Unique Nature of Electricity Generates
Challenges for Pricing and Conserving Power

Electricity demand and supply swing widely with the weather and time of day, a phenomenon heightened by regulators' determination to keep prices to consumers steady and low. One idea that has arisen for addressing climate change is to let consumer electricity prices rise, on the theory that this will reduce consumption and the carbon production associated with power generation. Katherine Wolfram worries that this strategy would produce far less carbon reduction than is needed. Read her latest study on consumer behavior in electricity consumption, or browse a wide variety of papers by NBER researchers on the Energy Issues theme page.

New NBER Research

20 February 2018

Why Are Professors 'Poorly Paid'?

Using Current Population Survey data, Daniel S. Hamermesh demonstrates a 15 percentage point wage disadvantage among academics compared to all other doctorate-holders with the same demographics. He finds that professors’ smoother distribution of work time accounts for as much as one-third of the wage disadvantage.

16 February 2018

The Impact of International Patent Systems:
Evidence from European Patent Convention Accessions

Data from 14 countries that acceded to the European Patent Convention between 2000 and 2008 suggest foreigners seeking patent protection in the accession states immediately substituted European patents for domestic patents, but domestic entities had no discernible reaction to the new patent office, Bronwyn Hall and Christian Helmers report.

15 February 2018

The Impact of Recession-Driven School Spending Cuts

Examining how student performance responded to school spending cuts induced by the Great Recession, C. Kirabo Jackson, Cora Wigger, and Heyu Xiong find a 10 percent school budget cut reduced test scores by about 7.8 percent of a standard deviation, and that a 10 percent reduction during all four high school years was associated with 2.6 percentage points lower graduation rates.
More Research

Innovation Policy and the Economy, Vol. 18, Focuses
on New Technology in Organizational Structures

The interplay between new technologies and organizational structures such as networks and corporations is the focus of the 18th annual volume of the NBER's Innovation Policy and the Economy series. Glenn Ellison and Sara Fisher Ellison explore how consumer search in a technology-mediated marketplace can affect the incentives for firms to engage in price obfuscation. Aaron Chatterji examines the role of innovation in American K-12 education, emphasizing recent evidence on the efficacy of classroom technologies. Economic sociologist Olav Sorenson considers how information, influence, and resources flow through innovation networks. Concluding chapters focus on how corporate organizational structures influence innovation and dynamism. Andreas Nilsson and David Robinson develop a framework for understanding the emergence and choices of social entrepreneurs and socially responsible firms. Steven Kaplan argues that there is little empirical evidence to support the common claim that investor pressure for short-term financial results leads U.S. companies to systematically underinvest in long-term capital expenditures and R&D.

                                                                           Ordering information

On the News

Cryptocurrency Interest on Campus High
Despite the Ups and Downs of Bitcoin

Bitcoin values soared last year and have declined sharply in 2018, but interest in the cryptocurrency and its technology is soaring at some leading graduate schools of business and economics, The New York Times reported February 9. A primary voice in the Times story was David Yermack of New York University and the NBER, author of several recent NBER working papers on Bitcoin and related subjects.

The research:
By Yermack and Max Raskin: Digital Currencies, Decentralized Ledgers, and the Future of Central Banking
By other NBER researchers: Market Structure in Bitcoin Mining

The Times news report: Cryptocurrencies Come to Campus

NBER in the News

Follow us on
Twitter RSS facebook

Frequently Requested Items

Business Cycle (Recession & Recovery) Page
This Week's Working Papers

Call for Papers
41st Annual NBER Summer Institute

The NBER Digest

Informing College Students of Availability of Loans
Boosts Grades and Number of Credits Earned

Some colleges inform their students of federal loan availability and some don't. A study summarized in the February edition of The NBER Digest finds that students who are induced to borrow by information on loan availability experience increases in their grade point averages and average number of credits earned. Also in this month's issue of The Digest: an examination of European Central Bank policies during the European debt crisis, an analysis of the effect of housing booms on spending for public schools, an exploration of the nature of "food deserts" in low-income neighborhoods, a look at the outsized role of the U.S. dollar in world trade, and a study of the debt repayment behavior of credit card borrowers.
                                                                                          Download the PDF

The NBER Reporter

A Fresh Look at the International Business Cycle,
Using Micro Input for Macroeconomic Understanding

Measuring and modeling economic shocks to individual firms and specific sectors is essential for understanding the macroeconomic consequences of globalization, argue researchers who aim to provide a unified perspective on international business cycle comovement. Their report is featured in the current edition of The NBER Reporter. Also in this edition of the quarterly Reporter, bureau-affiliated economists write about their work on the impacts of birth order, the evolution of factor shares, the expanded scope of the NBER Program on Industrial Organization, and the growing importance of social skills for success in the labor market.
                                                                                         Download the PDF

The NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health

Out-of-Network Billing Practices
In Emergency Department Visits

Individuals who require a visit to the emergency department are often in duress and in no position to confirm that their treatment is being handled by in-network practitioners, especially in cases where they are already at in-network hospitals. Research summarized in the current issue of the NBER's Bulletin on Aging and Health finds high incidences of out-of-network billing at in-network hospitals are common in select groups of emergency departments nationwide. Analysis of a 2015 New York state legislative reform targeting out-of-network billing found the reform substantially reduced "surprise costs" for emergency department visitors.
                                                                                          Download the PDF

NBER Videos

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email:

Contact Us