Note to Full Text Reports readers…

April 13, 2015 Comments off

Posting will be lighter than usual and possibly irregular over the next few weeks, but you will still see something new here every day.

In the meantime, have a look at StatFountain, a new sister blog to FTR that will aggregate statistically-focused reports. We know that people are often looking for numbers; it may be more helpful to corral all of these things together, categorized and tagged for easier searching.

This is a work-in-progress. Appearance, etc., may change.

Categories: admin - FTR

Note to FullTextReports followers…

September 11, 2013 Comments off

Some of the papers and reports posted on FullTextReports.com are freely available online for just a limited time before they disappear behind a paywall (or go away entirely). If you see something you suspect might be useful to you (or a colleague) in the future, download it the day you see it because it may not be accessible later without a subscription (or it may have been moved or taken offline). FullTextReports.com provides links only and does not archive papers and reports.

Also note: FullTextReports.com includes documents from a wide range of organizations, many of which exist to promote a specific agenda. The serious researcher may want to do a little checking around before relying on information in reports issued by entities whose mission is…unfamiliar.

Disclaimer: WordPress has begun placing advertising on this blog. Any ads you see do NOT constitute an endorsement by FullTextReports.com. If you see anything offensive, please notify FullTextReports@gmail.com.

Categories: admin - FTR

How fast are semiconductor prices falling?

May 22, 2015 Comments off

How fast are semiconductor prices falling?
Source: American Enterprise Institute

Editor’s note: This paper has been updated from the original version posted in July 2014.

The Producer Price Index (PPI) for the United States suggests that semiconductor prices have barely been falling in recent years, a dramatic contrast from the rapid declines reported from the mid-1980s to the early 2000s. This slowdown in the rate of decline is puzzling in light of evidence that the performance of microprocessor units (MPUs) has continued to improve at a rapid pace. Roughly coincident with the shift to slower price declines in the PPI, Intel — the leading producer of MPUs — substantially changed its pricing behavior for these chips. As a result of this change, we argue that the matched-model methodology used in the PPI for MPUs likely started to be biased in the mid-2000s and that hedonic indexes can provide a more accurate measure of price change since then. Our preferred hedonic index of MPU prices tracks the PPI closely through 2004. However, from 2004 to 2008, our preferred index fell faster than the PPI, and from 2008 to 2013 the gap widened further, with our preferred index falling at an average annual rate of 43 percent, while the PPI declined at only an 8 percent rate. Given that MPUs currently represent about half of U.S. shipments of semiconductors, this difference has important implications for gauging the rate of innovation in the semiconductor sector.

Overdraft U: Student Bank Accounts Often Loaded With High Overdraft Fees

May 22, 2015 Comments off

Overdraft U: Student Bank Accounts Often Loaded With High Overdraft Fees
Source: Center for Responsible Lending

Some colleges and banks enter into exclusive agreements to offer students checking accounts – usually these accounts come furnished with a debit card that prominently displays the school logo and can sometimes be used as student ID.

For banks, these exclusive agreements mean a captive audience for their bank products (checking accounts, credit card accounts) and usually a customer for life. Studies suggest that banks are a “sticky” product – once a consumer chooses one, they’re unlikely to change.

For colleges, these exclusive agreements mean increased revenue. These partnerships may include revenue sharing (based on the number of accounts opened by their students) and/or in-kind benefits (like the bank offering to manage the school’s financial aid disbursement).

The benefits to students are unclear at best. Some schools negotiate for some reductions in up-front costs (like waiving monthly maintenance fees), but – as this report shows – many of these accounts do not have better terms than what a student could find on their own.

Payday Mayday: Visible and Invisible Payday Lending Defaults

May 22, 2015 Comments off

Payday Mayday: Visible and Invisible Payday Lending Defaults
Source: Center for Responsible Lending

This paper’s findings highlight that the lack of underwriting for payday loans creates economic distress for borrowers from the very first loan:

  • Nearly half of all payday borrowers defaulted within two years of their first loan.
  • Of borrowers who defaulted, nearly half did so within the first two payday loans.
  • Default does not necessarily signal the end of payday borrowing, with many defaulters going on to repay their loan and even borrow (and possibly default) again at a later date.
  • Nearly one in five borrowers had a loan charged off by the lender.
  • One-third of payday borrowers experienced at least one invisible default in which their account was overdrawn on the same day that they made a payment to a payday lender.
  • For payday borrowers, overdrafts and bounced transactions frequently occurred close in time to the use of payday loans. Nearly half of payday borrowers incurred an overdraft or NSF fee in the two weeks after a payday loan transaction, and 64% paid overdraft or NSF fees at some point.

The High Burden of State and Federal Capital Gains Tax Rates in the United States

May 22, 2015 Comments off

The High Burden of State and Federal Capital Gains Tax Rates in the United States
Source: Tax Foundation

Key Findings

  • The average combined federal, state, and local top marginal tax rate on long-term capital gains in the United States is 28.6 percent – 6th highest in the OECD.
  • This is more than 10 percentage points higher than the simple average across industrialized nations of 18.4 percent, and 5 percentage points higher than the weighted average.
  • Nine industrialized countries exempt long-term capital gains from taxation.
  • California has the 3rd highest top marginal capital gains tax rate in the industrialized world at 33 percent.
  • The taxation of capital gains places a double-tax on corporate income, increases the cost of capital, and reduces investment in the economy.
  • The President’s FY 2016 budget would increase capital gains tax rates in the United States from 28.6 percent to 32.8, the 5th highest rate in the OECD.

Medications for the Treatment of Alcohol Use Disorder: A Brief Guide

May 22, 2015 Comments off

Medications for the Treatment of Alcohol Use Disorder: A Brief Guide
Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Provides guidance for the use of medication-assisted treatment for alcoholism and alcohol abuse in clinical practice. Summarizes approved medications and discusses screening and patient assessment, treatment planning, and patient monitoring.

Workforce Development in the United States: Lessons Learned for Older Workers

May 22, 2015 Comments off

Workforce Development in the United States: Lessons Learned for Older Workers
Source: AARP Public Policy Institute

This report by workforce experts Stephen A. Wandner, David E. Balducchi, and Christopher J. O’Leary undertakes a selective review of public workforce development programs in the United States over the last eighty years with a special emphasis on their importance to older Americans.

Particular attention is paid to services benefitting dislocated workers—that is, experienced adults permanently separated from their prior employers. The Employment Service and the Workforce Investment Act Dislocated Worker programs serve the greatest number of older workers.

The Senior Community Service Employment Program and the very small Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance program (now called Reemployment Trade Adjustment Assistance) are the only programs targeted specifically to older workers.

The policy options presented in the paper go beyond changes to the public workforce system embodied in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014.

2015 Retirement Confidence Survey — 2015 Results

May 22, 2015 Comments off

2015 Retirement Confidence Survey — 2015 Results
Source: Employee Benefit Research Institute
From press release (PDF):

American workers and retirees are expressing higher confidence about their ability to afford retirement this year, even though there is little sign they are taking the necessary steps to achieve that goal, according to the 25th annual Retirement Confidence Survey—the longest-running survey of its kind.

A key factor in American’s outlook on retirement is whether or not they have a retirement savings plan. The 2015 RCS by the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute and Greenwald & Associates finds that as the nation’s retirement confidence continues to rebound from the record lows experienced between 2009 and 2013, the increasing optimism is a result of those who indicate they and/or their spouse have a retirement plan, such as a defined contribution (401(k)-type) plan, defined benefit (pension) plan, or individual retirement account (IRA).

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