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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis working papers are preliminary materials circulated to stimulate discussion and critial comment.

Applied Microeconomics

Social Learning and Monetary Policy Rules

We analyze the effects of social learning in a widely-studied monetary policy context.

Strategic Online-Banking Adoption

In this paper we study the determinants of banks' decision to adopt a transactional web-site for their customers.

Trends in the Distributions of Income and Human Capital within Metropolitan Areas: 1980-2000

Human capital tends to have significant external effects within local markets, increasing the average income of individuals within the same metropolitan area.

Red Ink in the Rearview Mirror: Local Fiscal Conditions and the Issuance of Traffic Tickets

Municipalities have revenue motives for enforcing traffic laws in addition to public safety motives because many traffic offenses are punished via fines and the issuing municipality often retains the revenue.

Robust Non-parametric Quantile Estimation of Efficiency and Productivity Change in U.S. Commercial Banking, 1985–2004

This paper describes a non-parametric, unconditional, hyperbolic quantile estimator that unlike traditional non-parametric frontier estimators is both robust to data outliers and has a root-n convergence rate.

Neighborhood Income Inequality

This paper offers a descriptive empirical analysis of the geographic pattern of income inequality within a sample of 359 US metropolitan areas between 1980 and 2000.

Urban Decentralization and Income Inequality: Is Sprawl Associated with Rising Income Segregation Across Neighborhoods?

Existing research has found an inverse relationship between urban density and the degree of income inequality within metropolitan areas, suggesting that, as cities spread out, they become increasingly segregated by income.

The Duration of Foreclosures in the Subprime Mortgage Market: A Competing Risks Model with Mixing

This paper examines what happens to mortgages in the subprime mortgage market once foreclosure proceeding are initiated. A multinominial logit model that allows for the interdependence of the possible outcomes or risks (cure, partial cure, paid off, and real estate owned) through the correlation of associated unobserved heterogeneities is estimated.

The Determinants of Aid in the Post-Cold War Era

This paper estimates the responsiveness of aid to recipient countries’ economic and physical needs, civil/political rights, and government effectiveness.

War and Pestilence as Labor Market Shocks: U.S. Manufacturing Wage Growth 1914-1919

This paper explores the effect of mortalities from the 1918 influenza pandemic and World War I on wage growth in the manufacturing sectors of U.S. states and cities from 1914 to 1919.

Why People Choose Negative Expected Return Assets - An Empirical Examination of a Utility Theoretic Explanation

Using a theoretical extension of the Friedman and Savage (1948) utility function developed in Bhattacharyya (2003), we predict that for financial assets with negative expected returns, expected return will be a declining and convex function of skewness. Using a sample of U.S. state lottery games, we find that our theoretical conclusions are supported by the data.

The Transition to Electronic Communications Networks in the Secondary Treasury Market

This article reviews the history of the recent shift to electronic trading in equity, foreign exchange, and fixed-income markets.

The Impact of Local Predatory Lending Laws on the Flow of Subprime Credit

Local authorities in North Carolina, and subsequently in at least 23 other states, have enacted laws intending to reduce predatory and abusive lending. While there is substantial variation in the laws, they typically extend the coverage of the Federal Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act (HOEPA) by including home purchase and open end mortgage credit, by lowering annual percentage rate (APR) and fees and points triggers, and by prohibiting or restricting the use of balloon payments and prepayment penalties.

Evaluating State Tax Revenue Variability: A Portfolio Approach

State revenue variability is evaluated using a volatility model rooted in portfolio theory. The model evaluates how closely a state's revenue portfolio is constructed to minimize variability in total state tax revenue. The model complements parametric methods of revenue variability.

Information and Drug Prices: Evidence from the Medicare Discount Drug Card Program

In early 2004, the U.S. Government initiated the Medicare Discount Drug Card Program (MDDCP), which created a market for drug cards that allowed elderly and handicapped subscribers to obtain discounts on their prescription drug purchases.

Human Capital Growth in a Cross Section of US Metropolitan Areas

Human capital is typically viewed as generating a number of desirable outcomes, including economic growth. Yet, in spite of its importance, few empirical studies have explored why some economies accumulate more human capital than others. This paper attempts to do so using a sample of more than 200 metropolitan areas in the United States over the years 1980, 1990, and 2000.

Creating a Policy Environment for Entrepreneurs

This paper demonstrates that levels of entrepreneurship can be greatly affected by the general policy environment. Using a state-level panel, we estimate the effects of several policy variables on rates of entrepreneurship and find that bankruptcy exemptions, corporate tax rates, and the level of the minimum wage all affect a state's rate of entrepreneurship.

Regional Disparities in the Spatial Correlation of State Income Growth

This paper presents new evidence of spatial correlation in U.S. state income growth. We extend the basic spatial econometric model used in the growth literature by allowing spatial correlation in state income growth to vary across geographic regions. We find positive spatial correlation in income growth rates across neighboring states, but that the strength of this spatial correlation varies considerably by region.

Changing Noise Levels and Housing Prices near the Atlanta Airport

Using hedonic models, we analyze the effects of proximity and noise on housing prices in neighborhoods near Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport during 1995-2002.

Cities and the Growth of Wages Among Young Workers: Evidence from the NLSY

Human capital-based theories of cities suggest that large, economically diverse urban agglomerations increase worker productivity by increasing the rate at which individuals acquire skills. One largely unexplored implication of this theory is that workers in big cities should see faster growth in their earnings over time than comparable workers in smaller markets. This paper examines this implication using data on a sample of young male workers drawn from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 Cohort.

No Smoking at the Slot Machines: The Effect of a Smoke-Free Law on Delaware Gaming Revenues

As communities around the nation consider laws restricting smoking in public places, a key political and economic issue that often arises is the effect that such laws have on the sales and profits of particular sectors. The gaming industry has been active in opposition to such ordinances, citing large prospective losses. This article analyzes the revenues of three gaming facilities in Delaware following the implementation of a smoke-free law in December 2002.

The Impact of Local Predatory Lending Laws

Local authorities in North Carolina, and subsequently in at least 23 other states, have enacted laws intending to reduce predatory and abusive lending. While there is substantial variation in the laws, they typically extend the coverage of the Federal Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act (HOEPA) by including home purchase and open-end mortgage credit, by lowering annual percentage rate (APR) and fees and points triggers, and by prohibiting or restricting the use of balloon payments and prepayment penalties.

Local Market Scale and the Pattern of Job Changes Among Young Men

In finding a career, workers tend to make numerous job changes, with the majority of ‘complex’ changes (i.e. those involving changes of industry) occurring relatively early in their working lives.

A Dynamic Look at Subprime Loan Performance

This paper examines the implications of delinquency on the performance of subprime mortgages. Specifically, we examine whether delinquency has any predictive power of the future performance of a mortgage.

Smoke-free Law Did Affect Revenue From Gaming in Delaware

A paper recently published in the journal Tobacco Control purports to show that the implementation of a smoking prohibition in Delaware had no statistically significant effect on the revenues of three gaming facilities in that state. After undertaking a thorough analysis of the data, I find that the smoke-free law did affect revenues from gaming in Delaware.

Non-parametric, Unconditional Quantile Estimation for Efficiency Analysis with an Application to Federal Reserve Check Processing Operations

This paper examines the technical efficiency of U.S. Federal Reserve check processing offices over 1980–2003.

The Delinquency of Subprime Mortgages

This paper focuses on understanding the determinants of the performance of subprime mortgages. A growing body of literature recognizes the substantial lag between the time that a borrower stops making payments on a mortgage and the termination of the loan.

Do Casinos Export Bankruptcy?

This paper measures the extent to which destination resort casinos export bankruptcy back to visitors' home states. Previous literature has alluded to this possibility, but to date studies have only examined the influence of local casinos on local bankruptcy.

Job Flows and Productivity Dynamics: Evidence from U.S. Manufacturing

Through their influence on the cross-sectional distribution of productivity across firms and workers, job creation and destruction likely have an impact on the rate at which aggregate productivity changes over time. While a broad consensus has emerged suggesting that job destruction enhances productivity by eliminating inefficient production units, theories disagree with regard to the effect of job creation.

Technology and Industrial Agglomeration: Evidence from Computer Usage

Although the association between industrial agglomeration and productivity has been widely examined and documented, little work has explored the possibility that these ‘external’ productivity shifts are the product of more advanced technologies.

Next 29 Working Papers

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