Five nations and the Gates Foundation committed $1.5 billion to support development of a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine that is estimated to have saved 700,000 lives in low-income countries, according to research featured in the April edition of The NBER Digest. Also in this issue of the free monthly Digest are summaries of studies examining H-1B visa allocation methods, the sleep-productivity, the effect of
prize structure on an innovation competition, and consumer valuation of product licensing,
and reasons the euro has not gone international.
The spring issue of the Bulletin on Health features a study examining the impact of Medicare eligibility at age 65 on cancer detection and outcomes. The researchers show that cancer detection shifts sharply upward at the age of Medicare eligibility, while cancer mortality shifts downward with Medicare eligibility. The effects are concentrated among women, especially among racial minorities. Also featured in this issue of the free Bulletin on Health are: a study of how a diabetes diagnosis affects subsequent health care and health outcomes, a study of how an informational letter about the tax penalty for lacking health insurance affected insurance coverage and mortality, and a profile of NBER research associate Adriana Lleras-Muney.
Credit frictions in the UK, which are more pronounced for small firms, cause an output loss of around 28 percent per year on average, overwhelmingly due to a lower overall capital stock rather than to capital misallocation across firms with heterogeneous productivity, Timothy J. Besley, Isabelle A. Roland, and John Van Reenen find.
The share of US job vacancies requiring a bachelor’s degree increased by more than 60 percent between 2007 and 2019, with faster growth in professional occupations and high-wage cities, Peter Q. Blair and David J. Deming find.
Public economics is the study of government intervention in the market economy, designed to move outcomes away from the market equilibrium. In the new issue of the NBER Reporter, the directors of the NBER’s Public Economics Program describe efforts by the program’s affiliated researchers to identify factors that determine take-up of government initiatives and the impacts of those initiatives on behavior and economic outcomes. Recent work has uncovered evidence of the importance of barriers to take-up in general and how those barriers may vary. Also in this edition of the free, quarterly Reporter, NBER researchers write about their investigations of the profound effects of rare events like pandemics, the impact of land systems and misallocation on agricultural productivity, the role of the firm in explaining the structure and evolution of wages and worker risk, and the benefits of rehabilitative incarceration of criminals.
While the magnitude of the US opioid crisis is fairly well understood, its causes are less well established. This issue is the topic of study of a paper summarized in the current issue of the free Bulletin on Retirement and Disability. The research finds that opioid abuse jumps shortly after a move and remains at the new higher level for up to five years after the move, suggesting that place-specific factors may explain about one-fourth of opioid abuse. Also featured in this issue: a summary of research on how perception of pain differs by education level, an exploration of trends in work and disability application among people with mental illness, and a joint Q&A with NBER research associates Richard Frank and Ellen Meara, both of Harvard University.
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.