NBER Meeting on Macroeconomics Within and Across Borders


The National Bureau of Economic Research, with the support of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, invites the submission of papers for a conference on “Macroeconomics Within and Across Borders,” which will be held on December 7th 2012, in Chicago. The program will be organized by Mark Aguiar, Princeton University, Patrick Kehoe, University of Minnesota and Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, and Mark Wright, University of California Los Angeles and Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

Conference Theme

The recent financial crisis in Europe has emphasized the importance of understanding the institutional, political, and contractual basis for economic relations across borders, whether the borders of states and provinces within a country (as in a federal country like the United States) as well as across countries (such as in a proto-Federal union like the European Union). At the same time, a number of recent important policy questions have arisen that cut across borders of economic fields, and in particular combine macroeconomics issues with insights from a number of other fields including contract theory, the theory of bargaining and renegotiation, mechanism design, political economy, law and economics, public finance, and monetary economics.

The aim of the conference is to bring together researchers in these and other fields, in order to encourage the development of new approaches to the study of these problems.

Examples of suitable themes for the conference include:

The optimal design of fiscal federal institutions (which can be analyzed from both a macro and micro perspective by means of the methods of mechanism design, contract theory and public finance);

The positive economics of fiscal federal institutions (which relates to political economy and public finance as well as stabilization policy);

The relative implications of issuing sovereign debts under domestic as opposed to international law (relating to law and economics);

The conduct of negotiations to restructure sovereign debts (in a normative sense relating to bargaining theory and the study of sovereign debt, and in a positive sense relating to mechanism design);

The operation of monetary policy within a currency union (which blends a traditional international finance question with domestic monetary economics within a country like the USA which is a currency union across federal reserve districts);

The operation of the payments system within a currency union and the recent policy debate about TARGET2 imbalances in Europe and Inter-district Settlement Account balances in the USA (which draws upon monetary economics and finance as well as international finance);

The interaction between monetary policy and the lender-of-last-resort functions of a central bank with issues of sovereign risk (which combines monetary policy with the study of sovereign debt);

Implications of the above, as well as other cross-border activity, for the propagation, amplification, and transmission of business cycles.

Selection Process

Submissions from researchers early in their careers, and from researchers who are not NBER affiliates, are especially encouraged. Participants will be selected on the basis of papers submitted. The deadline for submissions is September 14th 2012. Authors chosen to present papers will be notified by October 15th, 2012. The NBER will pay the domestic travel and hotel expenses for one author per paper.

Please upload the manuscript of any paper that you would like considered for the conference by September 14, 2012. The link for submissions is:


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