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El Salvador Adopted Bitcoin as an Official Currency; Salvadorans Mostly Shrugged

In an effort to boost financial inclusion, El Salvador made Bitcoin an official currency and offered incentives for adopting it. A new study co-authored by Yale SOM’s David Argente and Diana Van Patten found that a lack of trust caused use of the cryptocurrency to fall off quickly.

A Bitcoin ATM in San Salvador in 2021. 
  • Controlling the Virus Is the Key to Reducing Inflation

    Yale SOM’s William English, a former economist at the Federal Reserve, explains the role of COVID-19 in the spike in prices, considers how policymakers can respond, and confronts the sheer uncertainty of the times.

    Groceries at the register at a supermarket
  • Lack of Access to Mental Health Treatment Reduces Lifetime Income

    Prof. Barbara Biasi and her co-authors found that those who couldn’t access treatment for bipolar disorder paid a price over the course of their careers—suggesting that lack of access to care can worsen economic inequality.

    A bottle of lithium medication surrounded by capsules
  • Without a Local Newspaper, Americans Pay Less Attention to Local Politics 

    Prof. Michael Sinkinson and his co-authors look back at when television, not the internet, was the new technology chipping away at newspaper circulation. They find that when readership diminished, engagement with local politics did too.

    A man reading a newspaper at a diner
  • How the ‘Nixon Shock’ Remade the World Economy

    In a new book, Yale SOM’s Jeffrey Garten explores Richard Nixon’s decision to delink the dollar from gold, which remade the global monetary system in an instant.

    President Richard Nixon giving a television address
  • Can ‘Sin Taxes’ Do a Better Job?

    A new study co-authored by Yale SOM’s Katja Seim examines how successful the uniform liquor tax in Pennsylvania is at generating revenue and discourage drinking, and concludes that a uniform tax leads to higher prices on products bought disproportionately in high-income areas when compared to a more variable approach, effectively subsidizing liquor consumption in low-income areas.

    Shelves of various kinds of liquors
  • Can Congress Create Real Competition for Big Tech? 

    Last week, members of Congress from both parties introduced a series of bills to curtail the dominance of the major technology firms. We asked Prof. Fiona Scott Morton if the proposed legislation would help level the playing field.

    A group of apps for Google, Amazon, Apple, and Facebook in "jiggle mode," with delete buttons on each one
  • Century-Old Harvard Records Show How Social Connections Help the Elite

    A study co-authored by Yale SOM’s Seth Zimmerman, drawing on a trove of archival student records, suggests that membership in exclusive clubs propelled students from the top prep schools to higher incomes, while good grades did little to lift other students into the top-earning tier.

    A group portrait of students from 1930 in academic robes
  • Social Media Is Addictive. Do Regulators Need to Step In?

    Yale SOM’s Fiona Scott Morton and her co-authors argue that smarter and more robust antitrust enforcement can help, by making room for new social media platforms that promote themselves as healthier alternatives.

    An illustration of someone reaching through a smartphone screen and reaching for likes and other social media icons
  • Does Health Insurance Improve Individuals’ Financial Health?

    In a new paper, Yale SOM’s Paul Goldsmith-Pinkham and his co-authors find that when Americans turn 65 and start to receive health insurance through Medicare, there is a measurable decline in debt, particularly in the South and among those with the greatest debt.

    An illustration of balloons with healthcare symbols lifting a woman out of a pile of bills
  • To Extend Vaccines’ Reach, Distribute Them through Dollar Stores

    A new Yale study says that a partnership with the Dollar General retail chain, which is being considered by the CDC, could bring vaccination sites substantially closer to low-income, Black, and Hispanic households in many parts of the United States.

    A Dollar General Store in Selma, Alabama. Photo: Barry Lewis/InPictures via Getty Images.