NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH



Unique Nature of Electricity Generates
Challenges for Pricing and Conserving Power

Electricity demand and supply swing widely with the weather and time of day, a phenomenon heightened by regulators' determination to keep prices to consumers steady and low. One idea that has arisen for addressing climate change is to let consumer electricity prices rise, on the theory that this will reduce consumption and the carbon production associated with power generation. Katherine Wolfram worries that this strategy would produce far less carbon reduction than is needed. Read her latest study on consumer behavior in electricity consumption, or browse a wide variety of papers by NBER researchers on the Energy Issues theme page.


New NBER Research

23 February 2018

Financial Heterogeneity
and the Investment Channel of Monetary Policy

Firms with low leverage or high credit ratings are the most responsive to monetary policy shocks, Pablo Ottonello and Thomas Winberry show. Firms with high default risk are less responsive to monetary shocks because their marginal cost of external finance is high.

22 February 2018

Children and Gender Inequality in Denmark

Using Danish data from 1980-2013, Henrik Kleven, Camille Landais, and Jakob Egholt Søgaard show that the arrival of children creates a gender gap in earnings of around 20 percent in the long run.

21 February 2018

Sources of Displaced Workers’ Long-Term Earnings Losses

In an examination of panel data from Washington State, Marta Lachowska, Alexandre Mas, and Stephen A. Woodbury find that, five years after job loss in the Great Recession, the earnings deficit of displaced workers relative to those who were not displaced can be attributed roughly 40 percent to reduced hourly wages and 60 percent to reduced work hours.
More Research


Innovation Policy and the Economy, Vol. 18, Focuses
on New Technology in Organizational Structures


The interplay between new technologies and organizational structures such as networks and corporations is the focus of the 18th annual volume of the NBER's Innovation Policy and the Economy series. Glenn Ellison and Sara Fisher Ellison explore how consumer search in a technology-mediated marketplace can affect the incentives for firms to engage in price obfuscation. Aaron Chatterji examines the role of innovation in American K-12 education, emphasizing recent evidence on the efficacy of classroom technologies. Economic sociologist Olav Sorenson considers how information, influence, and resources flow through innovation networks. Concluding chapters focus on how corporate organizational structures influence innovation and dynamism. Andreas Nilsson and David Robinson develop a framework for understanding the emergence and choices of social entrepreneurs and socially responsible firms. Steven Kaplan argues that there is little empirical evidence to support the common claim that investor pressure for short-term financial results leads U.S. companies to systematically underinvest in long-term capital expenditures and R&D.

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On the News

Cryptocurrency Interest on Campus High
Despite the Ups and Downs of Bitcoin


Bitcoin values soared last year and have declined sharply in 2018, but interest in the cryptocurrency and its technology is soaring at some leading graduate schools of business and economics, The New York Times reported February 9. A primary voice in the Times story was David Yermack of New York University and the NBER, author of several recent NBER working papers on Bitcoin and related subjects.

The research:
By Yermack and Max Raskin: Digital Currencies, Decentralized Ledgers, and the Future of Central Banking
By other NBER researchers: Market Structure in Bitcoin Mining

The Times news report: Cryptocurrencies Come to Campus


NBER in the News


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The NBER Digest

Why Do Low-Income Households Eat as They Do?
It's Not Where People Live but What They Hunger for




Exploring the belief of some advocates that low-income households eat less nutritiously because they live in "food deserts" where higher quality foods are not available, research summarized in the current issue of The NBER Digest that education, nutritional knowledge, and regional food preferences play a far larger role in nutritional inequality than access issues. Also in the latest edition of The Digest: a look at the outsized role of the U.S. dollar in world trade, a study of the debt repayment behavior of credit card borrowers, an examination of European Central Bank policies during the European debt crisis, an analysis of the effects of being informed of federal loan availability on college students' attainment levels, and an exploration of the relationship between housing prices and public school spending.
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The NBER Reporter

A Fresh Look at the International Business Cycle,
Using Micro Input for Macroeconomic Understanding




Measuring and modeling economic shocks to individual firms and specific sectors is essential for understanding the macroeconomic consequences of globalization, argue researchers who aim to provide a unified perspective on international business cycle comovement. Their report is featured in the current edition of The NBER Reporter. Also in this edition of the quarterly Reporter, bureau-affiliated economists write about their work on the impacts of birth order, the evolution of factor shares, the expanded scope of the NBER Program on Industrial Organization, and the growing importance of social skills for success in the labor market.
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The NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health

Out-of-Network Billing Practices
In Emergency Department Visits




Individuals who require a visit to the emergency department are often in duress and in no position to confirm that their treatment is being handled by in-network practitioners, especially in cases where they are already at in-network hospitals. Research summarized in the current issue of the NBER's Bulletin on Aging and Health finds high incidences of out-of-network billing at in-network hospitals are common in select groups of emergency departments nationwide. Analysis of a 2015 New York state legislative reform targeting out-of-network billing found the reform substantially reduced "surprise costs" for emergency department visitors.
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