AN NBER PUBLICATION ISSUE: No. 10, October 2017

The Digest

A free monthly publication featuring non-technical summaries of research on topics of broad public interest
Image of the summary
Massachusetts data indicate that even if 90 percent of health insurance costs were subsidized, 25 percent of those eligible for subsidies would choose to remain uninsured. In 2006, Massachusetts enacted Commonwealth Care, a program similar in many ways to the Affordable Care Act in that it subsidized health insurance for low-income adults. In Subsidizing Health Insurance for Low-Income Adults: Evidence from Massachusetts (NBER Working Paper No. 23668) Amy...

Research Summaries

Image of the summary
Article
An investor preference that for decades reduced borrowing costs for the U.S. government has disappeared since the global financial crisis. Investors have traditionally preferred U.S. Treasury bonds over the government bonds of other nearly default-free nations, a "specialness" that has reduced borrowing costs for the U.S. federal government. But that advantage has disappeared since the global financial crisis, at least for medium- and long-term U.S. government...
Image of the summary
Article
Early claimers needed money, feared benefit cuts in the future, or were in poor health. Late claimers were better educated and had IRAs or 401(k)s. Older Americans can choose to begin receiving Social Security benefits when they reach age 62. For each year that they defer claiming, up to age 70, annual benefits grow by about 8 percent. For many individuals, delaying the start of benefits increases the expected discounted value of the total payouts that they will...
Article
Electricity consumers who were defaulted into a time-based pricing plan became increasingly responsive to the arrangement and reduced their power consumption during high-priced periods. Psychologists and economists have documented the existence of a powerful decision-making "default effect." When presented with a default option, consumers are significantly more likely to passively accept it than they would be to actively select it. Evidence of this default effect...
Article
Decreasing student costs by reducing tuition does not increase postsecondary attainment, but improving schools' quality and capacity does. Despite rapid growth in federal spending to support postsecondary education, the proportion of the U.S. population completing two- or four-year colleges has grown slowly in recent decades. In The Impact of Price Caps and Spending Cuts on U.S. Postsecondary Attainment (NBER Working Paper No. 23736), David J. Deming and...
Article
Other disciplines increasingly cite economics, and vice versa. This development parallels a rise in the importance of empirical work in economics. Economics is sometimes described as an isolated field that interacts little with other academic disciplines. In Inside Job or Deep Impact? Using Extramural Citations to Assess Economic Scholarship (NBER Working Paper No. 23698), Joshua Angrist, Pierre Azoulay, Glenn Ellison, Ryan Hill, and Susan Feng Lu ask whether this...

NBER periodicals, and newsletters are not copyrighted and may be reproduced freely with appropriate attribution.

See the Latest NBER Research
New Working Papers This Week