NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The NBER Reporter 2011 Number 4: News



NBER Researchers Win Nobel Prize in Economics

NBER Research Associates Thomas J. Sargent and Christopher A. Sims are the winners of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Economics. Sargent is the Berkley Professor of Economics and Business at New York University, a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, and a Research Associate in the NBER's Economic Fluctuations and Growth (EFG) Program. He has been an NBER Research Associate since 1970, with the exception of a brief interruption between 1973 and 1978. Sims is the Harold H. Helm '20 Professor of Economics and Banking at Princeton University and a Research Associate in the NBER's EFG and Monetary Economics Programs. He was a post-graduate research fellow at the NBER in 1970-71, and has been an NBER Research Associate since 1979.

The award citation prepared by the Prize Committee of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences highlighted their contributions to "empirical research on cause and effect in the macroeconomy." The citation notes that "expectations of the private sector regarding future economic activity and policy influence decisions about wages, saving and investment. Concurrently, economic policy decisions are influenced by expectations about developments in the private sector. The laureates' methods can be applied to identify these causal relationships and explain the role of expectations." It further notes that such modeling can help to identify the impact of various policy actions.

Sargent and Sims join a long list of current and past NBER affiliates who have received the Prize, including: Peter Diamond and Dale Mortenson (shared with Christopher Pissarides), 2010; Paul Krugman, 2008; Edward C. Prescott and Finn Kydland, 2004; Robert F. Engle (shared with Clive Granger), 2003; George Akerlof and Joseph E. Stiglitz (shared with Michael Spence), 2001; James J. Heckman and Daniel L. McFadden, 2000; Robert C. Merton and Myron S. Scholes, 1997; Robert E. Lucas, Jr., 1995; Robert W. Fogel (shared with Douglass North), 1993; Gary S. Becker, 1992; and the late George J. Stigler, 1982, Theodore W. Schultz (shared with Arthur Lewis), 1979, Milton Friedman, 1976, and Simon Kuznets, 1971.



Kathleen Cooper Elected Chair of NBER Board of Directors -- Martin Zimmerman Vice-Chair

Kathleen B. Cooper was elected Chair of the NBER's Board of Directors at its September 19 meeting. She succeeds John S. Clarkeson, the former Chairman of the Boston Consulting Group. Cooper, the previous Vice-Chair of the NBER Board, is a senior fellow of the Tower Center for Political Studies at Southern Methodist University. She served as Undersecretary for Economic Affairs of the U.S. Department of Commerce from 2001-5, and was previously Chief Economist at Exxon Mobil. Cooper was first elected to the NBER's Board of Directors in 1987.

The NBER Board also elected Director Martin B. Zimmerman as Vice-Chair. Zimmerman, who joined the NBER board in 2000, is currently a Clinical Professor of Business at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. He was previously Group Vice President for Corporate Affairs at Ford Motor Company. Before joining Ford, Zimmerman was a member of the Applied Economics Faculty at the MIT Sloan School of Management.



New Directors Elected to NBER Board

The NBER's Board of Directors has elected four new members:

Timothy Bresnahan, the Landau Professor in Technology and the Economy at Stanford University and Director of the Center on Employment and Economic Growth in the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, is the new representative of Stanford University. Bresnahan is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He received his bachelor's degree from Haverford College in 1975 and his master's and doctoral degrees in economics from Princeton in 1978 and 1980, respectively. Prior to his election to the Board, he was a Research Associate in the Industrial Organization and the Productivity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship Programs.

Christopher Carroll, a Professor of Economics at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, succeeds Arthur B. Kennickell as the representative of the American Statistical Association. Carroll, who was a Research Associate in the Economic Fluctuations and Growth and Monetary Economics Programs prior to his election, received his A. B. in Economics from Harvard University in 1986 and his Ph.D. from MIT in 1990. Before moving to the Johns Hopkins University in 1995, he worked at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors in Washington, DC. He also spent 1997-8 on the staff of the President's Council of Economic Advisers.

Bruce E. Hansen, the Trygve Haavelmo Professor of Economics at the University of Wisconsin, is that university's newly-elected representative. He is the successor to Glen G. Cain, who has been elected a Director Emeritus of the NBER. Hansen is a Fellow of the Econometric Society. He received his Ph.D. from Yale University in 1989 and taught at the University of Rochester (1989-94) and Boston College (1994-8) before moving to the University of Wisconsin.

Linda Ewing, the Director of Research and Policy for the United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW), has been elected a Director At Large. Ewing received her B.A. in Economics from the Honors College at Michigan State University and completed the Ph.D. coursework in Economics at the University of Massachusetts - Amherst. She joined the UAW staff in 1991 as a research analyst and was appointed Director of the research department in 2002.



NBER Researchers in Public Service

A number of past or current NBER researchers have recently been tapped for important public policy positions. Alan B. Krueger and Katharine G. Abraham, both of whom resigned from their positions as Research Associates in the NBER's Program on Labor Studies when they were confirmed for their current posts, are serving as the Chair, and as one of the members, of the President's Council of Economic Advisers. Krueger is on leave from his position as the Bendheim Professor of Economics and Public Affairs at Princeton University; Abraham is on leave from the University of Maryland, where she is a Professor in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences. In addition, Janice C. Eberly, formerly a Research Associate in the NBER's Economic Fluctuations and Growth Program, resigned from the NBER when she was confirmed as the Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy at the U.S. Treasury Department. She is on leave from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.

A number of other NBER Research Associates are serving in various government positions while on leave from the NBER. They include: Lee G. Branstetter of Carnegie-Mellon University and Thomas Buchmueller of the University of Michigan, who are senior economists at the Council of Economic Advisers; Judith K. Hellerstein of the University of Maryland, who is the Chief Economist at the Council of Economic Advisers; Michael Klein of Tufts University, who is the Chief Economist in U.S. Treasury Office of International Affairs; Adriana Kugler of the Georgetown Public Policy Institute, who is Chief Economist at the U.S. Labor Department; Gilbert E. Metcalf of Tufts University, who is Deputy Assistant Secretary for Environment and Energy at the U.S. Treasury; Sendhil Mullainathan of Harvard University, who is Assistant Director for Research at the U.S. Treasury's Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; and Fiona Scott Morton of Yale, who is Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Economic Analyses for the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.



Franklin A. Lindsay Dead at 85

Franklin A. Lindsay, an emeritus member and former chairman of NBER's Board of Directors, passed away on October 13, 2011 at the age of 85. Lindsay was elected to the NBER's Board of Directors in 1976 as a representative of the Committee on Economic Development. At that time, he was President and Chairman of Itek Corporation, a high-technology firm based in Lexington, Massachusetts. His career included a number of distinguished roles in both the public and private sectors. Lindsay was elected Vice Chairman of the NBER Board in 1980, and was Board Chair from 1983 until 1986. He became an Emeritus Director in 1993.

 
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