ST. LOUIS – The October 2012 issue of The Regional Economist, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis’ quarterly review of business and economic conditions, is now available. The full issue can be accessed online at www.stlouisfed.org/publications/re/
The issue’s articles include:
• “School Choice and Future Incomes” – In measuring the returns to education, economists usually focus on the number of years of schooling. But many people would say that the quality of schooling matters, too, even at the high school level. Does the type of high school attended make a difference in future income?
• “Unemployment Insurance: The Costs and Potential Costs” – In the U.S. unemployment insurance program, most of the overpayments due to fraud arise from individuals collecting benefits while they are gainfully employed. In addition, the overpayments are dwarfed by payments unclaimed by some who are eligible for unemployment benefits.
• “The Costs and Benefits of Limiting Bank Size” – Many people want to put size limits on “too big to fail” banks, given their risks to the broader economy. Such limits, however, could raise the cost of providing banking services by preventing banks from exploiting economies of scale.
• “Employment Shifts across Industries” – Between 2007 and 2010, manufacturing and construction declined in the ranks of industries that are major employers. Interestingly, the average size of a manufacturing establishment remains quite a bit larger in the Eighth District than in the nation as a whole.
• “Personal Bankruptcies and Delinquency Rates” – Personal bankruptcies are on the decline in most metropolitan areas of the Eighth Federal Reserve District. Also, the delinquency rate on consumer debt fell to 9.9 percent in June, down from 12.29 percent in March 2010.
• “Economy Still Growing albeit at a Tepid Pace” – Though stock prices are rising, the housing market is improving, employment is rising and inflation is easing, economic forecasters project weak GDP growth and a stubbornly high unemployment rate to continue through at least the end of the year.
• “Community Profile: Bardstown, Ky.” – Not only is Bardstown the self-proclaimed “Bourbon Capital of the World,” but it’s just been named the “Most Beautiful Small Town in America.” In addition, it has a concentration of auto parts makers, most owned by Japanese companies.