The Research Division's goal is to promote quality economic research and contribute to economic policy discussions while expanding the frontier of economic knowledge around the globe in the areas of money and banking, macroeconomics, and international and regional economics.
The primary responsibility of our economists is to conduct research, which they have published in numerous refereed journals and presented at conferences all over the world. In fact, staff economists—especially new PhDs—spend the overwhelming majority of their time on their research. And although the goal remains the same—to inform policy discussions—the paths to reach that goal vary widely. Economists develop their own research topics; then, in a collegial environment, they are challenged to move their ideas even further. And all the necessary supports are in place to allow them to focus on what they do best—research. Here is what you can expect.
Staff research analysts (RAs) are full-time professionals with degrees in economics. RAs are assigned to economists based on their research needs. A formal description of their duties may be found here. An informal description is this: They do whatever is called for to help economists complete their research.
The proximity of creative thinkers can move ideas to a new level or open new areas for exploration. It can speed up the research process as well. It is why we have a visiting scholar program. Our short-term visiting scholar program is economist driven—that is, economists select colleagues and request that they be invited to visit. Longer-term visiting scholars are chosen with significant staff input. Whether it's collaboration on a research project, comments on current research, or an informal conversation at Starbucks, the expertise of our visiting scholars is a valued resource.
Our Research Automation Group is dedicated to meeting the IT needs of the Research Division. They manage the hardware and software and provide all the related support necessary to keep our active research environment up and running. Their goal is to ensure that computing doesn't constrain research projects, and they welcome a challenge.
The St. Louis Fed maintains many widely used economic datasets, including the data contained in FRED. In addition, our support staff are experienced with many other datasets and vendors, including Haver, Bloomberg, and Global Insight. Additional data is purchased as needed for specific projects.
Our in-house Homer Jones Memorial Library was developed with economists in mind. You'll find access to numerous economic and business databases, as well as online (including mobile) access to peer-reviewed journals and major news publications, such as the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times. Our ever-expanding book collection is built around staff economists' research needs. Our library catalog, a consortium with six other Federal Reserve Bank libraries, includes over 40,000 titles. Our staff of professional librarians is ready to answer your questions, acquire the data you need, and assist you with your research projects.
Our staff editors do what a computer simply can't—thoroughly read your work. Whether you need the help of a wordsmith or simple proofreading, our editors will assist you with papers, book reviews, letters, and any other written materials. Short, desk-side queries are welcomed as well.