THE BROOKINGS PANEL ON ECONOMIC ACTIVITY held its ninety-first conference in Washington, D.C., on March 17 and 18, 2011, as high unemployment continued amid a sluggish recovery. The research in this volume is directly relevant to the economy's troubles. The first two papers study how people have fared in the recession and its aftermath. The first examines job search and the well-being of the unemployed, and the second studies the financial vulnerability of households and how they cope with emergency spending needs. The remaining four papers contribute to ongoing macroeconomic debates. The third paper analyzes a historical episode of quantitative easing, to better understand how the recent unconventional monetary policy might influence the economy. The fourth paper reexamines the fundamental question of how a government ought to use monetary and fiscal policy to respond to recessions. The fifth paper asks why unemployment rose so much less in Germany during the recession than it did in the United States and elsewhere, and the sixth paper analyzes the behavior of inflation over the past few years in light of competing views of the relationship between inflation and unemployment. IN THE FIRST PAPER, Alan Krueger and Andreas Mueller study the behavior of unemployed Americans during and after the recession through a unique weekly survey of several thousand unemployed workers in New Jersey, matching the survey responses to administrative data from the state unemployment insurance offices. This extraordinary data collection effort yields several new insights on unemployment.