NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The NBER Reporter 2013 Number 4: Books

Globalization in an Age of Crisis: Multilateral Economic Cooperation in the Twenty-first Century

Globalization in an Age of Crisis: Multilateral Economic Cooperation in the Twenty-first Century, edited by Robert C. Feenstra and Alan M. Taylor, is available from the University of Chicago Press in December 2013.

Along with its painful economic costs, the financial crisis of 2008 raised concerns over the future of international policy making. As in recessions past, new policy initiatives emerged that leaned more toward protecting national interests rather than promoting international economic cooperation. Whether in fiscal or monetary policies, the control of currencies and capital flows, the regulation of finance, or the implementation of protectionist policies and barriers to trade, there has been an almost worldwide trend toward the prioritizing of national economic security. But what are the underlying economic causes of this trend, and what can economic research reveal about the possible consequences?

This volume brings together research by policy makers and practitioners that examines the ways in which the global economic order could address the challenges of globalization that have arisen over the last two decades, and that have been intensified by the recent crisis. Chapters in this volume consider the critical linkages between various issues, including exchange rates, global imbalances, and financial regulation, and analyze the political and economic outcomes of past policies for what they might tell us about the future of global economic cooperation.

Robert C. Feenstra is Director of the NBER's Program on International Trade and Investment and a Research Associate in the NBER's Program on Productivity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship, and holds the C. Bryan Cameron Distinguished Chair in International Economics at the University of California, Davis. Alan M. Taylor is a Research Associate in the NBER's Programs on International Finance and Macroeconomics, International Trade and Investment, and the Development of the American Economy. He is the Souder Family Professor of Arts and Sciences at the University of Virginia.

The price of this book is $110.00 for a clothbound volume.

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Well Worth Saving: How the New Deal Safeguarded Home Ownership

Well Worth Saving: How the New Deal Safeguarded Home Ownership, by Price Fishback, Jonathan Rose, and Kenneth Snowden, is the latest monograph in the NBER's series on Long-Term Factors in Economic Development.

The urgent demand for housing after World War I fueled a boom in residential construction that led to historic peaks in home ownership. Foreclosures at the time were rare, and when they did happen, lenders could quickly recoup their losses by selling into a strong market. But no mortgage system is equipped to deal with credit problems on the scale of the Great Depression. As foreclosures quintupled, it became clear that the mortgage system of the 1920s was not up to the task, and borrowers, lenders, and real estate professionals sought action at the federal level.

Well Worth Saving tells the story of the disastrous housing market during the Great Depression and the extent to which an immensely popular New Deal relief program, the Home Owners' Loan Corporation (HOLC), was able to stem foreclosures by buying distressed mortgages from lenders and refinancing them. Drawing on historical records and modern statistical tools, Price Fishback, Jonathan Rose, and Kenneth Snowden investigate important unanswered questions to provide an unparalleled view of the mortgage loan industry throughout the 1920s and early 1930s. Combining this with the stories of those involved, the book offers a clear understanding of the HOLC within the context of the housing market in which it operated, including an examination of how the incentives and behaviors at play throughout the crisis influenced the effectiveness of policy.

More than eighty years after the start of the Great Depression, when politicians have called for similar programs to quell the current mortgage crisis, this accessible account of the HOLC holds invaluable lessons for our own time.

Price Fishback and Kenneth Snowden are a Research Associates in the NBER's Program on the Development of the American Economy. Fishback is the Thomas R. Brown Professor of Economics at the University of Arizona. Snowden is an Associate Professor of Economics and Director of Graduate Studies at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. Jonathan Rose is an economist with the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.

The price of the book is $35.00 for a clothbound volume.

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