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Working Paper

Robots and Labor in the Service Sector: Evidence from Nursing Homes

Karen Eggleston, Yong Suk Lee, Toshiaki Iizuka
Asia Health Policy Program working paper # 63 , 2021

In one of the first studies of service sector robotics using establishment-level data, we study the impact of robots on staffing in Japanese nursing homes, using geographic variation in robot subsidies as an instrumental variable. We find that robot adoption increases employment by augmenting the number of care workers and nurses on flexible employment contracts, and decreases difficulty in staff retention. Robot adoption also reduces the monthly wages of regular nurses, consistent with reduced burden of care.

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Journal Article

The Impact of Internet Use on Adolescent Learning Outcomes: Evidence from Rural China

Lili Li, Yue Ma, Dimitris Friesen, Zhonggen Zhang, Songqing Jin, Scott Rozelle
China Agricultural Economic Review , 2021
Purpose: Internet use has become particularly prevalent among adolescents, prompting much thought and concern about both its potential benefits and adverse effects on adolescent learning outcomes. Much of the empirical literature on the impact of Internet use on adolescent learning outcomes is mixed, and few studies examine the causal relationship between the two in rural China. In order to bridge these gaps, we use empirical analysis to investigate the effect of Internet use on the learning outcomes of adolescents in rural China. Design/methodology/approach: We use fixed effect models with samples drawn from a large nationally representative dataset (the China Family Panel Studies—CFPS) to identify the causal impacts of Internet use on the learning outcomes of three cohorts (Cohort A (N = 540), Cohort B (N = 287) and Cohort C (N = 827)) of adolescents in rural China. Findings: The results of the descriptive analysis show a continued increase in the number of adolescents accessing the Internet and the amount of time they spend online. The results of the fixed effect models show that Internet use has positive (in many of the analyses), but mostly insignificant impacts, on the learning outcomes of adolescents. In the sets of results that find significant associations between Internet use and learning outcomes, the measured effects are moderate. Originality/value: This study investigates the causal relationship between Internet use and adolescent learning outcomes in rural China. The findings claim that there is not a great need to worry about adverse effects of Internet use on adolescent learning development. Attention, however, should focus on seeking ways to improve the positive effects of the Internet use on adolescent learning outcomes. The study will provide a reference and experience for the development of education and the Internet in rural areas and promote the integrated development of urban and rural areas in China.
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Journal Article

Early Childhood Reading in Rural China and Obstacles to Caregiver Investment in Young Children: A Mixed-Methods Analysis

Rui Li, Nathan Rose, Yi Ming Zheng, Yunwei Chen, Sean Sylvia, Henry Wilson-Smith, Alexis Medina, Sarah-Eve Dill, Scott Rozelle
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health , 2021
Studies have shown that nearly half of rural toddlers in China have cognitive delays due to an absence of stimulating parenting practices, such as early childhood reading, during the critical first three years of life. However, few studies have examined the reasons behind these low levels of stimulating parenting, and no studies have sought to identify the factors that limit caregivers from providing effective early childhood reading practices (EECRP). This mixed-methods study investigates the perceptions, prevalence, and correlates of EECRP in rural China, as well as associations with child cognitive development. We use quantitative survey results from 1748 caregiver–child dyads across 100 rural villages/townships in northwestern China and field observation and interview data with 60 caregivers from these same sites. The quantitative results show significantly low rates of EECRP despite positive perceptions of early reading and positive associations between EECRP and cognitive development. The qualitative results suggest that low rates of EECRP in rural China are not due to the inability to access books, financial or time constraints, or the absence of aspirations. Rather, the low rate of book ownership and absence of reading to young children is driven by the insufficient and inaccurate knowledge of EECRP among caregivers, which leads to their delayed, misinformed reading decisions with their young children, ultimately contributing to developmental delays.
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Journal Article

False Alarm? Estimating the Marginal Value of Health Signals

Brian Chen, Karen Eggleston, Toshiaki Iizuka, Katsuhiko Nishiyama
Journal of Public Economics , 2021
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Book

Russia Resurrected: Its Power and Purpose in a New Global Order

Kathryn Stoner
2021
An assessment of Russia that suggests that we should look beyond traditional means of power to understand its strength and capacity to disrupt international politics.
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Journal Article

Publishing and Assessing the Research of Economists: Lessons from Public Health

Sean Sylvia, Scott Rozelle
China Economic Review , 2021
We highlight a growing concern in the economics profession that young scholars face incentives that are misaligned with conducting research that furthers knowledge and addresses pressing policy problems. The premium given to publication in top journals leads to an emphasis on exhaustive treatment of narrow questions. Detailed, robustly identified studies of novel questions are of undeniable value; however, the opportunity cost of producing such studies is large in terms of research quantity and policy relevance. For economists who aim to achieve what we view as the ultimate goals of academic research (enhancing understanding of the world, solving social problems, and building foundational knowledge to enable future breakthroughs), we offer some insights from publication philosophy in the field of public health. We discuss how public health has developed norms around publishing that are more successful in meeting these ultimate goals. We then offer thoughts on potential lessons for young economists in China and the economics discipline.
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Working Paper

Just Above the Exam Cutoff Score: Elite College Admission and Wages in China

Ruixue Jia, Hongbin Li
National Bureau of Economic Research , 2021
A burgeoning literature has documented the importance of elite colleges. Yet, little is known about access to elite education and its labor market implications in China, a country that produces one in every five college graduates in the world. College admission in China is governed by a single exam—the national college entrance exam, and the government sets admission cutoff scores for elite colleges. We examine the impacts of scoring above the elite-tier cutoff on a student's access to elite colleges and wage outcomes after graduation, using the discontinuity around the cutoff score. By employing hand-collected survey data, we find that scoring above the cutoff not only increases the chance of entering an elite college but also raises a young person's first-job wages after graduation. We also find that those just above the cutoff have peers with higher scores and better social networks than those below the cutoff, but it is less clear whether the two groups use their time differently in college.
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Working Paper

Health, Psychosocial, and Economic Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on People with Chronic Condition in India: A Mixed Methods Study

Kavita (Singh), Dimple Kondal, Sailesh Mohan, Suganthi Jaganathan, Deepa Mohan, Nikhil Srinivasapura Venkateshmurthy, Prashant Jarhyan, Anjana Ranjit Mohan, KM Venkat Narayan, Viswanathan Mohan, Nikhil Tandon, Mohammed K Ali, Dorairaj Prabhakaran, Karen Eggleston
Asia Health Policy Program working paper # 61 , 2021

Background. People with chronic conditions are disproportionately prone to be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic but there are limited data documenting this. We aimed to assess the health, psychosocial and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on people with chronic conditions in India.

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Book

United Front

Paul Schuler
2021
Projecting Solidarity through Deliberation in Vietnam’s Single-Party Legislature
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Book

The Dynastic Imagination

Adrian Daub
2021
Family and Modernity in Nineteenth-Century Germany
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White Paper

Contours and Controversies of Parler

David Thiel, Renee DiResta, Shelby Grossman, Elena Cryst
2021
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Journal Article

Contribution of historical precipitation change to US flood damages

Marshall Burke, Noah Diffenbaugh
PNAS , 2021

Precipitation extremes have increased in many regions of the United States, suggesting that climate change may be exacerbating the cost of flooding. However, the impact of historical precipitation change on the cost of US flood damages remains poorly quantified. Applying empirical analysis to historical precipitation and flood damages, we estimate that approximately one-third (36%) of the cost of flood damages over 1988 to 2017 is a result of historical precipitation changes.

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Journal Article

Teach What You Preach: A Comprehensive Guide to the Policy Memo as a Methods Teaching Tool

Oriana Skylar Mastro
Journal of Political Science Education , 2021
The policy memo is particularly suited for introducing basic methodological concepts to upper-division undergraduate students of political science, argues Oriana Skylar Mastro.
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Journal Article

Lancet Series on Women’s and Children’s Health in Conflict Settings

Paul H. Wise, Eran Bendavid, Stephen J. Stedman
2021

A new four-paper series in The Lancet exposes the far-reaching effects of modern warfare on women’s and children’s health.

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Journal Article

Tracking the Effects of COVID-19 in Rural China Over Time

Huan Wang, Markus Zhang, Robin Li, Oliver Zhong, Hannah Johnstone, Huan Zhou, Hao Xue, Sean Sylvia, Matthew Boswell, Prashant Loyalka, Scott Rozelle
International Journal for Equity in Health , 2021
Background: China issued strict nationwide guidelines to combat the COVID-19 outbreak in January 2020 and gradually loosened the restrictions on movement in early March. Little is known about how these disease control measures affected the 600 million people who live in rural China. The goal of this paper is to document the quarantine measures implemented in rural China outside the epicenter of Hubei Province and to assess the socioeconomic effect of the measures on rural communities over time. Methods: We conducted three rounds of interviews with informants from 726 villages in seven provinces, accounting for over 25% of China’s overall rural population. The survey collected data on rural quarantine implementation; COVID-19 infections and deaths in the survey villages; and effects of the quarantine on employment, income, education, health care, and government policies to address any negative impacts. The empirical findings of the work established that strict quarantine measures were implemented in rural villages throughout China in February. Results: There was little spread of COVID-19 in rural communities: an infection rate of 0.001% and zero deaths reported in our sample. However, there were negative social and economic outcomes, including high rates of unemployment, falling household income, rising prices, and disrupted student learning. Health care was generally accessible, but many delayed their non-COVID-19 health care due to the quarantine measures. Only 20% of villagers received any form of local government aid, and only 11% of villages received financial subsidies. There were no reports of national government aid programs that targeted rural villagers in the sample areas. Conclusions: By examining the economic and social effects of the COVID-19 restrictions in rural communities, this study will help to guide other middle- and low-income countries in their containment and restorative processes. Without consideration for economically vulnerable populations, economic hardships and poverty will likely continue to have a negative impact on the most susceptible communities.
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Book

Negotiating the New START Treaty

Rose Gottemoeller
2021
Rose Gottemoeller, the US chief negotiator of the New START treaty—and the first woman to lead a major nuclear arms negotiation—delivers in this book an invaluable insider’s account of the negotiations between the US and Russian delegations in Geneva in 2009 and 2010.
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Journal Article

The changing risk and burden of wildfire in the United States

Marshall Burke, Anne Driscoll, Sam Heft-Neal, Jiani Xue
PNAS , 2021

Recent dramatic and deadly increases in global wildfire activity have increased attention on the causes of wildfires, their consequences, and how risk from wildfire might be mitigated. Here we bring together data on the changing risk and societal burden of wildfire in the United States. We estimate that nearly 50 million homes are currently in the wildland–urban interface in the United States, a number increasing by 1 million houses every 3 y.

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Journal Article

Rural Minimum Living Standard Guarantee (Rural Dibao) Program Boosts Children's Education Outcomes in Rural China

Zixuan He, Xiangming Fang, Nathan Rose, Xiaodong Zheng, Scott Rozelle
China Agricultural Economic Review , 2021

Purpose: To combat poverty in China's rural areas, Chinese government has established an unconditional cash transfer program known as the Rural Minimum Living Standard Guarantee (Rural Dibao) Program. Interestingly, despite the importance of education in breaking cycles of poverty, little is known about Rural Dibao's impact on rural children's education.

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Working Paper

What Kinds of Distributed Generation Technologies Defer Network Expansions? Evidence from France

Nicolas Astier, Ram Rajagopal, Frank Wolak
Program on Energy and Sustainable Development , 2021

We estimate the relationship between distributed generation investments and hourly net injections to the distribution grid across over 2,000 substations in France between 2005 and 2018. A 1 MW increase in solar PV capacity has no statistically significant impact on the highest percentiles of the annual distribution of hourly net of injections to the distribution grid. A 1 MW increase in wind capacity is predicted to reduce the 99th percentile of the annual distribution of hourly net injections to the distribution grid by 0.037 MWh.

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Journal Article

The Performance of State-Owned Enterprises: New Evidence from the China Employer-Employee Survey

Hong Cheng, Hongbin Li, Tang Li
Economic Development and Cultural Change , 2021
Drawing on data from a random sample of manufacturing firms collected in 2016 for the China Employer-Employee Survey (CEES), we examine differences in measures of productivity and financial returns between state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and private firms in China. The summary statistics show that labor productivity and total factor productivity are generally higher at SOEs than at private firms, but the productivity advantage of SOEs can mostly be explained by the higher levels of human capital of their workers, greater market power, and better management. Furthermore, SOEs’ advantage in productivity exists only in industries with higher SOE concentrations. In contrast, measures of financial returns—return on assets and return on equity—are lower for SOEs than for private firms. We believe that these results may reflect the fact that SOEs generally have easier access to capital, human capital, and markets than other types of firms in China.
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Journal Article

IQ, Grit, and Academic Achievement: Evidence from Rural China

Xinyue He, Huan Wang, Fang Chang, Sarah-Eve Dill, Han Liu, Bin Tang, Yaojiang Shi
International Journal of Educational Development , 2021
Promoting an educated labor force is critical for emerging economies. Educational achievement, in turn, depends heavily on general cognitive abilities as well as non-cognitive skills, such as grit. Current research, however, has not examined how cognition and grit may explain the academic performance of students in an economically disadvantaged context. Thus, this study examines how IQ and grit contribute to academic achievement gains for students in poor areas of rural China. Drawing on data from 2931 students in rural China, we measure general cognitive ability, using the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, Fourth Edition (WISC-IV) and Raven’s Standard Progressive Matrices (Raven IQ); non-cognitive ability, using the Short Grit Scale; and academic achievement, using a curricular-based mathematics exam. We find that IQ and grit each predict achievement gains for the average student. Grit is not positively associated with achievement gains among low-IQ students, however, suggesting that grit does not translate into academic achievement gains for students with delays in general cognitive ability.
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Working Paper

Quantifying the Benefi ts of Nodal Market Design in the Texas Electricity Market

Ryan Triolo, Frank Wolak
Program on Energy and Sustainable Development , 2021

This study quantifies the economic and environmental impacts associated with the change from a zonal to nodal design in the Texas electricity market. To begin, we present a framework to understand the mechanisms that lead to inefficient outcomes under a zonal market model. Then, we estimate a semiparametric partially linear conditional mean function to quantify changes in selected market metrics for the same set of underlying system conditions after versus before the implementation of the nodal market design.

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