AN NBER PUBLICATION ISSUE: No. 2, July 2020

The Reporter

A free quarterly publication featuring program updates, several summaries of affiliates' research, and news about the NBER
Economics of Digitization Figure 1
Author(s): Shane Greenstein
The NBER Economics of Digitization Project, established in 2010 with support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, provides a forum for disseminating research and fostering collaboration among economists exploring the enormous changes that digitization has brought to transaction costs, media functions, product personalization, and many other facets of modern life. These activities have helped to define a community of scholars. This report summarizes studies presented at...

Reseach Summaries

Biases Figure 1 final-01
Article
Author(s): David Hirshleifer
Financial analysts and stock market investors alike are subject to behavioral biases. Objective analyst forecasts can potentially help correct investor misperceptions. On the other hand, biased forecasts can reinforce or incite investor misperceptions. Furthermore, data on analyst behavior provide a rich window of insight into the nature of psychological bias among an important and incentivized group of professionals, since ex post information is available about the accuracy...
manskifigure1_promo
Article
Author(s): Charles F. Manski
Over the past 10 years, I have increasingly focused my research on patient care under uncertainty. By uncertainty, I do not only mean that clinicians make probabilistic rather than deterministic predictions of patient outcomes. I mean that available knowledge may not suffice to yield precise probabilistic predictions. A patient may ask: “What is the chance that I will develop disease X in the next five years?” “What is the chance that treatment Y will cure me?” A credible...
Article
Tax havens are a matter of increasing concern for voters and policymakers across the world. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, which reports that $250 billion in public revenues disappears annually due to tax avoidance, in 2013 launched the Inclusive Framework on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS), now in its implementation phase with the collaboration of 135 countries and jurisdictions.1 Debates about corporate and individual tax avoidance now...
Article
Members of older households face the prospect of living longer than expected and incurring large medical expenses. My research on old age aims at better quantifying these risks, studying their implications for savings, consumption, and welfare, and evaluating the extent to which current government programs insure older people. The first part of my research on these topics focuses on elderly singles, who comprise about 50 percent of people aged 70 or older. The second part...

News Spring 2020

  • Article
    The NBER Board of Directors elected Helena Foulkes as a new at-large member at its April 2020 meeting. The former CEO of the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC), a Toronto-based retail conglomerate, Foulkes led the firm through significant transformation and to a successful privatization in March 2020. Prior to joining HBC, she spent 25 years at CVS Health, most recently as president of CVS Pharmacy and as executive vice president of CVS Health. She led both the strategic vision...
  • Article
    Amy Finkelstein, the John and Jennie S. MacDonald Professor of Economics at MIT, and Heidi Williams, the Charles R. Schwab Professor of Economics and Professor of Law (by courtesy) at Stanford University, are the new codirectors of the NBER’s Health Care Program, succeeding Jonathan Gruber of MIT, who had directed the program since 2009. The program was launched in 2000 under the leadership of Alan Garber, who is currently provost of Harvard University, to study the markets...
  • Article
    Christopher Carpenter, the E. Bronson Ingram Chair and Professor of Economics at Vanderbilt University, is the new director of the NBER’s Health Economics Program. He succeeds Michael Grossman of the City University of New York, who has directed the program for more than four decades. Carpenter’s research focuses on how public policies affect health and family outcomes. He has studied the determinants and consequences of youth substance abuse and a variety of other health...

  • Article
    NBER Research Associate Melissa Dell of Harvard University has been named this year’s recipient of the John Bates Clark Medal, which is awarded by the American Economic Association to the American economist under the age of 40 who has made the most substantial contribution to economic thought and knowledge. Dell has made path-breaking contributions in political economy and development economics, highlighting the important role that institutions play in economic...
  • Article
    The NBER Board of Directors appointed 16 research associates at its April 2020 meeting. Five of the research associate appointees were previously faculty research fellows; one is a former research associate whose appointment was renewed. Research associates must be tenured faculty members at North American colleges or universities; their appointments are recommended to the board by directors of the NBER’s 20 research programs, typically after consultation with a steering...
  • Article
    Two NBER research associates have taken leave from their academic and NBER posts to serve in important policy positions. Kevin Milligan, a professor of economics at the Vancouver School of Economics of the University of British Columbia and a research associate in the Aging and Public Economics programs, has accepted a position advising the Privy Council of Canada, a role that involves advising the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Carmen Reinhart, the Minos A. Zombanakis...

Conferences and Meetings

  • Article
    35th Annual Conference on Macroeconomics The NBER’s 35th Annual Conference on Macroeconomics took place online April 2–3. Research Associates Martin S. Eichenbaum of Northwestern University and Erik Hurst of the University of Chicago organized the meeting. Research Associate Jeremy C. Stein of Harvard University delivered a keynote address. These researchers’ papers were presented and discussed: George-Marios Angeletos, MIT and NBER; Zhen Huo, Yale University; and...

  • Article
    Asset Pricing Members of the NBER’s Asset Pricing Program met April 10 online. Research Associates Andrea L. Eisfeldt of the University of California, Los Angeles and Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh of Columbia University organized the meeting. These researchers’ papers were presented and discussed: Anna Cieslak and Hao Pang, Duke University, “Common Shocks in Stocks and Bonds” Itamar Drechsler, University of Pennsylvania and NBER, and Alexi Savov and Philipp Schnabl,...
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