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New COVID-19 Working Papers: July 4, 2022

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Three new working papers distributed this week report on the economic, health, and related consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and public policies that respond to it. Two focus on vaccines. One assesses the costs and benefits of expanded vaccine research and production capacity (30192), while another investigates how federal grants to state and local governments affected the roll-out of vaccination delivery programs (30206). The other examines the shift to remote work that was prompted by the pandemic, and its impact on the structure of wages across different occupations (30197). 

More than 570 NBER working papers have addressed various aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic. These papers are open access and have been collected for easy reference. Like all NBER papers, they are circulated for discussion and comment, and have not been peer-reviewed. View the papers in reverse chronological order or filter by topic area.

From the NBER Bulletin on Health

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VA Hospital Care Improves Health and Lowers Cost


Millions of elderly veterans are “dually eligible” to receive hospital care in two distinct settings: at public facilities funded by the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) or at private hospitals that accept Medicare reimbursement. The choice of setting is consequential for both the costs of their care and health outcomes, as demonstrated in Is There a VA Advantage? Evidence from Dually Eligible Veterans (NBER Working Paper 29765) by David C. Chan, Jr., David Card, and Lowell Taylor.

Veterans who choose to receive care in VA hospitals are, on average, sicker than those who choose private hospitals. As a result of this health…

A research summary from the monthly NBER Digest

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Italian Catholic Churches’ Role in the Assimilation of Immigrants


Rising international migration flows have sparked heated debate on the effects of immigrants on host societies. A recurring concern is that cultural differences between immigrants and the native born and the insularity of some immigrant communities threaten social cohesion and national identity. Such concerns are often linked to religion, which is not only a dimension along which immigrants and natives tend to differ, but also an important determinant of culture, beliefs, and morals.

In Faith and Assimilation: Italian Immigrants in the US (NBER Working Paper 30003), Stefano Gagliarducci and Marco Tabellini explore how ethnic religious...

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

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Dominant Currencies


There are about 180 currencies in the world, but a very small number of dominant currencies play an outsize role in international trade, finance, and central bank foreign exchange reserves. In the modern era, the US dollar has a dominant international presence, followed to a lesser extent by the euro and a handful of others. Gita Gopinath and I recently surveyed the literature on dominant currencies.

The importance of currencies is never more evident than in global trade, where exchange rates are often at the center of fierce economic and political debates. Indeed, the use of currencies in international trade is key for the international transmission of shocks and the design of optimal monetary and exchange rate policy in an...

From the NBER Bulletin on Retirement and Disability

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Opioid Use by SSDI Beneficiaries and the Effect of Opioid Prescribing on SSDI Claiming


Chronic pain is a leading cause of work disability and a primary reason for receipt of SSDI benefits. Prescription opioids are frequently prescribed for chronic pain, but their use has been scrutinized in recent years due to concerns about addiction and overdose. Understanding how common prescription opioid use is among SSDI beneficiaries and how opioid use affects employment and SSDI applications is critical to the SSDI program.

Researchers Nicole Maestas, Tisamarie Sherry, and Alexander Strand explore these issues in a pair of new working papers. In Opioid Use among Social Security Disability Insurance Applicants, 2013–2018 (NBER RDRC Working Paper NB19-28-1), the three researchers...

From the NBER Bulletin on Entrepreneurship

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The Rise of Private Financing for Entrepreneurs


In Private or Public Equity? The Evolving Entrepreneurial Finance Landscape (NBER Working Paper 29532), Michael Ewens and Joan Farre-Mensa survey the changes in the US entrepreneurial finance market over the last two decades. Their study begins by describing the differences between publicly listed and private firms, and then explores how several regulatory, technological, and competitive changes affecting both startups and investors have affected the costs and benefits of going public. The paper emphasizes the growing costs of the disclosures required of public firms, and also observes that major technological changes have reduced the initial capital investment…

Featured Working Papers

Evidence from historical data shows that demographic shifts are correlated with asset returns and risk premia. The aging population can help to explain the rising wealth-income ratio, the falling risk-free rate, and an increasing risk premium, Joseph Kopecky and Alan M. Taylor find.

Recent US investigations of foreign influence in scientific research coincide with reduced productivity of scientists who previously collaborated with Chinese scientists, Ruixue Jia, Margaret E. Roberts, Ye Wang, and Eddie Yang find.

When a Memphis newspaper published data on personally identifiable handgun carry permits, burglaries increased in zip codes with fewer gun permits, and decreased in those with more gun permits, according to research by Alessandro Acquisti and Catherine Tucker.

Teachers use more sick leave during periods of higher flu activity and do not appear to use sick leave for  leisure activities.  Teachers who are granted higher sick-leave balances are less likely to work while sick, Christopher J. Cronin, Matthew C. Harris, Nicolas R. Ziebarth show.

African Americans who were younger when their county ordered school desegregation, and therefore experienced more years of integrated schooling, had better adult labor market outcomes than their older counterparts who experienced fewer years, Garrett Anstreicher, Jason Fletcher, and Owen Thompson find.

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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.
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Research Spotlight
The COVID-19 pandemic affected businesses in different industries in disparate ways.  Those in customer contact...
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Research Spotlight
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was one of the central elements of the pandemic stimulus program. It was designed...
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Research Spotlight
The number of deaths from drug overdoses and alcohol abuse rose during the first 16 months of the COVID-19 pandemic....
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Research Spotlight
Employment in the US declined early in the pandemic, and has remained below its pre-pandemic level as the number of...
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Research Spotlight
The rate of increase in the US Consumer Price Index during 2021 was the fastest in nearly three decades. There is an...
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