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7 posts from June 2013

June 28, 2013

Historical Echoes: Skull Bumps and Economic Behavior

Amy Farber

Phrenology (see this amusing four-minute video), popular in the first half of the nineteenth century, was the study of skull shape and contours (believed to indicate the location of more- and less-developed areas of the brain) in order to discern individuals’ abilities and personality traits (called “faculties” in the phrenologists’ jargon). A clear map of the various skull sections and their corresponding faculties can be found in this excerpt from Samuel Wells’ version of the 1840 Fowler's Practical Phrenology: Giving a Concise Elementary View of Phrenology.

Continue reading "Historical Echoes: Skull Bumps and Economic Behavior" »

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

June 27, 2013

Just Released: Are Recent College Graduates Finding Good Jobs?

Jaison R. Abel and Richard Deitz

Stories abound about recent college graduates who are struggling to find good jobs in today’s economy, especially with student debt levels rising so quickly. But just how bad are the job prospects for recent college graduates when one moves beyond anecdotes and looks at the data? How widespread is unemployment? And how common is it for college graduates to work in a job that doesn’t require a bachelor’s degree—that is, how widespread is underemployment? We examined these questions at today’s economic press briefing at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

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Posted by Blog Author at 12:00 PM in Education, Employment, Unemployment, Wages | Permalink | Comments (0)

June 26, 2013

States Are Recovering Lost Jobs at Surprisingly Similar Rates

Jason Bram and James A. Orr

The U.S. economy lost more than 8 million jobs between January 2008 and February 2010. In contrast with earlier recessions, employment declines were seen across almost all states. The extent varied: In this recession, states with big housing busts generally saw steeper job losses, especially in construction, while some states also had severe job losses driven by manufacturing declines. One feature of this employment recovery is that it’s actually been quite uniform across states—and much more uniform than in earlier recoveries. With few exceptions, states appear to be marching in lockstep.

Continue reading "States Are Recovering Lost Jobs at Surprisingly Similar Rates" »

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

June 24, 2013

Crisis Chronicles: 300 Years of Financial Crises (1620–1920)

James Narron and David Skeie

As momentous as financial crises have been in the past century, we sometimes forget that major financial crises have occurred for centuries—and often. This new series chronicles mostly forgotten financial crises over the 300 years—from 1620 to 1920—just prior to the Great Depression. Today, we journey back to the 1620s and take a fresh look at an economic crisis caused by the rapid debasement of coin in the states that made up the Holy Roman Empire.

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Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Crisis Chronicles , Economic History, Exchange Rates, Monetary Policy | Permalink | Comments (5)

June 05, 2013

Just Released: New York’s Latest Beige Book Report Points to Sustained Growth

Jaison R. Abel and Jason Bram

The New York Fed’s latest Beige Book report points to continued moderate growth in the regional economy. Eight times a year, each of the nation’s twelve Federal Reserve Banks produces a report on current economic conditions in its District, based on largely anecdotal information obtained from a variety of regional business contacts. The New York Fed’s report covers New York State, northern New Jersey, and southwestern Connecticut. The twelve District reports are combined with a national summary to produce what is known as the Beige Book—a document that provides some of the most timely information available on economic conditions.

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Posted by Blog Author at 2:15 PM in Regional Analysis | Permalink | Comments (0)

Drilling Down into Core Inflation: Goods versus Services

M. Henry Linder, Richard Peach, and Robert W. Rich

Among the measures of core inflation used to monitor the inflation outlook, the series excluding food and energy prices is probably the best known and most closely followed by policymakers and the public. While the conventional “ex food and energy” measure is a composite of the price changes of a large number of different products and services, almost all models developed to explain and forecast its behavior do not distinguish between the goods and services categories. Is the distinction important? Here, we highlight the different behavior and determinants of goods inflation and services inflation and suggest, based on preliminary analysis, that we can improve the forecast accuracy of this conventional core inflation measure by combining separate inflation forecasts of the two categories.

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Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Forecasting, Macroecon, Monetary Policy, Phillips Curve, Unemployment | Permalink | Comments (3)

June 03, 2013

Data Link Helps Shed Light on Banks and Public Equity

Anna Kovner, Phoebe White, and Lily Zhou

In this post, we offer comparisons between banks with and without publicly traded equity. Our post uses the link produced by the New York Fed containing regulatory identification numbers (RSSD ID) from the National Information Center (NIC) to the permanent company number (PERMCO) used by the Center for Research in Security Prices (CRSP). The list available via the data link allows researchers to match regulatory information on U.S. bank holding companies (BHCs) with equity market information, including security prices. The link can be used to assist academic papers that conduct event studies on banks (recent papers using these data include Baker and Wurgler [2013] and Ettredge et al. [2013]).

Continue reading "Data Link Helps Shed Light on Banks and Public Equity" »

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

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