NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The NBER Reporter 2010 Number 4: Conferences

  • Economic Research on African Development Successes
  • NBER's 25th Tax Policy and the Economy Conference Held in Washington
  • Universities-Research Conference on Economic Development
  • Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity
  • Economics of Culture and Institutions
  • Economic Research on African Development Successes

    The second of three NBER conferences on "Economic Research on African Development Successes" took place in Accra, Ghana on July 18-20, 2010. 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.
    Fifteen research projects were discussed at the meeting. They are:

    • "New Cellular Networks in Malawi: Correlates of Service Rollout and Network Performance"
      Dmitrios Batzilis, University of Chicago; Taryn Dinkelman, Princeton University; Emily Oster, University of Chicago and NBER; Rebecca Thornton, University of Michigan; and Deric Zanera, National Statistical Office, Malawi

    • "The Returns to the Brain Drain and Brain Circulation in Sub-Saharan Africa: Some Computations Using Data from Ghana"
      Yaw Nyarko, New York University

    • "Healing the Wounds: Learning from Sierra Leone's Post-war Institutional Reforms"
      Katherine Casey, Brown University; Rachel Glennerster, MIT; and Edward Miguel, University of California, Berkeley, and NBER

    • "Fifteen Years On: Household Incomes in South Africa"
      Murray Leibbrandt, University of Cape Town, and James Levinsohn, Yale University and NBER

    • "The Determinants of Food Aid Provisions to Africa and the Developing World"
      Nathan Nunn, Harvard University and NBER, and Nancy Qian, Yale University 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

    • "AGOA Rules: The intended and unintended development consequences of Special Fabric Provisions"
      Lawrence Edwards, University of Cape Town, and Robert Z. Lawrence, Harvard University and NBER

    • "Mobile Banking: The Impact of M-Pesa in Kenya"
      Isaac Mbiti, Southern Methodist University, and David N. Weil, Brown University and NBER

    • "Mauritius: African Success Story" (NBER Working Paper No. 16569) Jeffrey Frankel, Harvard University and NBER

    • "Discussion Sessions Coupled with Microfinancing May Enhance the Role of Women in Household Decision-Making in Burundi"
      Radha Iyengar, London School of Economics and NBER, and Giulia Ferrari, London School of Economics

    • "The Unofficial Economy in Africa"
      Rafael La Porta, Dartmouth College and NBER, and Andrei Shleifer, Harvard University and NBER

    • "Girl Power: Cash Transfers and Female Empowerment (Malawi)"
      Sarah Baird, George Washington University; Ephraim Chirwa, University of Malawi Chancellor College; Jacobus de Hoop, Tinbergen Institute and VU University Amsterdaml and Berk Ozler, The World Bank

    • "Were the Nigerian Banking Reforms of 2005 a Success? And for the Poor?"
      Lisa Cook, Michigan State University

    • "The Decline and Rise of Agricultural Productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa Since 1961" (NBER Working Paper No. 16481)
      Steven Block, Tufts University

    • "African Export Successes: Surprises, Stylized Facts and Explanations"
      William Easterly, New York University and NBER, and Ariell Reshef, University of Virginia

    Summaries of these papers may be found here.

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    NBER's 25th Tax Policy and the Economy Conference Held in Washington

    The NBER's 25th Conference on Tax Policy and the Economy took place at the National Press Club in Washington on September 23, 2010. NBER Research Associate Jeffrey R. Brown of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign organized this year's meeting. The following papers were discussed:

    • James M. Sallee, University of Chicago and NBER
      "The Taxation of Fuel Economy"

    • Katherine Baicker, Harvard University and NBER, and Jonathan Skinner, Dartmouth College and NBER
      "Health Care Spending Growth and the Future of U.S. Tax Rates"

    • Gopi Shah Goda, Stanford University and NBER; John B. Shoven, Stanford University and NBER; and Sita Slavov, Occidental College
      "Implicit Taxes on Work from Social Security and Medicare"

    • Ray C. Fair, Yale University
      "Possible Macroeconomic Consequences of Large Future Federal Government Deficits"

    • Martin S. Feldstein, Harvard University and NBER
      "Preventing a National Debt Explosion"

    Summaries of these papers may here.

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    Universities-Research Conference on Economic Development

    The NBER and the Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development held a conference on economic development in Cambridge on September 24 and 25, 2010. This was part of the NBER's University Research Conference series. The following papers were discussed:

    • Nicholas Bloom, Stanford University and NBER; Benn Eifert, University of California, Berkeley; Aprajit Mahajan and John Roberts, Stanford University; and David McKenzie, The World Bank
      "Does Management Matter? Evidence from India"

    • Todd Schoellman, Arizona State University
      "Education Quality and Development Accounting"

    • Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo, MIT and NBER; and Rachel Glennerster and Cynthia G. Kinnan, MIT
      "The Miracle of Microfinance? Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation"

    • Hongbin Cai, Yuyu Chen, and Li-An Zhou, Peking University, and Hanming Fang, University of Pennsylvania and NBER
      "Microinsurance, Trust and Economic Development: Evidence from a Randomized Natural Field Experiment"

    • Marco Gonzalez, University of California, Berkeley, and Climent Quintana-Domeque, Universidad de Alicante
      "Roads to Development: Experimental Evidence from Urban Road Pavement"

    • Matthias Doepke, Northwestern University and NBER, and Michele Tertilt, Stanford University and NBER
      "Does Female Empowerment Promote Economic Development?"

    • Nava Ashraf and Erica M. Field, Harvard University and NBER, and Jean Leev, The World Bank
      "Household Bargaining and Excess Fertility: An Experimental Study in Zambia"

    Summaries of these papers may be found here.

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    Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity

    Members of the NBER's Working Group on Innovation Policy and the Economy organized a conference in honor of the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity, a 1962 NBER volume containing several landmark papers in the economics of technological change. NBER Research Associates Josh Lerner of Harvard Business School and Scott Stern of the Sloan School of Management organized the program, which took place at the Aerlie Conference Center in Virginia on September 30 - October 2, 2010. These papers were discussed:

    • Timothy F. Bresnahan, Stanford University and NBER; Shane Greenstein, Northwestern University and NBER; and Rebecca Henderson, Harvard University and NBER
      "Schumpeterian Competition and Diseconomies of Scope; Illustrations from the Histories of Microsoft and IBM"

    • Carl Shapiro, University of California at Berkeley
      "Competition and Innovation: Did Arrow Hit the Bull's Eye?"

    • Josh Lerner and Peter Tufano, Harvard Business School and NBER
      "The Consequences of Financial Innovation: A Counterfactual Research Agenda"

    • Alexander J. Field, Santa Clara University
      "The Adversity/Hysteresis Effect: Depression Era Productivity Growth in the U.S. Railroad Sector"

    • Timothy F. Bresnahan
      "Generality, Recombination, and Re-Use"

    • Joshua Gans, University of Melbourne; and Fiona E. Murray, MIT
      "Funding Conditions, the Public-Private Portfolio, and the Disclosure of Scientific Knowledge

    • Ralf R. Meisenzahl, Federal Reserve Board of Governors, and Joel Mokyr, Northwestern University
      "The Rate and Direction of Invention in the British Industrial Revolution: Incentives and Institutions"

    • Petra Moser, Stanford University and NBER, and Paul Rhode, University of Michigan and NBER
      "Plant Patents and the American Rose"

    • Kevin J. Boudreau, London Business School, and Karim R. Lakhani, Harvard University
      "The Confederacy of Software Production: Field Experimental Evidence on Heterogeneous Developers, Tastes for Institutions, and Effort"

    • Pierre Azoulay, MIT and NBER; Joshua S. Graff Zivin, University of California, San Diego and NBER; and Bhaven Sampat, Columbia University
      "The Diffusion of Scientific Knowledge Across Time and Space: Evidence from Professional Transitions for the Superstars of Medicine

    • Daron Acemoglu, MIT and NBER
      "Diversity and Technological Progress"

    • Daniel Spulber, Northwestern University
      "How Entrepreneurs Affect the Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity"

    • Shulamit Kahn, Boston University, and Megan MacGarvie, Boston University and NBER
      "The Effects of the Foreign Fulbright Program on Knowledge Creation in Science and Engineering"

    Summaries of these papers may be found here.

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    Economics of Culture and Institutions

    An NBER Conference on the Economics of Culture and Institutions, organized by Alberto Bisin of NBER and New York University and Paola Giuliano of NBER and the University of California, Los Angeles, took place in Cambridge on November 20, 2010. These papers were discussed:

    • Lawrence Blume, Cornell University; William Brock, University of Wisconsin; Steven N. Durlauf, University of Wisconsin and NBER; and Yannis M. Ioannides, Tufts University
      "Identification of Social Interactions"

    • Quamrul Ashraf and Oded Galor, Brown University
      "Cultural Assimilation, Cultural Diffusion, and the Origin of the Wealth of Nations"

    • Stelios Michalopoulos, Tufts University, and Elias Papaioannou, Dartmouth College
      "Divide and Rule or the Rule of the Divided? Evidence from Africa"

    • Yann Algan, Sciences Po; Pierre Cahuc, Ecole Polytechnique; and Andrei Shleifer, Harvard University and NBER
      "Teaching Practices and Social Capital"

    • Luigi Guiso, European University Institute; Paola Sapienza, Northwestern University and NBER; and Luigi Zingales, University of Chicago and NBER
      "Long Term Persistence"

    • Benjamin Feigenberg, MIT, and Erica M. Field and Rohini Pande, Harvard University and NBER
      "Building Social Capital through Microfinance" (NBER Working Paper No. 16018)

    • Nicholas Bloom, Stanford University and NBER; Raffaella Sadun, Harvard University and NBER; and John Van Reenen, London School of Economics and NBER
      "The Organization of Firms across Countries"

    Summaries of the papers can be found here.

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