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Bank:Federal Reserve Bank of Boston  Series:Current Policy Perspectives 

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Did the Medicaid Expansion Crowd Out Other Payment Sources for Medications for Opioid Use Disorder? Evidence from Rhode Island

Using information from the all-payer claims database for Rhode Island covering more than three-quarters of health insurance enrollees in the state from April 2011 through May 2019, this paper offers new measures of the association between the Medicaid expansion and the rate of receipt of buprenorphine and methadone for opioid use disorder (OUD). These robust measures adjust for the extent to which new Medicaid payments for these medications that started in 2014 crowded out payments from either non-Medicaid insurance or from non-insurance subsidies for the treatment of opioid abuse. We find ...
Current Policy Perspectives

Report
The Rhode Island labor market in recovery: where is the skills gap?

There has been much anecdotal evidence claiming that Rhode Island's labor force is unable to supply the skills that the state's employers seek. The anecdotal evidence has given rise to the concern that labor market mismatch is holding back the state's economic recovery. Such a concern comes with particularly high stakes in the case of Rhode Island, which suffered the most severe drop in employment in New England during the Great Recession and has endured the region's highest unemployment rate during the recovery. This paper conducts a data-driven analysis of several indicators of potential ...
Current Policy Perspectives , Paper 15-7

Report
The emerging market economies in times of taper-talk and actual tapering

The emerging market economies (EME) experienced financial distress during two recent periods, both linked to the prospect of the Federal Reserve starting to slow its asset purchases. This policy change was expected to reverse the capital flows directed to the EME. Despite this aggregate effect, a closer analysis shows that there were significant differences across the EME during the time when talk of the upcoming taper began and the period when the policy was implemented. The author makes use of the literature on currency crises to analyze the different cross-country responses and to identify ...
Current Policy Perspectives , Paper 14-6

Report
Relative pay, productivity, and labor supply

Relative pay ? earnings compared with the earnings of others doing a similar job, or compared with one?s earnings in the past ? affects how much individuals would like to work (labor supply) and their effort on the job; it therefore has implications for both employers and policy makers. A collection of recent studies shows that relative pay information, even when it is irrelevant, significantly affects labor supply and effort. This effect stems mainly from those who compare unfavorably, as essentially all studies find that awareness of earning less than others or less than in the past ...
Current Policy Perspectives , Paper 17-2

Report
Population Aging and the US Labor Force Participation Rate

The labor force participation rate dropped sharply at the beginning of the pandemic, and as of November 2021 it had recovered only about half of its lost ground. The failure of the participation rate to get closer to its level immediately before the pandemic has puzzled many analysts. In this note, we show that the current participation rate is much less puzzling if one compares it with participation in November 2017 (the last time the unemployment rate was at its current level of 4.2 percent), rather than February 2020 (immediately before the pandemic). Since November 2017, population aging ...
Current Policy Perspectives

Report
Labor force participation in New England vs. the United States, 2007–2015: why was the regional decline more moderate?

This paper identifies the main forces that contributed to the decline in labor force participation in New England between 2007 and 2015, as well as the forces that moderated the region?s decline relative to that of the nation. This exercise contributes to an assessment of the outlook for participation in New England moving forward. Similar to previous findings pertaining to the United States as a whole, the single largest factor in the recent decline in labor force participation in New England was the shifting age composition of the region?s population. In particular, the share of New England ...
Current Policy Perspectives , Paper 16-2

Report
The Roles of Mobility and Masks in the Spread of COVID-19

This policy brief analyzes the effects of COVID-19 mitigation policies, those that restrict movement and activity and those that advocate public health best practices. The analysis uses US state-level data to estimate the effects of mobility, mask mandates, and compliance with these mandates on the numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths. A one-standard-deviation increase in mobility is associated with an 11 to 20 basis points greater rate of growth in case counts; a mask mandate can offset about half of this increase. Slower growth in case counts ultimately translates into slower growth in ...
Current Policy Perspectives

Report
How do speed and security influence consumers' payment behavior?

The Federal Reserve Financial Services (FRFS) strategic plan for 2012-2016 named improvements in the end-to-end speed and security of the payment system as two of its policy initiatives. End-to-end in this context means that for the first time end-users are explicitly included. Earlier versions of the strategy plan were circulated for public comment, and the feedback received by FRFS specifically identified a need for further research. This brief draws upon new data from the 2013 Survey of Consumer Payment Choice and employs econometric modeling and simulation to complement FRFS-commissioned ...
Current Policy Perspectives , Paper 15-1

Report
Productivity in the slow lane?: the role of information and communications technology

As the current recovery matures in the United States, evidence is mounting that total factor productivity (TFP), the typical measure of technological change, has moved back into the slow lane. This study uses industry data to explore the extent to which the acceleration in TFP in the late 1990s and early 2000s and the subsequent deceleration are attributable to unmeasured investment by firms to take full advantage of the new capabilities made possible by information and communications technology (ICT).
Current Policy Perspectives , Paper 14-10

Report
Informal work in the United States: evidence from survey responses

"Informal" work refers to temporary or occasional side jobs from which earnings are presumably not reported in full to the Internal Revenue Service and which typically do not constitute a dominant or complete source of income. Perhaps the most important reason for undertaking informal work is to offset negative income and employment shocks, such as reduced hours in a formal job, stagnant wages, or involuntary unemployment. Such negative shocks affected many Americans during the Great Recession, so it is important to determine the extent to which people engaged in informal work during this ...
Current Policy Perspectives , Paper 14-13

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