Tag Archives: economist

The War on Poverty lost the political battle

ANN ARBOR — A new University of Michigan analysis challenges the conventional wisdom that President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty failed.

In the decade after Johnson declared “unconditional war on poverty,” poverty rates plummeted to reach their historic low of about 11 percent in 1973. Poverty rates were 19 percent in 1964. (more…)

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Women donate less to charity than men in some contexts

Given the chance, women are more likely than men to opt out of a request to give a charitable donation, a group of economists have found.

The issue of which gender is more generous has been debated for years. A new field experiment conducted by scholars at the University of Chicago and University of California, Berkeley shows that when it’s easy to avoid making a donation, such as not responding to a door-to-door solicitor, women are less likely than men to give. (more…)

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Study of microcredit finds generally positive, but not transformative, impacts

Microcredit generally benefits borrowers, according to new research focused on Mexico’s biggest for-profit microlender — but it’s not lifting people out of poverty.

In a multi-year, randomized evaluation of microloans provided by Compartamos Banco, Yale University economist Dean Karlan, with collaborators Manuela Angelucci of the University of Michigan and Jonathan Zinman of Dartmouth College, show there are generally positive effects on average and find little evidence that some borrowers end up worse off while others end up better off. However, the canonical story that microcredit leads to higher enterprise income did not bear fruit. (more…)

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Fingerprints for Financing: Removing Some Risk from Lending in Africa

ANN ARBOR — Some called it “witchcraft.” Others just watched in awe as their scanned fingerprints were used to pull up their records on a computer.

They were paprika farmers in Malawi participating in a new study that shows fingerprinting can help encourage borrowers to repay their loans.

Like many impoverished countries, Malawi lacks a national identification system. Most of the population lives in rural areas with few government services. Even ID as basic as a birth certificate is rare in the southeastern African nation. (more…)

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Beliefs Drive Investors More than Preferences, Study Finds

COLUMBUS, Ohio – If experts thought they knew anything about individual investors, it was this: their emotions lead them to sell winning stocks too soon and hold on to losers too long.

But new research casts doubt on this widely held theory that individual investors’ decisions are driven mainly by their feelings toward losses and gains. In an innovative study, researchers found evidence that individual investors’ decisions are primarily motivated by their beliefs about a stock’s future. (more…)

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Many U.S. Families Are Underwater with Debts

ANN ARBOR, Mich.— As the country emerges from the Great Recession, a substantial number of U.S. families are underwater—and not just with their mortgages.

According to a new University of Michigan report, about one out of every five U.S. households owe more on credit cards, medical bills, student loans and other noncollateralized debts than they have in savings and other liquid assets.

The report also predicts continuing trouble ahead for home mortgages, with 1.7 percent of families surveyed in 2011 saying that it is “very or somewhat likely” that they will fall behind on their mortgage payments in the near future. This represents an improvement from 2009, however, when 1.9 percent of families had such expectations. (more…)

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Q&A: Economic ‘Prophet’ Now Showing Classes How Theory Translates into Practice

Stephen Roach is a respected authority on Asia — China in particular — and an often-cited and widely recognized prophet on the global economy.

Until recently chair of Morgan Stanley Asia and long the firm’s chief economist, Roach came to Yale in 2010 as a senior fellow in the newly inaugurated Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, with a joint appointment at the School of Management (SOM). This spring Roach announced he would be retiring from Morgan Stanley after 30 years with the firm to teach full time at Yale.

YaleNews recently met with the economist in his office to discuss his new career as a teacher and to get his prognosis on the future of the world economy. (more…)

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Job Slowdown in April Halts Growth in Overall Confidence

ANN ARBOR, Mich.— Consumer confidence remained largely unchanged at improved levels in April as consumers were still hopeful about future job gains despite disappointing recent developments, according to economist Richard Curtin, director of the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers.

The Surveys, conducted by the U-M Institute for Social Research, have been monitoring consumer attitudes and expectations for over 60 years. (more…)

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