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AN NBER PUBLICATION ISSUE: No. 3, September 2017

The Reporter

A free quarterly publication featuring program updates, several summaries of affiliates' research, and news about the NBER
Author(s): Mervyn King
Uncertainty and Large Swings in Activity It is a great honor, as well as a personal pleasure and privilege, to be invited to deliver the Feldstein Lecture. I have known Marty and Kate for almost 50 years. I met Marty in the summer of 1970, when I presented my first ever paper at the Second World Congress of the Econometric Society in Cambridge, England. The subject was investment, and Marty presented a paper, jointly with the late John Flemming, on the same topic....

Research Summaries

Two centuries ago, David Ricardo wrote down a simple thought experiment that changed the way economists think about international trade. Suppose the residents of two nations, England and Portugal, differ in their ability to produce two goods, cloth and wine: Portugal is more efficient at both, but its relative advantage over England is weaker in cloth. If these countries are able to trade, what will happen? Who will trade what with whom? Who will gain from the trades? How...
Author(s): William Nordhaus
Many areas of the natural and social sciences involve complex systems that link multiple areas and disci-plines. This is particularly true for the science, economics, and policy of climate change, which involve a wide variety of fields from atmospheric chemistry to game theory.1 As understanding progresses across the different fronts, it is increasingly necessary to link the different areas to develop models and policies that reflect the complex interactions. A full analysis...
Author(s): Michael Lovenheim
U.S. economic growth in recent decades has favored high-skilled, service-based occupations and industries. As a result, the demand for skilled relative to unskilled labor has grown markedly, which has been the source of much attention and concern among policymakers and researchers. Increasingly, the labor market outcomes of working-age adults are linked to their educational attainment. Earnings gains have flowed disproportionately to those with four-year college degrees. One...
Author(s): Seema Jayachandran
Women lag further behind men in poor countries than in rich countries in terms of educational outcomes, health status, decision-making power in the family, and other aspects of well-being. As a rule, the process of economic development levels the playing field for women in the labor market. As an economy grows, its service sector expands, while agriculture and other primary industries shrink in importance; women have a comparative advantage in jobs that require brains rather...


    Karen N. Horn was elected chair of the NBER's Board of Directors at the board's September 25 meeting. She succeeds Martin Zimmerman, a professor of business administration at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business and former vice president for corporate affairs at Ford Motor Company, who had served since 2014. Horn, a partner in the Brock Capital Group, is a former chair and CEO of Bank One and a former president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. She...


    (Studies in Income and Wealth, Volume 75) John Haltiwanger, Erik Hurst, Javier Miranda, and Antoinette Schoar, editors Cloth $130 Start-ups and other entrepreneurial ventures make a significant contribution to the U.S. economy, particularly in the tech sector, where they comprise some of the largest and most influential companies. Yet for every high-profile, high-growth company like Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, and Google, many more fail. This enormous...

Meetings & Conferences, Summer 2017


  • Article
    Economic Fluctuations and Growth The NBER's Program on Economic Fluctuations and Growth met in Cambridge on July 15. Research Associates Mark Bils of University of Rochester and Gita Gopinath of Harvard University organized the meeting. These researchers' papers were presented and discussed: Nuno T. Coimbra, Paris School of Economics, and Hélène Rey, London Business School and NBER, "Financial Cycles with Heterogeneous Intermediaries" (NBER Working Paper No....


  • Article
    CEPRA/NBER Conference on Aging and Health The NBER's Conference on Aging and Health, supported by the Center for Performance and Research Analytics, took place in Lugano, Switzerland, on June 1–3. Fabrizio Mazzonna of Università della Svizzera Italiana, NBER Program on Aging Director Jonathan S. Skinner of Dartmouth College, and Massimo Filippini of ETH Zurich and Università della Svizzera Italiana organized the meeting. These researchers' papers were presented and...

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