The NBER National Bureau of Economic Research is an organization whose purpose centers on creating and disbursing economic research. They are committed to encouraging better understanding of the way the economy functions for individuals, businesses, and policymakers. As part of this they write and distribute unbiased economic reports.
The NBER got its start in 1920 as a not for profit, private, non-political group. Their objectives from the start were undertaking research on economics and sharing it with business people, politicians, and academics. The researchers who are connected with NBER study a great range of different economic and business subjects.
Along with this they utilize numerous research methods in their studies. The group focuses on numerous different topics. Chief among them are creating quantitative economic behavior models, coming up with new ways to measure statistics, and studying the impacts that public policies cause.
The history of the NBER shows they covered many important ground breaking economic issues within American society. Their early efforts centered on longer term growth for the economy, the full business cycle, and the aggregate economy. In the formative years Wesley Mitchell wrote an important paper about the business cycle. Simon Kuznets pioneered the topic of national income accounting.
Milton Friedman researched and argued for money demand and what determined consumer spending. All of these proved to be in the earlier studies performed by the National Bureau of Economic Research. In 1984, Solomon Fabricant wrote a summary of their initial work and development entitled Toward a Firmer Basis of Economic Policy: The Founding of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
The NBER has greatly expanded and grown in influence over the years. Today it is considered to be the foremost group for not for profit research on economics in the United States. Among the economists who were affiliated with NBER are 25 Nobel Prize winners. There have also been 13 heads of the Presidential Council of Economic Advisers among their affiliated members.
NBER researchers today include over 1,400 business and economics professors who teach throughout universities and colleges around the U.S. and Canada. These researching scholars are considered to be the leaders within their own fields. The vast majority of those researchers who hold NBER affiliation have a title of RA Research Associates or FRF Faculty Research Fellows. These Research Associates are tenured by their home university or college. Their appointments to this senior status must be NBER Board of Directors approved. Faculty Research Fellows usually prove to be junior scholars in their fields.
The NBER does not receive direct tax dollar support. It operates based on a variety of research grants. These supporting grants come from private foundations, government agencies, corporate and individual contributions, and investment income.
The NBER is well organized and run by a board of directors that governs it. Its headquarters are based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The group also maintains a branch office in New York City. The members of this board come from and represent both important national economics entities and foremost American researching universities. The board also hosts members who are important economists at academia, trade unions, and corporations. Being a board member of this national economics group is a prestigious honor.
In 2016 the Chief Executive Officer and President of the NBER is James Poterba. He is served by 45 personnel who staff the organization. These employees are besides the Faculty Research Fellows and Research Associates located around North America. The research group is governed by various important documents. These include their NBER by-laws, incorporation certificate, and the conflict of interest policy for directors and officers.