How the Notion of Human Capital, Once Scorned
by Economists, Was Nurtured and Expanded at the NBER
Marking the 100th anniversary of the NBER’s founding, affiliated researchers chronicled major chapters in the organization’s evolution at this year’s annual meeting of the American Economic Association. Research Associate Claudia Goldin of Harvard University described how the NBER became an incubator of the notion that investment in the capacities of human beings played a significant role in capital formation, and now is understood to play a role in many sub-fields of economics.
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.
Women with severe, work-limiting, permanent impairments are 20 percentage points more likely than equivalent men to be rejected for disability insurance benefits, according to new findings by Hamish Low and Luigi Pistaferri finds.
An NBA player who scores a field goal is less likely to make his next field goal attempt, in contradiction of the widespread belief that there is a “hot hand” effect, according to Robert M. Lantis and Erik T. Nesson.
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.
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.
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.
After a fatal school shooting, the number of antidepressant prescriptions written for young people within five miles of the school rises sharply, but in areas with the highest density of psychologists and social workers — who unlike psychiatrists may not write prescriptions — youth antidepressant use does not increase, a
study featured in the current edition of
The NBER Digest finds. Also featured in this issue of the free, monthly Digest are summaries of studies of immigrants' sons'
income mobility, influence of climate concerns on
oil firms' value, effects of
private equity buyouts, impacts of
air pollution information in China, and
labor representation of German corporate boards.
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
costs of health care, and
New NBER affiliates are appointed through a highly competitive process that begins with a call for nominations in January. Candidates are evaluated based on their research records and their capacity to contribute to the NBER's activities by program directors and steering committees. New affiliates must hold primary academic appointments in North America. On January 1, 2020, there were 1,581 NBER-affiliated researchers based at 180 institutions.