Research in Brief

Is Student Debt Hindering Entrepreneurship?

Evidence suggests that a change in a household’s student debt from $0 to about $35,000 decreases entrepreneurship by three percentage points.

Putting a Price Tag on Nature: Contingent Valuation and Other Approaches

According to a recent study, the human brain works differently when evaluating nature than when defining a value for any other good.

Entrepreneurship: The Modern Day Crime-Stopper

A study finds that the growth of African-American-owned businesses in urban communities plays a role in decreasing the rate of youth violent crime.

Renting While Black: Revealed Preferences in the Sharing Economy

Evidence from a recent field experiment, based on data from Airbnb, demonstrates that racial discrimination persists on modern, online sharing marketplaces. Results indicate that guests with distinctively African-American names were found to be 16 percent less likely to be accepted by hosts on the site than guests with distinctively White names.

More Money, More Problems: The Impact of Tuition Increases on Undocumented Student Achievement

Research on the impact of a tuition increase for undocumented students in the City University of New York (CUNY) system shows that higher costs significantly reduce degree completion by increasing drop-out rates for newer students and reducing the number of credits earned by remaining students. This evidence suggests that tuition subsidies not only encourage undocumented students to attend college but also help ensure they complete college upon enrollment.

The Economic Role of Refugees: Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa

The massive inflow of refugees in Europe has received unprecedented attention from the media, international agencies, and policymakers, and has generated an intense debate over adequate policy responses. However, refugees in Europe make up a fraction of the world’s forced migrations. According to the UN Refugee Agency, 86 percent of the world’s refugees live in developing countries, and many of those countries experienced large inflows of refugees in the past and adopted different policies with respect to them. Thus, studying past refugee experiences in the developing world might offer some lessons for the current refugee crisis in Europe.

Rethinking the Use of Biometric Systems for Refugee Management

The use of iris scans for refugee management is expanding, but the risks associated with this technology are often overlooked.

Hidden Costs of High-Deductible Plans

A very large firm switched from completely subsidized insurance plans to high-deductible insurance plans, resulting in a reduction of 13 percent in total health spending. Evidence suggests that consumers are potentially reducing both wasteful and needed medical care, thus behaving counter to their financial and medical interests.

Opportunities and Challenges Associated with the Internet of Things

Although the Internet of Things has major potential for economic opportunities, it still faces problems in data privacy, security, and other areas that have yet to be overcome.

The Complicated Relationship between Public Sector Employment and Governance in Low-Income Countries

Evidence suggests that public sector workers in low-income countries have a wage premium relative to their private sector counterparts, despite the fact that they have lower quality governance. Improving the design of public sector personnel policies may have an impact on the quality of governance.