The role of colleges and universities in building local human capital
Colleges and universities can contribute to the economic success of a region by deepening the skills and knowledge?or human capital?of its residents. Producing graduates who join the region?s educated workforce is one way these institutions increase human capital levels. In addition, the knowledge and technologies created through research activities at area universities may not only attract new firms to a region but also help existing businesses expand and innovate. These ?spillover effects? can in turn raise the region?s demand for high-skilled workers.
Interest-Bearing Securities When Interest Rates are Below Zero
Negative interest rates have evolved, over the past few years, from a topic of modest academic interest to a practical reality. Short- and intermediate-term sovereign debt of several European countries, including Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden, Austria, and Switzerland, now trades at negative yields.
How the Fed Managed the Treasury Yield Curve in the 1940s
The coronavirus pandemic has prompted the Federal Reserve to pledge to purchase Treasury securities and agency mortgage-backed securities in the amount needed to support the smooth market functioning and effective transmission of monetary policy to the economy. But some market participants have questioned whether something more might not be required, including possibly some form of direct yield curve control. In the first half of the 1940s the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) sought to manage the level and shape of the Treasury yield curve. In this post, we examine what can be learned ...
Economic inequality has increased in the United States?this much is clear. But the reasons, the consequences and the future are far from obvious. Recent research provides some intriguing suggestions.
Interview with James Poterba
James Poterba, MIT economist and incoming president of the National Bureau of Economic Research, on the potential for tax reform, the wealth effect of housing prices, and the future of economic research.
Author identification in economics, ... and beyond
Identifying authorship correctly and efficiently is a difficult problem when the literature is abundant, but poorly recorded. Homonyms are tedious to differentiate. This paper describes how the field of economics has organized itself with respect to author identification. We describe the RePEc project with a special emphasis on the RePEc Author Service. We then discuss how the concept is currently being expanded to the entire scientific body with the AuthorClaim project.
Replication and scientific standards in economics a decade later: the impact of JMCB project
Scientific inquiry embodies skepticism. Researchers are trained to scrutinize every result, doubting not only the truth but also the tests of every hypothesis. Research papers in professional journals typically present only summaries of results, however, providing neither the programs nor data that a reader requires fully understanding -- and questioning -- the authors' tests. The Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking project a decade ago was the first attempt by the editor of a major journal to furnish readers with the data and programs used by the journal's authors. The project revealed the ...
The role of data & program code archives in the future of economic research
This essay examines the role of data and program-code archives in making economic research "replicable." Replication of published results is recognized as an essential part of the scientific method. Yet, historically, both the "demand for" and "supply of" replicable results in economics has been minimal. "Respect for the scientific method" is not sufficient to motivate either economists or editors of professional journals to ensure the replicability of published results. We enumerate the costs and benefits of mandatory data and code archives, and argue that the benefits far exceed the costs. ...
Monetary economic research at the St. Louis Fed during Ted Balbach's tenure as research director
Ted Balbach served as research director at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis from 1975 to 1992. This paper lauds his contributions during that time, including the expanded influence of the Review, enhanced databases and data publications, and a visiting scholar program that attracted leading economists from around the world. Balbach is remembered fondly as a visionary leader and gracious mentor.