Robert E. Lipsey, an NBER Research Associate, former Vice President for Research, and the Director of the NBER's New York office since 1978, passed away on August 11 at the age of 84. A Professor Emeritus at Queens College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, Lipsey was actively involved in NBER research for more than six decades. He received both his B.A. and his Ph.D. from Columbia University and began working at the NBER in the summer of 1945, after completing his first year of graduate school. His first job was in the Business Cycle Dating unit, and he was also a research assistant to Solomon Fabricant.
Lipsey maintained his interests in international economics and economic measurement, and was an active participant in the intellectual life of the NBER, throughout his professional career. He did fundamental work on foreign direct investment, on the international comparison of investment and saving, and on the measurement of prices and trade flows. He was a central figure in the Conference on Research on Income and Wealth, organizing a number of its most influential projects. He also participated in the CRIW meetings at the just completed 2011 NBER Summer Institute. Bob was a warm and generous colleague to several generations of NBER researchers.
Several years ago, Claudia Goldin interviewed Lipsey about his many and varied experiences at the NBER. This interview was recorded, and it is posted on the NBER's website in the "oral histories" library: https://www.nber.org/nberhistory/oralhistories2.html
It offers an interesting perspective on the evolution of the NBER.
The NBER hosted the 33rd annual Summer Institute during a four-week period in July and early August. With more than 2100 participants, 515 of whom were attending their first Summer Institute, this was the largest summer gathering in NBER history.
NBER Research Associate Kenneth Rogoff of Harvard University, the former chief economist of the IMF, delivered the Martin Feldstein lecture on the topic of "Sovereign Bankruptcy: Is This Time Different?" His presentation, just three weeks before the deadline for raising the U.S. debt limit, was particularly timely.
NBER Research Associates Lawrence Christiano of Northwestern University and Jesus Fernandez-Villaverde of the University of Pennsylvania presented the "Econometrics Methods Lectures" on the topic "Computational Tools and Macroeconomic Applications." Their lectures, which spanned two days and have been recorded and posted on the NBER website at https://www.nber.org/~confer/2011/SI2011/ML/MLprg.html emphasized both numerical methods for solving macroeconomic models and applications of dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) models.
As in past years, the 2011 Summer Institute drew participants from a wide range of institutions - more than 360 different colleges, universities, and research institutes were represented - and spanned a wide range of research topics. There were more than 450 research presentations, organized into 49 distinct research meetings. A full list of meetings and the papers presented may be found at: https://www.nber.org/confer/2011/SI2011/SI2011.html