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Jel Classification:I18 

Discussion Paper
Market Failures and Official Sector Interventions

In the United States and other free market economies, the official sector typically has minimal involvement in market activities absent a clear rationale to justify intervention, such as a market failure. In this post, we consider arguments for official sector intervention, focusing on the market failure arising from externalities related to business closures. These externalities are likely to be particularly high for closures arising from pandemic-related economic disruptions. We discuss how the official sector, including institutions such as Congress and the Treasury, can increase social ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20200923

Working Paper
Labor Market Effects of the Oxycodone-Heroin Epidemic

We estimate the causal effects of heroin use on labor market outcomes by proxying for heroin use with prior exposure to oxycodone, the largest of the prescription opioids with a well-documented history of abuse. After a nationwide tightening in the supply of oxycodone in 2010, states with greater prior exposure to oxycodone experienced much larger increases in heroin use and mortality. We find increases in heroin use led to declines in employment and labor force participation rates, particularly for white, young, and less educated groups, consistent with the profile of oxycodone misusers. ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2021-025

Working Paper
Medicaid Expansion and the Unemployed

We examine how a key provision of the Affordable Care Act—the expansion of Medicaid eligibility—affected health insurance coverage, access to care, and labor market transitions of unemployed workers. Comparing trends in states that implemented the Medicaid expansion to those that did not, we find that the ACA Medicaid expansion substantially increased insurance coverage and improved access to health care among unemployed workers. We then test whether this strengthening of the safety net affected transitions from unemployment to employment or out of the labor force. We find no meaningful ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2019-29

Working Paper
Who Gets Medication-assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder, and Does It Reduce Overdose Risk? Evidence from the Rhode Island All-payer Claims Database

This paper uses the all-payer claims database (APCD) for Rhode Island to study three questions about the use of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorder (OUD): (1) Does MAT reduce the risk of opioid overdose; (2) are there systematic differences in the uptake of MAT by observable patient-level characteristics; and (3) how successful were federal policy changes implemented in 2016 that sought to promote increased use of buprenorphine, one of three medication options within MAT? Regarding the first question, we find that MAT as practiced in Rhode Island is associated with a ...
Working Papers , Paper 21-3

Working Paper
Health Insurance and Hospital Supply: Evidence from 1950s Coal Country

The United States government spends billions on public health insurance and has funded a number of programs to build health care facilities. However, the government runs these two types of programs separately: in different places, at different times, and for different populations. We explore whether access to both health insurance and hospitals can improve health outcomes and access to health care. We analyze a coal mining union health insurance program in 1950s Appalachia with and without a complementary hospital construction program. Our results show that the union insurance alone increased ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2020-033

Working Paper
What Happened to the US Economy During the 1918 Influenza Pandemic? A View Through High-Frequency Data

Burns and Mitchell (1946, 109) found a recession of “exceptional brevity and moderate amplitude.” I confirm their judgment by examining a variety of high-frequency, aggregate and cross-sectional data. Industrial output fell sharply but rebounded within months. Retail seemed little affected and there is no evidence of increased business failures or stressed financial system. Cross-sectional data on manufacturing employment indicates that most of the recession, brief as it was, was due to the Armistice rather than the epidemic. Data from the nationwide coal industry documents the sharp but ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2020-11

Working Paper
Work from Home Before and After the COVID-19 Outbreak

Based on novel survey data, we document the evolution of commuting behavior in the U.S. over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. Work from home (WFH) increased sharply and persistently after the outbreak, and much more so among some workers than others. Using theory and evidence, we argue that the observed heterogeneity in WFH transitions is consistent with potentially more permanent changes to work arrangements in some occupations, and not just temporary substitution in response to greater health risks. Consistent with increased WFH adoption, many more – especially higher-educated – ...
Working Papers , Paper 2017

Discussion Paper
A New Reserves Regime? COVID-19 and the Federal Reserve Balance Sheet

Aggregate reserves declined from nearly $3 trillion in August 2014 to $1.4 trillion in mid-September 2019, as the Federal Reserve normalized its balance sheet. This decline came to a halt in September 2019 when the Federal Reserve responded to turmoil in short-term money markets, with reserves fluctuating around $1.6 trillion in the early months of 2020. Then, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Reserve dramatically expanded its balance sheet, both directly, through outright purchases and repurchase agreements, and indirectly, as a consequence of the facilities to support market ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20200707a

Working Paper
How do Doctors Respond to Incentives? Unintended Consequences of Paying Doctors to Reduce Costs

Billions of dollars have been spent on pilot programs searching for ways to reduce healthcare costs. I study one such program, where hospitals pay doctors bonuses for reducing the total hospital costs of admitted Medicare patients (a ?bundled payment?). Doctors respond to the bonuses by becoming more likely to admit patients whose treatment can generate high bonuses, and sorting healthier patients into participating hospitals. Conditional on patient health, however, doctors do not reduce costs or change procedure use. These results highlight the ability of doctors to game incentive schemes, ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2017-9

Working Paper
What Happened to the US Economy During the 1918 Influenza Pandemic? A View Through High-Frequency Data

Burns and Mitchell (1946, 109) found a recession of "exceptional brevity and moderate amplitude." I confirm their judgment by examining a variety of high-frequency data. Industrial output fell sharply but rebounded within months. Retail seemed little affected and there is no evidence of increased business failures or stressed financial system. Cross-sectional data from the coal industry documents the short-lived impact of the epidemic on labor supply. The Armistice possibly prolonged the 1918 recession, short as it was, by injecting momentary uncertainty. Interventions to hinder the contagion ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2020-11

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