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AN NBER PUBLICATION ISSUE: No. 3, September 2010

The Bulletin on Aging & Health

Technological progress in health care is a double-edged sword, providing considerable benefits to patients but also contributing very substantially to rising health care costs. The laws governing intellectual property rights, such as patents and copyrights, are one lever the government has at its disposal to influence the rate of technological progress. The traditional motivation for intellectual property is to provide incentives for research on new technologies. However,...

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Research Summaries

Over the past ten to fifteen years, a substantial body of research has documented the fact that individuals' saving, borrowing, and consumption behavior is often at odds with the predictions of standard economic models. For example, voluntary commitment devices and default options, which should not affect saving in a fully rational, forward-looking model, have been shown to have large impacts on savings decisions. To explain these findings, economists have developed models...
Over the past several years, the American economy has experienced the most severe recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s. The unemployment rate has risen by more than 5 percentage points since the crisis began, while the stock market and housing market have tumbled - from late 2007 to late 2008, the S&P 500 Index fell by about 40% while the Case-Shiller home price index fell by about 20%. These dramatic and nearly simultaneous shocks to labor, stock, and...

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