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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): David Wise
The NBER's Program on the Economics of Aging began in 1986, when the baby boom generation was between the ages of 22 and 40, and when life expectancy at age 62 (the age of eligibility for Social Security) was nearly three years shorter than it is today. The program at its outset was created with a forward-thinking orientation, drawing together economists from multiple subfields of the profession to consider jointly what would become one of the most important demographic,...

Research Summaries

Author(s): David Autor & Gordon Hanson
The past two decades have seen a fruitful debate on the impact of globalization on U.S. labor markets. Research by economists in the 1990s revealed that while international trade, particularly in the form of offshoring, was associated with modest increases in the wage premium for skilled labor, other shocks, including skill-biased technical change, played a more important role in the evolution of the U.S. wage structure.1 Recent evidence suggests that since the early 1990s,...
Author(s): Marianne Bertrand
An increasingly discussed explanation for why women and men experience different labor markets is the existence and persistence of gender identity norms. Influential research by George Akerlof and Rachel Kranton1 has imported into economics insights from social psychology regarding an individual's social identity and how it can influence behaviors and choices. These researchers define identity as one's sense of belonging to one or multiple social categories. One's identity...
Author(s): Emmanuel Saez
Tax-induced international mobility of talent is a controversial public policy issue, especially when tax rates differ substantially across countries and migration barriers are low as in the case of the European Union. High top tax rates may induce top earners to migrate to countries where the tax burden is lower, thereby limiting the redistributive power of governments by creating tax competition. Such concerns have featured prominently in recent tax policy debates in Europe...
Author(s): Wei Xiong
Over the last decade, commodity futures have become a popular asset class for portfolio investors, just like stocks and bonds. This process is sometimes referred to as the financialization of commodity markets. According to an estimate provided by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in 2008, investment inflows to various commodity futures indices from early 2000 to June 30, 2008 totaled $200 billion.1 The increasing presence of financial investors in commodity...


    Risk Topography: Systemic Risk and Macro Modeling Risk Topography: Systemic Risk and Macro Modeling, edited by Markus Brunnermeier and Arvind Krishnamurthy, will be available from the University of Chicago Press in August 2014. The recent financial crisis and the difficulty of using mainstream macroeconomic models to accurately monitor and assess systemic risk have stimulated new analyses of how we measure economic activity and the development of more sophisticated...

Meetings & Conferences, Spring 2014


  • Article
    Political Economy The NBER's Program on Political Economy met in Cambridge on April 4, 2014. Program Director Alberto Alesina of Harvard University chose these papers to discuss: Marina Azzimonti, FRB of Philadelphia, "Partisan Conflict" Roland Bénabou, Princeton University and NBER, and Davide Ticchi and Andrea Vindigni, IMT Institute for Advanced Studies Lucca, "Forbidden Fruits: The Political Economy of Science, Religion, and Growth" Pedro...


  • Article
    Economics of Culture and Institutions An NBER Conference on the Economics of Culture and Institutions took place in Cambridge on April 5, 2014. Research Associate Alberto Bisin of New York University and Faculty Research Fellow Paola Giuliano of the University of California, Los Angeles, organized the meeting. They chose these papers to discuss: Yuriy Gorodnichenko, University of California, Berkeley and NBER, and Gerard Roland, University of California,...

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