The U.S. Market for Higher Education:
A Full Spectrum from Greatness to Mediocrity


Caroline Hoxby, director of the NBER's Economics of Education Program, revealed findings of her latest research into the productivity of higher education in the 8th Annual Martin Feldstein Lecture, a highlight of the NBER Summer Institute held recently in Cambridge, MA.

New NBER Research

31 August 2016

Statistical Discrimination and Employment Outcomes
When Criminal Histories Are Hidden

Policies that prevent employers from conducting criminal background checks until late in the job application process decrease the probability of young blacks and Hispanics being employed as employers discriminate against demographic groups whose members are more likely to have a criminal record, according to research by Jennifer L. Doleac and Benjamin Hansen.

30 August 2016

Intergenerational Mobility in Denmark and the U.S

Measured by income mobility, Denmark is more mobile than the United States, but not when measured by educational mobility, research by Rasmus Landersø and James J. Heckman shows. While social policies in Denmark produce higher cognitive test results for disadvantaged children than their U.S. counterparts score, these scores do not translate into better educational outcomes, partly because Danish redistribution policies discourage acquiring education.

29 August 2016

Does Disease Cause Vaccination?
Disease Outbreaks and Vaccination Response

Emily Oster finds that parental willingness to vaccinate their children against a particular disease is influenced by whether the parents are directly aware of any cases of the disease, suggesting that better “promotion” of outbreaks could raise vaccination rates.
More Research

NBER in the News

NBER Macroeconomics
Annual 2015

Major trends and cycles in the Chinese economy, the large differences among countries in the effect of rising public debt, and the influence of CFOs' growth expectations on their firms' investments are among topics probed in the 30th volume of the NBER Macroeconomics Annual. Researchers also explore the network structure of the U.S. economy, the usefulness of household belief studies for understanding economic phenomena, and downward trends in unemployment and workforce participation. Edited by Martin Eichenbaum and Jonathan A. Parker. Just published by The University of Chicago Press.

Follow us on
Twitter RSS facebook

This Week's Working Papers

New in the NBER Digest

An Experiment in Uganda Finds Payments
to Landowners Effectively Slow Deforestation

A United Nations-funded program to reduce deforestation also proved cost-effective in reducing production of carbon dioxide, according to a study featured in the August edition of The NBER Digest. Also in the current Digest are reports on the impact of very low interest rates on money market funds, the broad effects of the Tuskegee Study of Syphilis on black men, the impact of Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act on non-medical financial health, the influence of social networks on housing decisions, and the ineffectiveness of teacher specialization in the Houston public school system.

Download the PDF
or Read online

New in The NBER Reporter

How Consumers React to Economic Shocks:
Comparing Some Theories and Realities

In response to economic slowdowns, the federal authorities frequently take steps to put more disposable income in the hands of consumers. In an article in The NBER Reporter, Matthew D. Shapiro describes research finding that the stimulus effect is modest relative to standard estimates, and that consumers' most common response is to use the extra income to pay down debt. Other articles in the quarterly Reporter examine firms' responses to changes in taxation, explore the purpose of trade agreements, trace the evolution of gender gaps in developed economies, and give an overview of research in the NBER's Environmental and Energy Economics program.

Tax Policy and the Economy

The effect of state-level fiscal policies on neighboring states, the welfare consequences of tax-policy changes, and the increase in pass-through businesses are among topics explored by NBER researchers in volume 30 of the Tax Policy and the Economy series. Edited by Jeffrey R. Brown, it is now available from The University of Chicago Press.

Frequently Requested Items


NBER Videos

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

Contact Us