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Bank Liquidity and the Dynamics of the Fed’s Balance Sheet figure

Bank Liquidity and the Dynamics of the Fed’s Balance Sheet


In the wake of the global financial crisis of 2007–09, the Federal Reserve embarked on an ambitious program of quantitative easing (QE), purchasing large quantities of bonds held by commercial banks and the rest of the economy. QE gave banks an infusion of liquidity by exchanging their longer-term assets for liquid reserves. On the liability side, however, there was an expansion of demand deposits at banks, especially uninsured deposits such as checking accounts that depositors can withdraw from at any time. Banks also responded by originating off-balance-sheet liabilities in the form of lines of credit, which allow businesses to draw funds, up to a limit, at their discretion. Both demand deposits and credit lines are claims on the bank’s liquidity, and providing them without placing the bank at risk requires an appropriate stock of bank...

AFLCIO William Spriggs image

William Spriggs, 1955-2023

news article

William Spriggs, who joined the NBER board as the representative of the AFL-CIO in 2014, passed away earlier this week. He was a distinguished labor economist whose research shed light on issues of equity in the labor market and in society more generally. He was a professor in, and former chair of, the Department of Economics at Howard University. Early in his career, Bill also taught at North Carolina A&T State University, and Norfolk State University.

Bill was an active participant in the public policy process. He was the Chief Economist at the AFL-CIO, and he chaired the Economic Policy Working Group at the OECD's Trade Union Advisory Committee. Between 2009 and 2012, he served as Assistant Secretary for the Office of Policy at the US Department of Labor.

Bill received his undergraduate degree…

From the NBER Reporter: Research, program, and conference summaries

Sin taxes final 1 final-01.jpg

Sin Taxes: Good, Better, Best


Economists have long recognized that when consuming a good produces externalities, welfare can be raised by imposing corrective taxes. More recently, there has been a growing belief that some goods should be taxed because of internalities — harms that people might impose on themselves due to limited attention, misunderstanding of financial instruments, systematically biased beliefs about themselves such as overconfidence, or lapses of self-control. One of the agendas that we have pursued at the intersection of public economics and behavioral economics is the optimal design of corrective taxes and subsidies to mitigate both externalities and internalities. Relative to externalities, internalities have received much less attention from economists, but they have been a key focus of our work — and,…

From the NBER Bulletin on Health

Epigenetic Influences on the Descendants of Union Army POWs overweight - 30599 figure

Epigenetic Influences on the Descendants of Union Army POWs


The number of adults worldwide who are overweight or obese is rising, with much of the increase driven by developing countries. Famine exposure at early ages is a contributing factor, and it is not clear whether such exposure transmits across generations. In Overweight Grandsons and Grandfathers’ Starvation Exposure (NBER Working Paper 30599), Dora Costa develops novel evidence on this issue by studying the grandchildren of Union Army veterans, some of whom were prisoners of war (POWs).

Prior to July 1863, most POWs in the US Civil War were immediately exchanged. For those in this group who survived to 1900, the average time in captivity was 16 days. Between July 1863 and July 1864 prisoner exchanges stopped; survivors’ time in captivity grew to an average of 231 days. After July 1864, exchanges resumed; time in captivity...

From the NBER Bulletin on Retirement and Disability

Comparing Behavioral Approaches to Increasing Savings


Many older American households approaching retirement age have accumulated little in the way of retirement savings. Over the past two decades, behavioral researchers have explored a variety of potential “nudges” designed to increase retirement savings. Many of these interventions have been shown to have substantial impacts on retirement savings behavior. However, validating, comparing, and selecting from different approaches can be difficult. Existing studies differ in their samples, the characteristics of firms included, study periods, and outcomes, which can alter the impact of policy interventions. In addition, the existing literature has largely not explored the relative cost-effectiveness of the various options.

In How Do Behavioral Approaches to Increase Savings Compare? Evidence from Multiple Interventions in the US Army (NBER RDRC Working Paper NB22-10), researchers Richard Patterson and William Skimmyhorn examine the relative efficacy and cost-effectiveness of four policy options designed...

Featured Working Papers

Large statutory minimum wage increases  have a negative impact on employment in the nonprofit sector, particularly at the smallest employers, and on the number of nonprofit establishments Jonathan Meer and Hedieh Tajali find.

Studying how countries construct policy responses to a severe negative shock through the lens of the onset of COVID-19, Katharina Bergant and Kristin Forbes find that preexisting policy space is usually more important than other country characteristics or the extent of economic, financial, and health stress.

Increased graduate student borrowing spurred by the federal Graduate PLUS loan program did not improve access to existing programs overall and did not significantly increase constrained students’ persistence or degree receipt, Sandra E. BlackLesley J. Turner, and Jeffrey T. Denning find.

Low-income individuals who were provided with a public defender shortly after arrest were 28 percentage points more likely to be released pretrial, and 36 percent more likely to see their cases dismissed, in a pilot program studied by Johanna LacoeBrett Fischer, and Steven Raphael.

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Through a partnership with the University of Chicago Press, the NBER publishes the proceedings of four annual conferences as well as other research studies associated with NBER-based research projects.

NBER Macro Annual 2022 volume 37


Challenges of Globalization Measurement of National Accounts


Entrepreneurship Innovation Policy and Economy 2


Measuring Distribution and Mobility CRIW volume 80


Tax Policy and the Economy volume 36


Research Spotlights

NBER researchers discuss their work on subjects of wide interest to economists, policymakers, and the general public. Recordings of more-detailed presentations, keynote addresses, and panel discussions at NBER conferences are available on the Lectures page.

Research Spotlight

In recognition of Black History Month, Research Associate Conrad Miller of the University of California, Berkeley,...

Research Spotlight

In recognition of Black History Month, Research Associate Trevon Logan of The Ohio State University, who directs the...

Research Spotlight

A growing fraction of US medical care is delivered through integrated healthcare systems that include many medical...

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