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These brief essays delve into the economic issues of the day for a generally informed readership.

2016 / No. 27
Posted 2016-12-30

Does a Stronger Dollar Erode the Profitability of U.S. Firms?

by YiLi Chien and Paul Morris

U.S. firms have adjusted well in response to the recent appreciation of the dollar.

2016 / No. 26
Posted 2016-12-23

The Rise in Chinese Tourism and Its Effects on the Balance of Payments

by Ana Maria Santacreu

China’s trade surplus has been dampened by an increasing deficit in services driven by tourism.

2016 / No. 25
Posted 2016-12-16

A Perspective on Nominal Interest Rates

by Fernando M. Martin

Interest rates are at historic lows due to the combined effects of policy, regulation, and financial development.

2016 / No. 24
Posted 2016-12-02

Does the Pullback in the Bond Market Matter?

by Maria A. Arias and Paulina Restrepo-Echavarria

Foreign demand for U.S. Treasuries might be crucial in keeping a cap on U.S. borrowing costs.

2016 / No. 23
Posted 2016-11-04

A Closer Look at Federal Income Taxes

by Fernando M. Martin

Tax cuts for the middle class, even minor ones, would imply big declines in revenue. Closing the deficit by taxing the rich would require major tax hikes.

2016 / No. 22
Posted 2016-10-24

The Direction of Capital Flows

by Lee Ohanian, Paulina Restrepo-Echavarria, and Mark L. J. Wright

Little is known about the comparative quantitative importance of international versus domestic market imperfections on international capital flows.

2016 / No. 21
Posted 2016-10-14

The Heterogeneous Impacts of Rising Inflation

by YiLi Chien and Paul Morris

Rising inflation rates will have larger effects on some groups than others.

2016 / No. 20
Posted 2016-09-30

Sovereign Default and Economic Performance in Oil-Producing Economies

by Maria A. Arias and Paulina Restrepo-Echavarria

Because oil-producing countries do hold public debt and do default, we must understand how oil reserves and production affect risk and economic performance.

2016 / No. 19
Posted 2016-09-12

Employment and Capacity Utilization Over the Business Cycle

by Ana Maria Santacreu

Capacity and employment are affected by cyclical factors, but employment must also adjust to structural factors.

2016 / No. 18
Posted 2016-09-08

Household Financial Distress and Household Deleveraging

by Helu Jiang and Juan M. Sánchez

Deleveraging may be caused by a declining willingness by households to borrow instead of a tightening of borrowing constraints.

2016 / No. 17
Posted 2016-09-02

Long-Run Economic Effects of Changes in the Age Dependency Ratio

by Ana Maria Santacreu

A decrease in the labor force and an increase in the elderly population could slow economic growth.

2016 / No. 16
Posted 2016-08-12

Labor Compensation and Labor Productivity: Recent Recoveries and the Long-Term Trend

by B. Ravikumar and Lin Shao

The widening gap between labor productivity and compensation is not unique to the current recovery.

2016 / No. 15
Posted 2016-08-01

The Recent Evolution of U.S. Local Labor Markets

by Maximiliano A. Dvorkin and Hannah Shell

Counties with severe declines in housing net worth during the 2007-09 recession experienced larger declines in employment.

2016 / No. 14
Posted 2016-07-01

Have Labor Costs Slowed the Recovery?

by B. Ravikumar and Lin Shao

Labor costs after 2009 grew more slowly than labor costs after 2001.

2016 / No. 13
Posted 2016-06-27

Who Exactly Benefits from Too Big To Fail?

by Christopher J. Waller

TBTF status leads to a wealth transfer from new buyers to existing holders of the debt.

2016 / No. 12
Posted 2016-06-24

Potential U.S. Consequences of China’s Capital Account Liberalization

by Ana Maria Santacreu and Usa Kerdnunvong

Recent policies in China could change the structure of capital flows from China to the United States.

2016 / No. 11
Posted 2016-05-27

The Deleveraging of U.S. Households: Credit Card Debt over the Lifecycle

by Helu Jiang and Juan M. Sánchez

Individuals younger than 46 deleveraged the most after the financial crisis of 2008.

2016 / No. 10
Posted 2016-05-20

U.S. Fiscal Policy: Reality and Outlook

by Fernando M. Martin

Deficits are expected to persist, debt is projected to grow.

2016 / No. 9
Posted 2016-05-06

Chinese Foreign Exchange Reserves and the U.S. Economy

by Christopher J. Neely

China’s very substantial foreign exchange reserves have declined precipitously and the Chinese policy corrections may impact the U.S. economy.

2016 / No. 8
Posted 2016-05-02

Filling the Tank on Fridays May Be a Bad Idea for St. Louisans

by YiLi Chien and Paul Morris

Gas prices in St. Louis can jump 10 percent overnight.

2016 / No. 7
Posted 2016-04-29

Taking Stock: Income Inequality and the Stock Market

by Michael T. Owyang and Hannah Shell

Financial crises affect high-income earners disproportionately because of their exposure to riskier assets.

2016 / No. 6
Posted 2016-03-25

PMI and GDP: Do They Correlate for the United States? For China?

by YiLi Chien and Paul Morris

The PMI seems to be a good, although not perfect, indicator of a country’s current economic condition.

2016 / No. 5
Posted 2016-03-04

Revisiting GDP Growth Projections

by Fernando M. Martin

Based largely on predicted trends for labor force participation, GDP is projected to grow at an average annual rate of 2.2 percent over the next decade.

2016 / No. 4
Posted 2016-02-23

Russia’s Demographic Problems Started Before the Collapse of the Soviet Union

by Guillaume Vandenbroucke

Death rates declined in the 20th century for most countries—but not Russia.

2016 / No. 3
Posted 2016-02-10

The Dynamics of Mortgage Debt in Default

by Helu Jiang and Juan M. Sánchez

Rapid declines in house prices, negative home equity, and the number of households in default all contributed to the dramatic increase in mortgage defaults during the Great Recession.

2016 / No. 2
Posted 2016-02-05

Bank Lending During Recessions

by Maximiliano A. Dvorkin and Hannah Shell

Tightening of lending standards can account for part of the negative loan growth during the 2007-09 recession.

2016 / No. 1
Posted 2016-01-08

Private Investment and the Great Recession

by Fernando M. Martin

Unlike other components of private investment, residential investment has not yet recovered and remains well below its pre-recession level.


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