Olivier Blanchard, Veteran International Economist,
Sees Gradual Return to a 'More Normal' Environment

The legacies of the financial crisis and lowered expectations of future growth have slowed the pace of recovery from the Great Recession, but the wounds are healing, Olivier Blanchard of the Peterson Institute for International Economics and the NBER told participants in the 32nd Annual Conference on Macroeconomics. Blanchard, formerly chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, said he expects to see interest rates return to more normal levels and central banks to slowly lighten their balance sheets as the recovery continues. A video of his full presentation is on the macroeconomic conference web page.
New NBER Research

26 May 2017

Rising Inequality in China, 1978-2015

The top 10 percent’s income share in China rose from 27 percent to 41 percent of national income between 1978 and 2015, while the bottom 50 percent’s share dropped from 27 percent to 15 percent, according to a study by Thomas Piketty, Li Yang, and Gabriel Zucman. China’s inequality levels, which used to be close to those of Nordic countries, now are approaching U.S. levels.

25 May 2017

Increasing Post-Secondary Enrollment of UI Recipients

Recipients of unemployment insurance are 40 percent more likely to enroll in post-secondary programs that could improve future employment outcomes if they receive information about the benefits, costs, necessary steps, and availability of assistance for enrolling, according to a study by Andrew Barr and Sarah Turner.

24 May 2017

Abortion Clinic Closures, Access, and Abortions

Studying the law that shuttered nearly half of Texas' abortion clinics in late 2013, Scott Cunningham, Jason M. Lindo, Caitlin Myers, and Andrea Schlosser estimate that an increase of 50-100 miles in the distance to the nearest abortion provider reduces legal abortion rates by 16 percent, an increase of 100-200 miles reduces rates by 32 percent, and an increase to 200 or more miles reduces rates by 47 percent.
More Research

New in the NBER Reporter

Behavioral Economics Striving to Understand
Individual Decision-Making among Students

The emerging field of behavioral economics attempts to integrate research in psychology and sociology to better understand decision-making by individual students, a topic which received comparatively little attention in earlier studies of the economics of education. A summary of work in this field is featured in the latest edition of The NBER Reporter. Also in this issue of the quarterly Reporter, leading economists summarize their work on the dynamics of innovation, the impact of contracting out Medicare and Medicaid, macroeconomic policy at the zero lower bound, and developments in corporate finance.

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New in the NBER Digest

Falling Labor Share and Rising Profits Lead
to a Global Rise in Corporate Savings

Since 1980, the global corporate sector has increased its saving rate and switched from being a net borrower to being a net lender to the rest of the economy, according to research reported in the May edition of The NBER Digest. Also featured in this month’s Digest are an examination of the impact on startup firms of successful patenting, evidence that single women may downplay professional ambitions to enhance marriageability, an effort to measure the impact of robots on local job markets, analysis of early impacts of the Affordable Care Act, and a comparison of development paths in East Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

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Just Out: Tax Policy and the Economy, Vol. 31

Volume 31 of the NBER's Tax Policy and the Economy series, just published by The University of Chicago Press contains papers on long-standing issues, including how transfer programs affect tax rates and behavior. Alan Auerbach, Laurence Kotlikoff, Darryl Koehler, and Manni Yu take a lifetime perspective on the marginal tax rates facing older individuals and families. Gizem Kosar and Robert A. Moffitt provide new estimates of the cumulative marginal rates facing low-income families over 1997-2007. Emmanuel Saez presents evidence on the elasticity of taxable income with respect to tax rates. Conor Clarke and Wojciech Kopczuk survey the treatment of business income taxation in the United States since the 1950s. Louis Kaplow argues that the reduction in statutory tax rates from base-broadening may not reduce effective marginal tax rates on households. Edited by Robert A. Moffitt.

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