Conferences: Fall, 2018

Featured in print Reporter

Economics of Artificial Intelligence

An NBER conference on Economics of Artificial Intelligence took place in Toronto September 13–14. Research Associates Ajay K. Agrawal, Joshua S. Gans, and Avi Goldfarb of University of Toronto and Catherine Tucker of MIT organized the meeting, which was sponsored by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, and the Creative Destruction Lab. These researchers' papers were presented and discussed:

  • Emilio CalvanoVencenzo Denicolò, and Sergio Pastorello, University of Bologna, and Giacomo Calzolari, European University Institute, "Q-Learning to Cooperate"
  • Prasanna Tambe, University of Pennsylvania, "Machine Learning and Domain Knowledge"
  • Erik Brynjolfsson, MIT and NBER; Tom Mitchell, Carnegie Mellon University; and Daniel Rock, MIT, "Machine Learning and Occupational Change"
  • Anton Korinek, University of Virginia and NBER, "Artificially Intelligent Agents in Our Economy"
  • Paul M. Romer, New York University and NBER, "Machine Learning as a 'Wind Tunnel' for Research on Human Learning"
  • Edmund S. Phelps, Columbia University, "Two Kinds of Robots in Growth Models: An Introduction"
  • Susan Athey, Stanford University and NBER, "Contextual Bandits"
  • Matthew Gentzkow, Stanford University and NBER, "Artificial Intelligence, Media, and Fake News"
  • Sendhil Mullainathan, University of Chicago and NBER, "Using Machine Learning to Understand Human Decision-Making: Application to Health Care"
  • Kathryn L. Shaw, Stanford University and NBER, "AI and Personnel Economics"
  • Michael Schwarz, Microsoft, "Open Questions and Research Directions — AI and the Marginal Value of Data"
  • James Bessen, Boston University, and Robert Seamans, New York University, "Startups' Use of Data for Artificial Intelligence"
  • Joao Guerreirov, Northwestern University; Sergio Rebelov, Northwestern University and NBER; and Pedro Teles, Banco de Portugal, "Should Robots be Taxed?" (NBER Working Paper No. 23806)
  • Jason Furman, Harvard Kennedy School, "AI Policy Considerations"
  • Mitsuru Igami, Yale University, "Artificial Intelligence as Structural Estimation: Economic Interpretations of Deep Blue, Bonanza, and AlphaGo"
  • Hal Varian, University of California, Berkeley, "Automation v. Procreation"
  • Isil Erel, Ohio State University; Léa H. Stern, University of Washington; Chenhao Tan, University of Colorado, Boulder; and Michael S. Weisbach, Ohio State University and NBER, "Selecting Directors Using Machine Learning" (NBER Working Paper No. 24435)
  • Kristina McElheran, University of Toronto, "Economic Measurement of AI"
  • Bo Cowgill, Columbia University, "Impact of Algorithms on Judicial Discretion: Evidence from Regression Discontinuities"
  • Daron Acemoglu, MIT and NBER, and Pascual Restrepo, Boston University, "Automation and New Tasks: The Implications of Task Content of Technology for Labor Demand"
  • Gillian Hadfield, University of Toronto, "Incomplete Contracts and AI Alignment"


Tax Policy and the Economy

An NBER conference on Tax Policy and the Economy took place September 27 in Washington, DC. Research Associate Robert A. Moffitt of Johns Hopkins University organized the meeting, which was supported by the Harry and Lynde Bradley Foundation. These researchers' papers were presented and discussed:

  • Jeffrey B. Liebman, Harvard University and NBER, "Independent Taxation, Horizontal Equity, and Return-Free Filing"
  • Alan J. Auerbach, University of California, Berkeley and NBER, "Tax Equivalences and Their Implications" (NBER Working Paper No. 25158)
  • Alexander W. Blocker, Harvard University; Laurence J. Kotlikoff, Boston University and NBER; Stephen A. Ross, MIT; and Sergio Villar Vallenas, Boston University, "The True Cost of Social Security" (NBER Working Paper No. 14427)
  • Michelle Hanlon, MIT; Jeffrey L. Hoopes, University of North Carolina; and Joel Slemrod, University of Michigan and NBER, "Tax Reform Made Me Do It"
  • Scott R. Baker, Northwestern University; Lorenz Kueng, Northwestern University and NBER; Leslie McGranahan, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago; and Brian T. Melzer, Dartmouth College, "Do Household Finances Constrain Unconventional Fiscal Policy?


Labor Market Consequences of International Trade

An NBER conference on Labor Market Consequences of International Trade took place October 4 in Washington, DC. Research Associates Stephen J. Redding of Princeton University and Gordon H. Hanson of University of California, San Diego organized the meeting, which was sponsored by the Smith Richardson Foundation. These researchers' papers were presented and discussed:

  • Gordon H. Hanson, "Distributional Consequences of Trade and Technology"
  • Eunhee Lee, University of Maryland, and Kei-Mu Yi, University of Houston and NBER, "Trade and Global Value Chains"
  • Nina Pavcnik, Dartmouth College and NBER, and Pinelopi K. Goldberg, Yale University and NBER, "The Effects of Trade Policy: A Global Perspective" (NBER Working Paper No. 21957)
  • Robert C. Feenstra, University of California, Davis and NBER, and Hong Ma and Yuan Xu, Tsinghua University, "U.S. Exports and Employment" (NBER Working Paper No. 24056)


Taxation of Business Income

An NBER conference on Taxation of Business Income took place October 12 in Cambridge. Research Associates Joshua Rauh of Stanford University and Owen M. Zidar of Princeton University organized the meeting, which was sponsored by the Smith Richardson Foundation and the National Science Foundation. These researchers' papers were presented and discussed:

  • James R. Hines, University of Michigan and NBER, "Corporate Taxation and the Distribution of Income"
  • Eric C. Ohrn, Grinnell College, "Corporate Tax Breaks and Executive Compensation"
  • Ufuk Akcigit, University of Chicago and NBER; John Grigsby, University of Chicago; Tom Nicholas, Harvard University; and Stefanie Stantcheva, Harvard University and NBER, "Taxation and Innovation in the 20th Century" (NBER Working Paper No. 24982
  • Juan Carlos Suárez Serrato, Duke University and NBER, "Unintended Consequences of Eliminating Tax Havens" (NBER Working Paper No. 24850)
  • Suresh Nallareddy, Duke University; Ethan Rouen, Harvard Business School; and Juan Carlos Suárez Serrato, Duke University and NBER, "Corporate Tax Cuts Increase Income Inequality" (NBER Working Paper No. 24598)
  • Thomas R. Tørsløv and Ludvig S. Wier, University of Copenhagen; and Gabriel Zucman, University of California, Berkeley and NBER, "The Missing Profits of Nations" (NBER Working Paper No. 24701)
  • James F. Albertus, Carnegie Mellon University, "Does Foreign Tax Arbitrage Promote Innovation?"
  • Alisa Tazhitdinova, University of California, Santa Barbara, "Entrepreneurial Entry vs Income Shifting, and the High Cost of Incorporation"


15th Workshop on Methods and Applications for Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium Models

The 15th Workshop on Methods and Applications for Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium Models took place October 12–13 in Chicago. Research Associates Jesús Fernández-Villaverde and Frank Schorfheide, both of the University of Pennsylvania; Leonardo Melosi of Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, and Research Associate Giorgio Primiceri of Northwestern University organized the meeting. These researchers' papers were presented and discussed:

  • Francesco Bianchi, Duke University and NBER, and Howard Kung and Mikhail Tirskikh, London Business School, "The Origins and Effects of Macroeconomic Uncertainty"
  • Taeyoung Doh and Andrew L. Smith, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, "Reconciling VAR-based Forecasts with Survey Forecasts"
  • Florin O. Bilbiie, Paris School of Economics, "A Catch-22 for HANK Models: No Puzzles, No Amplification"
  • Pablo A. Guerrón-Quintana, Boston College, and Grey Gordon, Indiana University, "A Quantitative Theory of Hard and Soft Sovereign Defaults"
  • Michael D. CaiMarco Del Negro, and Abhi Gupta, Federal Reserve Bank of New York; Marc Giannoni, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas; Pearl Li, Stanford University; and Erica Moszkowski, Harvard University, "DSGE Forecasts of the Lost Recovery"
  • Dario CaldaraChiara Scotti, and Molin Zhong, Federal Reserve Board, "Uncertainty and Financial Stability: A VAR Analysis"
  • Jesper Lindé, Sveriges Riksbank, and Mathias Trabandt, Freie Universität Berlin, "Resolving the Missing Deflation Puzzle"
  • Pablo Ottonello, University of Michigan, and Thomas Winberry, University of Chicago and NBER, "Financial Heterogeneity and the Investment Channel of Monetary Policy" (NBER Working Paper No. 24221)


The Rise of the Megafirm: Causes and Consequences for Labor and Product Markets

An NBER conference on The Rise of the Megafirm: Causes and Consequences for Labor and Product Markets took place October 19 in Cambridge. Research Associates Kathryn L. Shaw of Stanford University and John Van Reenen of MIT organized the meeting, which was sponsored by the Smith Richardson Foundation. These researchers' papers were presented and discussed:

  • Chinhui Juhn, University of Houston and NBER; Kristin McCue, U.S. Census Bureau; Brooks Pierce, Bureau of Labor Statistics; and Kathryn L. Shaw, "The Use of Performance-Based Pay versus Wage Insurance within the Megafirm: Implications for the Within-Person Volatility of Income"
  • Nicholas Bloom, Stanford University and NBER; Fatih Guvenen, University of Minnesota and NBER; Benjamin S. Smith, University of California, Los Angeles; Jae Song, Social Security Administration; and Till M. von Wachter, University of California, Los Angeles and NBER, "The Disappearing Large-Firm Wage Premium"
  • Robert E. Hall, Stanford University and NBER, "New Evidence on Market Power, Profit, Concentration, and the Role of Mega-Firms in the U.S. Economy" (NBER Working Paper No. 24574)
  • Sharat Ganapati, Georgetown University, "The Modern Wholesaler: Global Sourcing, Domestic Distribution, and Scale Economies"
  • Xavier Gabaix, Harvard University and NBER, and Ralph Koijen, University of Chicago and NBER, "Granular Identification"
  • José A. Azar, IESE Business School, University of Navarra; Ioana Marinescu, University of Pennsylvania and NBER; and Marshall I. Steinbaum, Roosevelt Institute, "Labor Market Concentration" (NBER Working Paper No. 24147)
  • Ryan Decker, Federal Reserve Board; John C. Haltiwanger, University of Maryland and NBER; and Ron S. Jarmin and Javier Miranda, U.S. Bureau of the Census, "Changing Business Dynamism and Productivity: Shocks vs. Responsiveness" (NBER Working Paper No. 24236)
  • John Van Reenen, "Increasing Differences between Firms: Market Power and the Macro-Economy"


Economics of Indigenous Peoples and Institutions

An NBER conference on Economics of Indigenous Peoples and Institutions took place November 8 in Cambridge. Research Associate Randall Akee of University of California, Los Angeles, and Faculty Research Fellow Emilia Simeonova of Johns Hopkins University organized the meeting. These researchers' papers were presented and discussed:

  • Valentina Dimitrova-Grazl, Virginia Military Institute; Peter Grajzl and Joseph Guse, Washington and Lee University; and Michou Kokodoko and Richard Todd, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, "CDFIs and Credit in Indian Country"
  • Laurel Wheeler, Duke University, "Property Rights, Place-Based Policies, and Economic Development"
  • Thaddieus Conner and Christian Martinez, New Mexico State University, and Aimee Franklin, University of Oklahoma, "A Distal Theory of Policy Design: How State Regulatory Environments Condition the Impact of Indian Gaming"
  • Donna Feir and Rob Gillezeau, University of Victoria; and Maggie Jones, Queen's University, "The Slaughter of the Bison and Reversal of Fortunes on the Great Plains"
  • Victoria FanTimothy HallidayMegan Inada, and Tetine Sentell, University of Hawaii at Manoa; Randall Akee; and Jill Miyamura, Hawaii Health Information Corporation, "The Impact of Public Health Insurance on Medical Utilization in a Vulnerable Population: Evidence from COFA Migrants"
  • Deborah A. Cobb-ClarkNathan Kettlewell, and Stefanie Schurer, University of Sydney, and Sven Silburn, Menzies School of Health Research, "The Effect of Quarantining Welfare on School Attendance in Indigenous Communities"
  • Jeffrey D. Burnette and David Wick, Rochester Institute of Technology, and Jason Younker, University of Oregon, "Statistical Termination or Fewer Self-Identified Students: What Is Causing the Decline in American Indian and Alaska Native College Enrollments?"


India in the Global Economy Conference

  The NBER, along with India's National Council for Applied Economic Research (NCAER) and the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations, sponsored a meeting in New Delhi and Neemrana, India, December 14-16, on "India in the Global Economy."
This meeting, the 20th in this series of research exchanges, was supported by Charles Kaye, the Tata Trusts, and Warburg-Pincus. 
    The meeting included NBER researchers as well as economists from Indian universities, research institutions, and government departments. NBER Research Associate Abhijit Banerjee of MIT organized the conference jointly with Shekhar Shah and Anil Sharma of NCAER. The meeting included remarks on current policy developments from Arun Jaitley, India's Union Finance Minister.
    The NBER participants were: Abhijit Banerjee and James Poterba, MIT; Ariel Burstein, University of California, Los Angeles; Kathryn Dominguez, University of Michigan; Rema HannaNicole Maestas and Rohini Pande, Harvard University; Anne Krueger and John Lipsky, Johns Hopkins University; Karthik Muralidharan, University of California, San Diego; Raghu Rajan and Luigi Zingales, University of Chicago; Valerie Ramey, University of California, San Diego; Amit Seru, Stanford University; and Danny Yagan, University of California, Berkeley. Each researcher delivered a research presentation and participated in discussion with Indian counterparts in related fields. 
    Topics discussed included the role of governance and market institutions in contributing to economic growth; the impact of public policies on human capital acquisition; recent developments in banking reform and monetary policy; the efficient delivery of public services; fiscal policy and taxation; and links between trade, infrastructure, and business investment.