How the Ongoing Shutdown of the U.S. Government
Is — and Isn't — Like the One that Occurred in 2013

Matthew D. Shapiro, who is professor of economics at the University of Michigan and a research associate at the NBER, was a member of a team that made an in-depth study of how government workers coped with interruption of their incomes during the 2013 Federal government shutdown. [After this recording was made, Congress voted that furloughed federal employees eventually will receive back pay.]

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The NBER Digest

Analysis of Austrian Data Associates Early Retirement
of Blue-Collar Workers with Increase in Mortality

For male blue-collar male workers in Austria, an extra year of early retirement, induced by a policy change, was associated with an increase in the probability of death before age 73 of 1.85 percentage points, according to a study featured in the January edition of the NBER Digest.The researchers find no statistically significant effect of early retirement on women. Also featured in this issue of the monthly Digest: an analysis of consolidation among defense industry contractors, a study of effects of neighborhood environments on children's future possibilities, a look at trends in U.S. retention of STEM PhDs from abroad, an examination of the influence of U.S. monetary policy on global lending, and a comparison of pricing changes among retailers.

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New NBER Research

18 January 2019

Consumer Misinformation and the Brand Premium

An overwhelming majority of participants in a blind taste test of foods administered by Bart Bronnenberg, Jean-Pierre H. Dubé, and Robert E. Sanders chose a retailer’s private label over national brands. Among participants, this sharply increased purchases of the private label brand in the short run, but the effect declined with time.

17 January 2019

Leverage Differences between Public and Private Firms

Matching private firms’ balance sheets to the U.S. Bureau of the Census Longitudinal Business Database (LBD) for the period 2005–2012, Emin Dinlersoz, Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan, Henry Hyatt, and Veronika Penciakova find firm size and leverage are strongly positively correlated for private firms and weakly negatively correlated for public firms.

16 January 2019

Better Matching Between Firms and Workers, Higher Wages

Using German data, Wolfgang Dauth, Sebastian Findeisen, Enrico Moretti, and Jens Suedekum, estimate that the degree of within-city assortative matching increased by about 75 percent between 1985 and 2014, and that this raised aggregate labor earnings about in the country by 2.1 percent.
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International Social Security Project Analyzes
Pension Programs and Workforce Participation

The emergence of increasingly generous pension plans was associated with a decline in labor force participation by older people during the 20th century; more recently, pension reforms and cutbacks have incentivized workers to stay on the job. Courtney Coile of Wellesley College and the NBER is a long-time researcher in an NBER project that has studied retirement decisions and related issues for more than 20 years.

The NBER International Social Security Project book series
The Evolution of Retirement Incentives in the U.S.

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Factors Contributing to Global Poverty's Persistence:
Financial, Environmental, Physical, and Psychological

What turns poverty into a cycle that perpetuates across generations? The Economics of Poverty Traps, a new NBER book edited by Christopher B. Barrett, Michael R. Carter, and Jean-Paul Chavas, explores the hypothesis that poverty is self-reinforcing because the equilibrium behaviors of poor people perpetuate low standards of living. Contributions explore the dynamic, complex processes by which households accumulate assets and increase their productivity and earnings potential, as well as the conditions under which some individuals, groups, and economies struggle to escape poverty. Investigating the full range of phenomena that combine to generate poverty traps — gleaned from behavioral, health, and resource economics as well as the sociology, psychology, and environmental literatures — the volume presents new evidence that highlights insights and identifies limits to current analyses of poverty traps.

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The NBER Reporter

The Role of Financial Factors in Economic Fluctuations:
Credit Spreads as Forecasters of Economic Events

The NBER's working group on household finance has convened researchers studying how the presence or absence of financial education programs, self-interested financial advisers, and pension plan participation requirements influence consumer behaviors that affect their financial well-being. A report on this research field is featured in the new issue of the NBER Reporter. Also in this edition of the quarterly Reporter are articles on research into the role of financial factors in economic fluctuations, the price and quality of prescription drugs, public sector personnel management in developing countries, and comparative rates of return.

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New Research Associates
and Faculty Research Fellows for 2018

The NBER appointed 58 new research associates and 45 new faculty research fellows in 2018. New appointees must be faculty members at North American colleges and universities, and are recommended by program directors in the culmination of a highly competitive process.
New appointees and their research program affiliations

The NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health

Black Men who Visit Black Primary Care Doctors
Are More Likely to Accept Preventative Health Care

Black men are less likely to visit a doctor and receive preventative services like diabetes screening than their non-black counterparts. A study summarized in the most recent issue of the NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health finds that black male patients who see black doctors elect to receive recommended preventative health screenings at a much higher rate than those who see a non-black doctor. Also featured in this edition of the Bulletin: A look at the long-term impacts of Hurricane Katrina on survivors' mortality rates and an analysis of how fragmentation of the kidney exchange market constrict hospitals’ efforts to match donors to recipients.

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