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AN NBER PUBLICATION ISSUE: No. 4, December 2020

The Reporter

A free quarterly publication featuring program updates, several summaries of affiliates' research, and news about the NBER
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Author(s): Nicole Maestas
The NBER Retirement and Disability Research Center (RDRC) conducts research on issues relevant to Social Security policy. It is part of a national consortium of competitively selected research centers supported by the Social Security Administration (SSA) under five-year cooperative agreements. In addition to the NBER center, the consortium includes research centers at the University of Michigan, Boston College, and the University of Wisconsin. The consortium helps inform the...

Reseach Summaries

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Article
Along with improvements in sanitation and nutrition, vaccines have been given credit for substantial reductions in illness and death. Yet the level of research activity devoted to developing new vaccines, at least prior to COVID-19, raises concerns about whether the incentives to develop vaccines are commensurate with the benefits derived from them. Figure 1 shows counts of Phase 3 clinical trials registered annually from 2006 to 2019 by the National Institutes of Health....
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Article
Author(s): Robert Fairlie
The widespread closing of businesses in the United States and around the world due to the coronavirus has been unprecedented. Stores, factories, and many other businesses have closed as a result of policy mandates, downward demand shifts, health concerns, or other factors. Although many have reopened since social distancing restrictions were relaxed, the revenues lost from the closures, the limited scale of current reopenings, and the potential for further closures in the...
Article
In December 2008, at the height of the Great Recession, the Federal Reserve lowered the federal funds rate, the short-term interest rate that is one of its central policy tools, to zero. Around the same time, it began large-scale purchases of long-term Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities issued by the three federal agencies that participate in mortgage lending, a practice commonly known as quantitative easing (QE). It also began to use more explicit forms of forward...
Article
Our most important economic transactions are conducted through bargaining. This includes wage negotiations, large purchases from homes to cars and mattresses, the organization of the household, the sale of a company, and the terms of a supplier contract. It is therefore important to understand the determinants of bargained outcomes, as well as whether, and at what cost, bargaining will be successful. A large body of theoretical and experimental work in economics endeavors...

News: Winter 2020

Article
The NBER has launched a Working Group on Race and Stratification in the Economy to explore, document, and disseminate research on the causes and consequences of racial disparities in economic outcomes, and to stimulate research on race in all aspects of economic analysis. Research Associate Trevon Logan, the Hazel C. Youngberg Distinguished Professor of Economics at The Ohio State University, will serve as the inaugural director. The group will meet twice each year...

Conferences and Meetings

  • Article
    Business Taxation in a Federal System An NBER conference on Business Taxation in a Federal System took place online October 2. Research Associates Joshua Rauh of Stanford University and Owen M. Zidar of Princeton University organized the meeting, which was supported by the Smith Richardson Foundation. These researchers’ papers were presented and discussed: Clemens Fuest, Ifo Institute for Economic Research; Felix Hugger, University of Munich; and Florian Neumeier...

  • Article
    Market Design Members of the NBER Market Design Working Group met October 22–24 online. Research Associates Michael Ostrovsky of Stanford University and Parag A. Pathak of MIT, the co-directors of the working group, organized the meeting. These researchers’ papers were presented and discussed: Mohammad Akbarpour, Stanford University; Afshin Nikzad, University of Southern California; Michael A. Rees, University of Toledo Medical Center; and Alvin E. Roth, Stanford...
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