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Trebbi and Washington to Codirect Political Economy Program
Francesco Trebbi of the University of California, Berkeley and Ebonya L. Washington of Yale University are the new codirectors of the NBER’s Political Economy Program, succeeding the late Alberto Alesina of Harvard University, who launched the program in 2006.
The new codirectors have studied a wide range of issues that span the field of political economy.
Trebbi is the Bernard T. Rocca Jr. Professor of Business and Public Policy at Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. His research focuses on the determinants of polarization, lobbying and its effects, the design of political institutions, and the political economy of financial regulation. He has been an NBER affiliate since 2007.
Washington, an NBER affiliate since 2004, is the Samuel C. Park Jr. Professor of Economics at Yale. Her research examines the links between economic circumstances and political preferences, how candidate attributes affect voter turnout, the determinants of legislators' voting behavior, and the impact of the US Voting Rights Act of 1965. She currently chairs the American Economic Association’s Committee on the Status of Minority Groups in the Economics Profession.
The Economics of Vaccine Development and Distribution
Vaccines that protect against SARS-CoV-2 are a critical element in the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In a recent presentation to the NBER Corporate Associates Symposium, Research Associate Michael Kremer of the University of Chicago described the work that he and his collaborators have done on the economics of vaccine development and distribution. The findings of this research, which are summarized in the video below, offer insights on the design of incentives for vaccine innovation, ways to obtain the maximum public health benefit from the distribution of fixed numbers of vaccine doses, and public policies that can enhance readiness for future pandemics. An archive of NBER videos on pandemic-related research may be found here.
Three NBER working papers distributed this week report on economic, health, and related consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, or on the impact of public policies that respond to it. One studies the effect of school re-openings on the local transmission of the COVID-19 virus, using detailed district-level data from Texas (28753). Another develops a framework for measuring changes in welfare when the set of goods available to consumers changes, as it did when the pandemic shuttered many businesses (28754). A third paper analyzes the impact of rapid deployment of mask-wearing and other non-pharmaceutical interventions that slow virus diffusion on both pandemic-related deaths and economic activity (28760).
More than 400 NBER working papers have addressed various aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic. These papers are open access and have been collected for easy reference. Like all NBER papers, they are circulated for discussion and comment, and have not been peer-reviewed. View them in reverse chronological order or by topic area.
NBER Appoints 15 Research Associates, 57 Faculty Research Fellows
The NBER Board of Directors appointed 15 research associates (RAs) at its April 2021 meeting. Two of them were previously faculty research fellows (FRFs).
RA appointments are reserved for tenured faculty members. They are recommended to the Board by directors of the NBER's 20 research programs, typically after consultation with a steering committee of leading scholars. The new RAs are affiliated with 13 different colleges and universities; they received graduate training at 14 different institutions. (Read More)
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Featured Working Papers
Taking a high-stakes college admissions exam in the last two weeks of the SNAP benefit cycle reduces test scores and lowers the probability of attending a four-year college for low-income high school students, according to research by Timothy N. Bond, Jillian B. Carr, Analisa Packham, and Jonathan Smith.
Median household wealth rose 21.2 percent in real terms between 2016 and 2019 but was down 20.4 percent relative to 2007, though mean wealth more than fully recovered, Edward N. Wolff reports. The wealth share of the top one percent fell by 1.4 percentage points in the most recent three-year period.
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