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Author:Schweitzer, Mark E. 

Report
Understanding the persistence of poverty

Millions of U.S. citizens continue to live in poverty within one of the wealthiest and most productive nations in the world. The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland's 2006 Annual Report reviews some of the reasons for the persistence of poverty in America and suggests that better education and training may be the best defense against poverty.
Annual Report

Journal Article
Unemployment, labor costs, and recessions: implications for the inflation outlook

Economists have been arguing about the connection between unemployment and infl ation for decades. Critics claim that the connection is unreliable and leads policymakers astray, while others argue that the relationship is useful for forecasting. We examine the more direct connections between elevated unemployment levels and the rate of increase in wage and labor costs, more generally. We fi nd that wage and labor cost growth has declined markedly following recent recessions. It has again declined sharply in the most recent recession. We also fi nd that compensation typically remains subdued ...
Economic Commentary , Issue Sept

Journal Article
Alternatives to Libor in consumer mortgages

Many adjustable rate mortgages in the United States are indexed to Libor. While the accuracy of this rate has recently been called into question, another issue affecting U.S. borrowers has become evident since the onset of the financial crisis. Specifically, many U.S. consumers with Libor-based loans may have been hit with substantially higher payments when their loans reset during the financial crisis than if those loans had been tied to a Treasury rate. We investigate several alternative reference rates for consumer loans and estimate their payment effects on a large sample of Libor-linked ...
Economic Commentary , Issue Oct

Journal Article
What’s Gone Wrong (and Right) in the Industrial Heartland?

The historically Midwestern manufacturing region, sometimes referred to as the ?Rust Belt,? faced another challenging period after 2000 when manufacturing employment declined by 1.2 million jobs. This Commentary investigates the relative economic performance of this region versus other US metropolitan areas during and following these job losses. The analysis shows that while unemployment rates have recovered in the metro areas of the industrial heartland, other economic indicators lag behind the manufacturing-intensive metro areas outside of the region.
Economic Commentary , Issue September

Working Paper
Ready, willing, and able? measuring labour availability in the UK

The unemployment rate is commonly assumed to measure labour availability, but this ignores the fact that potential workers frequently come from outside the current set of labour market participants, the so-called inactive. The UK Longitudinal Labour Force Survey includes information that can be used to predict impending employment transitions. Using this unique dataset, new measures of labour availability, and indicators based on the more familiar unemployment rate alternatives, can be constructed and are reported here. The micro and macroeconomic performance of these labour force ...
Working Papers (Old Series) , Paper 0303

Journal Article
State employment 1995: slowing to a recession?

An appraisal of the health of the national economy based on the final state employment figures for 1995. The authors find that although employment growth has tapered off throughout the United States, there is no definitive evidence of a national recession in the near term.
Economic Commentary , Issue Mar

Report
How wages change: micro evidence from the international wage flexibility project

How do the complex institutions involved in wage setting affect wage changes? The International Wage Flexibility Project provides new microeconomic evidence on how wages change for continuing workers. We analyze individuals' earnings in thirty-one different data sets from sixteen countries, from which we obtain a total of 360 wage change distributions. We find a remarkable amount of variation in wage changes across workers. Wage changes have a notably non-normal distribution; they are tightly clustered around the median and also have many extreme values. Furthermore, nearly all countries show ...
Staff Reports , Paper 275

Working Paper
The incidence of nominal and real wage rigidities in Great Britain: 1978–1998

This paper analyzes the extent of rigidities in wage setting in Great Britain over the 1980s and 1990s. Our estimation strategy, which generalizes the work of Altonji and Devereux (2000), models the notional wage growth distribution--the distribution of nominal wage growth that would occur in the absence of rigidities in pay--while allowing for the presence of measurement error in the data. The model then allows for the possibility that the nominal wage growth of a fraction of the workforce may be subject to a nominal or real downward rigidity. Our model suggests that real rigidities in wage ...
Working Papers (Old Series) , Paper 0508

Working Paper
The effects of minimum wages on the distribution of family incomes: a nonparametric analysis

The primary goal of a national minimum wage floor is to raise the incomes of poor families with members in the work force. We present evidence on the effects of minimum wages on family incomes from March CPS surveys. Using non-parametric estimates of the distributions of family income relative to needs in states and years with and without minimum wage increases, we examine the effects of minimum wages on this distribution, and on the distribution of the changes in income that families experience. Although minimum wages do increase the incomes of some poor families, the evidence indicates that ...
Working Papers (Old Series) , Paper 0412

Working Paper
State growth empirics: the long-run determinants of state income growth

Real average U.S. per capita personal income growth over the last 65 years exceeded a remarkable 400 percent. Also notable over this period is that the stark income differences across states have narrowed considerably: In 1939 the highest income state?s per capita personal income was 4.5 times the lowest, but by 1976 this ratio had fallen to less than 2 times. Since 1976, the standard deviation of per capita incomes at the state level has actually risen, as some higher-income states have seen their income levels rise relative to the median of the states. A better understanding of the sources ...
Working Papers (Old Series) , Paper 0606

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