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Series:Economic Letter 

Journal Article
'Rational inattention' guides overloaded brains, helps economists understand market behavior

Between Internet news sources, social media and email, people are awash in information, most of it accessible at near-zero cost. Yet, humans possess only a finite capacity to process all of it. The average email user, for example, receives dozens of messages per day. The messages can?t all receive equal attention. How carefully does someone read an email from a sibling or friend before crafting a reply? How closely does a person read an email from the boss?> ; Limitations on the ability to process information force people to make choices regarding the subjects to which they pay more or less ...
Economic Letter , Volume 6

Journal Article
Health care services depress recent PCE inflation readings

Health care services, which historically helped push core measures of inflation higher, have restrained recent readings. Among them is the personal consumption expenditures price index, favored by Federal Reserve policymakers deliberating interest rate changes.
Economic Letter , Volume 11 , Issue 11 , Pages 1-4

Journal Article
Will China ever become as rich as the U.S.?

Twenty years ago, a visitor to Beijing would have been struck by the bicycle?s popularity as a form of mass transportation. Today, auto congestion and pollution on the increasingly clogged roads of China?s capital city are pervasive features. In a little more than three decades, China has transformed itself from a largely closed agrarian society to an urban exporting nation commonly viewed as the workshop of the world. ; At current growth rates, China will be the world?s largest economy sometime in the next decade. But will it ever be the richest? Though providing a definitive answer is ...
Economic Letter , Volume 6

Journal Article
Central bank transparency anchors inflation expectations

A high statistical correlation can be found between the level of policy transparency among central banks and the anchoring of inflation expectations.
Economic Letter , Volume 9 , Issue 4 , Pages 1-4

Journal Article
Corporate Tax Reform: Potential Gains at a Price to Some

Corporate tax reform has become a high-profile issue amid fears that firms are increasingly taking their headquarters and production facilities offshore and booking profits abroad. Adjustments to the tax system can help address these factors, though not without potentially introducing new issues.
Economic Letter , Volume 12 , Issue 6 , Pages 1-4

Journal Article
TALF: Jump-starting the securitization markets

In the financial crisis that began in August 2007, securitization activity virtually dried up. When the housing bubble burst, the value of the collateral backing much of the asset-backed securities (ABS) declined sharply, and so did the value of the securities themselves. The Federal Reserve responded by creating the term asset-backed securities loan facility, or TALF. Its purpose is to boost securitization by providing loans to people holding certain highly rated ABS. These loans will then support new ABS issues and help thaw out the securitization markets. Judging from both new issues and ...
Economic Letter , Volume 4

Journal Article
Central bank communication must overcome the public’s limited attention span

It is critical that central bankers have the ability to communicate their monetary policy goals and intentions involving employment and price stability to the public. The task is complicated in an economy that includes many firms and households in an era of information overload.
Economic Letter , Volume 11 , Issue 6 , Pages 1-4

Journal Article
Bringing banking to the masses, one phone at a time

More than half of the world?s adult population lacks access to formal financial services. The proportion is greater in developing countries, where 64 percent on average do not have bank accounts, compared with 17 percent in developed nations. Mobile communications technology is fast becoming a conduit of change. Cell phone subscriptions have mushroomed to cover 75 percent of the global population, enabling mobile banking networks to sprout and reach the unbanked, disproportionately in developing nations.
Economic Letter , Volume 7 , Issue 11 , Pages 1-4

Journal Article
The 'Great Moderation' in output and employment volatility: an update

The reduced aggregate volatility that began in 1984 has continued into the new millennium.
Economic Letter , Volume 2

Journal Article
Middle-skill jobs lost in U.S. labor market polarization

The number of people performing low-skill, low-pay, manual labor tasks has grown along with the number undertaking high-skill, high-pay, nonroutine, principally problem-solving jobs.
Economic Letter , Volume 9 , Issue 5 , Pages 1-4

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