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Parental age and birth disorders: A sibling study

Hans Hvide, Julian Vedeler Johnsen, Kjell G. Salvanes 12 June 2021 Parental age at childbearing has increased across the Western world over the last decades, partly in response to medical advances and partly because people increasingly prefer to postpone starting a family. This development has been met with concern from medical specialists and public policymakers, as increased parental age is a potential risk factor for adverse offspring outcomes. These...

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Low-performing boys are particularly affected by family environment

David Autor, David Figlio, Krzysztof Karbownik, Jeffrey Roth, Melanie Wasserman 11 June 2021 Women have now surpassed men in most measures of educational achievement, including propensity to graduate from high school, to enrol in post-secondary education, and to graduate from college. For example, in 2010 the high school graduation rate among US women was 87%, while it was 81% among US men (Murnane 2013). These patterns are not unique to the US – as...

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Centralised bank supervision and the composition of firm investment

Does stability breed or hinder growth? Numerous papers have tackled various aspects of this question, providing opposing answers and conflicting policy implications. At the one extreme, Ramey and Ramey (1995) show that in countries where long-run GDP growth is less volatile, it is also higher on average. At the other extreme, Ranciere et al. (2008) show that countries in which long-run GDP growth is higher also tend to experience more frequent systemic crises. They argue that both...

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Fiscal rules in the European Monetary Union

Fiscal rules were enshrined in the founding documents of the European Monetary Union. The Maastricht Treaty of 1992 required that members, existing and prospective, keep public debt below 60% and public deficits below 3% of GDP. The Stability and Growth Pact (SGP), enacted in 1997, further elaborated these rules and their enforcement mechanisms. These were considered essential to avoid mutualisation of sovereign liabilities, the potential spillovers from a sovereign debt crisis to...

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Large trade shocks and economic crises

Large trade shocks and economic crises: The case of the Finnish-Soviet trade collapse What are the economic causes and consequences of large trade disruptions? Are they able to unleash a full-scale economic crisis? In recent years, the news has been full of events such as the US-China trade war, Brexit, and even the collapse of tourism and travel following the outbreak of Covid-19 (Baldwin and Weder di Mauro 2020). Not surprisingly, these discussions revolve in part...

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How Russian banks anticipated and dealt with global financial sanctions

“Crime and Punishment”: How Russian banks anticipated and dealt with global financial sanctions Politics affects the banking sector in many ways (e.g. Calomiris and Huber 2014). For example, governments in many countries direct commercial bank lending to specific sectors and/or stimulate lending to small and medium-sized enterprises (e.g. Brown and Dinc 2005). And during the recent COVID-19 pandemic, many governments created emergency loan guarantee schemes that...

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The disciplining effect of supervisory scrutiny in the EU-wide stress test

Since the financial crisis, stress tests have become an important supervisory and financial stability tool (Constâncio 2017). Against this background, an important question is whether stress tests contribute to financial stability by promoting risk reduction in the banking sector, as recent evidence suggests (Cortes et al. 2017, Acharya et al. 2018, Steri and Pierret 2018). Stress tests offer deep insights into banks’ vulnerabilities to supervisors and the public through an intense...

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The 2020 trade impact of the Covid-19 pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic has drastically affected lives and livelihoods. In the process, it has also disrupted economic activities throughout the world. In particular, worldwide merchandise trade flows decreased by 7% in 2020. There are several dimensions to the pandemic that are likely to affect international trade: its direct health impact and associated behavioural changes; the consequences of governments’ actions to prevent the spread of the virus; and the impact of the pandemic...

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