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

2017 / No. 18
Posted 2017-11-15

Does a State’s Political Stance Impact Its Government Revenues and Spending?

by YiLi Chien and Paul Morris

Political leaning might not play a dominant role in state and local government finances.

2017 / No. 17
Posted 2017-11-03

Financial Conditions Indexes

by Brian Reinbold and Paulina Restrepo-Echavarria

Financial conditions indexes can serve as a barometer of the health of financial markets.

2017 / No. 16
Posted 2017-10-06

The Decline of Coal

by Maria A. Arias, Brian Reinbold, and Paulina Restrepo-Echavarria

Economics is driving energy consumption away from coal to natural gas.

2017 / No. 15
Posted 2017-09-26

The Evolution of St. Louis’s Wage Distribution

by Rebecca Cowin and Charles S. Gascon

There is less wage inequality in the St. Louis MSA than in the nation.

2017 / No. 14
Posted 2017-09-22

Why the 2009 Recovery Act Didn’t Improve the Nation’s Highways

by Jack Garton and Bill Dupor

Little of the Recovery Act’s highway funds were actually spent on improving highways.

2017 / No. 13
Posted 2017-08-25

Earnings Losses Through Unemployment and Unemployment Duration

by David Wiczer

The longer the unemployment duration, the larger the loss.

2017 / No. 12
Posted 2017-08-17

State Variation of Tax Deductions

by YiLi Chien and Paul Morris

The impact of proposed tax code changes will vary significantly across states. 

2017 / No. 11
Posted 2017-07-11

Convergence in Productivity, R&D Intensity, and Technology Adoption

by Ana Maria Santacreu

Innovation and technology transfer are significant sources of productivity growth.

2017 / No. 10
Posted 2017-06-30

The Rising Federal Funds Rate in the Current Low Long-Term Interest Rate Environment

by YiLi Chien and Paul Morris

The low long-term yield is likely a result of high foreign demand for Treasuries rather than a near-zero federal funds rate.

2017 / No. 9
Posted 2017-06-23

Measures of Pollution

by Guillaume Vandenbroucke and Heting Zhu

Pollution in the United States rises with economic activity, but at a noticeably lower pace.

2017 / No. 8
Posted 2017-05-23

What Could We Have Expected from a $10 Minimum Wage in the City of St. Louis?

by Charles S. Gascon and James D. Eubanks

Local minimum wages cast a wide net, reaching far beyond low-income residents.

2017 / No. 7
Posted 2017-05-17

Remembering Allan H. Meltzer

by Kevin L. Kliesen

Federal Reserve leaders must be willing to break from conventional wisdom.

2017 / No. 6
Posted 2017-05-12

The Survival Rate of the Smallest Establishments During the Great Recession

by James D. Eubanks and David Wiczer

Very small establishments closed at about twice the rate of larger ones.

2017 / No. 5
Posted 2017-03-28

Does Data Confusion Equal Forecast Confusion?

by Kevin L. Kliesen

“Soft” data suggest a much brighter economic outlook compared with the “hard” data.

2017 / No. 4
Posted 2017-03-17

The Connection Between Social Security Disability Insurance and High Unemployment

by David Wiczer

Even as national unemployment has fallen, counties with persistently high unemployment also have more disability.

2017 / No. 3
Posted 2017-03-03

The People’s Bank of China Boosts the Yuan

by Christopher J. Neely

China has been using traditional and novel policy tools to fight speculative pressure to devalue the yuan.

2017 / No. 2
Posted 2017-02-24

Aging and Wealth Inequality

by Guillaume Vandenbroucke and Heting Zhu

An aging population may reduce wealth inequality.

2017 / No. 1
Posted 2017-02-17

Secured and Unsecured Debt Over the Business Cycle

by Maria A. Arias and Yi Wen

Unsecured debt better predicts economic activity than secured debt.


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