AN NBER PUBLICATION ISSUE: No. 11, November 2020

The Digest

A free monthly publication featuring non-technical summaries of research on topics of broad public interest
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Football and basketball, which attract many players from lower-income backgrounds, subsidize money-losing sports which are often played by more affluent athletes. Strict limitations on player compensation in revenue-generating college sports such as men’s football and basketball result in a transfer of resources away from student-athletes in those sports, who are more likely to be from lower-income households, to those in other sports. The student-athletes in the...

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Article
After the war, those who had subscribed to Liberty Bonds were more likely to invest in stocks and bonds, advancing the development of US capital markets. In 1910, fewer than a million individuals owned corporate stock in the United States; by the 1930s that number had increased more than tenfold. What induced so many to move their savings, which were previously held largely in banks, to the security markets? In When Uncle Sam Introduced Main Street to Wall...
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Survey data from England show individuals in their 60s and 70s underestimate their likelihood of living to old ages, which could account for limited annuity demand. On reaching retirement, individuals must decide how best to use their savings to provide for the remaining years of their lives. This problem is complicated in part because they do not know to what age they will live. Buying an annuity provides insurance against the possibility of living a longer-than-...
Article
An influx of migrants lowered wages of incumbent less-educated workers in the construction sector, but wages rose in retail and hospitality. In September 2017, Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, causing extensive loss of life and property and displacing hundreds of thousands of individuals. In the following months, more than 120,000 Puerto Ricans migrated to the US mainland. In The Economic Impact of Migrants from Hurricane Maria (NBER Working Paper 27718),...
Article
The Federal Reserve’s announcements that it would buy a progressively broader range of US corporate bonds produced sharp reductions in credit spreads for eligible securities. In late February 2020, a few weeks after Chinese officials announced possible human transmission of the COVID-19 virus, severe dislocations started to emerge in global credit markets. In the United States, liquidity in the commercial paper and corporate bond markets deteriorated significantly...
Article
When the US Department of Labor required retirement plans to make the fees and returns on investment options more accessible, many savers switched to cheaper funds. At the beginning of 2012, the US Department of Labor (DOL) required fiduciaries of 401(k) retirement plans to provide plan participants with an accessible presentation of the annual fees and returns of each investment option in their plan. Though this information had long been publicly available, it...
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