Economic Newsletter

Would Increasing the Minimum Wage Reduce Poverty?

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office tackles that question in a new report and highlights the trade-off presented by increasing the minimum wage. This issue of the newsletter explains the debate and discusses whether other approaches may be more effective in helping alleviate poverty.

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The Rising Cost of College: Tuition, Financial Aid, and Price Discrimination

The cost of a college education seems to be skyrocketing—but is it really? Learn about the concept of price discrimination and how it affects college costs.

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The Global Economy: It's a Small World After All

To understand why people trade, suppose you were limited to consuming only items you could find within walking distance of your house. Or, perhaps even worse, only items you could produce yourself. For most of us, this restriction would severely diminish the variety of goods and services we enjoy...

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Why Scarce Resources Are Sometimes Unemployed

The unemployment rate always seems to be in the news, but did you know there are different kinds of unemployment? There is the natural rate of unemployment; cyclical, frictional, and structural unemployment; plus underemployment. Read the October 2013  Page One Economics Newsletter, “Why...

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What Are the "Ingredients" for Economic Growth?

Is there a recipe for economic growth? Perhaps some Miracle-Gro for the economy? If only it were that easy. While the exact recipe is a mystery, economists have identified some of the key ingredients. This month’s newsletter discusses the role that economic institutions play in fostering...

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Making Sense of the Ups and Downs of Prices

"Back in my day, a gallon of gas cost a quarter!" Has your grandfather ever said something like this to make a point about how expensive things are now?  The price of gasoline indeed used to be much lower. In fact, the price of gasoline has risen from a little over $1 per gallon in...

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GDP: Does It Measure Up?

How is the total value of all the goods and services produced in a country’s economy measured? Gross domestic product (GDP) is one common and fairly comprehensive measure. This month’s newsletter explains GDP components and how it is calculated. It also describes what GDP does—and...

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Prices: The Marketplace’s Communication System

Remember when airlines started charging for checked bags? What happened to the number of checked bags after this added charge? And what happened to the availability of in-cabin storage space on planes? This month’s newsletter answers these questions and discusses the pivotal role price plays...

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Money and Inflation: A Functional Relationship

They say that "money makes the world go round." Just imagine a world without money as our method of payment for everyday transactions. Without money, we would all need to barter for necessary goods and services. For example, suppose an accountant needs to have her car fixed. Under a...

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Investing in Yourself: An Economic Approach to Education Decisions

"Human capital" may not be the first thing that comes to mind when we think about investments, but investing in education and training is an important economic decision. Learn about human capital and the return on such an investment in the February 2013 Page One Economics...

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Definition of the Week

Minimum Wage:
The lowest wage that employers may legally pay for an hour of labor.

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Related Reading

Mar 3, 2014
 By David A. Lopez.  Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Page One Economics Newsletter, March 2012;

Income inequality has been rising in the United States and other developed countries. The March 2012 Page One Economics Newsletter discusses income inequality, its causes, and some possible policy solutions.

Mar 3, 2014
By The Congressional Budget Office.  February 18, 2014;

This Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report was prepared in response to interest expressed by a
number of Members of Congress. In keeping with CBO’s mandate to provide objective, impartial
analysis, the report contains no recommendations.

More Related Reading >>

What's New

Feb 28, 2014
This site introduces economists to innovative teaching strategies using Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED®). It provides instructors with the tools to begin integrating and assessing these teaching strategies in their own classrooms; it also promotes the sharing of teaching innovations among instructors. Included among the strategies are seven lessons for integrating FRED. Topics include:

Structural Change in Male/Female Differences in Unemployment Rates over Time

Are Recessions Good for Gas Prices?

Where Do You Want to Live?

Unemployment or Inflation? That is the Question!

From Data and Theory to Real Life: The Impact of the Great Recession

Purchasing Power Parity

Using State-Level Data to Study Unemployment Rates

More What's New >>

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Top Economic Indicators

Featured Data Series

The Gini coefficient (also known as the Gini ratio or index) is a common measure of income inequality within a nation. It gauges income disparity on a scale from 0 to 1, with higher numbers indicating higher levels of inequality. The lowest value for the United States was 0.386 in 1968 and the highest value in 2011 and 2012 at 0.477.

Data Practice Using FRED

FRED Graphing Tutorials


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