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The NBER conducts and disseminates independent, cutting-edge, non-partisan research that advances economic knowledge and informs policy makers and the business community.

New NBER Papers

- Working Paper
The distributions of wealth in the US and many other countries are strikingly concentrated on the top and skewed to...
- Working Paper
We find that among stocks dominated by retail investors, the lottery anomaly is amplified by high investor attention (...
- Working Paper
Access to microcredit has been shown to generate only modest average benefits for recipient households. We study...
- Working Paper
We adapt the wage contracting structure in Chari (1983) to a dynamic, balanced-growth setting with re-contracting à la...
- Working Paper
This paper studies how fiscal decentralization affects local services. It explores a 1993 reform that increased the...
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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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    Article
    Minimum wage announcements by national firms have striking spillovers to other firms. Many employers responded to Amazon’s $15 minimum wage by matching it. Between 2014 and 2019, five major national retailers — Amazon, Walmart, Target, CVS, and Costco — implemented company-wide minimum wages. Ellora Derenoncourt, Clemens Noelke, David Weil, and Bledi Taska investigate the impacts of these policies on low-wage workers who are not employed by these firms in...
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    Article
    Black-owned businesses were least likely to receive Paycheck Protection Program loans from small and mid-sized banks, where subjectivity was most likely to influence lending decisions. The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was designed to help businesses retain employees as they weathered the COVID-19 pandemic. Private lenders administered PPP loans at virtually no risk to themselves, as the loans were federally guaranteed. In Racial Disparities in Access to...

The Reporter

The Reporter is a free quarterly publication featuring program updates, affiliates writing about their research, and news about the NBER.

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    Article
    Author(s): Alberto Cavallo
    For over a decade, my research has explored the use of high-frequency microdata to measure inflation and other economic statistics in real time in an effort to make academic macroeconomic research more timely and useful for policymakers. The COVID-19 pandemic has provided a unique opportunity to test this methodology, particularly around the topic of inflation. After the crisis started, the United States experienced a relatively small decline in inflation in 2020, followed...
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    Article
    In the mid-1800s, mortality rates in US and Western European cities were much higher than those in rural areas. Since then, urban mortality rates have fallen dramatically. Driven by reductions in infectious diseases and diseases of infancy and childhood, this phenomenon is often referred to as the mortality transition and has been recognized as one of the most significant developments in the history of human welfare.1 By the 1940s, the mortality “penalty” from living in a...

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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    Article
    The 2021 NBER Summer Institute's Economics of Social Security meeting featured a panel discussion on the implications of COVID-19 related disruptions in the US labor market for Social Security. NBER President James Poterba introduced the panel by noting that the pandemic could affect Social Security in many ways, including through effects on economic growth, long-term fertility, and mortality, as well as on labor market outcomes such as labor force participation and wages...
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    Article
    Social Security is the primary source of income for most individuals aged 65 and up. Benefits depend on the worker’s earning history and on the age at which benefits are claimed, which may be as early as age 62. For each month beyond the Full Retirement Age (FRA) that the worker delays claiming (up to age 70), the monthly benefit amount is increased by the Delayed Retirement Credit (DRC). The DRC has increased substantially over time, from 3 percent per year of delay for...

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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    Article
    In 2016, 80 percent of Medicaid enrollees received their insurance through private managed care plans. These private plans take responsibility for providing medical care for Medicaid recipients in exchange for a fixed per-enrollee payment from the state. These arrangements could restrain Medicaid spending if private firms had a greater incentive to control costs than the government does. However, such cost savings could have implications for patient health. Outcomes...
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    Article
    Urgent care centers (UCCs) have proliferated in recent years: the share of zip codes served by a UCC rose from 28 percent in 2006 to 91 percent in 2019.  The implications of this market expansion for overall health care costs are not obvious. If UCCs divert patients from costly emergency departments (EDs), then UCC access could reduce costs. But, if UCCs initiate demand for additional services, they could raise costs. Researchers Janet Currie, Anastasia Karpova, and...

The Bulletin on Entrepreneurship

Introducing recent NBER entrepreneurship research and the scholars who conduct it Subscribe Free  
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    Article
    Teams with more women performed better when they had a female section leader. Ethnically diverse teams performed worse than homogenous teams, especially when diversity was assigned by algorithm. In "Diversity and Performance in Entrepreneurial Teams" (NBER Working Paper 28684), Sophie Calder-Wang, Paul Gompers, and Kevin Huang analyze data from an entrepreneurship course at Harvard Business School (HBS) to explore the links between team diversity and...
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    Article
    Areas near a national laboratory or a research university exhibit more startup activity, but increased federal research support only spurs entrepreneurship near universities. Many cities and states search for policy levers that could enable them to develop a startup culture. In "More than an Ivory Tower: The Impact of Research Institutions on the Quantity and Quality of Entrepreneurship" (NBER Working Paper 28846), Valentina Tartari and Scott Stern conclude...
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