Kristie Engemann is an economic content coordinator in the St. Louis Fed’s Public Affairs division.
Satisfying a need to get out in the field, some economists are studying sports. Their topics have included racism in the NBA, coaches’ maximization of their chances of winning, and the direction that soccer players and goalies should move during penalty kicks.
Not only are more American families in debt, but the median value of the debt more than doubled between 1989 and 2004. Credit cards and payday loans are two of the favorite tools for digging the hole deeper.
According to the 2004 Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF), the percentage of families holding debt rose from 72.3 percent in 1989 to 76.4 percent in 2004. Among families holding debt, the median value of the debt more than doubled during that time from $22,000 to $55,300 (in 2004 dollars). These numbers reflect both a rise in collateralized debt (e.g., mortgages) and uncollateralized debt (e.g., credit cards).
Having the same job for one's entire career has become much less common over the past quarter-century. Many people switch jobs voluntarily; others, not. Behind this trend are changes in demographics, changes in technology and changes in such institutions as unions and international trade.
If you think that your career advancement is based solely on your productivity, think again. As hard as it may be for Horatio Alger fans to accept, workers who are taller, thinner or better looking than the rest of us can have an edge.
The ranks of women in the workfoce jumped by more than 24 percentage points between 1955 and 1999. Credit labor-saving devices at home (such as the dishwasher), the birth-control pill and the preference by some men to marry a woman who works outside the home.
New studies have looked at the impact of easier divorce on everything from women working outside the home to children’s education to spousal violence.
The FOMC targets a 2 percent inflation rate. What does it mean to have an inflation target—and why a positive number, not zero?
Oil can be derived from oil sands and oil shale, but the job is both economically and environmentally costly. How high must the price of oil be in order to make these alternatives cost-effective?
Economists look at price indexes to gauge how overall prices in the economy are evolving.
One study shows that Kenya and Hakim might have more trouble getting their résumés noticed than Allison and Brad do. But another study indicates that distinctively African-American names don’t lead to worse economic outcomes in adulthood.
Although Americans appear to be spending less time on the job than they were a hundred years ago, there's some question as to whether they have more leisure time.