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National Bureau of Economic Research

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When Central Bank Words Spoke Louder than Their Actions Figure

When Central Bankers' Words Spoke Louder than Their Action


With more than half the world’s population under stay-at-home mandates by the end of March 2020, many businesses were forced to close and economic activity plunged. Stock markets fell, and some investors rushed to cash out. In response, central banks enacted expansionary policies to bolster aggregate demand and restore market stability. Between 2020 and 2021, the Federal Reserve increased its asset holdings by 22 percent of GDP; the European Central Bank increased its holdings by 33 percent. Both purchased government securities primarily, but they also bought corporate bonds and asset-backed instruments.

In Whatever-It-Takes Policymaking during the Pandemic (NBER Working Paper 32115), Kathryn M.E. Dominguez and Andrea Foschi examine how interest rates and exchange rates responded to the monetary policy announcements of 23 central ...

From the NBER Bulletin on Health


C-section Rates and Birth Outcomes


Cesarean section (C-section) is the most common surgical procedure performed in the United States. Sarah RobinsonHeather Royer, and David Silver report that C-section rates for first-time, singleton births increased from 24 percent to 32 percent between 1989 and 2017 alongside significant changes in medical practices during this period. In 2001, for example, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists began recommending C-sections for breech births. The rising rate of C-sections has sparked a debate about whether this procedure is being overused. 

In Geographic Variation in Cesarean Sections in the United States: Trends, Correlates, and Other Interesting Facts (NBER Working Paper 31871), the researchers study how cross-county differences in C-section usage correlate with infant and maternal...

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


Generic Drugs: A Healthcare Market Trial


Can healthcare markets deliver access, affordability, and quality? While markets for hospital and physician services both have unique challenges, generic drug pricing is often seen as a success story for market forces. After patent-related exclusivity ends, prices fall dramatically. Consumers have access to a range of highly clinically valuable products at low prices. Is this success unique or can it be replicated in other parts of the healthcare sector?

As in other healthcare markets, insurers play a crucial role in determining both prices and utilization of prescription drugs. Patients purchase pharmaceuticals from a pharmacy, either in a physical location or by mail. Like many retailers of consumer goods, pharmaceutical retailers purchase products from wholesalers and manufacturers. A unique feature in the financing of…

From the NBER Bulletin on Retirement and Disability

Social Security and Retirement around the World

Social Security and Retirement around the World


Over the past 25 years, labor force participation at older ages has increased dramatically. In the 12 countries that are part of the NBER’s International Social Security (ISS) project, participation among those aged 60 to 64 has risen by an average of over 20 percentage points for men and over 25 percentage points for women.

In The Effects of Reforms on Retirement Behavior: Introduction and Summary (NBER Working Paper 31979), authors Axel Börsch-Supan and Courtney Coile report on the most recent work of the ISS project. The current analysis builds on previous project phases which showed that changes in health and education could…

From the NBER Bulletin on Entrepreneurship

C-Suite Differences: Public versus Privately Held Firms figure

C-Suite Differences: Public versus Privately Held Firms


Private equity (PE) firms’ business model is to acquire privately held companies, to change their strategy and operations with the goal of improving profitability and growth, and ultimately to sell the companies for a profit. The senior management team is replaced at a majority of private equity acquisitions. More than 40 percent of PE firms report that this is a key way to improve their acquisitions’ success.

In The Market for CEOs: Evidence from Private Equity (NBER Working Paper 30899), Paul Gompers, Steven Kaplan, and Vladimir Mukharlyamov compare the characteristics of CEOs installed by PE firms to the characteristics of those who become...

Featured Working Papers

Capital regulation can reduce bank run risk by requiring capital raising, but its effectiveness depends on the regulatory capital definitions and can by eroded by the use of held-to-maturity accounting, according to João GranjaErica Xuewei JiangGregor MatvosTomasz Piskorski, and Amit Seru

Licensed workers are less likely to choose to change careers but more likely to reduce work hours in transitioning to retirement, suggesting that they may have preferable retirement options relative to other workers, research by Yun taek Oh and Morris M. Kleiner shows.

Implementation of eviction moratoria in 50 of the largest US cities during the COVID-19 pandemic significantly disadvantaged African Americans in the rental housing search process, Alina ArefevaKay JowersQihui Hu, and Christopher Timmins find.

Cross-country analysis finds that expropriation risk, such as is posed by corruption, reduces R&D expenditure, human capital in R&D, number of patents, scientific publications, according to Jose-Miguel BenaventeClaudio Bravo-OrtegaPablo Egaña-delSol, and Bronwyn H. Hall

Following adoption of state-level vaccine mandates during the COVID pandemic, healthcare workers left their jobs at higher rates and were slower to be replaced than workers in nonhealthcare occupations, according to research by Rahi AboukJohn S. EarleJohanna Catherine Maclean, and Sungbin Park.

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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.

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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