That question is a bit on the dramatic size, but I found this paper to be fascinating:
Adjusting Measures of Economic Output for Health: Is the Business Cycle Countercyclical?
by Mark L. Egan, Casey B. Mulligan, Tomas J. Philipson – NBER Working Paper #19058
Many national accounts of economic output and prosperity, such as gross domestic product (GDP) or net domestic product (NDP), offer an incomplete picture by ignoring, for example, the value of leisure, home production, and the value of health. Discussed shortcomings have focused on how unobserved dimensions affect GDP levels but not their cyclicality, which affects the measurement of the business cycle. This paper proposes new measures of the business cycle that incorporate monetized changes in health of the population. In particular, we incorporate in GDP the dollar value of mortality, treating it as depreciation in human capital analogous to how NDP measures treat depreciation of physical capital. We examine the macroeconomic fluctuations in the United States and globally during the past 50 years, taking into account how depreciation in health affects the cycle. Because mortality tends to be pro-cyclical, fluctuations in standard GDP measures are offset by monetized changes in health; booms are not as valuable as traditionally measured because of increased mortality, and recessions are not as bad because of reduced mortality. Consequently, we find that U.S. business cycle fluctuations appear milder than commonly measured and may even be reversed for the majority of “recessions” after accounting for the cyclicality of health. We find that adjusting for mortality reduces the measured U.S. business cycle volatility during the past 50 years by about 37% in the United States and 46% internationally. We discuss future research directions for more fully incorporating the cyclicality of unobserved health capital into standard output measurement.
In other new research, it does not appear that having a computer in the home improves learning outcomes.
Experimental Evidence on the Effects of Home Computers on Academic Achievement among Schoolchildren
by Robert W. Fairlie, Jonathan Robinson – NBER Working Paper #19060
Computers are an important part of modern education, yet many schoolchildren lack access to a computer at home. We test whether this impedes educational achievement by conducting the largest-ever field experiment that randomly provides free home computers to students. Although computer ownership and use increased substantially, we find no effects on any educational outcomes, including grades, test scores, credits earned, attendance and disciplinary actions. Our estimates are precise enough to rule out even modestly-sized positive or negative impacts. The estimated null effect is consistent with survey evidence showing no change in homework time or other “intermediate” inputs in education.
In “denier” news, the most likely estimate is 1.3C (that’s about 2.3 degrees Fahrenheit). There is absolutely NO consensus on climate sensitivity. “Alarmists” spend a great deal of time torching enormous straw men (see the 97% consensus stuff from Cook for fun) that suggest reasonable people “deny” that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, or that humans have added to the stock of CO2 in the atmosphere. That is not where the real meat of the argument is, but when you don’t actually have a good argument, you end up torching straw men. The real meat lies in what exactly climate sensitivies are, and beyond that, how sensitive our health and economies are to those temperature changes. As I’ve said repeatedly, not only is there not a consensus on that, I’d argue we simply know close to nothing about it. File this last piece under. “The Most Underreported and Misstated Argument Ever.”