Research Brief

Are Bigger Banks Better? Firm-Level Evidence from Germany

Politicians, policymakers, and consumer groups in the United States and Europe have recently turned their attention to the increasing size of large tech companies and the market share that those firms capture. While attention is focused on tech giants, another industry is experiencing a similar phenomenon: large banks keep getting bigger. Despite the supposed systemic risk that such institutions pose, large banks continue to grow in size and influence. Despite dispensing bailouts and other rescue measures during episodic financial crises in recent decades, government agencies continue to allow—and in some cases encourage—such growth.
Research Brief

Discrimination, Managers, and Firm Performance: Evidence from “Aryanizations” in Nazi Germany

As many readers have likely experienced, the sudden loss of a key manager or executive can have a negative impact on a firm, whatever size. Now imagine a large loss of experienced and knowledgeable managers across a country’s economy. In such a case, one might expect aggregated negative effects, with the country suffering measurable negative economic outcomes.
Research Brief

The Distributional Effects of Student Loan Forgiveness

Throughout the 2020 US presidential campaign, increasing attention was paid to the staggering amount of student loan debt carried by current and former students, which reached $1.6 trillion. That number continues to rise, along with calls for the new administration to deliver some form of student loan forgiveness. At a time when many individuals, especially those with low to moderate incomes, are struggling during a pandemic-induced recession, student debt forgiveness is viewed as both fair to individuals and important for economic growth.
Topics:  Higher Education & Workforce Training
Research Brief

Take-up and Targeting: Experimental Evidence from SNAP

There are programs in the United States that provide food and health care, for example, to individuals who otherwise cannot afford them. All they have to do is apply. And yet many eligible individuals choose to not apply for those benefits.
Research Brief

The Economic Consequences of Bankruptcy Reform

For some individuals with high levels of debt and no means to pay it all back, bankruptcy can mean a fresh start by offering creditors partial repayment while remaining debts are forgiven. This new beginning is not painless for debtors, as they must liquidate personal property, which means not only cash, stocks, or bonds, but can also include such items as collectables and family heirlooms. For creditors, bankruptcy may offer at least some repayment but often leaves them wanting.
Research Brief

Impact of the COVID-19 Crisis on Family Dynamics in Economically Vulnerable Households • The Education Gradient in Maternal Enjoyment of Time in Childcare

A Google search of “parenting and mothers during covid” in mid-October 2020 returned nearly 300...
Topics:  COVID-19, Economic Mobility & Poverty, Early Childhood Education
Research Brief

Elections, Political Polarization, and Economic Uncertainty

Uncertainty is the bane of economic decision-making. Whether to invest, start a new business, change jobs, or a myriad of other questions are difficult choices even in relatively stable times (however one chooses to define “stable”). However, such events as hotly contested national elections turn up the dials of uncertainty and complicate decision-making beyond normal bounds of ambiguity. This is especially true when a large gap exists between the likely economic policies of competing candidates and political parties.
Research Brief

Effective Policy Communication: Targets versus Instruments

In recent decades, and especially since the Great Recession, interest rates have remained very low, meaning that central banks have had to devise new ways to invigorate the economy in times of recession. In some cases, like quantitative easing, whereby central banks purchase long-term securities in the open market to increase the money supply and encourage lending and investment, these new tools are deemed unconventional.
Topics:  Monetary Policy