The NBER Reporter 2015 Number 4: Books
Even as life expectancy in many countries continues to increase, social security and similar government programs can prompt workers to leave the labor force when they reach the age of eligibility for benefits. Disability insurance programs can also play a significant role in the departure of older workers from the labor force, with many individuals in some countries relying on disability insurance until they are able to enter into full retirement.
The sixth stage of an ongoing research project studying the relationship between social security programs and labor force participation, this volume draws on the work of an eminent group of international economists to consider the extent to which differences in labor force participation across countries are determined by the provisions of disability insurance programs. Presented in an easily comparable way, their research covers 12 countries, including Canada, Japan, and the United States, and considers the requirements of disability insurance programs, as well as other pathways to retirement.
The papers in Volume 29 of Tax Policy and the Economy illustrate the depth and breadth of taxation-related research by NBER research associates, both in terms of methodological approach and in terms of topics. In the first paper, former NBER President Martin Feldstein estimates how much revenue the federal government could raise by limiting tax expenditures in various ways, such as capping deductions and exclusions. The second paper, by George Bulman and Caroline Hoxby, makes use of a substantial expansion in the availability of education tax credits in 2009 to study whether tax credits have a significant causal effect on college attendance and related outcomes. In the third paper, Casey Mulligan discusses how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) introduces or expands taxes on income and on full-time employment. In the fourth paper, Bradley Heim, Ithai Lurie, and Kosali Simon focus on the "young adult" provision of the ACA that allows young adults to be covered by their parents' insurance policies. They find no meaningful effects of this provision on labor market outcomes. The fifth paper, by Louis Kaplow, identifies some of the key conceptual challenges to analyzing social insurance policies, such as Social Security, in a context in which shortsighted individuals fail to save adequately for retirement.