Healthcare in Vermont, Businesses on Facebook, and the Zimbabwean Dollar

Research Round-Up: February 11, 2019

Increasing Access to Quality, Lower-Cost Healthcare in Vermont: A Policy Recommendation

Matthew D. Mitchell and Elise Amez-Droz | Policy Spotlight

From the spotlight: "More than 60 percent of Vermonters live in a rural area. And for over 30 years, access to quality care in these areas has been hindered by the state’s certificate-of-need (CON) laws. These laws require those who wish to open new healthcare facilities, expand existing facilities, or even purchase new equipment, to first obtain permission from a regulator. The regulator—in this case, the Green Mountain Care Board—is charged with assessing whether or not the proposed service is needed by the community. The advocates of CON laws claim that by asking providers to demonstrate the need for new services, only those services that benefit the community will be offered. The half-century-long experience with CON laws suggests that they are associated with limited supply, higher prices, and lower-quality care.”

Businesses on Facebook and Propensity to Export: The United States

Christine McDaniel and Danielle Parks | Policy Brief

From the brief: "We found that US firms on Facebook have a higher propensity to export than firms in general for every firm size category (except the largest), every industry category, and for both female-owned and male-owned firms[...] Our findings are consistent with the emerging body of literature on digital platforms and international trade, which generally shows that businesses, particularly small businesses, on online digital platforms exhibit a higher propensity to engage in trade than businesses in general. Whether export-prone firms are more likely to be on digital platforms or the other way around, any policies and regulations on digital data flows should consider the trade-facilitating potential of these digital platforms.”

Money Demand and Seignorage Maximization before the End of the Zimbabwean Dollar

Stephen Matteo Miller and Thandinkosi Ndhlela | Working Paper

From the summary: "Unlike most hyperinflations, during Zimbabwe’s recent hyperinflation, as in Revolutionary France, the currency ended before the regime. The empirical results here suggest that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe operated on the correct side of the inflation tax Laffer curve before abandoning the currency. Estimates of the seignorage- maximizing rate derive from a short-run structural vector autoregression framework using monthly parallel market exchange rate data computed from the ratio of prices from 1999 to 2008 for Old Mutual insurance company’s shares, which trade in London and Harare. Dynamic semi-elasticities generated from orthogonalized impulse response functions indicate that the monthly seignorage-maximizing rate equaled 108 to 118 percent, generally exceeding monthly inflation.”