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The ABCs of RBCs
An Introduction to Dynamic Macroeconomic Models
George McCandless
Harvard University Press, 2008

The ABCs of RBCs is the first book to provide a basic introduction to Real Business Cycle (RBC) and New-Keynesian models. These models argue that random shocks—new inventions, droughts, and wars, in the case of pure RBC models, and monetary and fiscal policy and international investor risk aversion, in more open interpretations—can trigger booms and recessions and can account for much of observed output volatility.

George McCandless works through a sequence of these Real Business Cycle and New-Keynesian dynamic stochastic general equilibrium models in fine detail, showing how to solve them, and how to add important extensions to the basic model, such as money, price and wage rigidities, financial markets, and an open economy. The impulse response functions of each new model show how the added feature changes the dynamics.

The ABCs of RBCs is designed to teach the economic practitioner or student how to build simple RBC models. Matlab code for solving many of the models is provided, and careful readers should be able to construct, solve, and use their own models.

In the tradition of the “freshwater” economic schools of Chicago and Minnesota, McCandless enhances the methods and sophistication of current macroeconomic modeling.


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Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade
Bjarne S. Jensen and Kar-yiu Wong, Editors
University of Michigan Press, 1997
While endogenous growth theory has claimed success in modeling various factors of growth and providing an analysis of sustainable economic growth, most of the growth models in published work are for closed economies. The omission of international trade, which is often regarded as the engine of growth, greatly reduces their usefulness. The theory of international trade, on the other hand, is characterized by models that are mainly static. While interest in the dynamics of trade has been growing, there is still little work in this area. The success of the newly industrialized economies that have adopted trade-oriented policies suggests how limited present trade theory is in explaining and analyzing the growth of these economies.
The work collected here serves to bridge the "old" growth theory and "new" growth theory; merge growth and trade theory; suggest new analysis and techniques of economic growth; and provide analysis of new issues related to growth and trade. The first chapter surveys endogenous growth and international trade and critically reviews the endogenous growth theory with a unified framework, covering the work on both closed and open economies. Three chapters examine the dynamics of some basic trade models; two chapters focus on growth and trade with endogenous accumulation of human and public capital; two chapters on economic growth, technological progress, and international trade; and two chapters on growth and international factor movements.
Contributors include Eric W. Bond, Theo S. Eicher, Rolf Färe, Oded Galor, Shawna Grosskopf, Bjarne S. Jensen, Pantelis Kalaitzidakis, Shoukang Lin, Ngo Van Long, Kazuo Nishimura, Koji Shimomura, Kathleen Trask, Stephen J. Turnovsky, Pham Hoang Van, Henry Wan, Jr., Chunyan Wang, and Kar-yiu Wong.
Bjarne S. Jensen is Associate Professor of Economics, Copenhagen Business School. Kar-yiu Wong is Professor of Economics, University of Washington, Seattle.

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Economic Adjustment and Exchange Rates in Developing Countries
Edited by Sebastian Edwards and Liaquat Ahamed
University of Chicago Press, 1986
In spite of the attention paid exchange rates in recent economic debates on developing countries, relatively few studies have systematically analyzed in detail the various ramifications of exchange rate policy in these countries. In this new volume from the National Bureau of Economic Research, leading economists use rigorous models to tackle various exchange rate issues, while also illuminating policy implications that emerge from their analyses.

The volume, divided into four main sections, addresses: the role of exchange rates in stabilization programs and the adjustment process; the importance of exchange rate policy during liberalization reform in developing countries; exchange rate problems relevant and unique to developing countries, illustrated by case studies; and the problems defining, measuring, and identifying determinants of real exchange rates. Authors of individual papers examine the relation between commercial policies and exchange rates, the role of exchange rate policy in stabilization programs, the effectiveness of devaluations as a policy tool, and the interaction between exchange rate terms of trade an capital flow. This research will not only prove crucial to our understanding of the role of exchange rates in developing countries, but will clearly set the standard for future work in the field.

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Empirical Studies of Commercial Policy
Edited by Robert E. Baldwin
University of Chicago Press, 1991
The need for careful research on trade policy is particularly acute, and this volume empirically addresses these and many other important issues. The contributors offer studies which integrate the institutional details of current trade policy with creative economic analyses.

Marked by a shift from a traditional reliance on simulation models, these papers take their inspiration from recent changes in the assumptions traditionally underlying research in international trade theory. No longer are government policies viewed as being somehow "given" to the researcher; in part 1, "Analyses with a Political Economy Perspective," four papers treat such policies as endogenous and explicable in terms of political economy. Neither are product and factor markets seen as perfectly competitive; instead, the three papers in part 2, "Trade Policy Effects under Imperfectly Competitive Market Conditions," assume that firms consider the actions of other companies when formulating their decisions. In part 3, "A New Measure of Trade Restrictiveness and Estimates of Trade Policy Effects with CGE Models," the first essay explores the quantitative restrictions on cheese to develop and implement a new model of restrictive trade. Two final contributions address problems for which simulation modeling is especially useful. The first considers the effectiveness of an import surcharge in reducing the U.S. trade deficit and the second treats the welfare effects of liberalization in South Korea where increasing returns to scale are significant

These innovative studies focus on economic behavior that will provide valuable insights for policymakers, academic economists, and students.

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Fully Grown
Why a Stagnant Economy Is a Sign of Success
Dietrich Vollrath
University of Chicago Press, 2019
Vollrath challenges our long-held assumption that growth is the best indicator of an economy’s health.

Most economists would agree that a thriving economy is synonymous with GDP growth. The more we produce and consume, the higher our living standard and the more resources available to the public. This means that our current era, in which growth has slowed substantially from its postwar highs, has raised alarm bells. But should it? Is growth actually the best way to measure economic success—and does our slowdown indicate economic problems?

The counterintuitive answer Dietrich Vollrath offers is: No. Looking at the same facts as other economists, he offers a radically different interpretation. Rather than a sign of economic failure, he argues, our current slowdown is, in fact, a sign of our widespread economic success. Our powerful economy has already supplied so much of the necessary stuff of modern life, brought us so much comfort, security, and luxury, that we have turned to new forms of production and consumption that increase our well-being but do not contribute to growth in GDP.

In Fully Grown, Vollrath offers a powerful case to support that argument. He explores a number of important trends in the US economy: including a decrease in the number of workers relative to the population, a shift from a goods-driven economy to a services-driven one, and a decline in geographic mobility. In each case, he shows how their economic effects could be read as a sign of success, even though they each act as a brake of GDP growth.  He also reveals what growth measurement can and cannot tell us—which factors are rightly correlated with economic success, which tell us nothing about significant changes in the economy, and which fall into a conspicuously gray area.

Sure to be controversial, Fully Grown will reset the terms of economic debate and help us think anew about what a successful economy looks like.

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General Equilibrium, Overlapping Generations Models, and Optimal Growth Theory
Truman F. Bewley
Harvard University Press, 2007
This book presents an original exposition of general equilibrium theory for advanced undergraduate and graduate-level students of economics. It contains detailed discussions of economic efficiency, competitive equilibrium, the first and second welfare theorems, the Kuhn-Tucker approach to general equilibrium, the Arrow-Debreu model, and rational expectations equilibrium and the permanent income hypothesis. Truman Bewley also treats optimal growth and overlapping generations models as special cases of the general equilibrium model. He uses the model and the first and second welfare theorems to explain the main ideas of insurance, capital theory, growth theory, and social security. It enables him to present a unified approach to portions of macro- as well as microeconomic theory. The book contains problems sets for most chapters.

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The Impact of Trade and Domestic Policy Reforms in India
A CGE Modeling Approach
Rajesh Chadha, Alan V. Deardorff, Sanjib Pohit, and Robert M. Stern
University of Michigan Press, 1998
Major economic reforms undertaken since 1991 have brought the Indian economy into a new phase of development directed toward becoming globally competitive through the opening of trade, foreign investment, and technology inflows. The private sector is expected to play a lead role, with a corresponding reduction in the role played by the public sector. This book is aimed at analyzing the comparative static effects of selected post-1991 trade and domestic policy reforms on trade, factor prices, economic welfare, and the intersectoral allocation of resources.
The study relies on a computable general equilibrium (CGE) model that has been specially designed to analyze the potential economic effects of India's policy reforms. The model was developed in a collaborative effort involving the National Council of Applied Economic Research in New Delhi and the University of Michigan. Patterned after the Michigan CGE Model of World Production and Trade that has been in use for more than two decades, the India CGE model features closer attention to special characteristics of India's economic structure, including more agricultural sector detail, allowance for state ownership, and administered pricing. The conclusions of the study suggest that the policy reforms will yield increased real returns to land, labor, and capital, and shift the terms of trade in favor of Indian agriculture. Lastly, not only are there efficiency-enhancing intersectoral shifts in resource allocation but there are notable increases in scale economies across the Indian manufacturing sectors.
Rajesh Chadha and Sanjib Pohit are Economists at the National Council of Applied Economic Research in New Delhi. Alan V. Deardorff and Robert M. Stern are Professors of Economics and Public Policy, University of Michigan.

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Inflation and Disinflation
The Israeli Experiment
Leonardo Leiderman
University of Chicago Press, 1993
During the early 1980s, Israel's inflation rate rose to almost 500% per year—one of the highest inflation rates in the developed world. In 1985, the Israeli government implemented a program that immediately reduced inflation to 15%-20%, where it remained for the rest of the decade. How did the economy deal with these major changes so rapidly and successfully? In these eighteen articles, Leonardo Leiderman discusses why the Israeli plan worked and considers how other countries might benefit from similar policies.

Even though standard economic models predict that output will drop and unemployment will rise during disinflation, Israel saw a boom in private consumption and large increases in real wages that lasted for about three years. To understand how the effects of Israeli disinflation policies defied typical expectations, Leiderman investigates how monetary fiscal policy determined Israel's runaway inflation and how the country brought its economy abruptly under control. He finds that rates of inflation and consumption depend on the public's expectations about future fiscal adjustments and that foreign trade shocks do not inevitably lead to a long-term rise in the inflation rate. His illumination of international trade and domestic policies, past and present, will interest academic economists and policymakers alike.

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Innovation Equity
Assessing and Managing the Monetary Value of New Products and Services
Elie Ofek, Eitan Muller, and Barak Libai
University of Chicago Press, 2016
From drones to wearable technology to Hyperloop pods that can potentially travel more than seven hundred miles per hour, we’re fascinated with new products and technologies that seem to come straight out of science fiction. But, innovations are not only fascinating, they’re polarizing, as, all too quickly, skepticism regarding their commercial viability starts to creep in. And while fortunes depend on people’s ability to properly assess their prospects for success, no one can really agree on how to do it, especially for truly radical new products and services.

In Innovation Equity, Elie Ofek, Eitan Muller, and Barak Libai analyze how a vast array of past innovations performed in the marketplace—from their launch to the moment they became everyday products to the phase where consumers moved on to the “next big thing.” They identify key patterns in how consumers adopt innovations and integrate these with marketing scholarship on how companies manage their customer base by attracting new customers, keeping current customers satisfied, and preventing customers from switching to competitors’ products and services. In doing so, the authors produce concrete models that powerfully predict how the marketplace will respond to innovations, providing a much more authoritative way to estimate their potential monetary value, as well as a framework for making it possible to achieve that value.

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The Maze of Urban Housing Markets
Theory, Evidence, and Policy
Jerome Rothenberg, George C. Galster, Richard V. Butler, and John R. Pitkin
University of Chicago Press, 1991
This powerful new theoretical approach to analyzing urban housing problems and the policies designed to rectify them will be a vital resource for urban planners, developers, policymakers, and economists. The search for the roots of serious urban housing problems such as homelessness, abandonment, rent burdens, slums, and gentrification has traditionally focused on the poorest sector of the housing market. The findings set forth in this volume show that the roots of such problems lie in the relationships among different parts of the market—not solely within the lower-quality portion—though that is where problems are most dramatically manifested and housing reforms are myopically focused.

The authors propose a new understanding of the market structure characterized by a closely interrelated array of quality submarkets. Their comprehensive models ground a unified theory that accounts for demand by both renters and owner occupants, supply by owners of existing dwellings, changes in the stock of housing due to conversions and new construction, and interactions across submarkets.

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Medical Care Output and Productivity
Edited by David M. Cutler and Ernst R. Berndt
University of Chicago Press, 2001
With the United States and other developed nations spending as much as 14 percent of their GDP on medical care, economists and policy analysts are asking what these countries are getting in return. Yet it remains frustrating and difficult to measure the productivity of the medical care service industries.

This volume takes aim at that problem, while taking stock of where we are in our attempts to solve it. Much of this analysis focuses on the capacity to measure the value of technological change and other health care innovations. A key finding suggests that growth in health care spending has coincided with an increase in products and services that together reduce mortality rates and promote additional health gains. Concerns over the apparent increase in unit prices of medical care may thus understate positive impacts on consumer welfare. When appropriately adjusted for such quality improvements, health care prices may actually have fallen. Provocative and compelling, this volume not only clarifies one of the more nebulous issues in health care analysis, but in so doing addresses an area of pressing public policy concern.

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What Counts in Global Health
Vincanne Adams, editor
Duke University Press, 2016
This volume's contributors evaluate the accomplishments, limits, and consequences of using quantitative metrics in global health. Whether analyzing maternal mortality rates, the relationships between political goals and metrics data, or the links between health outcomes and a program's fiscal support, the contributors question the ability of metrics to solve global health problems. They capture a moment when global health scholars and practitioners must evaluate the potential effectiveness and pitfalls of different metrics—even as they remain elusive and problematic.
Contributors. Vincanne Adams, Susan Erikson, Molly Hales, Pierre Minn, Adeola Oni-Orisan, Carolyn Smith-Morris, Marlee Tichenor, Lily Walkover, Claire L. Wendland

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Monetary Policy Rules
Edited by John B. Taylor
University of Chicago Press, 1999
This timely volume presents the latest thinking on the monetary policy rules and seeks to determine just what types of rules and policy guidelines function best. A unique cooperative research effort that allowed contributors to evaluate different policy rules using their own specific approaches, this collection presents their striking findings on the potential response of interest rates to an array of variables, including alterations in the rates of inflation, unemployment, and exchange.

Monetary Policy Rules illustrates that simple policy rules are more robust and more efficient than complex rules with multiple variables. A state-of-the-art appraisal of the fundamental issues facing the Federal Reserve Board and other central banks, Monetary Policy Rules is essential reading for economic analysts and policymakers alike.

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A New Architecture for the U.S. National Accounts
Edited by Dale W. Jorgenson, J. Steven Landefeld, and William D. Nordhaus
University of Chicago Press, 2006
A New Architecture for the U.S. National Accounts brings together a distinguished group of contributors to initiate the development of a comprehensive and fully integrated set of United States national accounts. The purpose of the new architecture is not only to integrate the existing systems of accounts, but also to identify gaps and inconsistencies and expand and incorporate systems of nonmarket accounts with the core system. 

Since the United States economy accounts for almost thirty percent of the world economy, it is not surprising that accounting for this huge and diverse set of economic activities requires a decentralized statistical system. This volume outlines the major assignments among institutions that include the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Department of Labor, the Census Bureau, and the Governors of the Federal Reserve System. 

An important part of the motivation for the new architecture is to integrate the different components and make them consistent. This volume is the first step toward achieving that goal.

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Producer Dynamics
New Evidence from Micro Data
Edited by Timothy Dunne, J. Bradford Jensen, and Mark J. Roberts
University of Chicago Press, 2009

The Census Bureau has recently begun releasing official statistics that measure the movements of firms in and out of business and workers in and out of jobs.  The economic analyses in Producer Dynamics exploit this newly available data on establishments, firms, and workers, to address issues in industrial organization, labor, growth, macroeconomics, and international trade.

This innovative volume brings together a group of renowned economists to probe topics such as firm dynamics across countries; patterns of employment dynamics; firm dynamics in nonmanufacturing industries such as retail, health services, and agriculture; employer-employee turnover from matched worker/firm data sets; and turnover in international markets. Producer Dynamics will serve as an invaluable reference to economists and policy makers seeking to understand the links between firms and workers, and the sources of economic dynamics, in the age of globalization.


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Risk Topography
Systemic Risk and Macro Modeling
Edited by Markus Brunnermeier and Arvind Krishnamurthy
University of Chicago Press, 2014
The recent financial crisis and the difficulty of using mainstream macroeconomic models to accurately monitor and assess systemic risk have stimulated new analyses of how we measure economic activity and the development of more sophisticated models in which the financial sector plays a greater role.

Markus Brunnermeier and Arvind Krishnamurthy have assembled contributions from leading academic researchers, central bankers, and other financial-market experts to explore the possibilities for advancing macroeconomic modeling in order to achieve more accurate economic measurement. Essays in this volume focus on the development of models capable of highlighting the vulnerabilities that leave the economy susceptible to adverse feedback loops and liquidity spirals. While these types of vulnerabilities have often been identified, they have not been consistently measured. In a financial world of increasing complexity and uncertainty, this volume is an invaluable resource for policymakers working to improve current measurement systems and for academics concerned with conceptualizing effective measurement.

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Slavery and the Numbers Game
Herbert G. Gutman
University of Illinois Press, 1975
This detailed analysis of slavery in the antebellum South was written in 1975 in response to the prior year's publication of Robert Fogel and Stanley Engerman's controversial Time on the Cross, which argued that slavery was an efficient and dynamic engine for the southern economy and that its success was due largely to the willing cooperation of the slaves themselves.
Noted labor historian Herbert G. Gutman was unconvinced, even outraged, by Fogel and Engerman's arguments. In this book he offers a systematic dissection of Time on the Cross, drawing on a wealth of data to contest that book's most fundamental assertions. A benchmark work of historical inquiry, Gutman's critique sheds light on a range of crucial aspects of slavery and its economic effectiveness.
Gutman emphasizes the slaves' responses to their treatment at the hands of slaveowners. He shows that slaves labored, not because they shared values and goals with their masters, but because of the omnipresent threat of 'negative incentives,' primarily physical violence.
In his introduction to this new edition, Bruce Levine provides a historical analysis of the debate over Time on the Cross. Levine reminds us of the continuing influence of the latter book, demonstrated by Robert W. Fogel's 1993 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, and hence the importance and timeliness of Gutman's critique.

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Social Security Programs and Retirement around the World
The Capacity to Work at Older Ages
Edited by David A. Wise
University of Chicago Press, 2017
In recent years, the retirement age for public pensions has increased across many countries, and additional increases are in progress or under discussion in many more. The seventh stage of an ongoing research project studying the relationship between social security programs and labor force participation, Social Security Programs and Retirement around the World: The Capacity to Work at Older Ages explores people’s capacity to work beyond the current retirement age. It brings together an international team of scholars from twelve countries—Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States—to analyze this issue. Contributors find that many—but not all—individuals have substantial capacity to work at older ages. However, they also consider how policymakers might divide gains in life expectancy between years of work and retirement, as well as the main impediments to longer work life. They consider factors that influence the demand for older workers, as well as the evolution of health and disability status, which may affect labor supply from the older population.

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A Solutions Manual for General Equilibrium, Overlapping Generations Models, and Optimal Growth Theory
Truman F. Bewley
Harvard University Press, 2011
This Solutions Manual contains answers to most of the problems in General Equilibrium, Overlapping Generations Models, and Optimal Growth Theory. Truman F. Bewley’s indispensable textbook—a cornerstone of courses on microeconomics, general equilibrium theory, and mathematical economics—covers the main premises behind insurance, capital theory, growth theory, and social security. Detailed explanations provide guidance to advanced undergraduate and graduate students, leading to in-depth understanding of Bewley’s unified approach to macroeconomics theory.

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Testing Macroeconometric Models
Ray Fair
Harvard University Press, 1994

In this book Ray Fair expounds powerful techniques for estimating and analyzing macroeconometric models. He takes advantage of the remarkable decrease in computational costs that has occurred since the early 1980s by implementing such sophisticated techniques as stochastic simulation. Testing Macroeconometric Models also incorporates the assumption of rational expectations in the estimation, solution, and testing of the models. And it presents the latest versions of Fair's models of the economies of the United States and other countries.

After estimating and testing the U.S. model, Fair analyzes its properties, including those relevant to economic policymakers: the optimal monetary policy instrument, the effect of a government spending reduction on the government deficit, whether monetary policy is becoming less effective over time, and the sensitivity of policy effects to the assumption of rational expectations.

Ray Fair has conducted research on structural macroeconometric models for more than twenty years. With interest increasing in the area, this book will be an essential reference for macroeconomists.


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The Theory of Linear Economic Models
David Gale
University of Chicago Press, 1989
In the past few decades, methods of linear algebra have become central to economic analysis, replacing older tools such as the calculus. David Gale has provided the first complete and lucid treatment of important topics in mathematical economics which can be analyzed by linear models. This self-contained work requires few mathematical prerequisites and provides all necessary groundwork in the first few chapters. After introducing basic geometric concepts of vectors and vector spaces, Gale proceeds to give the main theorems on linear inequalities—theorems underpinning the theory of games, linear programming, and the Neumann model of growth. He then explores such subjects as linear programming; the theory of two-person games; static and dynamic theories of linear exchange models, including problems of equilibrium prices and dynamic stability; and methods of play, optimal strategies, and solutions of matrix games. This book should prove an invaluable reference source and text for mathematicians, engineers, economists, and those in many related areas.

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Trade Policy Issues and Empirical Analysis
Edited by Robert E. Baldwin
University of Chicago Press, 1988
Interest in U.S. trade policy has been stimulated in recent years by the massive American trade deficit, by the belief that intervention by foreign governments in international markets has given other countries a competitive edge over the United States, and by concern about the increase in protectionism among industrial countries. In turn, major analytical developments in international economics have revolutionized trade theory, broadening its scope both by introducing in a more formal manner such concepts as imperfect competition, increasing returns, product differentiation, and learning effects and by including the study of political and economic factors that shape trade policy decisions. This collection of papers—the result of a conference held by the NBER—applies these "new" trade theories to existing world cases and also presents complementary empirical studies that are grounded in more traditional trade theories.

The volume is divided into four parts. The papers in part 1 consider the problem of imperfect competition, empirically assessing the economic effect of various trade policies introduced in industries in which the "new" trade theory seems to apply. Those in part 2 isolate the effects of protection from the influences of the many economic changes that accompany actual periods of protection and also examine how the effects from exogenous changes in economic conditions vary with the form of protection. Part 3 provides new empirical evidence on the effect of foreign production by a country's firms on the home country's exports. Finally, in part 4, two key bilateral issues are analyzed: recent U.S.-Japanese trade tensions and the incident involving the threat of the imposition of countervailing duties by the United States on Canadian softwood lumber.

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Valuing Health for Policy
An Economic Approach
Edited by George Tolley, Donald Kenkel, and Robert Fabian
University of Chicago Press, 1994
How much should citizens invest in promoting health, and how should resources be allocated to cover the costs? A major contribution to economic approaches to the value of health, this volume brings together classic and up-to-date research by economists and public health experts on theories and measurements of health values, providing useful information for shaping public policy.

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