Frontiers of economic research

Eszter Czibor, David Jiménez-Gómez, John List, 23 May 2019

Experimental economists must tackle the generalisability and applicability of the evidence they produce. This column discusses principles to enhance these when designing and conducting experiments or reporting findings. Good practice is especially important when policy recommendations are made based on experimental results.

Franck Portier, 03 May 2019

Business economists argue that the length of an expansion is a good indicator of when a recession will hit. Using both parametric and non-parametric measures, this column finds strong support for the theory from post-WWII data on the US economy. The findings suggest there is good reason to expect a US recession in the next two years.

Raj Chetty, John Friedman, 18 April 2019

Using confidential data to publish statistics based on small samples is challenging due to privacy loss. This column introduces a simple method for dealing with this issue which adds noise to each statistic in proportion to its sensitivity to the addition or removal of a single observation from the data. The method generally outperforms widely used methods of disclosure limitation such as count-based cell suppression both in terms of privacy loss and statistical bias. As an illustration, the method is used to release estimates of social mobility by Census tract in the Opportunity Atlas. 

Hélène Rey, Beatrice Weder di Mauro, 10 April 2019

CEPR is working in partnership with UBS to celebrate contributions of women in economics, with a series of portraits and video interviews on a dedicated website. This programme shines a light on quality research and policymaking from female leaders in their field. "Women in Economics" will feature videos of prominent researchers discussing their work and insights. The content is designed to appeal to non-expert audiences, as well as those with a deeper understanding of economics. Beyond the digital content, the programme will include events for students and economists.

Alison Booth, Xin Meng, 25 March 2019

The literature examining the effect of conflict on trust and trustworthiness has reached contradictory conclusions. This column studies the long-term behavioural impact of the Cultural Revolution in China, which was a major in-group conflict. It finds that the children and grandchildren of those who were mentally or physically abused during the Revolution are less trusting, less trustworthy, and less likely to be competitively inclined relative to peers whose parents/grandparents experienced the Cultural Revolution but were not directly mistreated. 

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