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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis working papers are preliminary materials circulated to stimulate discussion and critial comment.

Applied Microeconomics

Immigration Policy and Counterterrorism

A terrorist group, based in a developing (host) country, draws unskilled and skilled labor from the productive sector to conduct attacks in that nation and abroad.

The Distributional Burden of Instant Lottery Ticket Expenditures: An Analysis by Price Point

This article examines the distributional burden of different price-point instant lottery games. Theoretical reasons exist for expecting higher-priced instant lottery games to be less regressive than lower-priced instant games.

Foreign Direct Investment, Aid, and Terrorism: An Analysis of Developing Countries

Using a dynamic panel data framework, we investigate the relationship between the two major forms of terrorism and foreign direct investment (FDI). We then analyze how these relationships are affected by foreign aid flows.

The Role of Schools in the Production of Achievement

What explains differences in pre-market factors? Three types of inputs are believed to determine the skills agents take to the labor market: ability, family inputs and school inputs.

An Evaluation of the Employment Effects of Barriers to Outsourcing

Barriers to outsourcing that are being currently implemented in the US effectively tax its companies who “export” jobs through outsourcing. The objective is to raise domestic employment.

Crime and Arrests: Deterrence or Resource Reallocation?

We use monthly time-series data for 20 large U.S. cities to test the deterrence hypothesis (arrests reduce crimes) and the resource reallocation hypothesis (arrests follow from an increase in crime).

Economic Freedom and Employment Growth in U.S. States

We extend earlier models of economic growth and development by exploring the effect of economic freedom on U.S. state employment growth. We find that states with greater economic freedom – defined as the protection of private property and private markets operating with minimal government interference – experienced greater rates of employment growth.

Where Does Noise Fall on People? Evidence from Atlanta Airport

Spatial heterogeneity of the determinants of airport noise is explored using houses sold near the Atlanta airport. Ordered probit locally weighted regressions (OPLWR) produce results substantively different than those using standard ordered probit.

Is the International Border Effect Larger than the Domestic Border Effect? Evidence from U.S. Trade

Many studies have found that international borders represent large barriers to trade. But how do international borders compare to domestic border barriers? We investigate international and domestic border barriers in a unified framework.

Do Large Banks have Lower Costs? New Estimates of Returns to Scale for U.S. Banks

The number of commercial banks in the United States has fallen by more than 50 percent since 1984. This consolidation of the U.S. banking industry and the accompanying large increase in average (and median) bank size have prompted concerns about the effects of consolidation and increasing bank size on market competition and on the number of banks that regulators deem “too–big–to–fail.”

Biofuel Subsidies and International Trade

This paper explores optimal biofuel subsidies in a general equilibrium trade model. The focus is on the production of biofuels such as corn-based ethanol, which diverts corn from use as food.

The Effects of Recessions Across Demographic Groups

The burdens of a recession are not spread evenly across demographic groups. The public and media, for example, noticed that, from the start of the current recession in December 2007 through June 2009, men accounted for more than three quarters of net job losses.

The Role of Location in Evaluating Racial Wage Disparity

A standard object of empirical analysis in labor economics is a modified Mincer wage function in which an individual’s log wage is specified to be a function of education, experience, and an indicator variable identifying race.

The Revenue Performance of Casinos after a Smoking Ban: The Case of Illinois

Recent state-wide smoking bans are likely the most significant regulations imposed on the casino gaming industry. We explore the effects that the Illinois state smoking ban has had on Illinois casino revenue and attendance as well as casino tax revenue.

Poverty, Political Freedom, and the Roots of Terrorism in Developing Countries: An Empirical Assessment

This paper finds that political freedom has a significant and non-linear effect on domestic terrorism, but this effect is not significant in the case of transnational terrorism.

Foreign Aid as Counterterrorism Policy

This paper presents a model where foreign aid bolsters a developing country’s proactive counterterrorism efforts against a resident transnational terrorist group.

Toxic Exposure in America: Estimating Fetal and Infant Health Outcomes

We examine the effect of toxic exposure on U.S. infant and fetal mortality rates between 1989 and 2002 from toxic pollution released by facilities reporting to the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI).

U.S. Commercial Bank Lending through 2008:Q4: New Evidence from Gross Credit Flows

What was hiding behind the aggregate commercial bank loans through the end of 2008? We use balance sheet data for every insured U.S. commercial bank from 1999:Q1 to 2008:Q4 to construct credit expansion and credit contraction series and provide new evidence on changes in lending.

Are Children 'Normal'?

In his classic work on the economics of fertility, Becker (1960) suggests that children are likely “normal.” We examine this contention.

Subprime Mortgage Design

This paper offers evidence on the design of subprime mortgages as bridge-financing products. We show that the viability of subprime mortgages was uniquely predicated on the appreciation of house prices over short-horizons.

Subprime Loan Quality

This paper is an exploration of subprime mortgages over the cohorts from 2000 through 2006, especially those prior to 2004. In particular, this study contrasts subprime originations during the “boom years” of 2004-2006 with originations during an “early period” of 2000-2002.

The Interplay between Preemptive and Defensive Counterterrorism Measures: A Two-Stage Game

A two-stage game depiction of counterterrorism is presented, where the emphasis is on the interaction between the preemptive and defensive measures taken by two targeted countries facing a common threat.

City Business Cycles and Crime

We explore the influence of city-level business cycle fluctuations on crime in 20 large cities in the United States. Our monthly time-series analysis considers seven crimes over an approximately 20-year period: murder, rape, assault, robbery, burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft.

Institutions and Government Growth: A Comparison of the 1890s and the 1930s

Statistics on the size and growth of the U.S. federal government, along with the rhetoric of President Franklin Roosevelt, seem to indicate that the Great Depression was the event that started the dramatic growth in government spending and intervention in the private sector that has continued to the present day.

Local Price Variation and Labor Supply Behavior

In standard economic theory, labor supply decisions depend on the complete set of prices: the wage and the prices of relevant consumption goods. Nonetheless, most of theoretical and empirical work ignores prices other than wages when studying labor supply. The question we address in this paper is whether the common practice of ignoring local price variation in labor supply studies is as innocuous as has generally been assumed.

The Dynamic Interaction of Trading Flows, Macroeconomic Announcements and the CAD/USD Exchange Rate: Evidence from Disaggregated Data

We explore the relationship between disaggregated trading flows, the Canada/U.S. dollar (CAD/USD) market and U.S. macroeconomic announcements with a novel data set of unprecedented breadth and length. <a href="http://research.stlouisfed.org/econ/cneely/Data_Appendix_The_Dynamic_Interaction.pdf">Data Appendix</a>.

Urban Crime and Labor Mobility

We present a model of crime where two municipalities exist within a metropolitan statistical area (MSA). Consistent with the literature, local law enforcement has a crime reduction effect and a crime diversion effect.

Human Capital Externalities and Adult Mortality in the U.S.

Human capital is now widely recognized to confer numerous benefits, including higher incomes, lower incidence of unemployment, and better health, to those who invest in it.

Why Do So Few Women Work in New York (And So Many in Minneapolis)? Labor Supply of Married Women across U.S. Cities

This paper documents a little-noticed feature of U.S. labor markets -- very large variation in the labor supply of married women across cities.

Inter-temporal Differences in the Income Elasticity of Demand for Lottery Tickets

We estimate annual income elasticities of demand for lottery tickets using county-level panel data for three states and find that the income elasticity of demand (and thus the tax burden) for lottery tickets has changed over time.


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