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The NBER Reporter 2015 Number 2: Conferences

Retirement & Health Benefits in the Public Sector
Economics of Culture and Institutions
Economics of Field Experiments
Innovation Policy and the Economy
30th Macroeconomics Annual Conference
Conference on the Economics of Aging
Multiple Equilibria and Financial Crises
The Economics of Commodity Markets
The 17th Annual CCER-NBER-Tsinghua University Conference on China and the World Economy
East Asian Seminar on Economics

Retirement & Health Benefits in the Public Sector

An NBER conference, "Retirement & Health Benefits in the Public Sector," took place in Cambridge on April 10-11. Research Associates Robert L. Clark of North Carolina State University and Joseph P. Newhouse of Harvard University organized the meeting. These papers were discussed:

    Jeffrey R. Brown, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and NBER, and George Pennacchi, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, "Discounting Pension Liabilities: Funding Versus Value" (NBER Working Paper No. 21276)

    Jeffrey Clemens, University of California, San Diego, and NBER, and David M. Cutler, Harvard University and NBER, "Impact of ACA on State and Local Health Plans"

    Jeremy D. Goldhaber-Fiebert, David M. Studdert, and Monica S. Farid, Stanford University, and Jay Bhattacharya, Stanford University and NBER, "Will Divestment from Employment-Based Health Insurance Save Employers Money? The Case of State and Local Governments" (NBER Working Paper No. 20222)

    Alan R. Weil, Project Hope, "State Health Plans and Their Impact on State Budgets"

    Robert L. Clark and Emma Hanson, North Carolina State University; and Olivia S. Mitchell, University of Pennsylvania and NBER, "Lessons for Public Pensions from Utah's Move to Pension Choice"

    Alicia Munnell, Jean-Pierre Aubry, and Mark Cafarelli, Boston College, "COLA Cuts in State-Local Pensions"

    Robert L. Clark and Emma Hanson, Melinda S. Morrill, and Aditi Pathak, North Carolina State University, "Supplemental Plan Offerings and Retirement Saving Choices: An Analysis of North Carolina School Districts"

    Jeffrey R. Brown, and Richard Dye, University of Illinois at Chicago, "Illinois Pensions in a Fiscal Context: A (Basket) Case Study" (NBER Working Paper No. 21293)

Summaries of these papers are at https://www.nber.org/confer/2015/RHBs15/summary.html

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Economics of Culture and Institutions

An NBER conference, "Economics of Culture and Institutions," took place in Cambridge on April 11. Research Associate Alberto Bisin of New York University and Faculty Research Fellow Paola Giuliano of the University of California, Los Angeles, organized the meeting. These papers were discussed:

    Oded Galor, Brown University and NBER, and Ömer Özak, Southern Methodist University, "The Agricultural Origins of Time Preference" (NBER Working Paper No. 20438)

    Daron Acemoglu, MIT and NBER, and Matthew Jackson, Stanford University, "Social Norms and the Enforcement of Laws" (NBER Working Paper No. 20369)

    Daniel Chen, ETH Zürich, and Susan Yeh, George Mason University, "How Do Rights Revolutions Occur? Free Speech and the First Amendment"

    Yihui Pan, University of Utah; Stephan Siegel, University of Washington; and Tracy Yue Wang, University of Minnesota, "The Cultural Origin of Preferences: CEO Cultural Heritage and Corporate Investment"

    Eugenio Proto and Andis Sofianos, University of Warwick, and Aldo Rustichini, University of Minnesota, "Higher Intelligence Groups Have Higher Cooperation Rates in the Repeated Prisoner's Dilemma"

    Giovanni Mastrobuoni, University of Essex, and Daniele Terlizzese, Bank of Italy, "Rehabilitating Rehabilitation: Prison Conditions and Recidivism"

    Jeffrey Butler, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (Rome); Pierluigi Conzo, University of Turin; and Martin A. Leroch, University of Mainz, "Social Identity and Punishment"

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Economics of Field Experiments

An NBER conference, "Economics of Field Experiments," took place in Cambridge on April 10–11. Research Associates Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo of MIT organized the meeting. These papers were discussed:

    Judith Gueron, MDRC, "The Politics and Practice of Social Experiments: Seeds of a Revolution"

    Rachel Glennerster, MIT, "The Practicalities of Running Randomized Evaluations: Partnerships, Measurement, Ethics, and Transparency"

    Abhijit Banerjee; Sylvain Chassang, Princeton University; and Erik Snowberg, California Institute of Technology and NBER, "Decision Theoretic Approaches to Experiment Design and External Validity"

    Duncan Simester, MIT, "Field Experiments in Marketing"

    Frederico Finan, University of California, Berkeley, and NBER; Benjamin A. Olken, MIT and NBER; Rohini Pande, Harvard University and NBER, "Government Workers in Developing Countries"

    Alan S. Gerber, Yale University and NBER, and Donald Green, Columbia University, "Field Experiments on Voter Mobilization: An Overview of a Burgeoning Literature"

    Pascaline Dupas, Stanford University and NBER, and Edward Miguel, University of California, Berkeley, and NBER, "Health, Health Care, and Health Behavior in Developing Countries"

    Karthik Muralidharan, University of California, San Diego, and NBER, "Field Experiments in Education in Developing Countries"

    Roland G. Fryer, Jr., Harvard University and NBER, "Education in Developed Countries"

    Alain de Janvry and Elisabeth Sadoulet, University of California, Berkeley, and Tavneet Suri, MIT and NBER, "Agriculture in Developing Economies"

    Jesse Rothstein, University of California, Berkeley, and NBER, and Till M. von Wachter, University of California, Los Angeles, and NBER, "Social Experiments in the Labor Market"

    Uri Gneezy, University of California, San Diego, and Alex Imas, Carnegie Mellon University, "Lab in the Field: Measuring Preferences in the Wild"

    Elizabeth Levy Paluck and Eldar Shafir, Princeton University, "The Psychology of Construal in the Design of Field Experiments"

    Marianne Bertrand, University of Chicago and NBER, and Esther Duflo, "Field Experiments on Discrimination"

    Rema Hanna, Harvard University and NBER, and Dean Karlanv, Yale University and NBER, "Designing Anti-Poverty Programs: Experimental Lessons"

    William Congdon, ideas42; Jeffrey R. Kling, Congressional Budget Office and NBER; Jens Ludwig, University of Chicago and NBER; and Sendhil Mullainathan, Harvard University and NBER, "Social Policy: Mechanism Experiments and Policy Evaluations"

Summaries of these papers are at https://www.nber.org/confer/2015/FEs15/summary.html

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Innovation Policy and the Economy

The NBER's 16th annual Innovation Policy and the Economy conference took place in Washington on April 14. The conference was organized by Research Associates Scott Stern of MIT and Josh Lerner of Harvard University. These papers were discussed:

    Karim Lakhani, Harvard University, and Kevin J. Boudreau, London Business School, "Innovation Field Experiments: Empirical Insights and Policy Implications from Organizing Innovation Contests"

    Yael Hochberg, Rice University and NBER, "Accelerating Entrepreneurs and Ecosystems: The Seed Accelerator Model"

    Ramana Nanda and Matthew Rhodes-Kropf, Harvard University and NBER, "Financing Entrepreneurial Experimentation" (NBER Working Paper No. 21278)

    Heidi L. Williams, MIT and NBER, "Intellectual Property Rights and Innovation: Evidence from Health Care Markets" (NBER Working Paper No. 21246)

    Fiona Scott Morton, Yale University and NBER, and Carl Shapiro, University of California, Berkeley, and NBER, "Patent Assertions: Are We Any Closer to the Aligning Reward to Contribution?"

Summaries of these papers are at https://www.nber.org/confer/2015/IPEs15/summary.html

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30th Macroeconomics Annual Conference

The NBER's 30th Annual Conference on Macroeconomics, organized by Research Associates Martin Eichenbaum of Northwestern University and Jonathan Parker of MIT, took place in Cambridge on April 17–18. Theses papers were discussed:

    Nicola Gennaioli, Bocconi University; Yueran Ma, Harvard University; and Andrei Shleifer, Harvard University and NBER, "Expectations and Investment" (NBER Working Paper No. 21260)

    Chun Chang, Shanghai Jiao Tong University; Kaiji Chen, Emory University; Daniel F. Waggoner, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta; and Tao Zha, Emory University and NBER, "Trends and Cycles in China's Macroeconomy" (NBER Working Paper No. 21244)

    Hanming Fang, University of Pennsylvania and NBER; Quanlin Gu and Li-An Zhou, Peking University; and Wei Xiong, Princeton University and NBER, "Demystifying the Chinese Housing Boom" (NBER Working Paper No. 21112)

    Daron Acemoglu, MIT and NBER; Ufuk Akcigit, University of Pennsylvania and NBER; and William Kerr, Harvard University and NBER, "Networks and the Macroeconomy: An Empirical Exploration"

    Regis Barnichon, CREI (Barcelona), and Andrew Figura, Federal Reserve Board, "Declining Desire to Work and Downward Trends in Unemployment and Participation" (NBER Working Paper No. 21252)

    Cristina Arellano, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis and NBER; Andrew Atkeson, University of California, Los Angeles, and NBER; and Mark L. J. Wright, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and NBER, "External and Public Debt Crises"

Summaries of these papers are at https://www.nber.org/confer/2015/Macro15/summary.html and full texts of the papers and video presentations are at https://www.nber.org/macroannualconference/macroannual_2015.html

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Conference on the Economics of Aging

The NBER's "Conference on the Economics of Aging" took place in Carefree, Arizona on April 30 and May 1. Program Director David A. Wise of Harvard University organized the meeting. These papers were discussed:

    James M. Poterba, MIT and NBER; Steven F. Venti, Dartmouth College and NBER; and David A. Wise, "Assets at End of Life and When First Observed: Looking Backwards"

    Michael Chernew and David M. Cutler, Harvard University and NBER; Kaushik Ghosh, NBER; and Mary Beth Landrum, Harvard University, "Understanding the Improvement in Disability Free Life Expectancy in the U.S. Elderly Population"

    John Beshears, Harvard University and NBER; James J. Choi, Yale University and NBER; Joshua Hurwitz, NBER; and David Laibson and Brigitte C. Madrian, Harvard University and NBER, "Liquidity in Retirement Savings Systems: An International Comparison" (NBER Working Paper No. 21168)

    Philip Armour and Susann Rohwedder, RAND Corporation, and Michael D. Hurd, RAND Corporation and NBER, "“Trends in Pension Cash-Out at Job Change and the Effects on Long-Term Outcomes"

    Florian Heiss, University of Düsseldorf; Daniel L. McFadden, University of California, Berkeley, and NBER; Joachim Winter and Amelie C. Wuppermann, University of Munich; and Yaoyao Zhu, University of Southern California, "Three Measures of Disease Prevalence: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly"

    Anne Case and Angus Deaton, Princeton University and NBER, "Suicide, Age, and Wellbeing: an Empirical Investigation" (NBER Working Paper No. 21279)

    Raquel Fonseca, Université du Québec à Montréal; Arie Kapteyn, University of Southern California and NBER; and Jinkook Lee and Gema Zamarro, University of Southern California, "Does Retirement Make You Happy? A Simultaneous Equations Approach"

    Amitabh Chandra, Harvard University and NBER, and Jon Skinner, Dartmouth College and NBER, "Racial Disparities in Hospital Quality"

    Jay Bhattacharya and Thomas E. MaCurdy, Stanford University and NBER, "Challenges in Controlling Medicare Spending: Treating Highly Complex Patients"

    James Banks, University of Manchester; Richard Blundell, University College London; Zoë Oldfield, Institute for Fiscal Studies (London); and James P. Smith, RAND Corporation, "House Price Volatility and the Housing Ladder" (NBER Working Paper No. 21255)

Summaries of these papers are at https://www.nber.org/confer/2015/AGs15/summary.html

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Multiple Equilibria and Financial Crises

An NBER conference, supported by New York University, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, the Barry Family Trust, and the University of California, Los Angeles, titled "Multiple Equilibria and Financial Crises" took place in San Francisco on May 14-15. Research Associates Roger Farmer of University of California, Los Angeles, and Jess Benhabib of New York University organized the meeting. These papers were discussed:

    Romain Rancière, Paris School of Economics, and Aaron Tornell, University of California, Los Angeles, "Financial Liberalization, Debt Mismatch, Allocative Efficiency, and Growth"

    Edouard Schaal, New York University, and Mathieu Taschereau-Dumouchel, University of Pennsylvania, "Coordinating Business Cycles"

    Ricardo Lagos, New York University and NBER, and Shengxing Zhang, London School of Economics, "Monetary Exchange in Over-the-Counter Markets: A Theory of Speculative Bubbles, the Fed Model, and Self-Fulfilling Liquidity Crises"

    Mikhail Golosov, Princeton University and NBER, and Guido Menzio, University of Pennsylvania and NBER, "Agency Business Cycle"

    Dmitry Plotnikov, International Monetary Fund, "Hysteresis in Unemployment and Jobless Recoveries"

    Roger Farmer, "Global Sunspots and Asset Prices in a Monetary Economy" (NBER Working Paper No. 20831)

    Assaf Patir, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, "Synchronization and Bias in a Simple Macroeconomic Model"

    Gianluca Benigno, London School of Economics, and Luca Fornaro, CREI (Barcelona), "Stagnation Traps"

    Guillaume Rocheteau, University of California, Irvine; Randall Wright, University of Wisconsin–Madison and NBER; and Sylvia Xiaolin Xiao, University of Wisconsin–Madison, "Open Market Operations"

    Feng Dong, Shanghai Jiao Tong University; Pengfei Wang, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology; and Yi Wen, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, "Credit Search and Credit Cycles"

    Russell Cooper, Pennsylvania State University and NBER, and Kalin Nikolov, European Central Bank, "Government Debt and Banking Fragility: The Spreading of Strategic Uncertainty" (NBER Working Paper No. 19278)

    Guido Lorenzoni, Northwestern University and NBER, and Iván Werning, MIT and NBER, "Slow Moving Debt Crises" (NBER Working Paper No. 19228)

Summaries of these papers are at https://www.nber.org/confer/2015/MEFCs15/summary.html

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The Economics of Commodity Markets

The NBER held its annual Universities Research Conference in Cambridge on May 15-16. Research Associates Kenneth Singleton of Stanford University and Wei Xiong of Princeton University organized the meeting on the topic "The Economics of Commodity Markets." These papers were discussed:

    Harrison Hong, Princeton University and NBER; Áureo de Paula, University College London; and Vishal Singh, New York University, "Hoard Behavior and Commodity Bubbles" (NBER Working Paper No. 20974)

    Sylvain Leduc, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco; Kevin Moran, Université Laval (Quebec City); and Robert Vigfusson, Federal Reserve Board, "A Decade of Learning: The Role of Beliefs in Oil Futures Markets During the 2000s"

    Itay Goldstein, University of Pennsylvania, and Liyan Yang, University of Toronto, "Commodity Financialization: Risk Sharing and Price Discovery in Commodity Futures Markets"

    Erik P. Gilje, University of Pennsylvania; Robert C. Ready, University of Rochester; and Nikolai Roussanov, University of Pennsylvania and NBER, "Fracking, Drilling, and Asset Pricing: Estimating the Economic Benefits of the Shale Revolution"

    Rabah Arezki, International Monetary Fund; Valerie A. Ramey, University of California, San Diego, and NBER; and Liugang Sheng, Chinese University of Hong Kong, "News Shocks in Open Economies: Evidence from Giant Oil Discoveries" (NBER Working Paper No. 20857)

    Darien Huang, University of Pennsylvania, "Gold, Platinum, and Expected Stock Returns"

    Akshaya Jha, Stanford University, and Frank A. Wolak, Stanford University and NBER, "Testing for Market Efficiency with Transactions Costs: An Application to Convergence Bidding in Wholesale Electricity Markets"

    Thomas Covert, University of Chicago, "Experiential and Social Learning in Firms: The Case of Hydraulic Fracturing in the Bakken Shale"

    Davidson Heath, University of Southern California, "Unspanned Macroeconomic Risks in Oil Futures"

    Ke Tang, Tsinghua University, and Haoxiang Zhu, MIT and NBER, "Commodities as Collateral"

Summaries of these papers are at https://www.nber.org/confer/2015/URCs15/summary.html

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The 17th Annual CCER-NBER-Tsinghua University Conference on China and the World Economy

The seventeenth annual CCER-NBER-Tsinghua University Conference on China and the World Economy took place at the China Center for Economic Research (CCER)of Beijing University on June 16-19. The conference was jointly organized by Shang-Jin Wei of Columbia University and the Asian Development Bank (on leave from NBER), Yang Yao of CCER, and Chong-en Bai of Tsinghua University. These papers were discussed:

China Conference

Development and Growth

    Jinfeng Luo and Yi Wen, Tsinghua University, "Institutions Do Not Rule: Reassessing the Driving Forces of Economic Development"

    Shang-Jin Wei, "Inferring the Unofficial Income of the Officials: With an Application to China"

Education

    Eric A. Hanushek, Stanford University and NBER, "Minimal Skills, Knowledge Capital, and Economic Growth"

    Binzhen Wu and Xiaohan Zhong, Tsinghua University, "Mismatch in China's College Admission"

Energy and the Environment

    James B. Bushnell, University of California, Davis, and NBER, "Emission Uncertainty and Cap and Trade Market Design"

    Mar Reguant, Stanford University and NBER, "Wind Uncertainty in Electricity Markets: Practical Challenges"

    Hua Wang, The World Bank, "Economic Cost of Environmental Pollution in China"

    Min Wang, CCER, and Jinhua Zhao, Michigan State University, "Are Renewable Energy Policies Climate Friendly? The Role of Capacity Constraints and Market Power"

Industrial Organization and Regional Economics

    Joseph Gyourko, University of Pennsylvania and NBER, "Real Estate Market in China"

    Hanming Fang, University of Pennsylvania and NBER; Quanlin Gu and Li-An Zhou, Peking University; and Wei Xiong, Princeton University and NBER, "Demystifying the Chinese Housing Boom" (NBER Working Paper No. 21112)

    Xiaobo Zhang, CCER, "E-commerce Development in China"

International Finance

    Michael B. Devereux, University of British Columbia and NBER, and Wei Dong and Ben Tomlin, Bank of Canada, "Exchange Rate Pass Through, Currency of Invoicing, and Market Share"

    Jianguo Xu, CCER, "Capital Account Liberalization and Economic Growth Revisited: Different Effects of Inflow and Outflow Liberalization"

Labor Economics

    Wouter Dessein and Tano Santos, Columbia University, "Managerial Style and Attention"

    Wei Huang, Harvard University; Xiaoyan Lei, CCER; and Ang Sun, Renmin University of China, "The Great Expectations: Impact of One-Child Policy on Education of Girls"

    Gordon Liu, CCER, "Fertility Transition in China: Does the One-Child Policy Matter?"

    Kevin Milligan, University of British Columbia and NBER, "Work Capacity of Older Workers: Canada and the United States"

    Kathryn L. Shaw, Stanford University and NBER, "The Effectiveness of Human Resources Management Practices: Evidence from Insider Econometrics"

    Till M. von Wachter, University of California, Los Angeles, and NBER, "U.S. and Chinese Trends in Employment and Labor Force Participation"

    Dandan Zhang, CCER, "Stealing Your Way to My Heart: China's One Child Policy, Marriage Markets, and Crime"

Public Finance

    James M. Poterba, MIT and NBER, "Drawdown Patterns in Tax-Favored Retirement Saving Accounts"

    Fan Zhang, CCER, "The Credit Risk of China's Local Government Debt"

Trade

    Meixin Guo and Lin Lu, Tsinghua University, "Trade Costs and Income Inequality in China"

    Kalina Manova, Stanford University and NBER, "China's International Trade: Finance, Quality and Global Value Chains"

    Miaojie Yu, CCER, "Distribution Outward FDI and Firm Heterogeneity: Evidence from Chinese Firms"

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East Asian Seminar on Economics

The NBER, the Australian National University, the Peking University China Center for Economic Research, the Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research (Taipei), the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, the Korea Development Institute, the National University of Singapore, the Tokyo Center for Economic Research, and Tsinghua University jointly sponsored the NBER's 26th Annual East Asian Seminar on Economics. It took place in San Francisco on June 18-19. Research Associates Takatoshi Ito of Columbia University and Andrew K. Rose of the University of California, Berkeley, organized the conference, which focused on "Financial Stability." These papers were discussed:

    Òscar Jordà, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco; Moritz Schularick, University of Bonn; and Alan M. Taylor, University of California, Davis, and NBER, "Leveraged Bubbles"

    Sumit Agarwal, Jessica Pan, and Wenlan Qian, National University of Singapore, "Age of Decision: Pension Savings Withdrawal and Consumption and Debt Response"

    Douglas W. Diamond and Anil K. Kashyap, University of Chicago and NBER, "Liquidity Requirements, Liquidity Choice, and Financial Stability"

    Frederic Lambert and Kenichi Ueda, International Monetary Fund, "The Effects of Unconventional Monetary Policies on Bank Soundness"

    Woon Gyu Choi, Bank of Korea, and David Cook, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, "Policy Conflicts and Inflation Targeting: The Role of Credit Markets"

    Hao Wang and Hao Zhou, Tsinghua University; Honglin Wang, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research; and Lisheng Wang, Chinese University of Hong Kong, "Shadow Banking: China's Dual-Track Interest Rate Liberalization"

    John D. Burger, Loyola University Maryland; Rajeswari Sengupta, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research (Mumbai); Francis E. Warnock, University of Virginia and NBER; and Veronica Cacdac Warnock, University of Virginia, "U.S. Investment in Global Bonds: As the Fed Pushes, Some EMEs Pull" (NBER Working Paper No. 20571)

    Jens Christensen, Jose Lopez, and Glenn Rudebusch, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, "A Probability-Based Stress Test of Federal Reserve Assets and Income"

    Tim Robinson, University of Melbourne, and Fang Yao, Reserve Bank of New Zealand, "Loan-to-Value Ratio Policy and Business Cycles"

    Andrés Fernández, Inter-American Development Bank; Alessandro Rebucci, Johns Hopkins University; and Martín Uribe, Columbia University and NBER, "Are Capital Controls Countercyclical?"

    Jiseob Kim, Korea Development Institute, "How Loan Modifications Influence the Prevalence of Mortgage Defaults"

    Chung-Hua Shen, National Taiwan University; Hao Fang, Hwa Hsia University of Technology (New Taipei City); and Yen-Hsien Lee, Chung Yuan Christian University (Taoyuan City), "How Early of the Early Warning Signal in Banking Crisis? The Three Booms, Credit, Housing, and Capital, Cases"

Summaries of these papers are at https://www.nber.org/confer/2015/EASE15/summary.htm

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