Skip to main content
AN NBER PUBLICATION ISSUE: No. 2, June 2021

The Reporter

A free quarterly publication featuring program updates, several summaries of affiliates' research, and news about the NBER
Program Report figure 1.jpg
The Productivity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship (PIE) Program was founded as the Productivity Program, with Zvi Griliches as the inaugural program director, in 1978. The program benefited tremendously from Griliches’ inspirational leadership, which was continued by Ernst Berndt. In recent years, the program has expanded to incorporate the vibrant and growing body of research in the affiliated fields of innovation and entrepreneurship. With the generous support of the...

More from the Reporter

2021number2_frontpage.jpg

Research Summaries

Unemployment - Figure 1
Article
Author(s): Ayşegül Şahin
Starting with Milton Friedman and Edmund Phelps, academics and policymakers have endeavored to measure a sustainable level of unemployment and the implications that deviations from this level have for inflation of prices and wages. This natural rate of unemployment, u*, is broadly defined as the unemployment rate at which, controlling for supply shocks, inflation remains stable. Long-run trends in the labor market and changes in inflation expectations make it hard to pin...
Corporate Savings figure 1.jpg
Article
Two fundamental concepts in corporate finance are the net present value (NPV) rule and the Modigliani-Miller (MM) irrelevance proposition. When financial markets operate without frictions, when investors can trade securities that correspond to all relevant risks, when investors and managers share the same information, when incentives are aligned, and when there are no tax distortions, then corporate finance boils down to a valuation exercise and a simple investment decision...
Article
Author(s): Edward N. Wolff
Much attention has focused in the last few years on the issue of inequality. With recent proposals for a direct wealth tax, particular attention has been given to wealth inequality. My work also focuses on this issue. Here, I summarize studies of four different aspects. First, what are the general trends in wealth and wealth inequality over the last 60 years or so in the United States? I pay particular attention to the role of leverage and asset price movements in...
Article
College major choice and its relationship to labor market outcomes has long been a topic of study for social scientists. Stretching back at least to the 1970s, researchers have recognized that the particular field, and not just the level of education, deserves attention. A number of studies have demonstrated that the choice of post-secondary field is a key correlate of future earnings, and that choice of college major may be an important factor in explaining earnings...

News

Francesco Trebbi of the University of California, Berkeley and Ebonya L. Washington of Yale University
Article
Francesco Trebbi of the University of California, Berkeley and Ebonya L. Washington of Yale University are the new codirectors of the NBER’s Political Economy Program, succeeding the late Alberto Alesina of Harvard University, who launched the program in 2006. The new codirectors have studied a wide range of issues that span the field of political economy. Trebbi is the Bernard T. Rocca Jr. Professor of Business and Public Policy at Berkeley’s Haas School of...
crystal_yang_294x440.jpg
Article
Crystal Yang, a professor of law at the Harvard Law School and a research associate in the NBER Law and Economics Program, is a new codirector of the Economics of Crime Working Group. In this role she joins Philip J. Cook of Duke University and Jens Ludwig of the University of Chicago, who along with Justin McCrary of Columbia University launched the working group in 2007. Yang, who became an NBER affiliate in 2017, has studied a range of issues related to the...
Article
The NBER Board of Directors appointed 15 research associates (RAs) at its April 2021 meeting. Two of them were previously faculty research fellows (FRFs).  RA appointments are reserved for tenured faculty members. They are recommended to the Board by directors of the NBER's 20 research programs after consultation with steering committees composed of leading scholars in each field. The new RAs are affiliated with 13 different colleges and universities; they...

News

postdocs_3_721x397.jpg
Article
Ten post-doctoral scholars will be supported by NBER fellowships for the 2021–22 academic year. These fellows are selected by review panels following widely disseminated calls for applications.   Mackenzie Alston, an assistant professor at Florida State University, is the inaugural NBER post-doctoral fellow to promote diversity in the economics profession. She is using both experimental and survey methods to study perceptions of, and behavior in response to,...
Article
The NBER annually supports a number of graduate students who are conducting dissertation research. Twenty-three students will receive support for the 2021–22 academic year. The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation provides support for five graduate students studying energy economics and three studying behavioral macroeconomics. The energy economics fellows are Sarah Armitage of Harvard University, who is studying technology transitions and the timing of environmental policy; Lauren...
Isaiah Andrews
Article
NBER Research Associate Isaiah Andrews of Harvard University is 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. Andrews has made pathbreaking contributions in econometric theory and in the application of empirical methods in applied economics. He has provided new tools for assessing the...
nbertodaypromochatterjiwachter2.jpg
Article
Two NBER research associates have been tapped for economic leadership positions in major federal agencies. Aaron "Ronnie" Chatterji, an affiliate of the Productivity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship Program, is the new chief economist of the US Department of Commerce. Jessica Wachter, an affiliate of the Asset Pricing Program, is serving as chief economist and director of the Division of Economic and Risk Analysis at the US Securities and Exchange Commission....

Books

  • Article
    Martin Eichenbaum and Erik Hurst, editors https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/toc/ma/2021/35 The NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2020 presents research by leading scholars on central issues in contemporary macroeconomics. George-Marios Angeletos, Zhen Huo, and Karthik Sastry analyze expectation formation and find that, in response to business cycle shocks, expectations underreact initially but eventually overshoot. This pattern supports models with dispersed, noisy...

  • Article
    Robert Moffitt, editor https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/toc/tpe/2021/35 This volume presents six new studies on current topics in taxation and government spending. Benjamin B. Lockwood, Afras Sial, and Matthew Weinzierl investigate the design of income tax schedules when there is uncertainty about the way taxation affects household behavior. Youssef Benzarti studies the costs of income tax filing, which have risen over time because of the numerous tax forms...

Conferences and Meetings

  • Article
    Immigrants and the US Economy An NBER conference on Immigrants and the US Economy took place online March 11–12. Research Associates Aimee Chin of the University of Houston and Kalena Cortes of Texas A&M University organized the meeting. These researchers’ papers were presented and discussed: David N. Figlio and Paola Sapienza, Northwestern University and NBER; Paola Giuliano, University of California, Los Angeles and NBER; Riccardo Marchingiglio, Northwestern...

  • Article
    Monetary Economics Members of the NBER’s Monetary Economics Program met March 5 online. Research Associate Joshua K. Hausman of the University of Michigan, Faculty Research Fellow Arlene Wong of Princeton University, and Program Directors Emi Nakamura and Jón Steinsson, both of the University of California, Berkeley, organized the meeting. These researchers’ papers were presented and discussed: Carola Binder, Haverford College, and Gillian Brunet, Wesleyan...
Keep Track of New NBER Working Papers with New This Week

NBER periodicals and newsletters are not copyrighted and may be reproduced freely with appropriate attribution.

See the Latest NBER Research
New Working Papers This Week