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Posts by Marcia Stamell, Book Editor

Knight Bagehot Fellows: Top Journalists Visit AIER

The Knight-Bagehot Fellows celebrate their programs’ end on the lawn at AIER. From left: Jeff Roberts, Knight-Bagehot Director Terri Thompson, Justin Doom, Iris Kuo, Jamila Trindle, Tiffany Hsu, Cory Schouten, Carolina Mandl, Steven Overly, David Trilling, and AIER Book Editor Marcia Stamell. Not pictured: Kim Gittleson

Four members of AIER’s research staff shared their expertise and the results of some recent research with mid-career journalists who visited our campus earlier this month.

They delivered their lectures to Columbia University Knight-Bagehot Fellows in Economics and Business Journalism. The Knight-Bagehot Fellowship annually awards journalists an all-expenses-paid year off to study at Columbia. This is the eighth year the Fellows have concluded their year’s study with two days of lectures and informal talks at AIER.

Ten Knight-Bagehot Fellows were on campus. They represented Bloomberg, The Washington Post, The Economist, Fortune, BBC News, The Los Angeles Times, Foreign Policy Magazine, and other news outlets.

Our research staff covered a wide range of topics. Director of Research and Education Rosalind Greenstein spoke about new ways journalists can understand local development. Patrick Coate, research fellow, talked about his recent study of the slowdown of internal migration in the United States.

Polina Vlasenko, senior research fellow, spoke about her research into the changing relationship between growth and employment. And Natalia Smirnova, senior research fellow and director of education, guided the visitors through the Federal Reserve’s public website for national, regional, and industry data.

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Green Companies Can Produce Competitive Returns

Green investing doesn’t have to mean weaker performance. Quite to the contrary, sustainable corporate practices can signal stronger long-term prospects.

So writes Sara Silver in “When Quants Take on Climate Change,” winner of the 2016 Women’s Economic Round Table (WERT) Business Prize. The prize, which AIER announced today, is awarded to the top-judged essay written by a current or past recipient of Columbia University’s Knight-Bagehot Fellowship in Economics and Business Journalism.

Financial engineers, Silver adds, have designed low-carbon funds that can now match the risk and return of the S&P 500 and other indexes. The new funds, she says, are “overturning the long-held belief that sustainable investing comes at a cost.” They are backed by data and a decade of corporate disclosures that show that companies with Read more

Beware of Surprise Medical Bills

medicine and moneyYou can do everything right when it comes to health insurance: Buy adequate coverage. See in-network doctors. And go to in-network hospitals. But you can still be liable for enormous medical bills.

Insurance companies euphemistically call these surprise charges “balance billing.” The charges come about when an out-of-network medical provider does work for you — often without your knowledge. To add insult to injury, the charge you get socked with could come in at the highest possible rate, rather than the rate your insurer would ordinarily pay.

Surprise medical bills were the subject of a recent talk at the American Institute for Economic Research, during the 2015 symposium on health care economics organized by the Society of American Business Editors and Read more

AIER a Destination for Financial Journalists


Participants at the SABEW health care symposium at AIER take a moment out to pose for a picture outside the E.C. Harwood Library. Pictured from left, Marcia Stamell, AIER book editor; Ken Alltucker, Arizona Republic; Richard Eisenberg, PBS’s Nextavenue; Giles Bruce, The Times of Northwest Indiana; Elizabeth O’Brien, MarketWatch; Doug Whiteman,; conference organizer Marty Steffens, SABEW Chair in Business and Financial Journalism, University of Missouri; Dianne Finch, visiting professor, Elon University; Gail DeGeorge, independent journalist; Glenn Howat, Minneapolis StarTribune; Dorianne Perrucci, independent journalist; Samantha Liss, St. Louis Post-Dispatch; Elizabeth Hayes, Portland (Oregon) Business Journal; Tracy Cook, University of Missouri; Daniel Chang, Miami Herald; Christine Giordano, independent journalist, Leia Parker, Silicon Valley Business Journal, and Holly Fletcher, The Tennessean.

Expanding our outreach to financial and economic journalists, AIER recently hosted the 2015 symposium on health care economics, sponsored by the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.  The three-day event took place on our beautiful, historic Western Massachusetts campus from November 8 to 10 and brought  together health care reporters with distinguished researchers and academics.

For the past several years, SABEW has held annual conferences on health care. This year’s event at AIER included reporters from the Miami Herald, The Arizona Republic, and the Minneapolis StarTribune MarketWatch, Read more

AIER Begins Distribution to Libraries

book and laptopAIER materials are now available online in more than 500 libraries in Massachusetts. The distribution through the Massachusetts Library System went live September 23, and is part of the Institute’s new partnership with Biblioboard, an electronic library subscription service.

The electronic AIER library archive currently contains more than 200 articles and books from the past five years.  Over the summer, Suzanne Hermann, AIER’s librarian, organized and posted the materials on the Biblioboard site.

The publications represent the full range of AIER offerings, from scholarly economic studies to general interest books on personal Read more

Five Ways to Ease the Burden of Your Passing

AA050487Nobody likes to plan for when bad things happen. But not doing so can put more stress on your nearest and dearest at a time of grief or worry.

Taking a few simple steps now to plan ahead, while you’re of sound mind and body, can ease the burden on your loved ones – and failure to do so usually compounds their pain. This month, the latest edition of If Something Should Happen: How to Organize Your Financial and Legal Affairs was published by the American Institute for Economic Research.

These tips will help individuals pull all their information together into one easy-to-understand workbook. Here are a few of the more important steps to take, sooner rather than later:

  1. Make a will. Some 50 percent of Americans do not. When you don’t have a will, the state decides how to distribute your assets.
  2. Create joint accounts, and transfer-on-death or payable-on-death accounts, with trusted loved ones. These arrangements will allow assets to pass to heirs immediately without going through probate court. But make sure these designations will transfer property according to your wishes. A joint account with a second husband or wife, for example, effectively disinherits children from a first marriage.
  3. Designate a power of attorney and a health care agent. If you are incapacitated these confer clear authority so that others can write checks on your behalf and make critical medical decisions.
  4. Let people know where passwords and safety deposit keys are located. This will facilitate accessing important information.
  5. Organize your records. Include everything from the location of 401(k)s and investment accounts to the name and address of your pet’s veterinarian. This will save others hours in trying to sort through papers at a time of grief.

If Something Should Happen is an easy to use collection of forms that can simplify the task of pulling together your financial and legal affairs, to ease your burden on loved ones.

To purchase copies of the book, contact AIER’s customer service department at 1-888-528-1216 or order online at