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St. Louis Fed Releases Latest Issue of Regional Economic Development


ST. LOUIS — The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis recently released the October edition of Regional Economic Development, the St. Louis Fed's journal of local and regional economic development issues. Published infrequently, the series includes research from Federal Reserve economists.

The publication is only available on the St. Louis Fed's web site:

This issue contains four research papers by St. Louis Fed economists, several of which were presented at the recent Business and Economic Research Group (BERG) meeting in Columbia, Mo. The articles in this issue are:

  • "The Economic Impact of a Smoking Ban in Columbia, Missouri: An Analysis of Sales Tax Data for the First Year." In 2007, an ordinance took effect in Columbia, Mo., banning smoking in all bars, restaurants and workplaces. To determine the economic impact, economist Michael R. Pakko analyzed data for sales tax collections from January 2001 through December 2007, including the first 12 months of the smoking ban. While the findings vary based on the degree to which smoking is integrated into an establishment, those businesses that serve food and alcohol, or alcohol only, show significant losses in sales tax revenue with estimates in the range of 6.5 to 11 percent.
  • "Local Price Variation and Labor Supply Behavior." Economist Natalia Kolesnikova, and professors Dan Black and Lowell Taylor present empirical and theoretical evidence that labor supply decisions are not just a function of wages—as often assumed in empirical and theoretical models of labor supplybut also are dependent on the prices of other goods.
  • "Regional Aggregation in Forecasting: An Application to the Federal Reserve's Eighth District." Researcher Kristie Engemann and economists Rubén Hernández-Murillo and Michael Owyang compare the predictive power of various forecasting models of employment that use different levels of data aggregation. In general, they found that disaggregation can produce better forecasts.
  • "Urban Decentralization and Income Inequality: Is Sprawl Associated with Rising Income Segregation Across Neighborhoods?" Economist Christopher Wheeler examines the relationship between urban sprawl and income segregation in 359 U.S. metropolitan areas over a 20-year period. He finds that urban sprawl is systematically associated with greater residential segregation of households by income.

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