NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The NBER Reporter 2012 Number 4: Conferences

Housing and the Financial Crisis

An NBER Conference on "Housing and the Financial Crisis" organized by NBER Research Associate Joe Gyourko of the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business, took place in Cambridge on July 24, 2012. These papers were discussed:

    Andrew Haughwout, Donghoon Lee, Joseph Tracy, and Wilbert van der Klaauw, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, "Real Estate Investors, the Leverage Cycle and the Housing Market Crisis"

    Alexander Chinco, New York University, and Christopher Mayer, Columbia University and NBER, "Distant Speculators and Asset Bubbles in the Housing Market"

    Johannes Stroebel, Stanford University, "The Impact of Asymmetric Information about Collateral Values in Mortgage Lending"

    Anthony DeFusco and Wenjie Ding, University of Pennsylvania; and Fernando Ferreira and Joseph Gyourko, University of Pennsylvania and NBER, "The Role of Contagion in the American Housing Boom"

    Adam Guren and Timothy McQuade, Harvard University, "How Do Foreclosures Exacerbate Housing Downturns?"

    Kristopher Gerardi, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta; Eric Rosenblatt and Vincent Yao, Fannie Mae; and Paul Willen, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and NBER, "Foreclosure Externalities: Some New Evidence" (NBER Working Paper No. 18353)

    Patrick Bayer, Duke University and NBER; Fernando Ferreira; and Stephen Ross, University of Connecticut, "The Financial Vulnerability of Minority Homeowners: Evidence from the Recent Financial Crisis"

    Chao He and Yu Zhu, University of Wisconsin, Madison, and Randall Wright, University of Wisconsin, Madison and NBER, "Housing and Liquidity"

    Sumit Agarwal, National University of Singapore; Gene Amromin, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago; Itzhak Ben-David, Ohio State University; Souphala Chomsisengphet, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency; Tomasz Piskorski, Columbia University; and Amit Seru, University of Chicago and NBER, "Policy Intervention in Debt Renegotiation: Evidence from the Home Affordable Modification Program" (NBER Working Paper No. 18311)

Summaries of these papers are available here.

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Designing Pension Plans for the Twenty-First Century

The NBER held a conference on "Retirement Benefits for State and Local Employees: Designing Pension Plans for the Twenty-First Century" at the Jackson Lake Lodge on August 17 and 18, 2012. NBER Research Associates Robert Clark, North Carolina State University, and Joshua Rauh, Stanford University, organized the meeting. These papers were discussed:

    Jeffrey Brown and Scott Weisbenner, University of Illinois and NBER, "Why Do Individuals Choose Defined Contribution Plans? Evidence from Participants in a Large Public Plan"

    Robert Novy-Marx, University of Rochester and NBER, and Joshua Rauh, "Linking Benefits to Investment Performance in US Public Pension Systems"

    John Chalmers, University of Oregon; Woodrow Johnson, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission; and Jonathan Reuter, Boston College and NBER, "Pension Costs and Retirement Decisions in Plans that Combine DB and DC Elements: Evidence from Oregon"

    John Beshears, Stanford University and NBER; James Choi, Yale University and NBER; David Laibson and Brigitte Madrian, Harvard University and NBER; and Stephen Zeldes, Columbia University and NBER, "What Kind of Guaranteed Income Do Retirees Want?"

    Robert Clark, and Melinda Morrill, North Carolina State University, "The Reverse Annuity Puzzle: The Choice of Lump Sum Distributions among Separating Public Sector Workers"

    Julie Agnew, College of William and Mary, and Joshua Hurwitz, Boston College, "Financial Education and Choice in State Public Pension Systems"

    Leora Friedberg, University of Virginia, "Worker Exits from State and Local Government Jobs: The Role of Pensions in Explaining Life Cycle Patterns"

    Richard Disney, University College London, and Rowena Crawford, Institute for Fiscal Studies, "Reform of Ill-health Retirement Benefits for Police in England and Wales: The Roles of National Policy and Local Finance"

    Jeffrey Smith, Virginia Military Institute, and James West, Baylor University, "Department of Defense Retirement"

    Alicia Munnell, Jean-Pierre Aubry, and Josh Hurwitz, Boston College, and Laura Quinby, Harvard University, "Public Plans and Short-Term Employees"

    James Farrell, Florida Southern College, and Daniel Shoag, Harvard University, "Investment Behavior in Public DB and DC Pension Plans"

    Edward Glaeser, Harvard University and NBER, and Giacomo Ponzetto, CREI, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, "Shrouded Costs of Government: The Political Economy of State and Local Public Pensions"

Summaries of these papers may be available here.

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NBER's 27th Tax Policy and the Economy Conference Held in Washington

The NBER's 27th Conference on Tax Policy and the Economy took place at the National Press Club in Washington on September 20, 2012. NBER Research Associate Jeffrey Brown of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign organized this year's meeting. The following papers were discussed:

    Andrew Samwick, Dartmouth College and NBER, "Donating the Voucher: An Alternative Tax Treatment of Private School Enrollment"

    Susan Dynarski, University of Michigan and NBER; Judith Scott-Clayton, Columbia University and NBER; and Mark Wiederspan, University of Michigan, "Simplifying Tax Incentives and Aid for College: Progress and Prospects"

    Casey Mulligan, University of Chicago and NBER, "Recent Marginal Labor Income Tax Rate Changes by Skill and Marital Status"

    James Hines, University of Michigan and NBER, "How Important Are Perpetual Tax Savings"

    Alberto Alesina, Harvard University and NBER, and Silvia Ardagna, Goldman Sachs, "The Design of Fiscal Adjustments"

    Jeffrey Liebman, Harvard University and NBER, "The Deterioration in the U.S. Fiscal Outlook"

Summaries of these papers may be found here.

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Conference on Household Finance

The NBER, the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford, the Center for Financial Studies (CFS) of the Goethe University-Frankfurt, and the Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF) at the University of Naples Federico II jointly organized a conference on "Household Finance." It took place at the Saïd Business School on September 21 and 22, 2012. The conference organizers were: Luigi Guiso, EIEF and Center for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); Michael Haliassos, Goethe University Frankfurt and CEPR; Tullio Jappelli, University of Naples Federico II and CEPR; Brigitte Madrian, Harvard University and NBER; Tarun Ramadorai, Saïd Business School and CEPR; Nicholas Souleles, University of Pennsylvania and NBER; Daniele Terlizzese, EIEF and Banca d’Italia; and Peter Tufano, Saïd Business School and NBER. These papers were discussed:

    Kurt Mitman, University of Pennsylvania, "Macroeconomic Effects of Bankruptcy and Foreclosure Policies"

    Alessandro Bucciol, University of Verona, and Raffaele Miniaci, Università degli Studi di Brescia, "Household Portfolios and Risk Bearing over Age and Time"

    Nikolaos Artavanis, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University; Adair Morse, University of Chicago and NBER; and Margarita Tsoutsoura, University of Chicago, "Tax Evasion across Industries: Soft Credit Evidence from Greece"

    Adriano Rampini and S. Viswanathan, Duke University, "Household Risk Management"

    Jeffrey Brown, University of Illinois and NBER; Chichun Fang, University of Illinois; and Francisco Gomes, London Business School, "Risk and Returns to Education: The Value of Human Capital" (NBER Working Paper No. 18300)

    Annamaria Lusardi, George Washington University and NBER; Pierre-Carl Michaud, Université du Québec à Montréal and RAND Corporation; and Olivia Mitchell, University of Pennsylvania and NBER, "Optimal Financial Knowledge and Wealth Inequality"

    Mark Grinblatt, University of California at Los Angeles; Seppo Ikaheimo, Aalto University School of Economics; Matti Keloharju, Helsinki School of Economics; and Samuli Knupfer, London Business School, "IQ and Mutual Fund Choice"

    Henrik Cronqvist, Claremont McKenna College, and Stephan Siegel, University of Washington, "Why Do Individuals Exhibit Investment Biases?"

    Peter Bossaerts, Colin Camerer, and Antonio Rangel, California Institute of Technology; Nicholas Barberis, Yale University and NBER; and Cary Frydman, University of Southern California, "Testing Theories of Investor Behavior Using Neural Data"

    Magnus Dahlquist, Stockholm School of Economics; Jose Martinez, University of Oxford; and Paul Soderlind, University of St. Gallen, "Individual Investor Activity and Performance"

    Makoto Nakajima, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, and Irina Telyukova, University of California at San Diego, "Home Equity in Retirement"

    Ralph Koijen, University of Chicago and NBER; Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh, New York University and NBER; and Motohiro Yogo, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, "Health and Mortality Delta: Assessing the Welfare Cost of Household Insurance Choice"

Summaries of these papers are available here.

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How the Great Recession Affected Higher Education

An NBER Conference on "How the Great Recession Affected Higher Education", organized by NBER Research Associates Jeffrey Brown of the University of Illinois and Caroline Hoxby of Stanford University, took place in Cambridge on September 27 and 28, 2012. These papers were discussed:

    Caroline Hoxby, "Financial Rules for Universities Based on their Objectives and Constraints"

    Keith Brown, University of Texas, and Cristian Tiu, SUNY at Buffalo, "The Interaction of Spending Policies, Asset Allocation Strategies, and Investment Performance at University Endowment Funds"

    William Goetzmann, Yale University and NBER, and Sharon Oster, Yale University, "Competition among University Endowments" (NBER Working Paper No. 18173)

    Jeffrey Brown; Stephen G. Dimmock, Nanyang Technological University; and Scott Weisbenner, University of Illinois and NBER, "The Supply of and Demand for Charitable Donations to Higher Education" (NBER Working Paper No. 18389)

    David Chambers, University of Cambridge; Elroy Dimson, London Business School; and Justin Foo, University of Cambridge, "Keynes, King's, and Endowment Asset Management"

    Eric Bettinger, Stanford University and NBER, and Betsy Williams, Stanford University, "Federal and State Financial Aid during the Great Recession"

    Bridget Terry Long, Harvard University and NBER, "The Financial Crisis and Declining College Affordability: How Have Students and Their Families Responded?"

    Sarah Turner, University of Virginia and NBER, "Financial Crisis and Faculty Labor Markets"

    Michael Dinerstein and Pablo Villanueva Sanchez, Stanford University; Caroline Hoxby; and Jonathan Meer, Texas A&M University, "Did the Stimulus Work for Universities?"

Summaries of these papers are available here.

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Conference on High-Skill Immigration

An NBER Conference on High-Skill Immigration, organized by Sarah Turner, NBER and the University of Virginia, and William Kerr, NBER and Harvard Business School, took place in Cambridge, MA on October 25, 2012. These papers were discussed:

    Jennifer Hunt, Rutgers University and NBER, "Does the United States Admit the Best and Brightest Computer and Engineering Workers?"

    Jeffrey Grogger, University of Chicago and NBER, and Gordon Hanson, University of California at San Diego and NBER, "Attracting Talent: Location Choices of Foreign-Born PhDs in the US"

    Paula Stephan, Georgia State University and NBER; Chiara Franzoni, Politecnico di Milano; and Giuseppe Scellato, Politecnico di Torino, "The Comings of the Foreign-born for PhD and Postdoctoral Study: A Sixteen Country Perspective"

    Ina Ganguli, Stockholm School of Economics, "Immigration & Ideas: What Did Russian Scientists 'Bring' to the US?"

    George Borjas, Harvard University and NBER, and Kirk Doran, University of Notre Dame, "Intellectual Mobility: Native Responses to Supply Shocks in the Space of Ideas"

    Richard Freeman, Harvard University and NBER, and Wei Huang, Harvard University, "Collaborating With People Like Me: Ethnic Co-authorship within the US"

    John Bound, University of Michigan and NBER, and Breno Braga and Joseph Golden, University of Michigan, "Recruitment of Foreigners in the Market for Computer Scientists in the US"

    Sari Kerr, Wellesley College; William Kerr; and William Lincoln, Johns Hopkins University, "Skilled Immigration and the Employment Structures and Innovation Rates of U.S. Firms"

    Michael Clemens, Center for Global Development, "The Effect of International Migration on Productivity: Evidence from Randomized Allocation of U.S. Visas to Software Workers at an Indian Firm"

Summaries of these papers may be found here.

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Economics of Commodity Markets

The NBER held a meeting on the Economics of Commodity Markets at Stanford University on October 27, 2012. Research Associates Kenneth Singleton of Stanford University and Wei Xiong of Princeton University organized the program. These papers were discussed:

    James Hamilton, University of California at San Diego and NBER, and Jing Cynthia Wu, University of Chicago, "Effects of Index-Fund Investing on Commodity Futures Prices"

    Brian Henderson, George Washington University, and Neil Pearson and Li Wang, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, "New Evidence on the Financialization of Commodity Markets"

    Michael Sockin, Princeton University, and Wei Xiong, "Feedback Effects of Commodity Futures Prices"

    Suleyman Basak and Anna Pavlova, London Business School, "A Model of Financialization of Commodities"

    Domenico Ferraro, Duke University; Kenneth Rogoff, Harvard University and NBER; and Barbara Rossi, Duke University, "Can Oil Prices Forecast Exchange Rates?" (NBER Working Paper No. 17998)

    Amiyatosh Purnanandam and Daniel Weagley, University of Michigan, "Can Markets Discipline Government Agencies? Evidence from the Weather Derivatives Market"

    Martin Bodenstein and Luca Guerrieri, Federal Reserve Board, and Lutz Kilian, University of Michigan, "Monetary Policy Responses to Oil Price Fluctuations"

    Hunt Allcott, New York University and NBER, and Daniel Keniston, Yale University, "The Local Economic Effects of Commodity Booms and Busts in Modern America"

    Boyan Jovanovic, New York University and NBER, "Bubbles in Prices of Exhaustible Resources"

    Eyal Dvir, Boston College, and Kenneth Rogoff, "Demand Effects and Speculation in Oil Markets: Theory and Evidence"

    Peter Christoffersen, University of Toronto, and Kris Jacobs and Bingxin Li, University of Houston, "Dynamic Jump Intensities and Risk Premiums in Crude Oil Futures and Options Markets"

    Steven Baker and Bryan Routledge, Carnegie Mellon University, "The Price of Oil Risk"

Summaries of these papers may be found here.

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Human Capital and History: The American Record

An NBER Conference on "Human Capital and History: The American Record" took place in Cambridge on December 7 and 8, 2012. NBER Research Associates Leah Boustan of the University of California, Los Angeles, and Robert Margo of Boston University, and NBER Faculty Research Fellow Carola Frydman of Boston University, organized the program. These papers were discussed:

    Lawrence Katz, Harvard University and NBER, and Robert Margo, " Technical Change and the Relative Demand for Skilled Labor: The United States in Historical Perspective"

    Edward Glaeser, Harvard University and NBER, "Urbanization and Human Capital Formation in American History"

    Claudia Olivetti, Boston University and NBER, "The Female Labor Force and Long-run Development: The American Experience in Comparative Perspective"

    Martha Bailey, University of Michigan and NBER; Melanie Guldi, University of Central Florida; and Brad Hershbein, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, " Two Twentieth Century Fertility Transitions: Implications for Human Capital"

    Shelly Lundberg, University of California, Santa Barbara, and Robert Pollak, Washington University in St. Louis and NBER, "The Uneven Retreat from Marriage in the U.S., 1950-2010"

    Nora Gordon, Georgetown University and NBER,"Explaining Trends in High School Graduation: The Changing Elementary and Secondary Education Policy Landscape and Income Inequality over the Last Half Century"

    Hoyt Bleakley, University of Chicago and NBER, and Dora Costa and Adriana Lleras-Muney, University of California at Los Angeles and NBER, "Health, Education and Income Trends in the US"

    Leah Boustan, and William Collins, Vanderbilt University and NBER, "The Origins and Persistence of Black-White Differences in Women's Labor Force Participation"

    Claudia Goldin, Harvard University and NBER, "A Pollution Theory of Discrimination: Male and Female Differences in Occupations and Earnings"

    Ilyana Kuziemko, Columbia University and NBER, and Joseph Ferrie, Northwestern University and NBER, "The Role of Immigrant Children in their Parents' Assimilation: 1850 to 2010"

The conference celebrated the contributions that Goldin, Director of the NBER's Development of the American Economy Program, has made to this broad research area. It featured remarks by NBER Research Associates Robert Fogel of the University of Chicago and Stanley Engerman of the University of Rochester, as well as by Gary Becker of the University of Chicago, on Goldin's influence on labor economics and economic history. Becker and Fogel supervised Goldin's doctoral dissertation at the University of Chicago.

Summaries of these papers may be found here.

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