Going Where the Eyeballs Are: Creating Videos That Help People Understand Economic Trends
If you’re in the business of educating the public about the economy, you would be wise to go where the most people are consuming information. These days, video is increasingly where the eyeballs are.
While Google is the world’s dominant search engine, YouTube is No. 2. More than 500 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube each minute. So, the St. Louis Fed is expanding its effort to help people understand the economy by creating informative videos about current trends and cutting-edge research from our economists.
These two- to five-minute videos housed on the St. Louis Fed’s YouTube channel under the Economic Research playlist cover a wide range of topics. This blog post highlights some of the videos that have been released so far.
Starting the Series with the Housing Market
Director of Research Carlos Garriga kicked off the series in March 2023 with a look at the housing market. He noted that the reduction in mortgage rates during the pandemic drove a lot of people into the housing market, which reduced housing inventory. But with the tightening of monetary policy since March 2022, housing inventory has built up as mortgage rates have increased and house prices have adjusted, he pointed out.
“If one wants to follow closely what is likely to happen with the mortgage rate, what one should do is look closely at what happens with the 10-year Treasury because the 10-year Treasury is a pretty good predictor of what’s going to happen with 30-year mortgage rates,” he said.
Watch the video:
Videos on the Labor Market, Inflation and More
Next up were Economist Victoria Gregory, who explored how the self-employed were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and Senior Vice President Mark Wright, who explained what measures of inflation the Fed uses to inform monetary policy.
More recently, then-Senior Economist Fernando Leibovici looked at how the pandemic affected the semiconductor industry. (Leibovici is now an economic policy advisor.) In addition, Senior Economist Charles Gascon examined the struggles in the child care industry.
The focus of the series is to provide practical information so that consumers, professionals, students and business owners can get a better handle on what trends are developing in key industries and the overall economy.
For example, Deputy Director of Research B. Ravikumar looked at what’s behind world population growth. In his video, he explained that while birth rates are decreasing, death rates are decreasing even faster. The reason? Soap! Simple practices like washing hands and using soap have spread around the world and have contributed to the bulk of the decline in mortality rates, he said.
Future topics the series will explore include how immigration rates have affected labor market tightness and how the pace of bank runs has changed over time.
To get alerts when new videos are posted, subscribe to the St. Louis Fed’s YouTube channel.
This blog explains everyday economics, consumer topics and the Fed. It also spotlights the people and programs that make the St. Louis Fed central to America’s economy. Views expressed are not necessarily those of the St. Louis Fed or Federal Reserve System.