March/April 2007

In This Edition

  • Data, Data, and Yet More Data

    This article was originally presented as a speech at the Association for University Business and Economic Research (AUBER) Annual Meeting, University of Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee, October 16, 2006.

  • Data Dependence

    This article was originally presented as a speech at the Middle Tennessee State University Annual Economic Outlook Conference, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, September 29, 2006.

  • Stock Market Booms and Monetary Policy in the Twentieth Century

    This article examines the association between stock market booms and monetary policy in the United States and nine other developed countries during the 20th century. The authors find, as was true of the U.S. stock market boom of 1994-2000, that booms typically arose during periods of above-average growth of real output and below-average inflation, suggesting that booms reflected both real macroeconomic phenomena and monetary policy. They find little evidence that booms were fueled by excessive liquidity. Booms often ended within a few months of an increase in inflation and consequent monetary policy tightening. They find few differences across the different monetary policy regimes of the century.

  • Trends in Neighborhood-Level Unemployment in the United States: 1980 to 2000

    Although the average rate of unemployment across U.S. metropolitan areas declined between 1980 and 2000, the geographic concentration of the unemployed rose sharply over this period. That is, residential neighborhoods throughout the nation's metropolitan areas became increasingly divided into high- and low-unemployment areas. This paper documents this trend using data on more than 165,000 U.S. Census block groups (neighborhoods) in 361 metropolitan areas over the years 1980, 1990, and 2000; it also examines three potential explanations: (i) urban decentralization, (ii) industrial shifts and declining unionization, and (iii) increasing segregation by income and education. The results offer little support for either of the first two explanations. Rising residential concentration of the unemployed shows little association with changes in population density, industrial composition, or union activity. It does, however, show a significant association with both the degree of segregation according to income as well as education, suggesting that decreases in the extent to which individuals with different levels of income and education live in the same neighborhood may help account for this trend.

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