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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

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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...

A research summary from the monthly NBER Digest

New Evidence on the Returns to Attending College Primary figure

New Evidence on the Returns to Attending College

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Attending a four-year college eventually results in higher earnings, even for “marginal” students whose high school records do not guarantee admission. In Marginal Returns to Public Universities (NBER Working Paper 32296), Jack Mountjoy studies the post-college earnings of students in Texas who are on the margin of being admitted, based on their standardized test scores, to state...

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

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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

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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

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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

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

Newly digitized manuscripts from the US Census of Manufactures, analyzed by Ruveyda GozenRichard HornbeckAnders Humlum, and Martin Rotemberg, show  that in the late nineteenth century, female-owned manufacturing establishments were smaller than male-owned establishments, had lower capital-to-output ratios, employed more women, and paid them higher wages.

Stringent prescription drug monitoring programs reduce women’s overall exposure to intimate partner violence but are associated with an uptick in heroin-involved partner violence, suggesting a substitution effect, research by Dhaval M. DaveBilge ErtenDavid W. HummelPinar Keskin, and Shuo Zhang shows. 

Using global data on business bankruptcy efficiency and credit markets, Martin  KornejewChen LianYueran MaPablo Ottonello, and Diego J. Perez document that business credit booms are followed by severe declines in output, investment, and consumption in environments with poorly functioning bankruptcy resolution.

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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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