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The Digest

A free monthly publication featuring non-technical summaries of research on topics of broad public interest
Working Paper Figure w29920
Most of the growth in earnings inequality in the United States over the last several decades can be explained by employment growth and changes in earnings differentials in about 10 percent of all industries, at both the top and bottom of the earnings distribution, rather than by rising inequality of earnings within firms or between firms within industries. Many of these industries, which include software publishing, a high-earnings industry, and restaurants, a low-...

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Working Paper Figure w29902
Responsible long-term fiscal planning requires an understanding of national fiscal capacity and the extent to which it is affected by economic circumstances, including the term structure of real interest rates and the projected future path of budget deficits or surpluses. In Measuring US Fiscal Capacity Using Discounted Cash Flow Analysis (NBER Working Paper 29902), Zhengyang Jiang, Hanno Lustig, Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh, and Mindy Z. Xiaolan estimate...
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A range of public policies, including funding the construction of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, are designed to promote a transition from gasoline-powered to electric cars. A study of driver behavior suggests that drivers’ willingness to embrace EVs will depend on the way funds for charging infrastructure are spent. In Fueling Alternatives: Gas Station Choice and the Implications for Electric Charging (NBER Working Paper 29831), Jackson Dorsey, Ashley...
Over the last two decades, the US hospital sector has experienced significant consolidation, with over 1,600 mergers among the nation’s 6,000 hospitals. Nearly 70 percent of hospitals are now located in a highly concentrated market. During this period, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, prices for hospital services have grown more quickly than prices in virtually all other sectors. Legislators in various statehouses and the US Congress have put forward...
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was one of the largest measures undertaken by the federal government to protect businesses and their employees from the adverse economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act in March 2020, and administered by the Small Business Administration (SBA). PPP guaranteed about $800 billion in low-interest loans made by financial institutions to businesses...
Rising international migration flows have sparked heated debate on the effects of immigrants on host societies. A recurring concern is that cultural differences between immigrants and the native born and the insularity of some immigrant communities threaten social cohesion and national identity. Such concerns are often linked to religion, which is not only a dimension along which immigrants and natives tend to differ, but also an important determinant of culture,...
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