NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The NBER Reporter 2010 Number 1: Conferences


Economic Research on African Development Successes
Capitalizing China
Making Crime Control Pay: Cost-Effective Alternatives to Incarceration
Eleventh Annual Conference in India

Economic Research on African Development Successes

The first of three NBER conferences on "Economic Research on African Development Successes" took place in Cambridge on December 11 and 12, 2009. The conference organizers, all NBER Research Associates, were Sebastian Edwards of the University of California, Los Angeles, Simon Johnson of MIT, and David N. Weil of Brown University.
Five of the research projects that were discussed at the meeting were approaching completion. They are:

  • "Cape Verde and Mozambique as Development Successes in Sub-Saharan Africa" Jorge Braga de Macedo, Universidade Nova de Lisboa and NBER, and Luis Brites Pereira, Universidade Nova de Lisboa

  • "Lesotho's Export Performance: An African Success Story?" Lawrence Edwards, University of Cape Town, and Robert Z. Lawrence, Harvard University and NBER

  • "Mauritius: African Success Story" Jeffrey Frankel, Harvard University and NBER

  • "Borders or Barriers?The Impact of Borders on Agricultural Markets in West Africa (Niger, Nigeria)" Jenny C. Aker, Tufts University; Michael W. Klein, Tufts University and NBER; and Stephen O'Connell, Swarthmore College

  • "The Greatest of All Improvements: Roads, Agriculture, and Economic Development in Africa" Douglas Gollin, Williams College, and Richard Rogerson, Arizona State University and NBER

  • Summaries of these papers, and videos of the corresponding conference presentations, may be found here.

    In addition, a number of other early-stage projects were discussed:

  • "The Return to Capital for Small Retailers in Kenya" Michael Kremer, Harvard University and NBER; Jonathan Robinson, University of California, Santa Cruz; and Olga Rostapshova, Harvard University

  • "Deals versus Rules: Policy Implementation Uncertainty and Why Firms Hate It" Mary Hallward-Driemeier, The World Bank, and Lant Pritchett, Harvard University

  • "Family Ties, Inheritance Rights and Successful Poverty Alleviation (Ghana)" Edward Kutsoati, Tufts University, and Randall Morck, University of Alberta and NBER

  • "The Financial System in Burundi: An Investigation of its Efficiency in Resource Mobilization and Allocation" Leonce Ndikumana, African Development Bank; Janvier Nkurunziza, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD); and Prime Nyamoya, OGI Consulting Group, Burundi

  • "An African Success: Banking in Nigeria and the Poor" Lisa Cook, Michigan State University

  • "Evaluating the Effects of Large Scale Health Interventions in Developing Countries: The Zambian Malaria Initiative" Nava Ashraf, Harvard University and NBER; Gunther Fink, Harvard University; and David N. Weil

  • "What Drives Success in Children's Educational Outcomes in Poor Villages in Rural West Africa, the Case of Guinea-Bissau?" Peter Boone, London School of Economics, and Simon Johnson

  • "Health Impacts of a Schooling CCT Intervention (Malawi)" Sarah Baird, University of California, San Diego; Ephraim Chirwa, University of Malawi; Jacobus Joost De Hoop, Tinbergen Institute; Craig McIntosh, University Of California, San Diego; and Berk Ozler, The World Bank

  • "Reducing Gender-based Violence: Evaluating Interventions in South, Central, and East Africa" Radha Iyengar, London School of Economics and NBER

  • "State versus Consumer Regulation: The Case of Road Safety in Kenya" James Habyarimana and William Jack, Georgetown University

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    Capitalizing China

    The National Bureau of Economic Research and the Chinese University of Hong Kong jointly organized a conference on Capitalizing China, which took place in Hong Kong on December 15-16, 2009. The organizers were Joseph Fan of the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Randall Morck of NBER and the University of Alberta, Canada. These papers were presented and discussed:

  • "Why Are Saving Rates So High in China?" Dennis Yang and Junsen Zhang, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Shaojie Zhou, Tsinghua University

  • "The Visible Hand behind China's Growth" Joseph Fan; Jun Huang, Shanghai University of Finance & Economics; Randall Morck; and Bernard Yeung, New York University and University of Singapore

  • "Financing Strategies for Nation Building" Zhiwu Chen, Yale University, and William N. Goetzmann, Yale University and NBER

  • "China's Financial System: Opportunities and Challenges" Franklin Allen and Chenying Zhang, University of Pennsylvania; Jun Qian, Boston College; and Mengxin Zhao, University of Alberta

  • "Assessing China's Top-Down Securities Markets" William Allen, New York University, and Han Shen, Davis Polk & Wardwell, Hong Kong

  • "The Governance of China's Finance" Katharina Pistor, Columbia University

  • "The Corporate Savings Puzzle in China: A Comparative Perspective" Tam Bayoumi and Hui Tong, IMF, and Shang-Jin Wei, Columbia University and NBER

  • "Provincial and Local Governments in China: Fiscal Institutions and Government Behavior" Roger H. Gordon, University of California, San Diego and NBER, and Wei Li, University of Virginia

  • "Institutions and Information Environment of Chinese Listed Firms" Joseph Piotroski, Stanford University, and T.J. Wong, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

    Summaries of these papers may be found here.

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    Making Crime Control Pay: Cost-Effective Alternatives to Incarceration

    An NBER Conference on "Making Crime Control Pay: Cost-Effective Alternatives to Incarceration" took place at the University of California, Berkeley's School of Law on January 15 and 16, 2010. NBER Research Associates Philip Cook of Duke University and Jens Ludwig of the University of Chicago, and NBER Faculty Research Fellow Justin McCrary of Berkeley's Law School, organized the meeting and chose these papers for discussion:

  • Steven N. Durlauf, University of Wisconsin, Madison and NBER, and Daniel S. Nagin, Carnegie Mellon University, "The Deterrent Effect of Imprisonment"

  • Justin McCrary, "Possible Gains from Reallocating within the Criminal Justice System"

  • Anne Piehl, Rutgers University and NBER, and Geoffrey F. Williams, Rutgers University, "Institutional Requirements for Effective Imposition of Fines"

  • Jeffrey Grogger and Jonathan Guryan, University of Chicago and NBER; and Patrick Hill, Brent Roberts, and Karen Sixkiller, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, "Decreasing Delinquency, Criminal Behavior, and Recidivism by Intervening on Psychological Factors other than Cognitive Ability: A Review of the Intervention Literature"

  • Steve Raphael, University of California, Berkeley, "Improving Employment Opportunities for Former Prison Inmates: Changes and Policy"

  • Sara B. Heller, University of Chicago; Brian A. Jacob, University of Michigan and NBER; and Jens Ludwig, "Transfer Programs and Crime"

  • Lance Lochner, University of Western Ontario, "Education Policy and Crime"

  • Christopher Carpenter, University of California, Irvine and NBER, and Carlos Dobkin, University of California, Santa Cruz and NBER, "Alcohol Regulation and Crime"

  • Seth G. Sanders, Duke University, "Crime and the Family: Lessons from Teen Childbearing"

  • John J. Donohue III, Yale University and NBER, and Benjamin Ewing and David Peloquin, Yale University, "Rethinking America¬ís Illegal Drug Policy"

  • Harold Pollack, University of Chicago; Peter Reuter, University of Maryland; and Peter Sevigny, University of South Carolina, "If Drug Treatment Works so Well, Why Are so many Drug Users in Prison?"

  • Richard G. Frank, Harvard University and NBER, and Thomas G. McGuire, Harvard University, "Mental Health Treatment and Criminal Justice Outcomes"

  • Phillip J. Cook, and John MacDonald, University of Pennsylvania, "Mobilizing Private Inputs for Crime Prevention"

    Summaries of these papers may be found here.

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    Eleventh Annual Conference in India

    On January 17 and 18, 2010 the NBER, along with India’s National Council for Applied Economic Research (NCAER) and the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), sponsored a meeting that united NBER researchers with a number of economists from Indian universities, research institutions, and government departments. NBER Research Associates Abhijit Banerjee of MIT and Raghuram Rajan of the University of Chicago organized the conference jointly with Isher Ahluwalia of ICRIER.

    The NBER participants, in addition to the organizers, were: Martin S. Feldstein, Edward Glaeser, Rohini Pande, and Jeremy C. Stein, Harvard University; Severin Borenstein and Catherine Wolfram, University of California, Berkeley; Karthik Muralidharan, University of California, San Diego; and NBER Board member Jadgish N. Bhagwati of Columbia University.

    The topics discussed included the global financial crisis, the state of the Indian economy, the economics of affirmative action, economic aspects of environmental policy and urbanization, and the delivery of public services in India.

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