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Martin Zimmerman Elected Vice Chairman of National Bureau of Economic Research

9/26/2011 --

Professor enjoys engaging with group dedicated to "wide swath" of economic issues.

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—Martin Zimmerman, the Ford Motor Co. Clinical Professor of Business Administration, has been elected vice chairman of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), the nation's leading nonprofit economic research organization.

Zimmerman has been active in the NBER since his days as an executive and economist at Ford and is committed to its idea of broad, fact-based economic research. Founded in 1920, the NBER is a nonpartisan group devoted to empirical research intended to advance understanding of how the economy works. It does not make recommendations but rather informs policymakers, business professionals, and academics.

"I think the work of the organization is very important," Zimmerman says. "We need the impartial and scholarly analysis of major economic issues that this country and other countries face. I think it performs a very valuable social function and I'm excited to be a member of the board."

As vice chairman of the board, Zimmerman will help oversee NBER activities that include research programs, conferences, working groups, and publications. The board also elects research fellows and associates recommended by the leaders of the various programs. The board also approves budgets and advises on other administrative matters. More than 1,100 professors of economics and business are NBER researchers.

A facet of the NBER that Zimmerman appreciates is the wide variety of issues researched. The organization studies many branches of economics, including macroeconomic issues, financial performance, healthcare, aging, trade, education, and environmental economics.

"At the last meeting, for example, there was a brilliant, young professor from MIT who presented the results of her work on healthcare in developing countries, and the most effective ways to deliver healthcare services in rural areas where there's a lack of education and difficulty getting people to come to a clinic," he says. "That kind of research is very useful. And on a personal level, it's interesting as all get-out to be around these people. I learn about a wide swath of economics."

For more information, contact:
Bernie DeGroat, (734) 647-1847,