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The Reporter

A free quarterly publication featuring program updates, several summaries of affiliates' research, and news about the NBER
Author(s): Alberto Alesina
The NBER's Political Economy Program was created in 2006 and has flourished and expanded in a variety of directions since then, reflecting the rapidly growing interest of the profession in this area. Early on, this field was focused on issues that could be strictly defined at the connection of politics and economics. For instance, widely studied issues included the effect of elections on the economy and vice versa (political business cycles); the effect of corruption and...

Research Summaries

Author(s): Mario Crucini
Introduction Wages and salaries are by far the predominant source of purchasing power for all but the wealthiest individuals in society. The real wage -- that is, the ratio of one's nominal wage to the unit cost of a basket of goods and services one chooses to consume -- is thus strongly positively associated with the health and welfare of individuals and their families. When goods and labor markets are perfectly competitive, and devoid of barriers to trade or factor...
Author(s): Pascaline Dupas
Adoption of health products could lessen the burden of infectious disease in developing countries. In a series of studies using experimental data from Kenya, my colleagues and I have explored the role of subsidies in both short- and long-run adoption of such products, and studied how subsidies might be targeted. Full Subsidies Increase Adoption in Both the Short and Long Run Three studies examine the role of subsidies in the adoption of preventative health technologies...
In many traditional models of politics, such as the pioneering work of Anthony Downs, voters lack private incentives to become informed.1 The news media therefore play a crucial role in any democracy, amortizing the costs of gathering and filtering news across many citizens, lowering the costs of acquiring political information, and strengthening private incentives to become informed. Democracy might function poorly without the news media, but the special role of the...
Author(s): Charles I. Jones
During the twentieth century, life expectancy in the United States rose from less than 50 years to 77 years, while average incomes rose by about a factor of 7. Which change was more valuable? William Nordhaus famously posed this question to his friends and colleagues about a decade ago: which would you rather have, the health care system in 2000 but the average income in 1900, or the reverse? Based on this informal survey and on a range of other evidence, Nordhaus argued...


    NBER Research Associate Raj Chetty received the American Economics Association's John Bates Clark Medal for 2013. This annual award recognizes the American economist under the age of 40 who has made the most substantial contribution to economic thought and knowledge. This year's prize highlights Chetty's research contributions in public economics and the economics of education. It calls attention to his work on the role of tax salience, his analysis of how various types of...


    The Great Inflation: The Rebirth of Modern Central Banking, edited by Michael Bordo and Athanasios Orphanides, is available from the University of Chicago Press in July 2013. Controlling inflation is among the most important objectives of economic policy. By maintaining price stability, policymakers are able to reduce uncertainty, improve price monitoring mechanisms, and facilitate more efficient planning and allocation of resources, thereby raising productivity. This...

Meetings and Conferences, Spring 2013


  • Article
    Law and Economics The NBER's Program on Law and Economics, directed by Christine Jolls of Yale Law School, met in Cambridge on February 28 and March 1, 2013. These papers were discussed: Alexander Dyck, University of Toronto, and Adair Morse and Luigi Zingales, University of Chicago and NBER, "How Pervasive is Corporate Fraud?" Edward Glaeser, Harvard University and NBER, and Cass Sunstein, Harvard Law School, "Why Does Balanced News Produce...


  • Article
    The 24th NBER-TCER-CEPR Conference Held in Tokyo The 24th NBER-TCER-CEPR Conference on "Experiments for Development: Achievements and New Directions" took place in Tokyo on March 18 and 19, 2013. This meeting was sponsored jointly by: the Centre for Economic Policy Research in London; NBER; the Tokyo Center for Economic Research; and the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS). Organizers Shin-ichi Fukuda, University of Tokyo and TCER, Takeo Hoshi,...

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