Border Adjustment Tax Would Strengthen the Dollar,
Reduce U.S. Trade, and Possibly Trigger Counter Moves
Advocates of implementing a border adjustment tax to reduce the United States' trade deficit argue that such a measure would not be protectionist because such a tax would strengthen the dollar, and this would offset the impact of import duties. But a study presented recently at the NBER's 33rd Annual Conference on Macroeconomics contradicted a central assumption of this argument — that the stronger dollar's effect on import prices and the impact of the tax on import prices would be symmetric. The researchers found that the tax would raise the cost of imports and have a negative effect on U.S. exports.
Continuing a Decades-Long Trend, Women Are
Working Longer in U.S. than in Other Developed Countries
Today, more American women than ever before stay in the workforce into their 60s and 70s. This trend emerged in the 1980s, and has persisted during the past three decades, despite substantial changes in macroeconomic conditions. Why is this so? Why do today's older American women work full-time jobs at greater rates than women in other developed countries?
In Women Working Longer, editors Claudia Goldin and Lawrence F. Katz assemble new research that presents fresh insights on the phenomenon of increased employment at older ages. Their findings suggest that education and work experience earlier in life are connected to women's later-in-life work. Other contributors to the volume investigate additional factors that may play a role in late-life labor supply, such as marital disruption, household finances, and access to retirement benefits. A pioneering study of recent trends in older women's labor force participation, this collection offers insights relevant to a wide array of social scientists, employers, and policymakers.
A National Bureau of Economic Research Conference Report.
Artificial intelligence may reshape the nature of the innovation process and the organization of R&D by taking advantage of the interplay between passively generated large datasets and enhanced prediction algorithms, according to research by Iain M. Cockburn, Rebecca Henderson, and Scott Stern.
Takeup of income-driven student loan repayment plans is low despite the insurance they provide against default. Katharine G. Abraham, Emel Filiz-Ozbay, Erkut Y. Ozbay, and Lesley J. Turner find that when the insurance benefits are emphasized, students are significantly more likely to participate. Participation is significantly lower when costs are emphasized.
Consistent with the argument that expanding insurance coverage encourages the utilization of low-value medical services, Charles Courtemanche, Andrew Friedson, and Daniel I. Rees find that ambulance dispatches for minor injuries rose sharply after the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
While total shipments of North Dakotan grain were relatively constant in the period 2010-14, shipments of oil rose from 26,000 to 343,000 railcar loads annually. A study featured in the current issue of The NBER Digest finds that consumers, rather than farmers, bore the cost of the resulting rail network congestion, shipping delays, and spoilage. Other studies summarized in the May Digest examine the financial benefit to older workers of staying on the job and delaying Social Security benefits, the effect of employer concentration on wages and the labor share, the effectiveness of U.S. government efforts to curb the use of offshore accounts to evade taxes, and the validity of the Peter Principle.
Research into the evolution of black ghettos in urban areas of the American North finds that localized white flight and racist zoning ordinances led to a high degree of racial segregation in the early decades of the 20th century, well before the institution of the federal mortgage lending policies of the 1930s that have led some to believe that the federal government was uniquely responsible for segregating America. Findings are detailed in the latest issue of The NBER Reporter. Also in this edition of the quarterly Reporter, economists write about their work on digital currency and blockchains, motives for charitable giving to higher education, advantages of using consumption rather than income levels to measure inequality, and approaches to helping the world’s poorest people out of poverty.
It can be difficult to isolate the health effects of retirement, as individuals often retire because of poor health or other confounding factors. The sudden swell of retirees at the age of 62, spurred by Social Security benefits kicking in, provides a large dataset from which to inspect retirement's causal effects. Research summarized in the current edition of the NBER's Bulletin on Aging and Health finds that male mortality rates jump by about 2 percent after the 62nd birthday, coinciding with the Social Security retirement age; the effects for women are less pronounced.