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Gas-for-Coal Substitution in US Electricity Generation figure

Gas-for-Coal Substitution in US Electricity Generation


Coal-fired power plants generate about 20 percent of US electricity. Prioritizing the generation of electricity using natural gas could immediately replace at least two-thirds of coal-fired generation in the US and reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the electricity sector by at least 18 percent. That would correspond to a reduction of between 5 and 8 percent of total US energy-related CO2 emissions, at a cost of $49 to $92 per ton of CO2, according to a new study, On the Feasibility, Costs, and Benefits of an Immediate Phasedown of Coal for US Electricity Generation (NBER Working Paper 32235), by Stephen P. Holland, Matthew Kotchen, Erin T. Mansur, and Andrew J. Yates.

The researchers analyzed 2022 data from the Continuous Emission Monitoring System (CEMS) of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which tracks hourly generation for each fossil fuel powered plant...

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

The Economics of Generative AI Figure

The Economics of Generative AI


Artificial intelligence (AI) is not a new field. The term was coined in 1956, but the field has only recently begun having significant effects on the economy.

Research in AI went through three eras. Early work focused primarily on symbolic systems with hand-coded rules and instructions. In the 1980s, expert systems, which consisted of hundreds or thousands of “if…then” rules drawn from interviews with human experts, helped diagnose diseases and make loan recommendations, but with limited commercial success.

Later, the focus shifted to machine learning systems, including “supervised learning” systems trained to make predictions based on large datasets of human-labeled examples. As computational power increased, deep learning algorithms became increasingly successful, leading to an explosion…

From the NBER Bulletin on Entrepreneurship

 Immigration Policy and Entrepreneurs’ Choice of Startup Location figure

Immigration Policy and Entrepreneurs’ Choice of Startup Location


Immigrants play a significant role in the entrepreneurial landscape. In the United States, immigrants are 80 percent more likely to start businesses than native-born Americans. More than half of America's billion-dollar startup companies trace their roots to immigrant founders. There is limited research, however, on the factors that influence immigrants' decisions about where to locate their startup businesses. 

In The Effect of Immigration Policy on Founding Location Choice: Evidence from Canada's Start-up Visa Program (NBER Working Paper 31634), Saerom Lee and Britta Glennon investigate the impact of Canada's Start-up Visa Program on US-based…

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 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…

Featured Working Papers

After the 2002 Argentinean devaluation, Andrés BlancoAndrés Drenik, and Emilio Zaratiegui find that households at the bottom of the income distribution recovered faster than those at the top, in part because of low mobility and lack of union coverage among higher-income workers.

Daron Acemoglu estimates that that the roll-out of AI-enabled tools will generate no more than a 0.66 percent increase in total factor productivity over the next decade, with little decline in labor income inequality. 

Data from the Panel Survey of Income Dynamics show that individuals with high labor earnings also tend to earn high returns on their investments. Claudio Daminato and Luigi Pistaferri find that this correlation is important for explaining the wide dispersion of household wealth.

Marcella AlsanYousra Neberai, and Xingyou Ye document an American Medical Association-financed campaign against national health insurance after World War II. It used physician outreach to patients and civic organizations and mass advertising to tie private insurance to “freedom” and “the American way” to increase private insurance enrollment, and to reduce support for public insurance.

Stock valuation models created Andrew AtkesonJonathan Heathcote, and Fabrizio Perri can reproduce the realized values of stock returns, dividend growth, and the dividend-price ratio over the 1929–2023 period, suggesting that stock prices are not excessively volatile relative to dividends.

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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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