A History of Development of the Capital Stock:
How the US Became a Global Economic Leader

Tracking the evolution of capital stock is a critical input to a nation's economic history, as capital stock is widely recognized as a crucial determinant of productivity and living standards. The late University of North Carolina economist Robert E. Gallman gathered extensive data on US capital stock and its relationship to long-run economic performance from the end of the colonial period to the turn of the 20th century, providing a foundation for understanding the country's becoming a global economic leader. But he did not publish the material supporting his findings during his lifetime. In a new NBER book from the University of Chicago Press, Paul W. Rhode of the University of Michigan completes Gallman's project.

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The NBER Digest

When Residents of China Got Accurate Information
on Air Pollution, They Altered Behavior to Avoid Risk

A program that for the first time made accurate information of air pollution readily available to residents of China caused residents to limit outside-the-home activities on high pollution days, a study featured in the February edition of The NBER Digest finds. Also featured in the current issue of the free, monthly Digest are summaries of studies of worker representation on company boards, youths' antidepressant use after school shootings, immigrants' sons' income mobility, and effects of climate concerns on oil firms' value, and effects of private equity buyouts.
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New NBER Research

19 February 2020

The Impact of e-Commerce on Price Dispersion

Using Japanese data, Yoon J. Jo, Misaki Matsumura, and David E. Weinstein find that entry of e-commerce firms raised the rate of intercity price convergence and relative inflation rates for goods sold intensively online.

18 February 2020

Safety Net Impacts of Expanding Public Health Insurance

Participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and perhaps also in the Earned Income Tax Credit, increased in counties that expanded Medicaid in connection with the Affordable Care Act, according to research by Lucie Schmidt, Lara Shore-Sheppard, and Tara Watson.

14 February 2020

Sibling Spillovers in College Enrollment

An older sibling’s attending a more selective college raises younger siblings’ college enrollment rates and the quality of college chosen, particularly for families with low predicted probabilities of college enrollment,Joshua Goodman, Michael Hurwitz, Christine Mulhern, and Jonathan Smith find.
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Bulletin on Health

Length of Life for Older Americans: Location Matters

The most recent issue of the Bulletin on Health features a study that examines the longevity of Medicare beneficiaries who move from one location to another.Using a panel of Medicare data, the researchers estimate that remaining life expectancy at age 65 increases by 1.1 years for a person moving from an area in the lowest 10 percent in terms of life expectancy impact to one in the highest 10 percent. Equalizing the effects of location would eliminate 15 percent of the variation in life expectancy across areas. Also featured in this issue of the Bulletin on Health are studies of birth outcomes at hospitals with relatively high C-section rates, and the effects of increased Medicaid reimbursement rates on patient access to care.
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Reviewing the Work of Friedman and Schwartz
in the Second Quarter Century of the NBER

In the second 25 years of the NBER’s history, the work of Milton Friedman and Anna Schwartz on the definition of money and the significance of monetary policy created a watershed moment in economics. At this year’s annual meeting of the American Economic Association, Research Associate Jón Steinsson of the University of California, Berkeley reviewed how Friedman and Schwartz’s once-radical views became conventional wisdom. The presentation was made during a panel marking a century since the NBER’s founding.
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The NBER Reporter

How Do Financial Markets Amplify Asset Price Shocks?
History Offers Clues to the Dynamics among Institutions

Today, information about a bank's relationships with other lenders is often closely held and, because many banks have international branches and engage in a wide variety of off-balance-sheet activities, it is difficult to distinguish the effect of a single shock or policy from other factors. But analyzing data from when financial markets were less complex and more transparent offers insights into the dynamics of the most recent crisis, according to research featured in the current issue of the NBER Reporter. Also in this edition of the free, quarterly Reporter, in which NBER affiliates summarize work in sub-fields of economics, are articles on behavioral health, household expectations, costs of health care, and market concentration.
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Bulletin on Retirement and Disability

The Role That Self-Employment Plays
in Facilitating Work at Older Ages

Understanding the trends in self-employment at older ages is increasingly important as more Americans work into their later years. Results of a survey on self-employment is summarized in the winter issue of the free Bulletin on Retirement and Disability. The research shows that the share of self-employed rises sharply with age and that highly educated older adults are considerably more likely to be self-employed than less-educated workers. Also featured in this issue: a summary of research on trends in retirement income adequacy, an exploration of research on the retirement income choices of defined contribution plan participants, and a Q & A with newly appointed Retirement and Disability Research Center co-director James Choi.
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