Frontiers of economic research

Gérard Roland, 23 October 2021

The great Hungarian economist János Kornai, who passed away in October 2021, was a pioneering analyst of shortages, socialist economies and the economics of transition to a market economy. This column outlines what made him one of the most important intellectuals of the twentieth century.

Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 16 October 2021

The 2021 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences has been awarded to David Card of the University of California, Berkeley, “for his empirical contributions to labour economics”, and to Joshua Angrist of MIT and Guido Imbens of Stanford University “for their methodological contributions to the analysis of causal relationships”. This column explains how the use of natural experiments in empirical economics has ushered in much progress in the analysis of causal relationships. The ensuing ‘credibility revolution’ over the past three decades has been transformational for the study of key policy challenges, including education, immigration and the minimum wage.

Alessandra Bonfiglioli, 08 October 2021

Robots and offshoring are blamed for destroying manufacturing jobs in advanced economies. But could automation also be a way to make domestic manufacturing more competitive? If so, those outsourced jobs may return. Alessandra Bonfiglioli tells Tim Phillips why there may be reasons to welcome our new robot overlords.

Read more about the research discussed and download the free discussion paper:
Bonfiglioli, A, Crinò, R, Gancia, G and Papadakis, I. 2021. 'Robots, Offshoring and Welfare'. CEPR

Song Ma, 24 September 2021

If you want your startup to be funded, everybody knows you have to dial up the energy and enthusiasm when you meet investors to the maximum. But is this really good advice for startups, and is a passionate pitch really a reliable signal for an investor? Song Ma of Yale School of Management used machine learning to evaluate thousands of pitches. He tells Tim Phillips whether passionate entrepreneurs make better startups

Peter Andre, Armin Falk, 07 September 2021

Research shapes policy. But what we choose to study is subjective. This column uses a global survey of almost 10,000 academic economists to find their opinions on what economic research should look like. Many economists think that economic research should become more policy-relevant, multidisciplinary, and disruptive, and should pursue more diverse research topics. 

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