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The Digest

A free monthly publication featuring non-technical summaries of research on topics of broad public interest.
This figure is a line graph titled, Impact of Money and Oil Shocks on PCE Inflation. The y-axis is labeled, Log change in PCE. It ranges from negative 0.30 to positive 0.30 percent. It increases in increments of 0.10.  The x-axis is labeled, months, and ranges from 0 to 50, increasing in increments of 5.  There are two lines, one labeled Unexpected oil price increase and the other, Unexpected money supply contraction. Each line has shading around it, representing the 95 percent confidence intervals.  The un
US inflation was relatively low and stable for three decades beginning in the 1990s. In sharp contrast, it has been relatively high since 2021. Many factors, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, expansionary fiscal policy, and loose monetary policy, have been cited as potential contributors to the recent inflation surge. In Oil Prices, Monetary Policy and Inflation Surges (NBER Working Paper 31263), Luca Gagliardone and Mark...

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This figure is a scatter plot titled, Bank Assets and Speed of Reopening after 1933 Bank Holiday. The y-axis is labeled, difference in assets at banks that reopened sooner vs later. It ranges from negative 10 percent to positive 50 percent, increasing in increments of 10 percent.  The x-axis represents time and ranges from 1929 to 1940, increasing in increments of 1. Each year has one corresponding point. There is a vertical dashed line at 1933 labeled, National bank holiday declared on March 6, 1933. The p
To reassure depositors during banking crises, policymakers sometimes extend guarantees that go beyond legal requirements. After the failure of Lehman Brothers in 2008, regulators provided assistance to a broad range of financial institutions, even lightly regulated money market mutual funds. When Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank failed earlier this year, federal regulators bailed out all depositors, including those whose balances vastly exceeded federal deposit...
This figure is a bar graph titled, Changes in Standardized Test Pass Rates, 2019 to 2022. It is subtitled, Each bar represents a bin of districts within the relevant 20 quantiles of change between 2019 and 2021.  The y axis is labeled percentage points and ranges from negative 40 to positive 20, increasing in increments of 10.  The graph is divided into two panels. The left panel is labeled English language arts and the right side is labeled Math. There are two categories of bars for each side: 2019 to 2021
Test scores at the end of the 2020–21 school year revealed dramatic declines in student performance during the COVID-19 pandemic. In a data sample including schools from 21 states, only a fraction of those losses — 20 percent in English language arts and 37 percent in math — were recovered by the end of the next school year. Those nationwide averages mask wide variations in student performance among individual states, according to Post COVID-19 Test Score...
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 increased the maximum benefit per child of the Child Tax Credit (CTC) to between $3,000 and $3,600 for the period between July and December of 2021. It also removed the requirement that taxpayers earn income to receive this benefit. This temporary policy change provided a unique opportunity to study the effect on labor force participation of switching from a transfer with work requirements to an unconditional cash benefit. In ...
Since 2000, large numbers of Chinese citizens have spent time in the United States as students or researchers. In the 2018–19 academic year, slightly more than 35 percent of the roughly 1.1 million international students and researchers in the US were from China. Although some remained in the US, many went back to China. In Creating and Connecting US and China Science: Chinese Diaspora and Returnee Researchers (NBER Working Paper 31306), Qingnan Xie...
There are large regional differences in the US in the prevalence of consumer financial distress as indicated by debt collection rates, bankruptcies, and low credit scores. In The Great Equalizer: Medicare and the Geography of Consumer Financial Strain (NBER Working Paper 31223), Paul Goldsmith-Pinkham, Maxim Pinkovskiy, and Jacob Wallace explore the role that Medicare plays in mitigating these geographic disparities in the older population...
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