Re-balancing act : global imbalances in a changing world
The world has been confronting unusually large current account imbalances for so long now that international policy makers have almost stopped warning that these represent a major risk to the world economic outlook. This essay featured in the 2006 annual report summarizes presentations and discussion at the 51st economic conference of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, ?Global Imbalances - As Giants Evolve,? which was held in June 2006.
AUTHORS: Little, Jane Sneddon
Small steps in the right direction?: restructuring public education
When the term "knowledge-based economy" first entered popular discussion - sometime around the early 1980s - the focus was exclusively on scientific, technological, and business leadership. Only gradually did our society come to appreciate the pervasiveness of the knowledge-based economy. It affects not just the demand for high-level technical and entrepreneurial talent but, indeed, the job requirements for virtually all types of work. This growing realization has laid the foundation for broad-scale reforms of education in the United States and many other nations.
AUTHORS: Kodrzycki, Yolanda; Minehan, Cathy E.
Trade and growth in New England
From the time when New England timber built the British navy and Salem boys sailed ginseng root to China and returned as wealthy men, New England?s growth has been tightly linked with international trade. The ties are no less compelling today. Trade raises living standards by promoting the efficient use of resources and encouraging the adoption of new technologies and productivity improvements. New England is a region that specializes in new technologies, a region with limited natural resources, and trade is essential to its future well-being. However, like technological change, increased trade can hurt some individuals, particularly the low-skilled, and their communities, at least in the short run. Understandably, fear of increased foreign competition spurs resistance to more open trade policies, like the creation and broadening of the NAFTA, even though, over the long run, such developments hold the promise of increasing incomes in New England, in the United States, and in our trading partners. There is no doubt freer trade can cause hardships, but their remedy lies not in espousing protectionism, but in adequately preparing New England?s work force for a rapidly changing global economy.
AUTHORS: Cathy E. Minehan with Jane S. Little
Safeguarding financial markets: an emerging design for stability
Retrospective on five years with the Boston Fed
This annual report focuses on the five years during which Richard F. Syron was president of the Boston Fed and on three issues in which Boston?s experience illustrates the important role played by regional Reserve Banks: monetary policy, banking regulation, and fair lending.
AUTHORS: Syron, Richard F.
The outlook for New England banking
Resilience has historically characterized the New England region, and the past year has exemplified that long-standing quality. Coming out of the worst regional recession since the Great Depression has been slow and painful, and the lives of many of our neighbors have been disrupted along the way. Fortunately, by the end of 1992 there were signs that the economic decline in New England was nearing the bottom.
AUTHORS: Rosengren, Eric S.; Pulkkinen, Thomas E.; Syron, Richard F.
One view of what the future holds for New England
After a decade of truly remarkable growth, the New England economy has weakened. Employment fell in 1989 and the unemployment rate increased. Further weakening seems to have occurred in the early months of 1990. New England continues to compare favorably with the nation according to such common indicators as the unemployment rate and per capita income, but recent developments suggest that the region is returning to a more normal relationship with the rest of the country. This transition is proving to be quite painful for some sectors of the economy, resulting in a high degree of confusion and anxiety regarding the region's overall economic health.
AUTHORS: Browne, Lynn E.; Syron, Richard F.
The future of the skilled labor force in New England: the supply of recent college graduates
One of New England?s greatest assets is its skilled labor force, which has historically been an engine of economic growth in the region. But the skilled labor force of the future is growing more slowly in New England than in the rest of the United States.
AUTHORS: Sasser, Alicia
Lessons from resurgent cities
In 2008, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston began a project to help reinvigorate the city of Springfield, Massachusetts. This cross-departmental initiative uses the Boston Fed's research and convening capabilities to complement the efforts of other organizations dedicated to improving economic and social conditions in New England's fourth-largest city. As noted in an earlier joint Federal Reserve-Brookings Institution study, Springfield has one of the highest rates of concentrated poverty in the country: one-third of the city's poor live in neighborhoods where poverty rates exceed 40 percent. Thus, a particular focus of the Boston Fed project has been to support revitalization strategies that would enable more city residents, particularly those located in poor areas, to prosper. While the Boston Fed project focuses on the city of Springfield, we hope to devise approaches that can be replicated in other struggling mid-sized cites around New England and the nation. To this end, this essay reports on lessons learned from our research on older industrial cities that have adapted relatively well to economic challenges, and are recognized as vital communities today. We believe these "resurgent cities" provide relevant, inspiring insights on development strategies for urban America.
AUTHORS: Munoz, Ana Patricia; Kodrzycki, Yolanda
Building communities: making a difference
One of the most vexing economic problems facing the United States has been the persistence of pockets of poverty in the midst of prosperity. The reasons for this are many and complex. Prominent among them are economic isolation in the case of rural areas, and language and cultural barriers in the case of many inner-city communities. Discrimination has played a role, but so too has simple ignorance. Resources and opportunities exist in these communities, but getting the recognition from market sources necessary to leverage these assets is difficult. For whatever reason, human and physical resources in these neighborhoods may not be fully utilized. Perhaps even worse, exclusion from the economic mainstream perpetuates and reinforces itself. Lacking jobs, capital, and examples of success, many of these communities have remained mired in poverty.
AUTHORS: Minehan, Cathy E.; Kanders, Kristin