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Series:Economic Policy Paper 

Discussion Paper
Our Guild-Ridden Economy: Issues and Possible Solutions

The growth of occupational licensing in the United States has resulted in higher labor costs, restricted services and other economic distortions, with relatively limited benefits in practice quality. This essay describes the state of such licensing, discusses pros and cons of the practice, and suggests several proposals to improve the current situation.
Economic Policy Paper , Paper 15-9

Discussion Paper
The Stages of Economic Growth Revisited, Part 2: Catching Up to and Joining the Economic Leader

Rostow (1960) hypothesized that taking off into economic growth was a difficult task for countries in the 19th century, requiring major changes in institutions. In the 20th century, however, as the United States and other advanced countries became richer because of improvements in technologies and managerial practices, it became easier for poor countries to take off into rapid growth by adopting some of these improvements. {{p}} We hypothesize that, while taking off is now easier, the difficult transition is now from take-off to catch-up, where nations grow closer to the economic leader (now ...
Economic Policy Paper , Paper 16-6

Discussion Paper
New manufacturing investment and unions

Despite recent media stories about both labor unions and the potential revitalization of U.S. manufacturing, most current policy discussions about improving business climate to foster manufacturing neglect the role of unions. This, plus the continued decline in U.S. union membership, might lead one to believe that unions matter little for new investment decisions. This essay argues that, in fact, unions remain an extremely significant factor in decisions by U.S. manufacturers about where they will or will not make new investments. Both unions and manufacturing are discussed in an analysis ...
Economic Policy Paper , Paper 13-2

Discussion Paper
Competition and the Decline of the Rust Belt

The decline of the heavy manufacturing industry in the American ?Rust Belt? is often thought to have begun in the late 1970s, when the United States suffered a significant recession. But theory suggests, and data support, that the Rust Belt?s decline started in the 1950s when the region?s dominant industries faced virtually no product or labor competition and therefore had little incentive to innovate or become more productive. As foreign imports increased and manufacturing shifted to the American South, the Rust Belt?s share of manufacturing jobs and total jobs declined dramatically. ...
Economic Policy Paper , Paper 14-6

Discussion Paper
Tax buyouts: raising government revenue without distorting work decisions

Economic Policy Paper , Paper 10-4

Discussion Paper
Realistic neoclassical multiplier

Standard neoclassical models are unable to generate large values for the fiscal multiplier, the aggregate economic response to increased government spending. Empirical estimates place the multiplier between 0.7 and 1.0. Standard models deliver figures close to zero. In an earlier policy paper, we modified the standard model, with features of demand-based productivity. These modifications raised the figure to just 0.17, still very far from the range found in the empirical literature.
Economic Policy Paper , Paper 13-5

Discussion Paper
On the Importance of Easing Consumer Credit Frictions

The vast bulk of the government financial interventions during the Great Recession was directed at helping banks weather the financial crisis. The design of these programs was heavily influenced by the view that helping banks preserve their means of providing finance to firms was the most important ingredient in ensuring a quick recovery from the crisis. We argue that the cross-state patterns of employment, output and debt in the United States suggest that financial frictions that led to a tightening of credit to consumers were more important in accounting for the recession than those that ...
Economic Policy Paper , Paper 17-5

Discussion Paper
Quantifying the costs of additional regulation on community banks

In this Economic Policy Paper, we quantify the cost of increased regulation on community banks. We do so by modeling the impact of new regulatory costs as the hiring of additional staff, resulting in higher total compensation and lower profitability. We then analyze the changes in the distribution of community bank profitability.
Economic Policy Paper , Paper 13-3

Discussion Paper
Assessing Community Bank Consolidation

Observers argue that increased regulation and supervision added in response to the financial crisis will speed the decline of community banks. Determining if the rate of community bank consolidation is higher than it would have been absent this additional regulation requires a baseline estimate of community bank consolidation. A baseline estimate is particularly important because the number of community banks in the states of the Ninth Federal Reserve District and the nation as a whole has been in a steady rate of decline for several decades. This paper uses several simple methods to provide ...
Economic Policy Paper , Paper 14-1

Discussion Paper
Monetary Policy and Employment

In its ?Statement on Longer-Run Goals and Monetary Policy Strategy,? the Federal Open Market Committee (Federal Reserve Board of Governors, 2014) summarizes its two main objectives: to mitigate (i) deviations of inflation from its longer-run goal and (ii) deviations of employment from the Federal Open Market Committee?s assessment of its maximum level. In the case of employment, the statement acknowledges that ?the maximum level ... is largely determined by nonmonetary factors,? which is why the FOMC sets no fixed goal for the employment level. It instead depends on the Committee?s ...
Economic Policy Paper , Paper 15-7

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