The Economic Effects of Trade and Tariffs

As United States and China levy tit-for-tat tariffs and other aspects of the global trading system face new challenges, NBER researchers explore the costs and benefits of international trade and the consequences of tariffs and other trade policies. A panel discussion held during the 2018 NBER Summer Institute features Research Associates Robert Feenstra of the University of California, Davis; Pinelopi Goldberg of Yale University, chief economist-designate of the World Bank; Gordon Hanson of the University of California, San Diego; and Douglas Irwin of Dartmouth College.
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New NBER Research

25 September 2018

The Spread of Deposit Insurance and the Global Rise
in Bank Asset Risk since the 1970s

The global expansion of deposit insurance generosity has increased asset risk in banking systems, according to a study by Charles W. Calomiris and Sophia Chen. This phenomenon explains at least part of the positive association between deposit insurance and the likelihood and severity of systemic banking crises.

24 September 2018

Insolvency after the 2005 Bankruptcy Reform

The 2005 Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act caused a 50 percent permanent drop in Chapter 7 filings and a 25 percent permanent rise in insolvency, but had no effect on Chapter 13 filings, according to analysis by Stefania Albanesi and Jaromir Nosal.

21 September 2018

Network Theory-based Targeting and Technology Adoption

In a field experiment in Malawi, Lori Beaman, Ariel BenYishay, Jeremy Magruder, and Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak find that technology diffusion among farmers is characterized by a complex contagion learning environment in which most farmers need to learn from multiple people before they adopt new technology.
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NBER in the News

The Global Financial Crisis at 10:
What Led Up to It? What Lessons Were Learned?

The global financial crisis a decade ago had a profound impact on the fields in which economists work. Studies of beliefs that led to the crisis, weaknesses of the pre-crisis financial system, the lessons learned, and the possibility that it could have been prevented were considered at the NBER’s 2018 Summer Institute.
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The NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health

The Lifetime Medical Spending of Retirees
Evolves In Counterintuitive Ways as They Age

Properly estimating a household's lifetime medical costs is an essential element of financial retirement planning. A study summarized in the current edition of the NBER's Bulletin on Aging and Health documents the medical history of retirees over a 20 year period and finds that in many cases total future medical expenses actually rise with age until around age 90, even though the subjects have less time to live. Also in this edition of the Bulletin on Aging and Health: A historical exploration of the male-female life expectancy gap, and a glimpse into the cutting edge application of machine learning in the field of healthcare.

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The NBER Digest

More Available, Affordable Travel Boosts Collaboration
among Chemists and Increases Project Novelty Too

Introduction of low-cost airline routes between 1993 and 2012 increased collaboration by approximately 50 percent among chemists who became newly connected by the discount service, a study featured in the September edition of The NBER Digest finds. And lower travel costs appeared to enable collaborations between researchers in different subfields. Also featured in the September issue of the Digest: an investigation of the relationship between car prices and financing terms, a measure of gains from a localized spurt in productivity, a look at union membership, wages, and income inequality, and an analysis of debt markets’ bias toward home country currencies, and an examination of investors’ anticipation of “surprise” monetary policy announcements.

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Mergers and the Rising Importance of Intangible Assets
Contributing to Decline in the Number of Listed Firms

Investment by U.S. firms has changed, with spending for intangible assets rising and expenditures on capital goods decreasing, and this has impacted newer firms’ views on the desirability of being listed. A research summary in the current issue of The NBER Reporter explains that this shift and a surge in mergers have contributed to a sharp decline in listings. Also in the quarterly Reporter: A report on the effects of gender imbalance on saving behaviors within families and in the broader economy, an analysis of firm behaviors in reaction to changes in the competitive environment, a summary of asset pricing research in the aftermath of the Great Recession, and an examination of large implicit taxes on work at older ages.

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