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Economic Synopses

Short essays on the economic issues of the day written for a generally informed readership.

2015, No. 16

Is Inflation Running Hot or Cold?

Changes in the aggregate price level can be traced back to changes in the underlying components.


2015, No. 15

Synchronization of Business Cycles and the Extensive Margin of Trade

The business cycle is more highly synchronized between countries that trade more differentiated intermediate products with each other.


2015, No. 14

Lagging Long-Term Wage Growth

The long-run trend of average wages has consistently failed to keep pace with overall economic growth.


2015, No. 13

The Relationship Between Labor Market Conditions and Wage Growth

The negative relationship between unemployment and earnings growth seems to hold across states.


2015, No. 12

Liftoff and the Natural Rate of Interest

The natural rate is viewed in some circles as a useful concept for the FOMC in setting the federal funds rate.


2015, No. 11

Safe Occupations Are Growing

Health problems and disability claims have declined in the fastest-growing occupations.


2015, No. 10

How Much Do Oil Prices Affect Inflation?

It is puzzling why large monthly or quarterly oil price changes predict very small changes in the CPI but daily oil prices predict large changes in breakeven inflation.


2015, No. 9

How Accurate Are Measures of Long-Term Inflation Expectations?

Inflation expectations formed in the mid-2000s weren’t very accurate—in large part because of the shocks from the recession and financial crisis.


2015, No. 8

Oil Prices: Is Supply or Demand Behind the Slump?

A standard decomposition suggests the role of oil supply (understood as the current physical availability of crude) has been small.


2015, No. 7

Student Loan Delinquency: A Big Problem Getting Worse?

A delinquency rate of 15 percent for all student loan borrowers implies a delinquency rate of 27.3 percent for borrowers with loans in repayment.


2015, No. 6

Jobs: More Slowly Created, More Slowly Destroyed

Reduced dynamism in the labor market is consistent not only with more stable, longer-lived jobs but also longer joblessness and less job switching.


2015, No. 5

Measuring Labor Productivity: Technology and the Labor Supply

GDP per hour (rather than GDP per capita) better measures labor productivity.


2015, No. 4

Firm Size and Employment Dynamics

Large firms have been creating a significantly higher fraction of jobs since the Great Recession.


2015, No. 3

Are Oil Price Declines Good for the Economy?

As expected, falling crude oil prices lead to falling gasoline prices and lower inflation.


2015, No. 2

The Economic Fundamentals of Emerging Market Volatility

Countries with weaker economic fundamentals experienced higher currency volatility and capital flows.


2015, No. 1

Global Monetary Policy Amidst Deflationary Concerns

Fear of demand-driven deflation calls for expansionary economic policies.


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