National Bureau of Economic Research

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NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH. The National Bureau of Economic Research was founded in 1920 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, "to conduct… exact and impartial investigations in the field of economic, social, and industrial science." The private, nonprofit bureau has sought to maintain a disinterested stance on public issues and has made no policy recommendations. The first set of bureau studies developed a conceptual system for analyzing national income and wealth and presented national income estimates, a line of work that led to the official estimates now prepared by the Department of Commerce. The national accounts have remained central to the research of the bureau and have figured prominently in the studies of the business cycle and economic growth in which the bureau has been chiefly engaged since the 1930s. In the 1960s and 1970s several new lines of work opened up that had to do with current problems of urban economics, health, education, income distribution, and population. By 2002 it served as a clearinghouse for the research of more than six hundred scholars around the country.


Bernstein, Michael A. A Perilous Progress: Economists and Public Purpose in Twentieth-Century America. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2001.

Robert E.Gallman/a. e.

See alsoBusiness Cycles ; Productivity, Concept of .

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National Bureau of Economic Research