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NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2019

Volume 34

The thirty-fourth volume of the NBER Macroeconomics Annual features theoretical and empirical studies of issues in contemporary macroeconomics and a keynote address by James Stock, a member of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers from 2013 to 2014. Chong-en Bai, Chang-Tai Hsieh, and Zheng Song examine the “special deals” provided by Chinese local governments to favored private firms and their effects on economic growth. Matias Covarrubias, Germán Gutiérrez, and Thomas Philippon study the evolution of profits, investment, and market shares in US industries over the past forty years and find evidence of inefficient concentration and barriers to entry since 2000. David Debortoli, Jordi Galí, and Luca Gambetti assess whether recent economic performance was affected by a binding zero lower bound constraint on the interest rate. Michael McLeay and Silvana Tenreyro explain why it is difficult to empirically identify the Phillips curve (a key element of the policy framework used by central banks) using aggregate data. The authors suggest using regional variation in unemployment and inflation to estimate the relationship between these variables. Margherita Borella, Mariacristina De Nardi, and Fang Yang examine the effects of shorter life expectancies, higher medical expenses, and lower wages for white, non-college-educated Americans born in the 1960s on labor supply and retirement savings. Nir Jaimovich, Sergio Rebelo, Arlene Wong, and Miao Ben Zhang investigate the role that increases in the quality of the goods consumed (“trading up”) played in the rise of the skill premium that occurred in the last four decades.

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