NBER Help: Working Papers

How to download and view NBER Working Papers

You must first have downloaded and installed the free Adobe Acrobat Reader,* which we recommend you update to version 4.0 or higher.
  1. If you know the number of the NBER Working Paper, and have Adobe Reader 4.0 or higher installed (With older version of Adobe Reader, you must use step 2 below), you can get to the paper directly by going to
    where 'nnnn' is the number of the Working Paper. Use Tnnnn.pdf for Technical Working Papers and Hnnnn.pdf for Historical Working Papers. This will allow you to order the paper immediately, or, if you have instant access, will open it in your Web browser. You can then save the paper to your computer by clicking on the diskette icon in the toolbar.

  2. If you do not have a Working Paper number, you must find the bibliographic entry (abstract) of the paper you wish to download. You can search or browse through the NBER Working Paper database at the Working Paper Homepage.
    Once you have found the bibliographic entry:

    • If you do not have instant access to the NBER Working Paper database, you will see a link called "You may add this paper to your order basket for electronic or physical delivery." Simply click on this link and follow the on-screen instructions to purchase the paper. More information on purchasing NBER Working Papers is available.

    • If you have free access to NBER Working Papers, you should see a link at the bottom of the bibliographic entry -- "PDF (nnnnK)". The (nnnn) refers to filesize. You should also see a link to the left of the abstract which says, "View PDF." With older versions of Adobe Reader, you should right click on one of these links and choose "Save target as..." If you simply click on the link, you will be able to view the paper but may not be able to save it to disk. With Version 4.0 or higher of Reader, you can left click on the link and view the PDF without losing the ability to save to disk (simply use the diskette icon in the toolbar after you left click).

    • If you get the "add to order basket" link even though you believe you are eligible for free access, please visit the help page on getting authorization for free downloads or email us.

* Adobe Acrobat Reader is a free product from Adobe for reading files in PDF format, a virtually universal publishing format. The PDF (Portable Document File) format was designed to be portable across all computer platforms, making documents look and print the same on all systems. You need the commercial version of Adobe Acrobat to create and manipulate PDF files, but anybody can download the free Adobe Reader to view these files.


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