NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The NBER Reporter 2012 Number 4: News

NBER Researcher Wins Nobel Prize in Economics
NBER Launches Development Economics Program
New Directors Elected to NBER Board
NBER Researchers Entering Public Service in 2012


NBER Researcher Wins Nobel Prize in Economics

NBER Research Associate Alvin Roth shared the 2012 Nobel Prize in Economics with Lloyd Shapley. Roth is currently the George Gund Professor of Economics and Business Administration at Harvard University. At the end of this year, he will move to emeritus rank at Harvard, and join the Stanford Economics Department. He has been a Research Associate in the NBER's Labor Studies Program since 1999, and he is an active participant in the NBER's Market Design Working Group.

The award citation prepared by the Prize Committee of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences highlighted the researchers' work on "the theory of stable allocations and the practice of market design." The prize citation explains that this year's award is for work on "a central economic problem: how to match different agents as well as possible. For example, students have to be matched with schools and donors of human organs with patients in need of a transplant. How can such matching be accomplished as efficiently as possible? What methods are beneficial to what groups?" This year's award recognizes both a conceptual advance in cooperative game theory and a rich set of applications of that theory to solve important problems of market design.

Roth joins a long list of current and past NBER affiliates who have received the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, which is better known as the Nobel Prize in Economics. Past NBER-affiliated winners include: Thomas Sargent and Christopher Sims, 2011;Peter Diamond and Dale Mortensen, 2010; Paul R. Krugman, 2008; Edward C. Prescott and Finn Kydland, 2004; Robert F. Engle, 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, 1993; Gary S. Becker, 1992; and the late George J. Stigler, 1982, Theodore W. Schultz, 1979, Milton Friedman, 1976, and Simon Kuznets, 1971.

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NBER Launches Development Economics Program

The NBER has launched a new program in the field of Development Economics, bringing its total number of research programs to twenty. NBER Research Associate Duncan Thomas, the Robert F. Durden Professor of Economics at Duke University, is the Program's inaugural director. The Development Program will focus broadly on questions related to economic development and the behavior of households, firms, and institutions in developing nations, in part to help us understand the key factors that affect economic growth, poverty, and inequality.

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New Directors Elected to NBER Board

The NBER's Board of Directors has elected two new members:
Edward Foster is a Professor of Economics (Emeritus) and past department chair (2000-6) at the University of Minnesota, which he represents on the NBER Board. He received his Ph.D. from MIT in 1961 and joined the Minnesota faculty that year. In addition to teaching, he has served as Associate and Acting Dean of the School of Management, and as the University's Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs. An expert on public finance and cost-benefit analysis, with a particular focus on health and safety issues, Foster currently serves on the Minnesota Council of Economic Advisers. He is also a past president of the National Association of Forensic Economics.

Peter L. Rousseau is Professor of Economics, and Professor of History, at Vanderbilt University. He is also the Secretary-Treasurer of the American Economic Association, which he represents on the NBER Board. An expert on macroeconomics and economic history, Rousseau is particularly interested in monetary history, and in how financial markets assist in spreading transformative technological change through an economy. His research focuses on the role of financial markets and institutions in economic growth and development.

In addition, John Siegfried and Craig Swan were elected to the rank of Director Emeritus.

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NBER Researchers Entering Public Service in 2012

A number of NBER researchers were tapped for important public policy positions in the past year. Jeremy Stein, formerly a Research Associate in the NBER's Programs on Corporate Finance and Monetary Economics, resigned from the NBER when he was confirmed as a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Stein is on leave from Harvard University, where he holds the Moise Y. Safra Professorship of Economics.

James Stock also resigned from his position as a Research Associate, in this case in the NBER's Programs on Asset Pricing, Economic Fluctuations and Growth, and Monetary Economics, when he accepted the position of Chief Economist of the President's Council of Economic Advisers (CEA). Stock, also a member of the Harvard University faculty, is on leave from his position as the Harold Hitchings Burbank Professor of Political Economy.

A number of other researchers are serving in various government positions while on leave from the NBER. They include: NBER Research Associate Leemore Dafny of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, who is the Deputy Director for Health Care and Antitrust of the Federal Trade Commission; NBER Faculty Research Fellow Alexander Gelber of the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, who is Deputy Assistant Secretary for Microeconomic Analysis at the U.S. Department of the Treasury; and three researchers who are on leave as Senior Economists at the CEA -- Susan Helper of Case Western Reserve University, Chinhui Juhn of the University of Houston, and Wesley Yin of Boston University. Other past NBER affiliates also continue to serve in a variety of public policy positions.

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