Economic research

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) definition

What is the National Bureau of Economic Research?

The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization whose goal is to promote a better understanding of how the economy works. It disseminates economic research to public policy makers, business professionals and the academic community.

Key points to remember

  • The NBER is a private, not-for-profit research organization.
  • His research interests include: new statistical measures, estimation of quantitative models of economic behavior, evaluation of the effects of public policy on the US economy, and projection of the effect of alternative policy proposals.
  • NBER research papers are produced quickly and published as “working papers”. They function as talking points between economists interested in new developments in their field.

Understanding the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Hundreds of the country’s leading academics in economics and business are also NBER researchers who focus on four types of empirical research: developing new statistical measures, estimating quantitative models of economic behavior, evaluating the effects of public policies on the US economy and project the effects. alternative policy proposals. In 2021, thirty-eight current or former NBER board members and research affiliates were awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics.

According to the organization, “The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) is a private, nonpartisan organization that facilitates cutting-edge investigation and analysis of major economic issues. It disseminates research findings to academics, decision-makers in the public and private sectors, and the public by publishing more than 1,200 working papers and convening more than 120 scholarly conferences each year.”

The NBER officially declared an end to economic expansion in February 2020 as the United States entered a recession during the economic crisis of that year.

Role of the NBER in the modern economy

The more than 1,600 economists who are researchers at NBER are the best scholars in their fields. Most NBER-affiliated researchers are either Faculty Research Fellows (FRFs) or Research Associates (RAs). Faculty Research Fellows are usually junior researchers. Research Associates, whose appointments are approved by the NBER Board of Trustees, hold tenured positions at their home institutions.

The NBER is supported by research grants from government agencies and private foundations, by investment income, and by contributions from individuals and corporations.

The group took in $32 million for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2020, according to its financial statements.

Economist Paul Krugman, writing in the New York Times, said the NBER is “best described, I would say, as the network of old-fashioned economics made flesh. There are a few NBER offices, but they are small; the organization consists primarily of its associates and what they do. In many subfields of economics, just about anyone well known in the profession is an NBER Research Associate; it is normal for these associates to publish new research as NBER Working Papers.

The function of these articles, in turn, is to quickly disseminate the research so that other economists can discuss it (which includes critiquing it). For practicing economists, the NBER WP Series provides what amounts to a one-stop shop for new developments in their field.”