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15 posts from August 2016

August 09, 2016

Migration in Puerto Rico: Is There a Brain Drain?



LSE_Migration in Puerto Rico: Is There a Brain Drain?

Given Puerto Rico’s long-term economic malaise and ongoing fiscal crisis, it is no wonder that out-migration of the Island’s residents has picked up. Over the past five years alone, migration has resulted in a net outflow of almost 300,000 people, a staggering loss. It would make matters worse, however, if Puerto Rico were losing an outsized share of its highest-paid workers. But we find that, if anything, Puerto Rico’s migrants are actually tilted somewhat toward the lower end of the skills and earnings spectrum. Still, such a large outflow of potentially productive workers and taxpayers is an alarming trend that is likely to have profound consequences for the Island for years to come.

Continue reading "Migration in Puerto Rico: Is There a Brain Drain?" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Human Capital, Labor Economics, Puerto Rico, Regional Analysis, Unemployment, Wages | Permalink | Comments (4)

August 08, 2016

Restoring Economic Growth in Puerto Rico: Introduction to the Series



LSE_Restoring Economic Growth in Puerto Rico: Introduction to the Series


The difficult economic and financial issues facing the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico have remained very much in the news since our post on options for addressing its fiscal problems appeared last fall. That post was itself a follow-up on a series of analyses, starting with a 2012 report that detailed the economic challenges facing the Commonwealth. In 2014, we extended that analysis with an update where we focused more closely on the fiscal challenges facing the Island. As the problems deepened, we have continued to examine important related subjects ranging from positive revisions in employment data, to the credit conditions faced by small businesses, to understanding emigration, and to considering how the Commonwealth’s public debts stack up. In most of this work, we have focused on how policymakers could help to address the immediate issues facing the Island and its people. The U.S. Congress and the Obama Administration took action in June to provide a framework to help address Puerto Rico’s fiscal crisis. But much remains to be done to address these ongoing problems, which represent a significant impediment to economic growth in the short run. It also seems important to revisit the question of the prospects for reviving longer-run growth in the Commonwealth. These concerns were underscored by projections published by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in the April edition of the World Economic Outlook that forecast Puerto Rico’s real GDP and population to decline through 2021.

Continue reading "Restoring Economic Growth in Puerto Rico: Introduction to the Series" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Credit, Employment, Fed Funds, Fiscal Policy, Forecasting, Inflation, International Economics, Puerto Rico, Regional Analysis | Permalink | Comments (1)

August 05, 2016

Historical Echoes: Tickety-Tock, the Bank with the Clock, or Not Just a Pretty Face



LSE_Historical Echoes: Tickety-Tock, the Bank with the Clock, or Not Just a Pretty Face

Which bank in the United States is “the bank with the clock?” More than one bank goes by, or once went by, that nickname, and many more could be called that in a passing reference. One was the Watertown National Bank at 200 Washington Street in Watertown, New York. From a January 1968 article titled “Familiar Face is Gone: Historic Bank Clock Retired”:
Because of the timepiece, the banking institution was for years identified as “the bank with the clock.” When the Watertown National Bank moved . . . in 1943, the clock was retained and placed on the building marking the bank’s relocated quarters. The “bank with the clock” trademark was eventually dropped with a change in name of the banking institutions.

Continue reading "Historical Echoes: Tickety-Tock, the Bank with the Clock, or Not Just a Pretty Face" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

August 03, 2016

The Reluctance of Firms to Interview the Long-Term Unemployed



LSE_The Reluctance of Firms to Interview the Long-Term Unemployed

Estimates from the Current Population Survey show that the probability of finding a job declines the longer one is unemployed. Is this due to a loss of skills from being unemployed, employer discrimination against the long-term unemployed, or are there characteristics of workers in this segment of the workforce that lower their probability of finding a job? Studies that send out fictitious resumes find that employers do consider the length of unemployment in deciding whom to interview. Our recent work examines how such employer screening based on unemployment duration ultimately affects job-finding rates and long-term unemployment.

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Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Employment, Labor Economics, Macroecon, Unemployment | Permalink | Comments (0)

August 01, 2016

Which Households Have Negative Wealth?



Editors’ note: Some numbers related to the relative exposure of households to credit card debt and housing assets have been corrected. (August 2)

LSE_Which Households Have Negative Wealth?

At some point in its life a household’s total debt may exceed its total assets, in which case it has “negative wealth.” Even if this status is temporary, it may affect the household’s ability to save for durable goods, restrict access to further credit, and may require living in a state of limited consumption. Detailed analysis of the holdings of negative-wealth households, however, is a topic that has received little attention. In particular, relatively little is known about the characteristics of such households or about what drives negative wealth. A better understanding of these factors could also prove valuable in explaining and forecasting the persistence of wealth inequality. In this post, we take advantage of a special module of the Survey of Consumer Expectations to shed light on this issue.

Continue reading "Which Households Have Negative Wealth?" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Credit, Household Finance | Permalink | Comments (2)

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