Susan Athey of Stanford University and the NBER discusses the benefits to economics of using machine learning methodology to deal with heterogeneity, and the benefits to computer science of the social sciences' approach to causal inference.
Since 2006, U.S. households have received more than $18 billion in federal income tax credits for "clean energy" investments. Severin Borenstein and Lucas W. Davis find that the top quintile of taxpayers has received about 60 percent of these benefits.
High-skilled immigration to the United States is the focus of a new volume of Innovation Policy and the Economy. The 15th volume in a series, it includes research on the impact of immigration to the United States of Russian mathematicians as the Soviet Union collapsed and the changing nature of postdoctoral positions in science departments, which are disproportionately held by immigrant researchers. Other studies examine the role of US firms in high-skilled immigration and the strong growth in global scientific and technological knowledge production, which has fostered cross-border collaborations for U.S. scientists. Available from The University of Chicago Press.
NBER research associates Lant Pritchett and Lawrence H. Summers, in a working paper posted on this site last October, wrote that there were substantial reasons that China and India might grow much less rapidly than was commonly anticipated. History, the two Harvard Kennedy School professors pointed out, teaches that abnormally rapid growth is rarely persistent, and that regression to the mean is the empirically most salient feature of economic growth. They suggested that salient characteristics of China—high levels of state control and corruption along with high measures of authoritarian rule—made a discontinuous decline in growth even more likely than general experience would suggest.
NBER China Studies Focus on Labor Issues, Science and Engineering, Economic Policy
Richard B. Freeman of Harvard University and the NBER discusses China's emergence as a global player in science and technology, the evolution of its labor force, US-China affinities, and the range of NBER China research. See a selection of that research, by Freeman and others.
Residential neighborhood networks, which are valuable resources for job seekers, particularly for lower-income displaced workers, were substantially weakened during and after the Great Recession, according to research reported in the August edition of the NBER Digest. Other research in this month's Digest probes the effect of consumer inattention on insurance pricing, the performance of tax-efficient mutual funds, the relationship between industrial firms' insider connections and worker safety in China, and the Great Recession's enduring impact on employment.
Recent analysis suggests that a $1 increase in government spending or decrease in taxes stimulates $1.50 to $2 in output during recessions, but only about $0.50 during expansions, Alan Auerbach and Yuriy Gorodnichenko write in the current issue of the NBER's quarterly Reporter. Also featured in this issue are reports on the rising interest in macroprudential policies, the democracy/development relationship, the economics of happiness, and the effects of early childhood interventions.
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