July 20, 2007

Richmond Fed Publication Examines Academic Alternatives

Richmond, VA

Proponents of school choice argue that it would help poor-performing schools and the students who must attend them. With vouchers, parents can shop for the best schools, creating competition and improving educational outcomes. Until recently, however, there was little data to test the theory. In the cover story of the latest issue of Region Focus, Doug Campbell looks at a pioneering program in Milwaukee and concludes that while the evidence is mixed, school choice has benefited many of that city's schools and students. Soon, conversations about vouchers may be based on facts instead of opinion.

Also in this issue:

  • Prediction Markets: Companies are leading the way in the use of prediction markets. The public sector may soon follow.
  • Yield Curve: What does the recent inversion imply for commercial banks?
  • Payday Lending: Some analysts worry that the rate cap on payday loans to members of the military will actually end up hurting soldiers and their families.
  • Interview: Kip Viscusi of Vanderbilt University discusses how economic analysis can help improve regulatory policy and the legal system.

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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