The mission of the St. Louis Fed’s On the Economy blog is to highlight research from around the Bank. That research is widely varied, a fact that became quite apparent when looking at the most popular blog posts published in 2019 and outlined below.
St. Louis Fed Senior Vice President David Andolfatto and Jane Ihrig of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors argued that the Federal Reserve should include a standing repo facility as part of its long-run monetary policy implementation framework. The facility would allow banks to convert Treasuries to reserves on demand at an administered rate.
Andolfatto and Ihrig’s initial post on a standing repo facility generated considerable discussion among industry experts. The authors’ follow-up post further conveyed their thoughts on how such a facility could help the Federal Open Market Committee implement monetary policy with “minimally ample” reserves.
Research Officer Subhayu Bandyopadhyay and Research Associate Asha Bharadwaj, both with the St. Louis Fed, found that the U.S. hosted the eighth largest number of refugees and asylum seekers in 2017, the most recent year for which data was available. Turkey hosted around 3.8 million, the largest number by far and more than two and a half times the number who stayed in the next largest host country (Germany). The authors noted that Turkey being a neighbor of Syria—which was the largest source nation of refugees—was a significant factor.
Lead Economist William Emmons, Policy Analyst Ana Hernandez Kent and Lead Analyst Lowell Ricketts—all with the St. Louis Fed’s Center for Household Financial Stability—recapped research presented at an event examining whether college still provided a significant payoff in terms of household income and wealth. Overall, the evidence said that college was indeed worth it.
“However, for recent generations and for non-white students, the payoffs are somewhat lower than average,” they noted. “This is especially true for wealth accumulation. Considering all of the evidence, we conclude that the conventional wisdom about college is not as true as it used to be.”
Senior Economist Paulina Restrepo-Echavarria and Research Associate Brian Reinbold, both with the St. Louis Fed, noted that Australia’s real GDP growth rate indicates that the country hasn’t experienced a recession (defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth) since 1991.
However, looking at real GDP per capita and using the same definition of recession shows that Australia has actually experienced three recessions since 1991, including one from the second quarter of 2018 to the first quarter of 2019.
“So should we use Australia as a benchmark when thinking about possible duration of expansions? If so, we have to take it with a grain of salt because looking at just GDP growth doesn’t paint the whole picture,” the authors said. “It is important to look at per capita GDP growth to have a broader view.”