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Ritter, J. A., & Taylor, L. J. (1994). Workers as Creditors: Performance Bonds and Efficiency Wages. American Economic Review, 84, 694–704.
Bagde, S., Epple, D., & Taylor, L. (2016). Does Affirmative Action Work? Caste, Gender, College Quality, and Academic Success in India. American Economic Review, 106, 1495–1521.
Public policy in modern India features affirmative action programs intended to reduce inequality that stems from a centuries-old caste structure and history of disparate treatment by gender. We study the effects of one such affirmative action program: an admissions policy that fixes percentage quotas, common across more than 200 engineering colleges, for disadvantaged castes and for women. We show that the program increases college attendance of targeted students, particularly at relatively higher-quality institutions. An important concern is that affirmative action might harm intended beneficiaries by placing them in academic programs for which they are ill-prepared. We find no evidence of such adverse impacts.
Card, D., Chan, D. C., & Taylor, L. (2023). Is There a VA Advantage? Evidence from Dually Eligible Veterans. American Economic Review, 113, 3003–3043.
We study public versus private provision of health care for veterans aged 65 and older who may receive care provided by the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and in private hospitals financed by Medicare. Utilizing the ambulance design of Doyle et al. (2015), we find that the VA reduces 28-day mortality by 46 percent (4.5 percentage points) and that these survival gains are persistent. The VA also reduces 28-day spending by 21 percent and delivers strikingly different reported services relative to private hospitals. We find suggestive evidence of complementarities between continuity of care, health IT, and integrated care.
Landers, R. M., Rebitzer, J. B., & Taylor, L. J. (1996). Rat Race Redux: Adverse Selection in the Determination of Work Hours in Law Firms. American Economic Review, 86, 329–348.
This paper describes an organizational setting in which professional employees are required to work inefficiently long hours. The focus of the authors' investigation is large law firms. The income sharing that characterizes legal partnerships creates incentives to promote associates who have a propensity to work very hard. Law firms use indicators of this propensity–especially an associate's record of billable hours–in promotion decisions. Reliance upon work hours as an indicator leads to a rat-race equilibrium in which associates work too many hours. The authors find evidence in support of this conclusion with data they collected from two large law firms. Copyright 1996 by American Economic Association.
Black, D. A., Sanders, S. G., Taylor, E. J., & Taylor, L. J. (2015). The Impact of the Great Migration on Mortality of African Americans: Evidence from the Deep South. American Economic Review, 105, 477–503.
The Great Migration–the massive migration of African Americansout of the rural South to largely urban locations in the North,Midwest, and West–was a landmark event in US history. Our papershows that this migration increased mortality of African Americansborn in the early twentieth century South. This inference comes froman analysis that uses proximity of birthplace to railroad lines as aninstrument for migration. (JEL I12, J15, N31, N32, N91, N92, R23)
Nagin, D. S., Rebitzer, J. B., Sanders, S., & Taylor, L. J. (2002). Monitoring, Motivation, and Management: The Determinants of Opportunistic Behavior in a Field Experiment. American Economic Review, 92, 850–873.
Economic models of incentives in employment relationships are based on a specific theory of motivation: employees are "rational cheaters," who anticipate the consequences of their actions and shirk when the marginal benefits exceed costs. We investigate the "rational cheater model" by observing how experimentally induced variation in monitoring of telephone call center employees influences opportunism. A significant fraction of employees behave as the "rational cheater model" predicts. A substantial proportion of employees, however, do not respond to manipulations in the monitoring rate. This heterogeneity is related to variation in employee assessments of their general treatment by the employer. (JEL D2, J2, L2, L8, M12)
Cebul, R. D., Rebitzer, J. B., Taylor, L. J., & Votruba, M. E. (2011). Unhealthy Insurance Markets: Search Frictions and the Cost and Quality of Health Insurance. American Economic Review, 101, 1842–1871.
We analyze the effect of search frictions in the market for commercial health insurance. Frictions increase insurance premiums (enough to transfer 13.2 percent of consumer surplus from fully insured employer groups to insurers—approximately $34.4 billion in 1997); and increase insurance turnover (by 64 percent for the average policy). This rent transfer harms consumers and—when combined with heightened turnover—reduces incentives to invest in future health. We also find that a publicly financed insurance option can improve the efficiency of private insurance markets by reducing search friction induced distortions in pricing and marketing efforts. (JEL D83 G22, I18)
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