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National Bureau of Economic Research

Conducting and disseminating nonpartisan economic research

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Public Investment Spurred Regional Economies: Evidence from WWII figure

Public Investment Spurred Regional Economies: Evidence from WWII


There is currently substantial interest in public policies that encourage firms to locate new manufacturing plants in regions with limited opportunities for the economic advancement of their residents. Yet whether such efforts improve economic opportunities for local workers, particularly in the longer term, remains an open question.

In The Long-Run Impacts of Public Industrial Investment on Local Development and Economic Mobility: Evidence from World War II (NBER Working Paper 32265), Andrew Garin and Jonathan L. Rothbaum study the government-led construction of manufacturing plants during World War II outside...

From the NBER Bulletin on Health

Decision-Making by Medical Surrogates for End-of-Life Patients Primary tabs

Decision-Making by Medical Surrogates for End-of-Life Patients


As the population ages, the need for surrogate decision-makers for patients near the end of their lives is rising. When hospitalized older adults are unable to actively participate in decisions about their care, surrogates must make choices, often with limited information. Advance care planning with written directives may improve surrogate decision-making, but directives have limitations: preferences may change after completion, directions may not apply to the ultimate situation, and there can be communication challenges between the surrogates and care teams.

In How Do Surrogates Make Treatment Decisions for Patients with Dementia? An Experimental Survey Study (NBER Working Paper 32116), researchers Lauren Hersch NicholasKenneth M. LangaScott D. Halpern, and Mario Macis examined...

From the NBER Bulletin on Retirement and Disability

Racial and Ethnic Disparities in SSDI Entry and Health figure

Racial and Ethnic Disparities in SSDI Entry and Health


In a new study of Racial and Ethnic Disparities in SSDI Entry and Health (NBER RDRC Center Paper NB23-04)Colleen CareyNolan H. Miller, and David Molitor document significant racial and ethnic differences in the use of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Non-Hispanic Blacks and Native Americans enter the SSDI program at the highest rates relative to their share of the population while non-Hispanic Asians enter at the lowest rates. Average health status, measured by medical expenditure…

From the NBER Reporter: Research, program, and conference summaries

Unemployment in Informal Labor Markets in Developing Countries Figure

Unemployment in Informal Labor Markets in Developing Countries


Developing countries typically exhibit low rates of rural wage employment. For example, in India, male workers whose primary source of earnings is wage labor report working on only 46 percent of days per year. Bangladesh has a similarly low 55 percent rate of employment among landless males, and the rates are even lower in sub-Saharan Africa.

What do these low employment rates mean? One possibility is that they reflect extremely high involuntary unemployment. Alternatively, the rates could be an outcome of reasonably well functioning labor markets in which workers are simply choosing self-employment, which tends to be high in poor countries. These two possibilities have drastically different implications for understanding how well labor markets work and what role, if…

From the NBER Bulletin on Entrepreneurship

 Immigration Policy and Entrepreneurs’ Choice of Startup Location figure

Immigration Policy and Entrepreneurs’ Choice of Startup Location


Immigrants play a significant role in the entrepreneurial landscape. In the United States, immigrants are 80 percent more likely to start businesses than native-born Americans. More than half of America's billion-dollar startup companies trace their roots to immigrant founders. There is limited research, however, on the factors that influence immigrants' decisions about where to locate their startup businesses. 

In The Effect of Immigration Policy on Founding Location Choice: Evidence from Canada's Start-up Visa Program (NBER Working Paper 31634), Saerom Lee and Britta Glennon investigate the impact of Canada's Start-up Visa Program on US-based…

Featured Working Papers

Time pressure on judges in Mexican labor courts leads to mistakes, but indexing case files to help those judges quickly find relevant information can reduce successful appeals in complex cases by half and result in shorter, more on-point opinions, a field study by Andrew CaplinAndrei Gomberg, and Joyce Sadka reveals.

Reversal of the pandemic-driven drag on labor force participation, coupled with the amenity value of work from home for a growing number of workers, reduced wage-growth pressures and allowed the disinflation of 2022-23 to occur without raising the unemployment rate, according to a study by Steven J. Davis.

Two experiments in the United Kingdom find that short-term saving programs with an option to withdraw, funded via payroll deduction programs in which workers are automatically enrolled, result in higher participation and saving than programs to which workers must opt in, Sarah Holmes BerkJames J. ChoiJay GargJohn Beshears, and David Laibson find. 

Kayleigh BarnesSherry A. GliedBenjamin R. Handel, and Grace Kim find that a New York State medical-charge transparency tool had a minimal effect on consumer shopping while slightly improving provider information about competitors’ charges.

Analysis of over 47 million observations of households’ property insurance expenditures shows a 33 percent increase in average premiums from 2020 to 2023, driven by local disaster risk and the pass-through of reinsurance costs, according to a study by Benjamin J. Keys and Philip Mulder

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Through a partnership with the University of Chicago Press, the NBER publishes the proceedings of four annual conferences as well as other research studies associated with NBER-based research projects.

Research Spotlights

NBER researchers discuss their work on subjects of wide interest to economists, policymakers, and the general public. Recordings of more-detailed presentations, keynote addresses, and panel discussions at NBER conferences are available on the Lectures page.

Research Spotlight
An investigation of the role of anonymity in online communication and social media posting.    ...
Research Spotlight
In recognition of Black History Month, Research Associate Conrad Miller of the University of California, Berkeley,...
Research Spotlight
In recognition of Black History Month, Research Associate Trevon Logan of The Ohio State University, who directs the...
Research Spotlight
A growing fraction of US medical care is delivered through integrated healthcare systems that include many medical...
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