The brookings panel on Economic Activity held its eightieth conference
in Washington, D.C., on September 8 and 9, 2005. This issue of the Brookings
Papers includes the papers and discussions presented at the conference.
The first paper examines some possible drawbacks to greater transparency
by central banks. The second analyzes the change in the income distribution
that has accompanied the productivity surge of the past decade. The third
studies how workers respond to information about risk in their retirement
accounts. The fourth looks at the long-run interactions between energy
needs and the environment. The issue concludes with a report that questions
the widespread preference for the payroll data over the household data as
a measure of monthly employment gains.