November 17, 2006

Charged by the Market

Richmond, VA

Deregulation of the electricity industry was supposed to produce competition and deliver reduced retail prices. But in states like Maryland, the benefits of deregulation have been slow to materialize. In the cover story of the fall 2006 issue of Region Focus, Vanessa Sumo explains the economic principles of retail power competition, and why consumers in deregulated states may yet see lower bills.

Also in this issue:

  • Credit on Campus: Some college students use credit cards for everything from tuition to car payments. But there is a fairly solid consensus among mainstream economists that reports of out-of-control student debt have been overblown.
  • Arrested Development: It's been 20 years since the last big advance in explaining why some countries grow while others stagnate. Is economic growth theory stunted?
  • A Penny's Worth: Though many observers are calling for the end of the penny, an economist argues that there is more to the coin's value than the cost of producing it.
  • Interview: Martin Baily, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Clinton and now a senior fellow with the Institute for International Economics.

Region Focus, a quarterly business magazine published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, covers the economy and business activities of the District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and most of West Virginia.

For free copies of Region Focus, contact the Bank's Public Affairs Department at 804.697.8109. The articles are available online at the Bank's Web site.

The Richmond Fed serves the Fifth Federal Reserve District, which includes the District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and most of West Virginia. As part of the nation's central bank, we're one of 12 regional Reserve Banks that work together with the Federal Reserve's Board of Governors to strengthen the economy and our communities. We manage the nation's money supply to keep inflation low and help the economy grow. We also supervise and regulate financial institutions to help safeguard our nation's financial system and protect the integrity and efficiency of our payments system.


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Aaron Steelman
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(804) 697-2658