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Summary of the Papers – Microeconomics 1992

Abstract

THE FIFTH meeting of the Brookings Panel on Microeconomics met in
Washington in December of 1991, and the papers covered a range of
issues in technology, productivity, labor markets, financial management,
and the cost of a carbon tax. Joseph Farrell and Carl Shapiro
examined the Federal Communications Commission's decision to set a
standard for high-definition television. Ann Friedlaender, Ernst Berndt,
and Gerard McCullough looked at how management characteristics
affect productivity in the railroad industry. Martin Neil Baily, Charles
Hulten, and David Campbelle xaminedi ndividualm anufacturingp lants
and asked why some are more productive than others. Michael Boozer,
Alan Krueger, and Shari Wolkon examined differences in school quality
for black and white students since the landmark desegregation decision
Brown v. Board of Education in 1954. They looked particularly at the
gap between white and black students in computer use and explored
whether that gap translates into differences between black wages and
white wages. Josef Lakonishok, Andrei Shleifer, and Robert Vishny
studied the organization of the pension management industry and why
the industry continues to exist even though it provides negative value.
In the final paper in this issue, Dale Jorgenson, Daniel Slesnick, and
Peter Wilcoxen examined the potential effect of a carbon tax on the
economy-an important issue in the debate on global warming.

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