Twelve leading economists on the research that shaped our world in 2018

Friday, December 28, 2018
Quartz

At the end of every year, culture critics get to compile best of the year lists. At Quartz, we decided they shouldn’t get to have all the fun. Just like films and albums, economics deserves a little year-end reflection.

To identify the economics research that mattered most in 2018, Quartz decided to call in some help. Just as we did last year, we enlisted some of the greatest minds in economics today, including two Nobel prize winners.

We asked these economists to name the study they thought was the most important or intriguing of 2018, along with their thoughts on the research. The chosen studies capture the concerns of 2018, with subjects ranging from criminal justice to how to best design an auction.

Here are their picks:

How Does Intergenerational Wealth Transmission Affect Wealth Concentration? by Laura Feiveson and John Sabelhaus

Institution of authors: Federal Reserve Board
Main finding: Whether an American’s parents are rich is even more predictive of how wealthy their children will be than we thought.
Nominating economist: William A Darity Jr., Duke University
Specialization: Public policy and inequality
Why? “This is the most compelling paper I’ve encountered in 2018. By demonstrating the dominant role of dynastic effects in the transmission of resources across generations as the fundamental source of wealth concentration, it undercuts a host of explanations for wealth inequality that implicate personal decisions and judgments.”

Read the full article here