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AN NBER PUBLICATION ISSUE: No. 4, December 2014

The Reporter

A free quarterly publication featuring program updates, several summaries of affiliates' research, and news about the NBER
Author(s): Christine Jolls
The NBER's Law and Economics Program studies the effects and causes of legal rules in the foundational legal subjects - property law, criminal law, contract law, and tort law - and in additional legal subjects such as the protection of consumers, workplace regulation, and corporate law and governance. The program also studies legal processes within courts, legislatures, and agencies. Program members meet twice annually, once at a mid-year program meeting and again at the...

Research Summaries

Article
Author(s): Ryan Kellogg
Markets for crude oil have been characterized by multiple episodes of volatility over the past 20 years. The price of Brent crude oil, an international "light" crude oil benchmark priced in the North Sea, varied from a low of about $10 per barrel (bbl) in 1999 to a peak of more than $140/bbl in 2008, before falling again during the Great Recession. While the Brent price stabilized around $110/bbl during 2010-13, it recently and suddenly collapsed to around $50/bbl. The...
Article
In the past 50 years, labor markets in the United States and other industrialized countries have experienced marked change due to technological progress and demographic shifts. In this piece, we summarize some of our joint work, much of which is in collaboration with our co-authors, on the implications of these long-run trends for macroeconomic and labor market phenomena. This summary is organized into two themes. The first emphasizes important age differences in labor...
Article
Author(s): Justine Hastings
Social security privatization is a top political and economic issue for countries world-wide faced with aging populations and underfunded pensions. Often seen as a third-rail of American politics, aging populations may soon force the country to make tough decisions about our pay-as-you-go system, and current public pension crises have revived the private-accounts vs. public pension debate, as state governments faced with pension fund shortfalls consider moving workers toward...
Article
Author(s): Michael B. Devereux
It has long been acknowledged that prices of consumer goods differ substantially across countries, and vary considerably between any two countries over time. In the aggregate, relative goods-prices compared across countries are defined as real exchange rates. Understanding real exchange rate determination remains one of the most important and yet most difficult questions in international economics. The central theoretical framework for interpreting real exchange rates...

News

    Article
    At its September 2014 meeting, the NBER Board of Directors elected four new members.

Books

    Article
    Human Capital in History: The American Record Edited by Leah Platt Boustan, Carola Frydman, and Robert A. Margo Cloth: $110.00 An NBER Conference Report America's expansion to one of the richest nations in the world was partly due to a steady increase in labor productivity, which in turn depended on the invention and deployment of new technologies and on investments in both human and physical capital. The accumulation of human capital - the knowledge and skill of...

Meetings & Conferences, Fall 2014

Meetings

  • Article
    Development Economics The NBER's Program on Development Economics met in Cambridge on October 10-11, 2014. Program Director Duncan Thomas of Duke University, and NBER Research Associates Seema Jayachandran of Northwestern University and Benjamin Olken of MIT organized the meeting. These papers were discussed: David Atkin, University of California, Los Angeles and NBER; Benjamin Faber, University of California, Berkeley and NBER; and Marco Gonzalez-Navarro...

Conferences

  • Article
    Workshop on Methods and Applications for Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium Models The NBER's Workshop on Methods and Applications for Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium Models took place at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago on October 17-18, 2014. The workshop also serves as a mid-year meeting of the NBER EFSF Workgroup on Methods and Applications for DSGE Models. Alejandro Justiniano and Leonardo Melosi, both of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago; NBER...

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