Manufacturing and Inclusive Growth: The Experience in the Rest of the World. Robert Lawrence, 2017, Paper, “This report describes some of the results from the second phase of the research project on the role of manufacturing in inclusive growth. The first phase of the project examined the US experience. In the second phase, undertaken by Robert Lawrence and Danial Lashkari – a graduate student in the Harvard Department of Economics, the scope of the analysis has broadened to explore the experience of manufacturing employment growth in the rest of the world.Link

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Private Equity and Financial Fragility during the Crisis. Josh Lerner, 2017, Paper, “Does private equity increase financial fragility during economic crises? To investigate this issue, we examine the financial decisions and performance of private equity-backed companies in the United Kingdom during the 2008 financial crisis. We find that PE-backed companies experienced a smaller decline in investment, relative to a carefully selected control group. PE-backed companies also experienced a larger increase in debt and equity issuances, while overall leverage remained unchanged. The effects are particularly strong for companies that were more likely to be financially constrained and those where private equity sponsors were more likely to have resources to help the portfolio company. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that PE sponsors relax financing constraints during a sudden tightening of credit markets and inconsistent with the hypothesis that private equity increase financial fragility during periods of financial turmoil.Link

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Twenty Years of Time Series – Econometrics in Ten Pictures. James Stock, Spring 2017, Paper, “Twenty years ago, empirical macroeconomists shared some common understandings. One was that a dynamic causal effect—for example, the effect on output growth of the Federal Reserve increasing the federal funds rate—is properly conceived as the effect of a shock, that is, of an unanticipated autonomous change linked to a specific source. Following Sims (1980), the use of vector autoregressions to estimate the dynamic causal effect of shocks on economic variables was widespread.Link

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Politics, Academics, and Africa. Robert Bates, 2017, Paper, “The roots of my fascination with politics and Africa run deep; so too does my need for clarity. The combination drove me into the professoriate. My research in Africa convinced me that modernization theory was wrong: The people I came to know in the field were sophisticated in their politics. Additional research convinced me that market-oriented approaches to political economy were wrong and that government intervention could lead to increases in productivity and welfare. Because neoclassical approaches are flexible, I continue to think in terms of strategy and choice and to apply them to the study of development.Link

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The Debate on Corporate Tax Reform Just Started for Real. Mihir Desai, May 2017, Opinion, “President Trump’s announcement of his proposed tax reforms, as skeletal as it was, is better news than most commentators have suggested. First, it signals that the administration is coming to the view that tax reform is the most important agenda item for the first term — and that is great news. Second, the fact that the corporate piece of the proposal did not embrace the plan proposed by House Ways and Means Chair Kevin Brady and Speaker Paul Ryan, and its so-called border adjustment tax, is also good news. So, there is some good news in what it signals and what’s not in it. What about what is in it?Link

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The Role of Unemployment in the Rise in Alternative Work Arrangements. Lawrence Katz, 2017, Paper, “Much evidence indicates that the traditional nine-to-five employee-employer relationship is in decline. Although comprehensive, high-frequency data on US work arrangements are not available, the trend appears to have begun before the advent of the platform economy and the spread of online gig work.” Link

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The Expanding Gender Earnings Gap: Evidence from the LEHD-2000 Census. Claudia Goldin, 2017, Paper, “The gender earnings gap is an expanding statistic over the lifecycle. We use the LEHD Census 2000 to understand the roles of industry, occupation, and establishment 14 years after leaving school. The gap for college graduates 26 to 39 years old expands by 34 log points, most occurring in the first 7 years. About 44 percent is due to disproportionate shifts by men into higher-earning positions, industries, and firms and about 56 percent to differential advances by gender within firms. Widening is greater for married individuals and for those in certain sectors. Non-college graduates experience less widening but with similar patterns.Link

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Structural Transformation: A competitiveness-based view. Christian Ketels, 2017, “The research on competitiveness aims to enhance our understanding of the drivers of prosperity differences across locations, focusing especially on aspects that can inform policy to support higher levels of prosperity (Porter, 1990; Porter, 2000; Delgado et al., 2013). This chapter outlines key elements of the competitiveness framework, and discusses how it relates to the idea of structural transformation.Link

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Inconvenient Truths About the US Trade Deficit. Martin Feldstein, April, 25, 2017, Opinion, “The United States has a trade deficit of about $450 billion, or 2.5% of GDP. That means that Americans import $450 billion of goods and services more than they export to the rest of the world. What explains the enormous US deficit year after year, and what would happen to Americans’ standard of living if it were to decline?Link

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