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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): Janet Currie & Anna Aizer
U.S. public programs that are targeted to children and youth have grown rapidly in recent decades. This trend has generated a substantial volume of research devoted to program evaluation. At the same time, researchers have developed an expanded conception of human capital and how it develops over the life course. This has drawn attention to children's physical and mental health, as well as to factors such as environmental exposures and maternal stress that influence the...

Research Summaries

Author(s): Stephen J. Redding
Economic activity is highly unevenly distributed across space. In the United States, the 2,000 counties with the lowest employment densities account for over 75 percent of land area but less than 12 percent of employment. By contrast, the 100 counties with the highest employment densities make up around 40 percent of employment but less than 2 percent of land area. A fundamental research question in economic geography is the extent to which this uneven distribution of...
Author(s): Fatih Guvenen
Millions of young men and women enter the labor market annually. Over the next 40 years, each of them goes through a unique journey that involves surprises as well as disappointments: searching for the dream career, finding and losing jobs, getting promotions, salary raises, or demotions, and experiencing the recessions and booms of the macro economy. In recent research, I try to understand the nature of the uncertainty that major labor market events generate for workers...
Author(s): Johannes Stroebel
Housing is a unique asset. Both an investment and a consumption good, it is traded in markets that are subject to significant search frictions and information asymmetries. In addition, housing accounts for a large share of wealth in the economy. As a result, changes in house prices can have large effects on aggregate economic activity. In combination with the availability of excellent microdata on housing transactions, this makes housing an ideal asset for the study of a...
Author(s): Brian A. Jacob
Economists have long realized the importance of education for the well-being of individuals and the productivity of society. Over the past few decades, the economic returns to education have risen dramatically, increasing the importance of this issue. Yet researchers have made only limited progress in understanding how various policies can influence educational outcomes. My research in education economics has focused on three areas: standards and accountability, teacher...


    Oliver Hart of Harvard and Bengt Holmström of MIT, who both have been NBER research associates for more than two decades, were awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for their contributions to analyzing incentives, institutions, and organizations in the field of economics known as "contract theory."  "Contract theory provides us with a general means of understanding contract design. One of the theory's goals is to explain why contracts have various forms...


    Economics of Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States Volume I and Volume II         Robert A. Moffitt, editor The University of Chicago Press, 2016 $110.00 each (cloth) Few government programs in the United States are as controversial as those designed to help the poor. From tax credits to medical assistance, the size and structure of the American safety net is an issue of constant debate. These two volumes...

Meetings & Conferences, Fall 2016


  • 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...


  • Article
    Entrepreneurship and Economic Growth An NBER Conference, "Entrepreneurship and Economic Growth," supported by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, took place in Durham, North Carolina, on October 14–15. Manuel Adelino and Research Associate David T. Robinson, both of Duke University, organized the meeting. These researchers' papers were presented and discussed: Chuck Eesley and Yong Suk Lee, Stanford University, "The Effects of University Entrepreneurship...

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