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Content Type:Briefing 

Briefing
A principal components approach to estimating labor market pressure and its implications for inflation

We build a summary measure of labor market pressure that captures the common movement among a variety of labor market series. Obtained as the labor market series? first principal component, this measure explains a large portion of the variability of the underlying series. For this reason, it is a good summary indicator of labor market pressure. We show that the unemployment rate gap has tracked this summary measure closely over the past 35 years. At times, however, the summary measure and the unemployment rate gap have sent somewhat different signals. In terms of relying on the principal ...
Public Policy Brief

Briefing
Discount Window Lending: Policy Trade-offs and the 1985 BoNY Computer Failure

On November 21, 1985, the Bank of New York (BoNY) suffered a software failure that left it unable to redeliver securities it had received from other institutions as an intermediary. The result of the failure was that the bank sought and received $22.6 billion in discount window lending from the New York Fed, a record-setting amount. The episode presents a case study for considering when discount window lending and similar interventions are justified as a matter of efficiency, as well as the need for policymakers to take account of possible moral hazard that may lead to inadequate safeguards ...
Richmond Fed Economic Brief , Issue May

Briefing
The earned income tax credit: recipients, labor force participation, and credit constraints

There has been a longstanding debate in the United States about how to assist low-income families. The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is designed to augment income while encouraging work: The tax credit increases with earnings for low levels of household income, but declines and ultimately is phased out as incomes rise. The EITC appears to have increased labor force participation but its effects on hours worked is ambiguous. Given the low levels of net wealth of most EITC recipients, it is likely that many are credit constrained and unable to smooth their consumption patterns.
Richmond Fed Economic Brief , Issue Mar

Briefing
How Risky Are Young Borrowers?

Young borrowers are conventionally considered the most prone to making financial mistakes. This has spurred efforts to limit their access to credit, particularly via credit cards. Recent research suggests, however, that young borrowers are actually among the least likely to experience a serious credit card default. One reason why people obtain credit cards early in life may be to build a strong credit history.
Richmond Fed Economic Brief , Issue Dec

Briefing
Retaining recent college graduates in New England: an update on current trends

This policy brief presents some basic facts about the retention of recent college graduates and changes in retention over time. It considers how New England compares with other divisions, what factors affect its ability to retain graduates, and the reasons why recent college graduates choose to leave New England. It also highlights a Boston-area initiative to promote internships as a retention tool.
New England Public Policy Center Policy Brief

Briefing
Fees, fraud and regulation: force of change in the payment card industry

This article summarizes analysis from three recent Economic Review articles on how changes to card payment technology and debit card regulation will affect the U.S. retail payments system in years to come.
Payments System Research Briefing , Issue Apr

Briefing
Interchange fees and network rules: a shift from antitrust litigation to regulatory measures in various countries

This article summarizes the global trends in public authority involvement in payment card pricing and rules, examines reasons for the shift to regulatory measures, and considers potential implications for the United States.
Payments System Research Briefing , Issue Oct , Pages 1-5

Briefing
The Impact of Higher Temperatures on Economic Growth

What happens to the economy when it gets hot outside? Despite long-standing assumptions that economic damage from rising global temperatures would be limited to the agricultural sector or developing economies, this Economic Brief presents evidence that higher summer temperatures hurt a variety of business sectors in the United States
Richmond Fed Economic Brief , Issue August

Briefing
Have Yield Curve Inversions Become More Likely?

The recent flattening of the yield curve has raised concerns that a recession is around the corner. Such concerns stem partly from the fact that yield curve inversions have preceded each of the past seven recessions. However, other factors affect the yield curve's shape besides the expected future health of the economy. In particular, a low term premium ? as has been observed in recent years ? makes yield curve inversions more likely even if the risk of recession has not increased at all.
Richmond Fed Economic Brief , Issue December

Briefing
How useful are consumer surveys as macroeconomic indicators?

Most economic indicators attempt to summarize what happened at a particular time in the past. Consumer surveys, however, examine attitudes and are thus fundamentally different from other widely reported indicators. Some surveys, such as those that measure inflation expectations, have proven to be useful to economists and policymakers, while the evidence is more mixed for others, such as forecasts of consumer spending.
Richmond Fed Economic Brief , Issue July

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