Exploring the Ways in Which Tax Policy Affects
Inventor Migration and Human Capital Investment

Tax policy influences a wide variety of personal behaviors, such as where to live and whether to make human capital investments. Stefanie Stantcheva of Harvard University focuses on optimal design of the tax system. Some of her research explores the degree to which the tax rate affects the mobility of superstar inventors and the type of tax structure that could best encourage human capital investment.

New NBER Research

23 March 2018

Natural Gas Price Elasticities and Optimal Cost Recovery

Analyzing approximately 300 million natural gas bills in California, Maximilian Auffhammer and Edward Rubin estimate that the elasticity of demand for residential natural gas is between -0.17 and -0.23, and varies by season and with household income.

22 March 2018

Decision Fatigue and Heuristic Analyst Forecasts

David Hirshleifer, Yaron Levi, Ben Lourie, and Siew Hong Teoh find that, in keeping with psychological evidence on decision fatigue, the accuracy of an analyst’s company forecasts declines over the course of a day as the number of forecasts the analyst issues increases.

21 March 2018

Do Conditional Cash Transfers Improve
Economic Outcomes in the Next Generation?

Childhood exposure to the Mexican conditional cash transfer program Progresa resulted in improvements in educational attainment, geographic mobility, labor market outcomes, and household economic outcomes in early adulthood, according to a study by Susan W. Parker and Tom Vogl.
More Research

New from the Studies in Income and Wealth Series:
Measuring and Modeling Health Care Costs

Health care costs represent a nearly 18 percent of U.S. gross domestic product and 20 percent of government spending. While there is detailed information on where these health care dollars are spent, there is much less evidence on how this spending affects health.

The research in Measuring and Modeling Health Care Costs seeks to connect what is known about expenditures with measurable results to probe questions of methodology, changes in the pharmaceutical industry, and the shifting landscape of physician practice. Studies in this volume investigate, for example, obesity's effect on health care spending, the effect of generic pharmaceutical releases on the market, and the disparity between disease-based and population-based spending. Researchers apply a range of economic tools to the analysis of health care and health outcomes.

Practical and descriptive, this latest volume in the Studies in Income and Wealth series is full of insights relevant to health policy students and specialists alike.

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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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Pre-Doctoral Fellowship Program Offers Opportunities
for Independent Research on Health and Aging Issues

NBER's pre-doctoral fellowship program, funded by the National Institute on Aging under the direction of Professor David Cutler of Harvard University and Professor Amy Finkelstein of MIT, gives trainees studying at Greater Boston-area universities exposure to a wide range of NBER research projects related to health outcomes and behaviors. Participating fellows pursue independent research while benefiting from opportunities for regular interaction with the NBER's large network of prominent investigators in the economics of aging and health.
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Call for Papers
41st Annual NBER Summer Institute

The NBER Digest

Sellers and Buyers Alike Have Benefited
from Emergence of Online Markets for Used Books

The prices of used books increased sharply when online markets arose, a study summarized in the latest edition of The NBER Digest finds, but the higher prices were more than compensated for by the greater access to hard-to-find volumes that the internet provided. Also featured in the March edition of The Digest are studies of the influence of state versus national licensing on interstate movement of professionals, the reason U.S. retail chains embrace uniform pricing, the impact of President Roosevelt’s confiscation of German book copyright protections in 1942, the varying impacts of the oil glut caused by the hydraulic fracking boom, and the conditions that would encourage retired Americans to return to work.

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The NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health

Smoke-Free Laws Don’t Just Benefit Smokers;
Infants and Children Have Better Health Outcomes Too

The positive effects of smoking bans are well documented for smokers, but the spillover effects that reducing environmental tobacco smoke may have on infants and children is relatively unknown. A study of 100 percent smoke-free laws, summarized in the latest issue of the NBER's Bulletin on Aging and Health, finds that expectant mothers living in areas covered by smoke-free laws have a 3.3 percent associated decline in the probability of their baby being born with low birth weight — one of a host of positive infant and child health outcomes.

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The NBER Reporter

Exploring the Global Decline in Labor's Share:
Lower-Cost Capital, Structure in Industry Are Keys

The labor share of national income has declined in most U.S. states and, globally, in most industries, including manufacturing, wholesale, and retail. NBER researchers explore the causes and implications in the current edition of The NBER Reporter. Also featured in this edition of the quarterly Reporter are articles by bureau-affiliated economists about their studies of the expanded scope of the NBER Program on Industrial Organization, the growing importance of social skills for success in the labor market, the dynamics of the international business cycle, and the importance of children's birth order in their adult outcomes.

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