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Sanctions and the Global Economy

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Panelists at the July 2022 meeting of the NBER's International Trade and Investment program discussed the impact of economic sanctions on the countries that are the targets of the sanctions as well as the nations that impose them. The panel included Ruediger Bachmann of the University of Notre Dame, David Baqaee and Oleg Itskhoki of UCLA, Lorenzo Caliendo of Yale, and Guido Lorenzoni of Northwestern University.

New COVID-19 Working Papers: August 8, 2022

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Three new working papers distributed in the last two weeks report on the economic, health, and related consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and public policies that respond to it.  Two investigate the impact of vaccine mandates, one focusing on how vaccine mandates on college campuses affected the number of COVID-19 cases (30303), the other estimating the impact of mandates that federal employees and workers at some private sector firms receive vaccinations (30339).  Another study explores how mobile money transfers in Ghana during the pandemic affected household economic behavior as well as social distancing (30309).

More than 585 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 Like all NBER papers, they are circulated for discussion and comment, and have not been peer-reviewed.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.

A research summary from the monthly NBER Digest

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The Effect of E-commerce Expansion on Local Retail

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E-commerce has dramatically altered retail in the last two decades, with online sales growing from 0.63 percent of total retail sales in 1999 to 13.3 percent in 2021. In Creative Destruction? Impact of E-commerce on the Retail Sector (NBER Working Paper 30077), Sudheer Chava, Alexander Oettl, Manpreet Singh, and Linghang Zeng study how the rise of online selling has affected brick-and-mortar retail establishments and…

From the NBER Bulletin on Retirement and Disability

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How Short-Term Private Disability Insurance Affects Public Disability Benefits

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Forty percent of US workers have access to employer-provided short-term disability insurance (STDI). This insurance generally pays benefits to disabled workers during the five-month waiting period between disability onset and when Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits can commence. By providing income during the waiting period, STDI may encourage more disabled workers to apply for SSDI, leading to more SSDI awards. However, employers who offer STDI have a stronger financial incentive to offer accommodations to disabled workers to help them to remain on the job instead of taking up STDI benefits, which could reduce SSDI applications and awards.

Examining the effect of STDI access on SSDI applications and awards is challenging, since workers with and without STDI access may differ in ways that affect…

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

Figure 1 2022 number 2 Aging Program Report

Program Report: The Economics of Aging

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When the NBER’s Program on the Economics of Aging began in 1986 under the direction of David Wise, the baby-boom generation was between the ages of 22 and 40. Long-run projections at the time forecast that the United States would transition to an older population distribution. Today, with baby boomers ranging in age from 58 to 76, that projected future is the ongoing reality of our nation. One-fifth of the population will be age 65 or older in the next decade.

Since its inception, the Economics of Aging Program’s underlying focus has been the study of the health and financial well-being of people as they age and the larger implications of a population that is increasingly composed of older people. The program continues this broad focus as new and ongoing challenges emerge and…

From the NBER Bulletin on Health

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VA Hospital Care Improves Health and Lowers Cost

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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…

From the NBER Bulletin on Entrepreneurship

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The Rise of Private Financing for Entrepreneurs

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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

A new measure for CPI headline and core inflation constructed by Marijn A. Bolhuis, Judd N. L. Cramer, and Lawrence H. Summers finds that current inflation levels are much closer to past inflation peaks than official US inflation series would suggest.

Evidence that the “endowment effect” — the phenomenon where owing a good increases one’s valuation of it — inhibits demand for loans which use a borrower’s existing assets as collateral, according to Kevin Carney, Michael Kremer, Xinyue Lin, and Gautam Rao.

Contrary to the claim that heavy drinkers are price-inelastic, Nielsen Homescan data show that a large excise tax increase that raised alcohol prices caused heavy drinkers to reduce purchases by about the same proportionate amount as other drinkers, Henry Saffer, Markus Gehrsitz, and Michael Grossman find.

The average strength of the labor market to which a college sends its graduates predicts college-specific intergenerational economic mobility, according to a study by Johnathan G. Conzelmann, Steven W. Hemelt, Brad Hershbein, Shawn M. Martin, Andrew Simon, and Kevin M. Stange.

Adoption of rent control in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 2021 caused property values to fall by 6 to 7 percent, Kenneth R. Ahern and Marco Giacoletti find. Tenants who gained the most from rent control had higher incomes and were more likely to be white.

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Books & Chapters

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.
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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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