All Insights

Watch, read, or listen to all insights.
Filter by
Insights / Research BriefMay 22, 2023

Judging Nudging: Understanding the Welfare Effects of Nudges Versus Taxes

John A. List, Matthias Rodemeier, Sutanuka Roy, Gregory K. Sun
A combination of nudges and taxes always outperforms each policy in isolation; however, there is large variation in how much these combinations add to social welfare, reinforcing the importance of empirically quantifying welfare effects.
Topics:  Fiscal Studies
Insights / Research BriefMay 19, 2023

Debt Moratoria: Evidence from Student Loan Forbearance

Ching-Tse Chen, Michael Dinerstein, Constantine Yannelis
Relative to borrowers who had to continue paying their loans, borrowers allowed to pause their payments sharply increased mortgage, auto, and credit card borrowing, with little effect on loan delinquencies.
Topics:  Fiscal Studies
Insights / Research BriefMay 11, 2023

Toward an Understanding of Tax Amnesties: Theory and Evidence From a Natural Field Experiment

Patricia Gil, Justin E. Holz, John A. List, Andrew Simon, Alejandro Zentner
Receiving a message about a tax amnesty program (especially deterrence messages) increases the likelihood of joining the amnesty and repaying some debt; importantly, such amnesties do not cause a reduction in tax payments over the following two years, contrary to existing theoretical predictions.
Topics:  Fiscal Studies
Insights / Podcast episodeFeb 07, 2023

Law of Unintended Consequences: Welfare Reform and Crime

Tess Vigeland, Manasi Deshpande
When policymakers passed a historic welfare reform law in 1996, they likely did not anticipate...
Topics:  Fiscal Studies
Insights / Research BriefFeb 23, 2022

A Goldilocks Theory of Fiscal Deficits

Atif R. Mian, Ludwig Straub, Amir Sufi
Interest rates among advanced economies have fallen precipitously in recent years, following a decades-long trend, and fueling fears of secular, or long-term, stagnation. What that means is the interest rate that balances desired saving and investment and, thus, leads to full employment and stable inflation, has not only approached zero but in theory could be negative, especially if not for generous government social programs. Likewise, fiscal deficits have grown.
Topics:  Fiscal Studies
Insights / Research BriefFeb 22, 2022

Does Welfare Prevent Crime? The Criminal Justice Outcomes of Youth Removed from SSI

Manasi Deshpande, Michael Mueller-Smith
Losing Supplemental Security Income (SSI) at 18 increases the number of criminal charges over the next two decades, with the costs of enforcement and incarceration from SSI removal approaching the savings from reduced SSI benefits.
Topics:  Fiscal Studies
Insights / Research BriefNov 30, 2021

The Rise of Pass-Throughs and the Decline of the Labor Share

Matthew Smith, Danny Yagan, Owen Zidar, Eric Zwick
The past 40 years have seen labor’s share of US corporate-sector income (or value added) fall five percentage points vs. the share going to capital, from 62.9 percent to 57.9 percent. This decline in labor’s share has not only fueled calls for higher taxes on the wealthy to stem growing inequality but has also led to dire warnings about the future of democracy should this trend persist, a lá Thomas Piketty’s 2014 Capital in the Twenty-First Century.
Topics:  Fiscal Studies
Insights / Research BriefOct 27, 2021

A Temporary VAT Cut as Unconventional Fiscal Policy

Rüdiger Bachmann, Benjamin Born, Olga Goldfayn-Frank, Georgi Kocharkov, Ralph Luetticke, Michael Weber
A temporary reduction in Germany’s value added tax in the second half of 2020 led to a 36% increase in durable spending for individuals with a high perceived pass-through, along with an increase in semi- and non-durable spending; in addition, aggregate consumption spending rose by 34 billion Euros.
Topics:  Fiscal Studies