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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): Jeffrey A. Frankel
In the years since the severe global financial crisis of 2008,1 macroprudential policies have attracted interest as a potential additional set of tools to complement ordinary monetary policy, a possible means of counteracting financial market excesses and subsequent crashes. In the six years since my last report,2 members of the International Finance and Macroeconomics Program have written over 600 working papers. Many have been published subsequently in leading journals...

Research Summaries

A great deal of evidence suggests that different patterns of economic development are causally related to differences in economic institutions. Countries that create inclusive and secure property rights and the rule of law grow, while those that do not stagnate or decline.1 But why do economic institutions vary so much across, and even within, countries? Though there are different approaches to this question, a central one emphasizes that economic institutions (conceived...
Author(s): John F. Helliwell
This emerging field broadens economic analysis by using measures of subjective well-being to help address a core issue in economics–how to make best use of scarce resources–by redefining "best use." It is now more than 40 years since Richard Easterlin first advocated using measures of subjective well-being to judge the quality of life.1 I came to see the necessity of such a broadening only after seeing that it was inadequate to assess the consequences of democracy2 and of...
A growing economics literature is seeking to understand the effects of early childhood influences on later life outcomes. While much recent work explores the effects of health measured at birth, my work and that of others demonstrates the importance of events in early life–but after birth–on long-term outcomes. A recent review by Douglas Almond and Janet Currie concludes that child and family characteristics measured at school entry explain as much of the variation in...
In policy and academic discussions of recent years, few topics have generated more interest than fiscal multipliers, which measure how much a dollar of increased government spending or reduced taxes raises output. Indeed, the magnitude of fiscal multipliers is at the core of debates about whether governments should try to stimulate their economies during a recession. Bitter disagreement in the United States and elsewhere about the course of fiscal policy during the Great...


    Fryer Receives John Bates Clark Medal NBER Research Associate Roland G. Fryer, Jr. received the American Economic Association's John Bates Clark Medal for 2015. 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 citation highlights Fryer's "innovative and creative research contributions [that] have deepened our understanding of the sources, magnitude,...


    Improving the Measurement of Consumer Expenditures Edited by Christopher D. Carroll, Thomas F. Crossley, and John Sabelhaus Studies in Income and Wealth, volume 74 $130.00 Robust and reliable measures of consumer expenditures are essential for analyzing aggregate economic activity and for measuring differences in household circumstances. Many countries, including the United States, are embarking on ambitious projects to redesign surveys of consumer spending, with...

Meetings & Conferences, Spring 2015


  • Article
    Productivity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship The NBER's Productivity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship Program, co-directed by Nicholas Bloom of Stanford University and Josh Lerner of Harvard University, met in Cambridge on March 20. These papers were discussed: David C. Chan, Jr., Stanford University and NBER, "The Efficiency of Slacking Off: Evidence from the Emergency Department" (NBER Working Paper No. 20068) Ariel Dora Stern, Harvard University, "...


  • Article
    Retirement & Health Benefits in the Public Sector An NBER conference, "Retirement & Health Benefits in the Public Sector," took place in Cambridge on April 10-11. Research Associates Robert L. Clark of North Carolina State University and Joseph P. Newhouse of Harvard University organized the meeting. These papers were discussed: Jeffrey R. Brown, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and NBER, and George Pennacchi, University of Illinois at Urbana-...

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