Can Social Security survive the baby boomers?
The extent and impact of outsourcing: evidence from Germany
The authors use data from several sources, including plant-level data from the manufacturing sector in Germany, to expand the literature on outsourcing. They find that, in Germany, the extent of outsourcing among manufacturing industries is higher than among service industries and that the outsourcing intensity of these industries did not change much between 1995 and 2005. They also find a statistically significantly positive impact of industry-level outsourcing intensity on German plant-level labor produc- tivity for both 2000 and 2005. The estimated economic impact of outsourcing on ...
The microfinance revolution: an overview
The Nobel Prize committee awarded the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize to Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank "for their efforts to create economic and social development from below." The microfinance revolution has come a long way since Yunus first provided financing to the poor in Bangladesh. The committee has recognized microfinance as "an important liberating force" and an "ever more important instrument in the struggle against poverty." Although several authors have provided comprehensive surveys of microfinance, our aim is somewhat more modest: This article is intended as a ...
Increasing political freedom may be key to reducing threats
The root causes of terrorism might not be poverty and lack of education, as many believe. Rather, the lack of civil liberties, political rights and the rule of law might be more influential.
A primer on social security systems and reforms
This article reviews the characteristics of different social security systems. Many configurations arise depending on the nature of a system?s funding and determination of benefits. Many reforms propose changing the U.S. Social Security system. The authors focus their analysis of the transition from a pay-as-you-go to a fully funded system. They argue that the key component of any reform is the treatment of the implicit liabilities of a country?s social security system. The welfare gains accruing to some cohorts as a result of such reforms usually stem from either a partial or complete ...
The geographic distribution and characteristics of U.S. bank failures, 2007-2010: do bank failures still reflect local economic conditions?
The financial crisis and recession that began in 2007 brought a sharp increase in the number of bank failures in the United States. This article investigates characteristics of banks that failed and regional patterns in bank failure rates during 2007-10. The article compares the recent experience with that of 1987-92, when the United States last experienced a high number of bank failures. As during the 1987-92 and prior episodes, bank failures during 2007-10 were concentrated in regions of the country that experienced the most serious distress in real estate markets and the largest declines ...
The economic cost of war
It is difficult to measure the cost of the Iraq war and related expenses; it is at least as difficult to decide exactly what costs to measure. The May 2008 issue compares the two most widely cited estimates: one from the Congressional Budget Office and the other from researchers Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes. The newsletter also compares these estimates to U.S. GDP over the same time frame to get a better sense of the war's cost in relation to the entire U.S. economy.
Employment growth mixed across Eighth District