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Working Paper Archives

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

Regional Economics

Airport Noise in Atlanta: The Inequality of Sound

We examine how changes in the geographic concentrations of Hispanic and African-American populations are correlated with changes in probabilities of airport noise, in Atlanta, during 2003 and 2012.

Of Cities and Slums

The emergence of slums is a common feature in a country's path towards urbanization, structural transformation and development.

Estimating Border Effects: The Impact of Spatial Aggregation

Trade data are typically reported at the level of regions or countries and are therefore aggregates across space. In this paper, we investigate the sensitivity of standard gravity estimation to spatial aggregation.

A State-Level Analysis of Okun's Law

Okun's law is an empirical relationship that measures the correlation between the deviation of the unemployment rate from its natural rate and the deviation of output growth from its potential.

Local Polynomial Regressions versus OLS for Generating Location Value Estimates: Which is More Efficient in Out-of-Sample Forecasts?

As an alternative to ordinary least squares (OLS), we estimate location values for single family houses using a standard housing price and characteristics dataset by local polynomial regressions (LPR), a semi-parametric procedure.

Trade and Labor Market Dynamics: General Equilibrium Analysis of the China Trade Shock

We develop a dynamic trade model with spatially distinct labor markets facing varying exposure to international trade. The model captures the role of labor mobility frictions, goods mobility frictions, geographic factors, and input-output linkages in determining equilibrium allocations.

Semi-Parametric Interpolations of Residential Location Values: Using Housing Price Data to Generate Balanced Panels

We estimate location values for single family houses by local polynomial regressions (LPR), a semi-parametric procedure, using a standard housing price and characteristics dataset.

Metro Business Cycles

We construct monthly economic activity indices for the 50 largest U.S. metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) beginning in 1990. Each index is derived from a dynamic factor model based on twelve underlying variables capturing various aspects of metro area economic activity.

Interjurisdictional Competition and Location Decisions of Firms

We examine the welfare properties of alternative regimes of interjurisdictional competition for heterogenous mobile firms.

Unauthorized Immigration and Fiscal Competition

Reflecting upon recent enforcement policy activism of US states and countries within the EU towards unauthorized workers, we examine the overlap of centralized (federal) and decentralized (state or regional) enforcement of immigration policies in a spatial context.

Rural-Urban Migration, Structural Transformation, and Housing Markets in China

This paper explores the contribution of the structural transformation and urbanization process in the housing market in China. City migration ‡flows combined with an inelastic land supply, due to entry restrictions, has raised house prices.

Determinants of Trade Margins: Insights Using State Export Data

We adapt the heterogeneous firm trade models of Helpman, Melitz, and Rubinstein (2008) and Lawless (2010) to analyze extensive and intensive trade margins using state-level exports to foreign nations.

Countercyclical Policy and the Speed of Recovery After Recessions

We consider the effect of some policies intended to shorten recessions and accelerate recoveries. Our innovation is to analyze the duration of the recoveries of various U.S. states, which gives us a cross-section of both state- and national-level policies.

Clustered Housing Cycles

Using a panel of U.S. city-level building permits data, we estimate a Markov-switching model of housing cycles that allows cities to systematically deviate from the national housing cycle.

Regionalization vs. Globalization

Both global and regional economic linkages have strengthened substantially over the past quarter century. We employ a dynamic factor model to analyze the implications of these linkages for the evolution of global and regional business cycles.

Interjurisdictional Competition with Adverse Selection

In this paper, we study the welfare consequences of imposing alternative regimes of competition between two local governments that compete for mobile firms which have private information on their degree of mobility.

Forecasting National Recessions Using State Level Data

A large literature studies the information contained in national-level economic indicators, such as financial and aggregate economic activity variables, for forecasting and nowcasting U.S. business cycle phases (expansions and recessions.)

Did Affordable Housing Legislation Contribute to the Subprime Securities Boom?

We use a regression discontinuity approach and present new institutional evidence to investigate whether affordable housing policies influenced the market for securitized subprime mortgages.

Extensive and Intensive Trade Margins: A State-by-State View

This paper examines a topic of increasing interest, the potential determinants of extensive (i.e., number of firms) and intensive (i.e., average exports per firm) trade margins, using state-level trade to 190 countries. In addition to distance and country size, other factors affecting trade costs and export demand are explored.

The Effect of Neighborhood Spillovers on Mortgage Selection

In this paper we analyze how spillovers in mortgage adoption affect mortgage product choice across neighborhoods and across borrowers of different racial or ethnic groups.

Where is an Oil Shock?

Much of the literature examining the effects of oil shocks asks the question ―What is an oil shock? and has concluded that oil-price increases are asymmetric in their effects on the US economy. That is, sharp increases in oil prices affect economic activity adversely, but sharp decreases in oil prices have no effect.

Local Cost of Living and Demand Estimation: An Application to State Lotteries

The cost of living varies as much across regions as it does across time, but researchers have only begun to acknowledge the importance of controlling for regional differences in the cost of living when conducting cross-sectional analyses.

Discordant City Employment Cycles

This paper estimates city-level employment cycles for 58 large U.S. cities and documents the substantial cross-city variation in the timing, lengths, and frequencies of their employment contractions.

Ethnic Networks and Trade: Intensive vs. Extensive Margins

Ethnic networks—as proxies for information networks—have been associated with higher levels of international trade. Previous research has not differentiated between the roles of these networks on the extensive and intensive margins.

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).

Personal-Bankruptcy Cycles

This paper estimates the dynamics of the personal-bankruptcy rate over the business cycle by exploiting large cross-state variation in recessions and bankruptcies. We find that bankruptcy rates are significantly higher than normal during a recession and rise as a recession persists.

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.

Does the Structure of Banking Markets Affect Economic Growth? Evidence from U.S. State Banking Markets

This paper examines the impacts of banking market structure and regulation on economic growth using new data on banking market concentration and manufacturing industry-level growth rates for U.S. states during 1899-1929—a period when the manufacturing sector was expanding rapidly and restrictive branching laws segmented the U.S. banking system geographically.

The Local Effects of Monetary Policy

Many studies have documented disparities in the regional responses to monetary policy shocks. However, because of computational issues, the literature has often neglected the richest level of disaggregation: the city. In this paper, we estimate the city-level responses to monetary policy shocks in a Bayesian VAR.

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.

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