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Content Type:Briefing 

School Quality as a Tool for Attracting People to Rural Areas

Many rural localities are interested in strategies for retaining residents and attracting newcomers. Recent research indicates that one promising strategy for rural development is maintaining and improving the quality of an area's public schools. In this research, which is the first national study of the relationship between school quality and migration flows in and out of rural areas, better outcomes for students in a rural county's schools were associated with higher migration into that county.
Richmond Fed Economic Brief , Issue 20-08 , Pages 4

Neobanks: Banks by Any Other Name?

Neobanks, or digital banks, are bank-like providers of financial services that operate through apps and aim to appeal to different consumer groups through innovative features and design. Whether or not neobanks evolve into full banks, they have the potential to affect the traditional banking model.
Payments System Research Briefing

Pondering Payments: Challenges of Reaching All Americans

Policy Perspectives

Inflation Targeting: Could Bad Luck Explain Persistent One-Sided Misses?

In January 2012, the Federal Open Market Committee set an explicit inflation target of 2 percent, but the annual inflation rate has been 0.25 percentage points or more below that target for the past 10 quarters. Extended periods of one-sided misses are common among inflation-targeting countries, but it is not clear whether these persistent deviations are caused by structural changes, bad policy or bad luck. Analysis of the statistical properties of the inflation process in the United States suggests that bad luck remains a plausible explanation for the FOMC's current string of one-sided ...
Richmond Fed Economic Brief , Issue Sept

The fiscal capacity of New England

New Englanders may demand high levels of government services, but their underlying need for public service provision remains quite low, and they tend to be able to better afford the costs of these services relative to the rest of the nation. As a result, the region?s state and local governments face relatively less pressure to raise taxes or increase spending in order to achieve a basic level of public services, and constituent preferences may play a larger role in the fiscal decisions that New England policymakers make.
New England Public Policy Center Policy Brief , Issue May

The Burns Disinflation of 1974

Economists often describe the Great Inflation of the 1970s as a failure of the monetary policy actions of the Federal Reserve under Chairman Arthur Burns. According to conventional wisdom, when Paul Volcker became chairman of the Fed in 1979, he implemented changes that ushered in a period of disinflation. This Economic Brief challenges this standard narrative in two ways. First, it argues that the ?Volcker disinflation? had its roots in 1974. And second, Volcker?s actions were the culmination of a gradual shift in policy that began under Burns rather than an abrupt shift.
Richmond Fed Economic Brief , Issue November

Should the Fed Do Emergency Lending?

In its 100-year history, many of the Federal Reserve's actions in the name of financial stability have come through emergency lending once financial crises are underway. It is not obvious that the Fed should be involved in emergency lending, however, since expectations of such lending can increase the likelihood of crises. Arguments in favor of this role often misread history. Instead, history and experience suggest that the Fed's balance sheet activities should be restricted to the conduct of monetary policy.
Richmond Fed Economic Brief , Issue July

State government budgets and the Recovery Act

State and local governments, with revenues reduced sharply by the recession, are responding by cutting services, increasing tax rates, and drawing down reserves; they are also receiving some relief in the form of stimulus funds provided by the federal government. The stimulus funds legislated in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act only partly offset the recession-induced shortfalls and are scheduled to phase out before most analysts believe state and local governments will see fiscal recovery well underway. Thus, observers are concerned that the state-local sector will create a ...
Public Policy Brief

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

Do foreclosures affect Boston public school student academic performance?

Foreclosures have well-documented adverse consequences for families living in or owning properties undergoing foreclosure and on surrounding neighborhoods, but they may also have other costs. This policy brief summarizes our research on the impact of mortgage foreclosures on academic performance among Boston public school students. The data show that students who live at an address that experiences a foreclosure tend to score substantially lower on standardized tests (math and English) and also have substantially worse attendance. However, if we account for the influence of student ...
Public Policy Brief


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