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The Reporter

A free quarterly publication featuring program updates, several summaries of affiliates' research, and news about the NBER
The Development of the American Economy (DAE) Program was one of the first research programs launched by Martin Feldstein in 1978, when the NBER's headquarters moved from New York to Cambridge. Robert W. Fogel, its founding director, served until 1989, when Claudia Goldin was appointed as his successor. In July 2017, Leah Boustan and William Collins will begin co-directing the program. The mission of the Development of the American Economy Program is to research...

Research Summaries

Author(s): Hunt Allcott
One of the great mysteries in environmental and energy economics is what's called the "energy efficiency gap." Since the 1980s, a series of influential analyses has constructed energy efficiency cost curves — engineering estimates of the costs of conserving energy. These engineering analyses consistently find that individuals and firms fail to adopt significant privately profitable energy efficiency investments. For example, a widely publicized study by McKinsey &...
Author(s): Itzhak Ben-David
Over the last two decades, the asset management industry has witnessed dramatic developments in both industrial organization and product offerings. Two or three decades ago, the industry was dominated by small asset managers primarily offering active portfolio management services. Today, the industry is significantly more concentrated and the leading products are index-based passive investment vehicles. My recent research examines some of the consequences of these...
Author(s): Greg Kaplan
In macroeconomic models, product markets are typically very simple. Consumers are treated as price-takers while firms trade against fixed demand curves. There is little that either households or firms can do to affect the terms of trade that they face in product markets. But in reality there are many actions that buyers can take to influence the prices they pay. For example, in the retail market, households can pay more attention to price comparisons, travel to different...
Author(s): Matthew J. Neidell
Anthropogenic air pollution dates at least as far back as ancient Rome, and attempts to regulate it are known to have arisen as early as the 13th century. Although the nature and scale of this externality has changed dramatically since the Industrial Revolution, research on the health effects has typically been in the domain of epidemiologists and toxicologists. Economists have only recently contributed to this topic, having made several important contributions. First,...


    Donaldson Wins John Bates Clark Medal NBER Research Associate Dave Donaldson of Stanford University has been named this year's recipient of the John Bates Clark Medal, which is awarded by the American Economic Association (AEA) to the American economist under the age of 40 who has made the most substantial contribution to economic thought and knowledge.  Donaldson is an empirical trade economist whose research interests span central topics in international...


    Social Security Programs and Retirement around the World: The Capacity to Work at Older Ages Edited by David A. Wise The University of Chicago Press, 2017 In recent years, the retirement age for public pensions has increased across many countries, and additional increases are in progress or under discussion in many more. The seventh stage of an ongoing research project studying the relationship between social security programs and labor force...

Meetings & Conferences, Spring 2017


  • Article
    Development of the American Economy The NBER's Program on the Development of the American Economy met in Cambridge on March 18. Program Director Claudia Goldin of Harvard University organized the meeting. These researchers' papers were presented and discussed: James J. Feigenbaum, Princeton University and NBER; James Lee, Cornerstone Research; and Filippo Mezzanotti, Northwestern University, "Capital Destruction and Economic Growth: The Effects of Sherman'...


  • Article
    Measuring and Accounting for Innovation in the 21st Century The NBER hosted a Conference on Research in Income and Wealth (CRIW) meeting, "Measuring and Accounting for Innovation in the 21st Century," in Washington, D.C., on March 10-11. Carol Corrado of The Conference Board, Javier Miranda of the U.S. Bureau of the Census, Jonathan Haskel of Imperial College London, and Research Associate Daniel Sichel of Wellesley College organized the meeting. These researchers' papers...

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