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The Digest

The Digest is a free monthly publication featuring non-technical summaries of research on topics of broad public interest.

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    Working Paper Figure w30308
    Article
    In the 1970s, court orders to integrate schools led many US cities to bus students far from home. Though court-mandated busing has disappeared, many urban districts now have voluntary school choice programs that allow students to attend schools outside of their neighborhoods when space permits. In many of these systems, students are assigned to seats using school-matching algorithms that take account of applicant preferences and school priorities, randomizing seats when...
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    Article
    Nominal fixed-income securities such as bonds do not protect investors against unexpected inflation. In addition to inflation eroding the purchasing power of payouts, bond prices also fall when interest rates rise, which typically occurs during inflationary periods. In contrast, investors often consider real assets like stocks, real estate, and commodities to be effective inflation hedges. Real estate and commodity prices, which enter the price level directly or...

The Reporter

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    Figure 1 2022 number 2 Aging Program Report
    Article
    Author(s): Jonathan Skinner
    When the NBER’s Program on the Economics of Aging began in 1986 under the direction of David Wise, the baby-boom generation was between the ages of 22 and 40. Long-run projections at the time forecast that the United States would transition to an older population distribution. Today, with baby boomers ranging in age from 58 to 76, that projected future is the ongoing reality of our nation. One-fifth of the population will be age 65 or older in the next decade. Since its...
    Figure 1 2022 number 2 Eriksson summary
    Article
    Author(s): Katherine Eriksson
    Individual records from the 1950 US Census were publicly released on April 1, 2022. Economic historians had been waiting for this day for 10 years. This data source, like the individual-level data from earlier censuses, makes it possible to locate the information reported by a specific person. I found the records for my grandparents along with those for my mother, who was born in December 1949. They lived in rural Lincoln County, Kentucky. My grandfather, Bernard...

The Bulletin on Retirement & Disability

The Bulletin on Retirement and Disability summarizes research in the NBER's Retirement and Disabiy Research Center. A quarterly, it is distributed digitally and is free.

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    NBER RDRC Working Paper 21-10 Figure
    Article
    Forty percent of US workers have access to employer-provided short-term disability insurance (STDI). This insurance generally pays benefits to disabled workers during the five-month waiting period between disability onset and when Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits can commence. By providing income during the waiting period, STDI may encourage more disabled workers to apply for SSDI, leading to more SSDI awards. However, employers who offer STDI have a...
    NBER RDRC Working Paper NB21-16
    Article
    Basic facts about the size of the immigrant population, the fraction undocumented, and future trends in these measures are crucial for analysis of Social Security and other public policies. However, there is a lack of quality data on the number of undocumented immigrants that reside in the US at a given point in time, as standard government surveys do not indicate a person’s legal status. In Projecting Trends in Undocumented and Legal Immigrant Populations in the...

The Bulletin on Health

The Bulletin on Health summarizes recent NBER Working Papers pertaining to health topics. It is distributed digitally three times a year and is free.

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    Working Paper Figure w30047
    Article
    Community health centers (CHCs) offer primary care services at discounted prices in economically disadvantaged communities. The first two CHCs were introduced, as part of the War on Poverty, in Massachusetts and Mississippi in 1965. Over the next 23 years, CHCs were gradually rolled out to medically underserved communities around the country and, by 1988, they were available in 733 counties. The CHC program continued after 1988, but under a new name (federally qualified...
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    US house prices fell by 34 percent between 2006 and 2012. But the downturn was more severe in some parts of the country than in others. For example, home values in Phoenix and Las Vegas dropped by 46 and 60 percent, respectively. In contrast, house prices in Pittsburgh and Buffalo didn’t fall at all, instead increasing by 5 and 6 percent over this time period.   How did the overall housing downturn, and the associated Great Recession, affect mental health among...

The Bulletin on Entrepreneurship

Introducing recent NBER entrepreneurship research and the scholars who conduct it Subscribe to the Free Bulletin on Entrepreneurship
    Working Paper Figure w29532
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    In Private or Public Equity? The Evolving Entrepreneurial Finance Landscape (NBER Working Paper 29532), Michael Ewens and Joan Farre-Mensa survey the changes in the US entrepreneurial finance market over the last two decades. Their study begins by describing the differences between publicly listed and private firms, and then explores how several regulatory, technological, and competitive changes affecting both startups and investors have affected the costs and...
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    Article
    Income taxes raise government revenue, finance government spending programs, and redistribute income from high to low earners. These taxes can also induce taxpayers to work less, evade taxes, or move to lower-tax locations. The economic theory of optimal tax design tries to set tax rates to balance these trade-offs. In The Effects of Taxes on Innovation: Theory and Empirical Evidence (NBER Working Paper 29359), Stefanie Stantcheva investigates whether income...
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