January/February 2011

In This Edition

  • A Primer on Social Security Systems and Reforms

    This article reviews the characteristics of different social security systems. Many configurations arise depending on the nature of a system's funding and determination of benefits.

  • Economic Freedom and Employment Growth in U.S. States

    The authors extend earlier models of economic growth and development by exploring the effect of economic freedom on U.S. state employment growth. They find that states with greater economic freedom"”defined as the protection of private property and private markets operating with minimal government interference"”experienced greater rates of employment growth.

  • Real-Time Forecast Averaging with ALFRED

    This paper presents empirical evidence on the efficacy of forecast averaging using the ALFRED (ArchivaL Federal Reserve Economic Data) real-time database. The authors consider averages over a variety of bivariate vector autoregressive models.

  • What Explains the Growth in Commodity Derivatives?

    This article documents the massive increase in trading in commodity derivatives over the past decade"”growth that far outstrips the growth in commodity production and the need for derivatives to hedge risk by commercial producers and users of commodities.



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