Economic Newsletter

The Economics of Immigration: A Story of Substitutes and Complements

America is a nation of immigrants, who currently make up about 13 percent of the overall population. The May 2014 issue of the Page One Economics Newsletter shows how immigration affects the average American. The essay weighs the costs and benefits of immigration and discusses the concept of...

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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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Glossary

Definition of the Week

Substitute:
A similar good. With substitutes, the price of one and the demand for the other tend to move in the same
direction.

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Related Reading

May 2, 2014
 The Economic Lowdown Podcast Series, Volume 1, Episode 10, by Scott Wolla.
In Episode 10, young people who are looking for that first job can learn about the basics of the labor market in this country. A brief explanation is given of the roles played by education, supply, demand, productivity and government regulation.

Apr 30, 2014
By Ruben Hernandez-Murillo. Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, The Regional Economist, October 2006.

What are the economic effects of immigration in the United States? The answer is complicated, and depends on many factors. Read about the costs and benenfits of immigration in this article.

Apr 30, 2014
By Rubén Hernández-Murillo, and Christopher J. Martinek. Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Economic Synopses, 2011-10-18, 2011, No. 31.

According to economists, in the 1980s and 1990s, immigration of low-skilled workers may have increased the labor supply of highly skilled women, and immigration of highly skilled workers may have increased the rate of innovation in the United States. 

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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

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The labor force participation rate for native-born workers in March 2014 is 63.2%, while the labor force participation rate for foreign born is 66.1%.

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