The 2023 AEJ Best Paper Awards Have Been Announced
The 2023 AEJ Best Paper Awards have been announced. The papers selected are highlighted below.
AEJ: Applied Economics
In "The Evolution of Work in the United States," authors Enghin Atalay, Phai Phongthiengtham, Sebastian Sotelo, and Daniel Tannenbaum organized millions of job postings in the Boston Globe, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal from 1950 to 2000. By analyzing the text of each job description, the researchers were able to see how tasks within a job title have evolved. In particular, they tracked five categories of tasks: nonroutine analytic, nonroutine interactive, nonroutine manual, routine cognitive, and routine manual. They argue that the move away from routine cognitive and manual tasks and toward nonroutine interactive and analytic tasks has been larger than previously thought. (AEJ: Applied Economics, Volume 12, No. 2, April 2020)
AEJ: Economic Policy
In "Technology, Taxation, and Corruption: Evidence from the Introduction of Electronic Tax Filing," authors Oyebola Okunogbe and Victor Pouliquen examine the impact of replacing in-person tax filing to officials with electronic filing. Using data from nearly 1,500 small and medium-sized businesses in Tajikistan, they found that e-filing reduced the time spent on taxes by 40 percent. While the new technology doubled the taxes paid by firms previously more likely to evade, it reduced tax payments among those previously less likely to evade. The researchers say that these patterns are consistent unequal treatment by tax officials towards businesses prior to the adoption of e-filing. (AEJ: Economic Policy, Vol. 14, No. 1, February 2022)
In "The Rise of the Machines: Automation, Horizontal Innovation, and Income Inequality," authors David Hémous and Morten Olsen analyzed the interplay between the replacement of low-skill workers with machines and the creation of new products. Using an endogenous growth model, they find that in an economy where low-skill wages are low, there is little automation. But as low-skill wages increase with the creation of new products, the incentive to automate increases and with it the share of automation innovation. As a result, the skill premium rises and the labor share declines. Their findings offer a new perspective on recent trends in the income distribution by showing that it may be a natural outcome of a growing economy. (American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics Vol. 14 No. 1 January 2022)
In "Common Ownership in America: 1980–2017," authors Matthew Backus, Christopher Conlon, and Michael Sinkinson explore the implications of the common ownership hypothesis, which says that large, diversified owners may not always focus on maximizing their own profits because they also value the profits of their ostensible competitors. They show that the dramatic rise in common ownership from 1980 to 2017 is driven primarily by the rise of indexing and diversification, as well as some investor concentration. The researchers' develop new testable implications of the common ownership hypothesis and shed light on the plausibility of these implications. (American Economic Journal: Microeconomics Vol. 13 No. 3 August 2021)