NBER's Entrepreneurship Research Boot Camp
Explores Dynamics of Firm Creation and Innovation

For the 12th year, leading researchers and graduate students interested in entrepreneurship met for an intensive week of study at NBER headquarters in Cambridge, MA, sponsored by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

New NBER Research

23 September 2019

The Failure of Free Entry

Regulations drive down the entry and growth of small firms relative to large ones in the United States, particularly in industries with high lobbying expenditures, Germán Gutiérrez and Thomas Philippon show.

20 September 2019

Time Preference and the Great Depression

The relative price of dry and green firewood provides information on how much consumers are willing to pay for immediate consumption. Nicholas Z. Muller finds that in Portland, Oregon, the dry fuel price fell by 50 percent following the October 1929 stock market crash, suggesting that rising uncertainty contributed to consumption decline.

19 September 2019

Long-Term Impacts of Girl-Friendly Schools

Ten years after a “girl-friendly” primary school program in Burkina Faso, primary school-age children in villages selected for the program attend school more often and score significantly higher on standardized tests, Nicholas Ingwersen, Harounan Kazianga, Leigh L. Linden, Arif Mamun, Ali Protik, and Matthew Sloan discover.
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The NBER Reporter

With Sales of Fair Trade-Certified Imports Soaring,
Studies Examine Who in the Production Chain Benefits

Consumers in developed countries who want to help lift producers in developing countries out of poverty have shown a willingness to pay significantly higher prices for Fair Trade-certified products – coffee in particular. In the current issue of the free, quarterly NBER Reporter, a researcher discusses what's been learned about who benefits most, and least. This edition of The Reporter also includes articles by NBER researchers about the work of NBER Economic Fluctuations and Growth Program affiliates, the labor market effects of the business cycle, the challenges posed by China's aging population, and the viability of the sustainable investing proposition.

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Transparency and Reproducibility in Economic Research

Edward Miguel of the University of California, Berkeley and the NBER presented the 2019 NBER Summer Institute Methodology Lecture on "Research Transparency and Reproducibility." He described the importance of ensuring that researchers can replicate, and build on, empirical research findings, and summarized a number of emerging practices that are designed to facilitate reproducibility. The full presentation and accompanying slides are available to download free.

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The NBER Digest

Examination of Returns to U.S. Government Programs
Shows Investment in Low-Income Children Most Beneficial

U.S. government programs that provide early childhood health interventions reduce subsequent Medicaid-financed health care needs and increase future earnings and tax payments, improving government finances in the long run, research featured in the September edition of The NBER Digest shows. Other studies in this edition of the free, monthly Digest document reduction in the percentage of black teachers in Southern schools that desegregated, explore the influence of early-career research experience, show that borrowers who are aware of their FICO scores are less likely to be overdue on loan payments, gauge the impacts of R&D tax credits, and explore the contemporary relevance of the Phillips curve.
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Bulletin on Health

Winter Deaths Averted by Lower Home Heating Prices

The summer issue of the Bulletin on Health features a study of the effects of heating costs on deaths from health conditions that are worsened by cold weather. Researchers find that households reduce their home energy use when prices increase, but not so much as to fully offset the price increase, so they are still exposed to higher energy bills. They demonstrate that higher heating prices also increase mortality rates, especially for cardiovascular and respiratory causes of death, and in lower-income counties. Their estimates imply that the lowered price of heating due to shale natural gas production and other factors in the late 2000s averted 11,000 winter deaths per year in areas that relied on this heating energy source. Also featured in the summer issue of the Bulletin on Health are studies of the effects of California’s change in vaccine laws on vaccination and medical exemption rates, and the distributional impact of penicillin’s introduction on mortality in Italy following World War II.
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Martin Feldstein Remembered at NBER, Harvard

Martin S. Feldstein, who died on June 11, was president of the National Bureau of Economic Research for nearly 30 years. The George F. Baker Professor of Economics at Harvard and chair of the President's Council of Economic Advisers 1982-84, he was one of the most prolific and influential economists of the past half century. This film is excerpted from remembrances offered on July 25, during the NBER's Summer Institute. Harvard University hosted a memorial service Saturday, September 14, at Harvard Memorial Church.

Obituary and links to news coverage

Bulletin on Retirement and Disability

The Insurance and Liquidity Value
of Social Security Survivors Benefits?

In 2015, the Social Security program paid over $95 billion in survivors benefits to 4.2 million surviving spouses. Research that is the first to explore the protective role of survivors benefit receipt against the short-run financial consequences of a spousal death finds that attaining benefit eligibility is associated with a 34-percentage point increase in Social Security receipt and a 3.1-percentage point decline in labor force participation. Also summarized in this first issue of the free Bulletin on Retirement and Disability: research that estimates the total value of Great Recession-induced disability insurance (DI) awards and a study of the effects of DI awards on the financial outcomes of applicants.
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