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NBER Appoints 54 Research Associates, 3 Faculty Research Fellows

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The NBER Board of Directors appointed 54 research associates, all of whom were promoted from faculty research fellow status, at the board’s September 2023 meeting. Research associates must be tenured faculty members at North American colleges or universities; their appointments are recommended to the board by directors of the NBER’s 20 research programs, typically after consultation with a steering committee of leading scholars. The new research associates are affiliated with 28 different colleges and universities; they received graduate training at 25 different institutions.

In addition, NBER President James Poterba appointed three new faculty research fellows, typically junior scholars, also on the advice of program directors and their steering committees. The names and university affiliations of the new…

From the NBER Bulletin on Health

What Accounts for the Rise in Suicide Rates in the US? Figure

What Accounts for the Rise in Suicide Rates in the US?


Annual suicide deaths per 100,000 people in the US increased gradually from 10 in 1950 to 13 in 1970 then experienced a long decline, reaching a trough at 10 in 2000. Between 2000 and 2020, however, the US suicide rate exhibited an upward trend.  

Two aspects of this increase are especially notable. The first is its speed. Between 2000 and 2020, the suicide rate rose from 10 per 100,000 to just over 14 — a 40 percent increase in only 20 years, and enough to temporarily catapult suicide into the top 10 causes of death in the US. The second was the absence of other countries experiencing...

Esther George, William M. Lewis, Jr., and Laurence C. Morse were elected as at-large members of the NBER Board of Directors at the board’s meeting on September 11 2023.
(L to R) Esther George, William M. Lewis, Jr., and Laurence C. Morse

Three New Directors Elected to NBER Board

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Esther George, William M. Lewis Jr., and Laurence C. Morse were elected members at large of the NBER Board of Directors at the board’s September 11 meeting.

A research summary from the monthly NBER Digest

This figure consists of two maps of Jakarta titled, Current TransJakarta Bus Network Versus an Optimal Network.  The map on the left is labeled, Current Network. The map on the right is labeled, Example of Optimal Network. Both graphs are dense in the center but the example of optimal network is more extensive towards the borders of the area.  The note line reads, shaded blue area represents the central urban Jakarta area. The source line reads, Source: Researchers’ calculations using administrative ridersh

Designing a Public Transit Network: Evidence from Jakarta


TransJakarta, the bus system serving greater Jakarta, Indonesia, undertook a major expansion in the last decade. It tripled its routes and doubled the number of buses in operation between January 2016 and February 2020. In Optimal Public Transportation Networks: Evidence from the World’s Largest Bus Rapid Transit System in Jakarta (NBER Working Paper 31369), Gabriel KreindlerArya GaduhTilman GraffRema Hanna, and Benjamin A. Olken examine the effects…

From the NBER Bulletin on Retirement and Disability

This is a vertical bar graph titled Fraction of Couples Who Increase Employer Match by Reallocating Retirement Contributions. It is subtitled, In real couples vs. synthetic couples with randomly assigned partners. The y-axis represents a fraction, given in percentages. It ranges from 0 to 40 percent, increasing in increments of 10.  The x-axis is has 3 labels that read from left to right: Real couples, Randomly paired married persons, Randomly paired single persons.

Do Married Couples Coordinate Their Retirement Savings Efficiently?


As nearly two-thirds of US civilian workers have access to an employer-sponsored defined contribution (DC) plan, workers’ decisions as to whether and how much to contribute to their DC plans have important consequences for their retirement security. Most employers offer a “match,” where the employer’s contribution to the plan depends on the employee’s contribution, though the match rate and the amount of contributions eligible to be matched vary across employers. An employer match creates a large and transparent incentive to contribute by offering a guaranteed return on the worker’s contribution.

In married couples where both workers have access to DC plans, the match schedules of both plans are relevant for retirement savings decisions. For a given amount of total…

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

 Evaluating Urban Transportation Policies Figure

Evaluating Urban Transportation Policies


Traffic congestion poses a significant challenge in urban centers, especially in fast-growing emerging economies where rapid urbanization and increased travel demand have outpaced road infrastructure and regulations. Longer travel times and worsened air quality resulting from congestion hinder mobility and urban development while reducing the overall quality of life. In the 2018 TomTom Traffic Index, which is based on real-time GPS traffic data from 403 cities in 56 countries, the 10 most congested cities were all in developing and emerging economies. In these cities, commuters spent over 200 hours of extra travel time per year relative to when transport was flowing freely.

Local governments have implemented a range of policies to address traffic congestion, targeting both the demand and supply…

From the NBER Bulletin on Entrepreneurship

Gender and Race Gaps on the Path to Startup Success


Depending on the data source, 12 and 28 percent of high-growth startups are run by women, although women make up 45 percent of the overall labor force. Fewer than 10 percent of entrepreneurs are Black. In Race and Gender in Entrepreneurial Finance (NBER Working Paper 30444), Michael Ewens surveys available data and presents a framework for assessing gender and race gaps in startup founding, financing, and growth.  

The startup path is complex: individual entrepreneurs must secure financing, grow, and successfully exit. In addition to the initial decision to launch a startup, decisions on firm type, scale, industry, location, and long-term…

Featured Working Papers

Electric-vehicle (EV) owners respond strongly to financial incentives, in the form of electricity discounts, aimed at shifting their EV charging to off-peak hours, while education about the societal benefits of off-peak charging has no effect, Megan R. BaileyDavid P. BrownBlake C. Shaffer, and Frank A. Wolak find.

A study of changes in patient outcomes after the opening of a Percutaneous Coronary Intervention facility by Renee Y. Hsia, and Yu-Chu Shen finds that local Black patients experienced the greatest benefits in every outcome examined.


A nationwide livelihood program implemented by Zambia yielded consumption and earnings increases, without negative spillovers on non-beneficiaries. Effects were entirely driven by the asset-transfer portion of the program, according to Ioana BoteaAndrew Brudevold-NewmanMarkus GoldsteinCorinne Low, and Gareth Roberts.

In the 1930 Census, enumerators frequently assigned the race of “White” to US-born individuals of Mexican ancestry, even though “Mexican” was an option. There also was variation across US counties in which enumerators identified Mexican-Americans as White, Brian Duncan and Stephen J. Trejo note.

Transaction data from 1 million Japanese firms shows that especially among small- and medium sized firms, pairs of firms with CEOs of the same gender trade significantly more than those with CEOs of opposing genders, Yutaro IzumiHitoshi Shigeoka, and Masayuki Yagasaki find. 

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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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