Skip to main content

The Digest

A free monthly publication featuring non-technical summaries of research on topics of broad public interest
[W]hat really matters for successful monetary policy is establishing a strong nominal anchor. While inflation targeting is one way to achieve this, it is not the only way. NBER Research Associate Frederic Mishkin and co-author Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel review the pros and cons of inflation targeting in Does Inflation Targeting Make A Difference? (This work -- published in NBER Working Paper No. 12876 - was completed before Mishkin became a member of the Board of Governors...

Research Summaries

Large current account surpluses exhibit very little persistence over time, and ... very few large countries have persistently large surplus-to-GDP ratios... This is significant because many economists believe that sudden reductions in foreign countries' surpluses could have a major and unsettling impact on the value of the dollar. A decline in growth relative to a long-term trend of 1 percentage point results in an improvement in the current account balance... of one...
College quality ranking information leads to increases in expenditure in public colleges, most of which are funded by more state appropriations per student. State appropriations per student are more responsive to USNWR rankings exposure if a state has more citizens who are politically active, care about higher education, and buy USNWR from the newsstand. It is widely believed that the United States has the highest quality system of higher education in the world....
At the same time that changing technology creates an economic force leading to greater hours worked in the service sector, Europe raises taxes, thus creating an opposing force that encourages services to be provided outside the market. Europe's failure to develop the kind of thriving service sector that has transformed the U.S. economy, a deficiency for which high taxes are largely to blame, is the main culprit behind the fact that over the last fifty years, hours...
Happiness among American men and women reaches its estimated minimum at approximately ages 49 and 45 respectively. To design effective social and economic policies, policymakers need a measure of individuals' "well-being." Yet while such things as real Gross Domestic Product, lifespan, height, and the incidence of cancer can be counted, it is a much more complicated task to objectively quantify psychological well-being and happiness. For example, recent statistical...

NBER periodicals and newsletters are not copyrighted and may be reproduced freely with appropriate attribution.

See the Latest NBER Research
New Working Papers This Week