiro, the installation of permanent police stations in low-income communities (or favelas), to quantify the relationship between a reduction in crime and the change in the prices of nearby residential real estate. Using a novel data set of detailed property prices from an online classifieds website, we find that the new police stations (called UPPs) had a substantial effect on the trajectory of property values and certain crime statistics since the beginning of the program in late 2008. We also find that the extent of inequality among residential ...
Staff Reports , Paper 542

Journal Article
Health and Economic Development from Cross-Country Perspectives

In this article, we provide a comprehensive overview of the role that health plays in economic develop­ment. We study cross-country differences in income and health and examine the underused value-of-­life and life-year gain measures. In particular, we compare two value-of-life measures, one based on life expectancy and lifetime utility, and the other based on adult mortality and life insurance data. We find that the perception and receptiveness of life insurance are likely better in countries at more advanced stages of economic development. The value-of-life measure based on life insurance ...
Review , Volume 102 , Issue 1 , Pages 79-98

The Welfare Effects of Encouraging Rural-Urban Migration

This paper studies the welfare effects of encouraging rural-urban migration in the developing world. To do so, we build and analyze a dynamic general-equilibrium model of migration that features a rich set of migration motives. We estimate the model to replicate the results of a field experiment that subsidized seasonal migration in rural Bangladesh, leading to significant increases in migration and consumption. We show that the welfare gains from migration subsidies come from providing better insurance for vulnerable rural households rather than correcting spatial misallocation by relaxing ...
Staff Report , Paper 635

Credit, Income, and Inequality

How does credit access for small business owners affect the growth and inequality of their future income? A bank’s cutoff rule, employed in the decision to grant loans and based on applicants’ credit scores, provides us with the exogenous variation needed to answer this question. Analyzing uniquely detailed loan application data, we find that application acceptance increases recipients’ income five years later by more than 10 percent compared to denied applicants. This effect is mostly driven by the use of borrowed funds to undertake investments and is stronger when individuals are more ...
Staff Reports , Paper 929

Working Paper
Internal Migration in the United States: A Comparative Assessment of the Utility of the Consumer Credit Panel

This paper demonstrates that credit bureau data, such as the Federal Reserve Bank of New York Consumer Credit Panel/Equifax (CCP), can be used to study internal migration in the United States. It is comparable to, and in some ways superior to, the standard data used to study migration, including the American Community Survey (ACS), the Current Population Survey (CPS), and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) county-to-county migration data. CCP-based estimates of migration intensity, connectivity, and spatial focusing are similar to estimates derived from the ACS, CPS, and IRS data. The CCP can ...
Working Papers (Old Series) , Paper 1804

Journal Article
Fertility and Internal Migration

While there is a renewed literature connecting internal migration to various issues related to structural transformation such as urban labor and housing markets, the relationship between internal migration and demographic transition is much under-studied despite its importance in the process of economic development. Our article fills this knowledge gap. By constructing a simple dynamic framework in which fertility and rural-urban migration decisions are both determined, we show that more-rapid urban productivity advancement can lead to a positive relationship between migration and fertility. ...
Review , Volume 102 , Issue 4 , Pages 429-445

Africa is on time

We present evidence that the recent African growth renaissance has reached Africa?s poor. Using survey data on African income distributions and national accounts GDP, we estimate income distributions, poverty rates, and inequality indices for African countries for the period 1990-2011. Our findings are as follows. First, African poverty is falling rapidly. Second, the African countries for which good inequality data exist are set to reach the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) poverty reduction target on time. The entire continent except for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) will reach ...
Staff Reports , Paper 686

Working Paper
Internal Migration in the United States: A Comprehensive Comparative Assessment of the Consumer Credit Panel

We introduce and provide the first comprehensive comparative assessment of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York/Equifax Consumer Credit Panel (CCP) as a valuable and underutilized data set for studying internal migration within the United States. Relative to other data sources on US internal migration, the CCP permits highly detailed cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses of migration, both temporally and geographically. We compare cross-sectional and longitudinal estimates of migration from the CCP to similar estimates derived from the American Community Survey, the Current Population ...
Working Papers , Paper 18-04R

Working Paper
Social Interventions, Health and Wellbeing: The Long-Term and Intergenerational Effects of a School Construction Program

We analyze the long-run and intergenerational effects of a large-scale school building project (INPRES) that took place in Indonesia between 1974 and 1979. Specifically, we link the geographic rollout of INPRES to longitudinal data from the Indonesian Family Life Survey covering two generations. We find that individuals exposed to the program have better health later in life along multiple measures. We also find that the children of those exposed also experience improved health and educational outcomes and that these effects are generally stronger for maternal exposure than paternal exposure. ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2019-09

Spatial Wage Gaps and Frictional Labor Markets

We develop a job-ladder model with labor reallocation across firms and space, which we design to leverage matched employer-employee data to study differences in wages and labor productivity across regions. We apply our framework to data from Germany: twenty-five years after the reunification, real wages in the East are still 26 percent lower than those in the West. We find that 60 percent of the wage gap is due to labor being paid a higher wage per efficiency unit in West Germany, and quantify three distinct barriers that prevent East Germans from migrating west to obtain a higher wage: ...
Staff Reports , Paper 898


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