David N. WeilJames and Meryl Tisch Professor of Economics
David Weil, Professor of Economics, is an alumnus of Brown (A.B., History, 1982). He returned to Brown as an Assistant Professor in 1990, after receiving his Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University. He has been a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research since 1997.
Weil, David, Review of Birth Quake: The Baby Boom and Its Aftershocks by Diane Macunovich, (University of Chicago Press), Journal of Economic Literature, March, 2004.
Lim, Kyung-Mook, and David Weil, The Baby Boom and the Stock Market Boom Scandinavian Journal of Economics, 105:3, 2003 (with Kyung-Mook Lim)
Shastry, Gauri Kartini, and David Weil, How Much of Cross-Country Income Variation is Explained by Health Journal of the European Economic Association, 1:2-3, April-May, 2003.
Weil, David, Comment on Demographic Shocks: The View from History by Massimio Livi-Bacci. In Seismic Shifts: The Economic Impact of Demographic Change Federal Reserve Bank of Boston Conference Series, 2002.
Kalemli-Ozcan, Sebnem and David Weil, Mortality Change, the Uncertainty Effect, and Retirement, NBER Working Paper 8742, January 2002.
Weil, David, Comment on Aging, Fiscal Policy, and Social Insurance: A European Perspective by Bernd Raffelhuschen. In Auerbach and Lee, eds., Demographic Change and Fiscal Policy, Cambridge University Press, 2001.
Auerbach, Alan, Jagadeesh Gokhale, Laurence Kotlikoff, John Sabelhaus, and David Weil, The Annuitization of Americans Resources: A Cohort Approach in Laurence Kotlikoff, ed., Essays on Saving, Bequests, Altruism, and Life-Cycle Planning, MIT Press, 2001.
Garber, Peter and David Weil, Overlaying the Cycle on Growth: The Arithmetic of Productivity Growth, Unemployment, and Equity Prices in the Slowdown,@ Deutsche Bank Global Market Research April 27, 2001.
Garber, Peter and David Weil, Productivity Growth is Not Enough: The Arithmetic of Productivity, Equity Valuation, and Real Interest Rates Deutsche Bank Global Market Research April 4, 2000.
Kalemli-Ozcan, Sebnem, Harl E. Ryder, and David Weil, Mortality Decline, Human Capital Investment, and Economic Growth, Journal of Development Economics, 62:1, 2000, 1-23.
Galor, Oded and David Weil, Population, Technology, and Growth: From Malthusian Stagnation to the Demographic Transition and Beyond@ American Economic Review, September, 2000.
Carrol, Chris, Jody Overland, and David Weil, Saving and Growth with Habit Formation, American Economic Review, June, 2000.
Weil, David, Comment on Inflation, Unemployment, Exchange Rates, and Monetary Policy in Israel: An SVAR Approach by Joseph Djivre and Sigal Ribon, The Economic Quarterly (Israel Economic Association), 47:3, 2000 (in Hebrew).
Galor, Oded and David Weil, From Malthusian Stagnation to Modern Growth, American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings May, 1999.
Weil, David, Population Growth, Dependency, and Consumption, American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings May, 1999.
Miron, Jeffrey and David Weil, The Genesis and Evolution of Social Security in Michael Bordo, Claudia Goldin, and Eugene White, eds., The Defining Moment: The Great Depression and the American Economy in the Twentieth Century University of Chicago Press, 1998.
Owen, Ann and David Weil, Intergenerational Mobility, Inequality, and Growth, Journal of Monetary Economics, 1998.
Basu, Susanto and David Weil, Appropriate Technology and Growth, Quarterly Journal of Economics, November, 1998, reprinted in Daron Acemoglu, ed., Recent Developments in Growth Theory, Edward Elgar (2004).
Weil, David, Social Security Meets the Stock Market@ Brown Economic Review June, 1997.
Weil, David, The Economics of Population Aging in Mark Rosenzweig and Oded Stark, eds., Handbook of Population and Family Economics North Holland, 1997 .
Carrol, Chris, Jody Overland, and David Weil, Comparison Utility in a Growth Model, Journal of Economic Growth, December, 1997.
Canner, Niko, Greg Mankiw, and David Weil, An Asset Allocation Puzzle American Economic Review, March, 1997.
Weil, David, Comment on Financial Opening in Israel: New Empirical Results and Policy Implications by Gil Bufman and Leonardo Leiderman, The Economic Quarterly (Israel Economic Association), 42:2, 1996 (in Hebrew).
Weil, David, Intergenerational Transfers, Aging, and Uncertainty in David Wise, ed., Advances in the Economics of Aging, University of Chicago Press, 1996.
Elmendorf, Douglas, Mary Hirschfeld, and David Weil, The Effect of News on Bond Prices: Evidence from the United Kingdom, 1900-1920, Review of Economics and Statistics, June, 1996.
Galor, Oded and David Weil, The Gender Gap, Fertility, and Growth, American Economic Review, June, 1996.
Weil, David, Review of World Savings: An International Survey, ed. Arnold Heertje. Journal of Economic Literature, XXXIII, March 1995.
Weil, David, The Saving of the Elderly in Micro and Macro Data, Quarterly Journal of Economics, February 1994.
Miron, Jeffrey, Christina Romer, and David Weil, Historical Perspectives on the Monetary Transmission Mechanism in N. Gregory Mankiw, ed., Monetary Economics, University of Chicago Press, 1994.
Mankiw, Greg, Jeffrey Miron, and David Weil, The Founding of the Fed and the Behavior of Interest Rates: What Can be Learned from Small Samples? Journal of Monetary Economics, 34, 1994.
Carroll, Chris and David Weil, Growth and Saving: A Reinterpretation, Carnegie Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, 40, June 1994.
Weil, David, Demographic Change, Consumption, and Saving, Ministry of Finance (Japan) Quarterly Review, June 1993.
Weil, David, Fiscal Policy Fortune Encyclopedia of Economics, 1993. (Revised 2004 and published in The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics, The Library of Economics and Liberty, http://www.econlib.org/index.html ).
Weil, David, MacroBytes Software (educational software to accompany Macroeconomics by N. Gregory Mankiw). Worth Publishers, 1992.
Mankiw, Greg, David Romer, and David Weil, Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 107(2) May, 1992. Reprinted in Gene Grossman, ed. Economic Growth: Theory and Evidence, Edward Elgar (1995); Edward N. Wolff, ed. The Economics of Productivity, Edward Elgar (1997); and Daron Acemoglu, ed., Recent Developments in Growth Theory, Edward Elgar (2004).
Mankiw, Greg and David Weil, The Baby Boom, the Baby Bust, and the Housing Market: A Reply to Our Critics, Regional Science and Urban Economics, 21:4, 1992.
Weil, David, Comment on The Impact of the Demographic Transition on Capital Formation@ by Alan Auerbach and Laurence Kotlikoff. Scandinavian Journal of Economics, 94:2, 1992.
Mankiw, Greg and David Weil, The Secrets of Economic Growth Op Ed piece distributed by the Brown News Service, 1991.
Weil, David, Comment on House Price Dynamics: The Role of Tax Policy and Demography by James Poterba. Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, 1991:2.
Weil, David, What Determines Savings? A Review Essay, Journal of Monetary Economics 28, 1991.
Basu, Susanto, Miles Kimball, Greg Mankiw, and David Weil, Optimal Advice for Monetary Policy, Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking, February, 1990.
Mankiw, Greg, Jeffrey Miron, and David Weil, The Adjustment of Expectations to a Change in Regime: Reply, American Economic Review, September, 1990.
Mankiw, Greg and David Weil, The Upside of the Housing Bust Op Ed piece distributed by the Brown News Service, 1990.
Mankiw, Greg and David Weil, The Baby Boom, the Baby Bust, and the Housing Market Regional Science and Urban Economics 19, May, 1989. Reprinted in Economics Alert 6, November 1993.
Barsky, Robert, Greg Mankiw, Jeffrey Miron, and David Weil, The Worldwide Change in the Behavior of Interest Rates and Prices in 1914 European Economic Review April, 1988.
Mankiw, Greg, Jeffrey Miron, and David Weil, The Adjustment of Expectations to a Change in Regime: A Study of the Founding of the Federal Reserve, American Economic Review June, 1987.
David Weil has written widely on various aspects of economic growth, including the empirical determinants of income differences among countries, the accumulation of physical capital, international technology transfer, and population growth. He has also written on assorted topics in demographic economics including population aging, Social Security, the gender wage gap, retirement, and the relation between demographics and house prices. His current work examines how differences in health contribute to income gaps among countries. He recently published an undergraduate textbook on economic growth.
David Weil's primary field of interest is economic growth, a topic to which he has made both empirical and theoretical contributions. Weil's early work in this area (joint with Mankiw and Romer) was a path-breaking study of the causes of income differences among countries. The paper identified differences in investment rates, population growth rates, and schooling as proximate determinants that explained a large fraction of the variance in income levels and growth rates among countries. This was an enormously influential paper which has been cited more than 800 times in published work.
In later research, Weil examined the individual determinants of growth in greater detail. His papers with Carroll and Overland examined differences in saving rates among countries, arguing that high income growth raises the saving rate, which is a finding at odds with standard models of preferences. They show that a model of habit formation utility is able to explain this finding. Two theoretical papers with Galor examined the factors underlying fertility transition. One paper looked in particular at the interaction of economic growth, fertility, and the wage gap between men and women. The other paper examined the historical process by which economies moved from a Malthusian trap into an equilibrium of sustained growth. Weil's paper with Ryder and Kalemli-Ozcan examined the link between declining mortality and increased schooling. His paper with Basu examined the process of technology transfer between countries, paying particular attention to whether rich country inventions are appropriate to the mix of factors of production found in poor countries.
Weil's recent research in this area focuses on the interaction of population health and economic development. His recent NBER working paper uses microeconomic estimates of the effect of health on individual outcomes to construct macroeconomic estimates of the proximate effect of health on GDP per capita. He finds that the fraction of world income variance that is explained by health is roughly the same as the share accounted for human capital from education, and larger than the share accounted for by physical capital. Another recent paper examines the effect of health improvements in explaining increased education, using the natural experiment of malaria eradication in Sri Lanka. Weil has recently embarked on a new empirical project examining the long-run effects of a public-health intervention on the quality of workers. The experiment he is examining is the iodization of salt in the United States, beginning in 1924. Prior to this period, rates of goiter (a marker of iodine deficiency) in parts of the country such as the Great Lakes basin and the Pacific Northwest were as high as they are today in many developing countries.
(2005), brings together not only his own work, but that of many contemporaries who are working in the area of growth. Although much of the labor that went into the book was pedagogical that is, making advanced material accessible to undergraduates the book also represents a new synthesis and intellectual approach to the field. The book has been adopted as a primary text in many undergraduate courses, both in the United States and abroad. It is also used by many professors to give graduate students a broad introduction to the field before delving into more advanced material.
Weil's second area of research is on the macroeconomic effects of demographic change, mostly in the context of developed countries. Much of this work has examined both empirically and theoretically the implications of changes in the age structure of the population, and in particular population aging, for various macroeconomic aggregates. His early work in this area examined the life cycle pattern of saving in both household level data and through cross-country regressions. He also co-authored with Mankiw an influential paper examining the role that demographically-induced changes in demand play in affecting housing prices. A recently published paper analyzes the effects of demographic change on the return to equities in particular whether the aging of the baby boom cohort contributed to high stock market returns in the 1990s, and whether there will be a corresponding meltdown in asset prices when the baby boomers begin to retire.
Weil's recent work in this area includes a paper with Hock looking at the feedback from population aging to fertility, an issue which is particularly germane to Western Europe and Japan, where fertility rates are already low, and where the coming 25 years will see severe economic strains resulting from population aging. His working paper with Kalemli-Ozcan goes to the other end of the life cycle, to ask what explains the boom in retirement over the course of the 20th century. Their answer is that changes in adult mortality, which made living into old age more certain, are part of the story. Weil is also working on a paper that unites his aging and growth interests by examining how population aging, by affecting the average "vintage" of the education of teachers, affects the appropriateness of the human capital embodied in workers, and thus the pace of economic growth.
In addition to his work in economic growth and demographic economics, Weil has written on assorted other topics, including the creation of the Social Security system in the United States, optimal portfolio allocation, the relationship between income inequality and intergenerational economic mobility, and various aspects of monetary policy.