Economic Insights features nontechnical articles on monetary policy, banking, and national, regional, and international economics, all written for a wide audience.
Making Sense of Urban Patterns
In cities worldwide, density peaks near city hall and thins out the farther one travels in all directions. Jeffrey Brinkman explores what drives this pattern, what sparks big shifts such as the postwar suburban migration and today’s taste for city life, and why it all matters for urban policy.
Did the Fiscal Stimulus Work?
The federal government poured hundreds of billions of dollars into the economy in an attempt to combat the Great Recession. Gerald A. Carlino examines just how much bang taxpayers got for their bucks.
Banking Trends: Credit Unions’ Expanding Footprint
New rules expand credit unions’ capacity to make business loans, a key niche for small banks. James DiSalvo and Ryan Johnston explore whether there is any evidence the change could cost small banks market share.
Taxing the 1 Percent
Rising income inequality has prompted proposals to raise taxes on the highest earners. As Makoto Nakajima discusses, arriving at an optimal tax rate involves some complex trade-offs.
The Value of Loyal Customers
The notion that repeat customers are capital for firms may explain a number of long-standing puzzles, including, as Leena Rudanko explores, whether stock prices are in line with firm fundamentals.
Regional Spotlight: Surveying the South Jersey Economy
For a quarter-century, the South Jersey Business Survey has asked firms to report on conditions from where they sit. Michael Trebing examines how reliable the results have been in picking up on regional shifts in employment and other vital signs.
Government Debt in Domestic Hands During a Crisis
When a country’s bonds become concentrated in domestic portfolios, private investment can be crowded out. But Burcu Eyigungor shows how such concentrations during crises may actually help countries avoid a ruinous default.
Understanding Gentrification's Causes
While gentrification's effects are widely studied and debated, less attention is paid to what drives it. Tracing Philadelphia and its environs since colonial times, Jeffrey Lin finds the same factors propelling neighborhood transformation today.
Banking Trends: The Rise in Loan-to-Deposit Ratios: Is 80 the New 60?
Why has a common sign of liquidity risk risen among small banks? James DiSalvo and Ryan Johnston examine whether the trend poses a risk to the sector.
Why Are Men Working Less These Days?
To explain the 50-year decline in male employment, both popular wisdom and standard economic theory point to low wages and rising public benefits. Ryan Michaels looks more closely at the evidence.
Where Is Everybody? The Shrinking Labor Force Participation Rate
The share of the working-age population that is employed or at least looking for work keeps shrinking, increasing the payroll tax burden on those who do work. What’s causing this trend? Is it likely to reverse? Michael Dotsey, Shigeru Fujita, and Leena Rudanko examine the evidence and consider a possible remedy.
Regional Spotlight: Purchasing Power Across the U.S.
Where living costs are low but wages are, too, how does one sort out the net effect? Elif Sen and Adam Scavette show how regional price parities can clarify metro area purchasing power.