Region Focus Cover

January 8, 2009

Richmond Fed Publication Examines the Economics of Housing

Richmond, Va.

Owning a home is often referred to as “the American Dream.” And, in fact, homeownership is often beneficial to individual families and society as a whole. But America’s high homeownership rate has been driven in part by public policies that have likely led to costly distortions in the market. The cover story of this issue of Region Focus considers what could be done to help eliminate those distortions and improve the functioning of the U.S. housing market. 

Also in this issue:

  • A Market for Carbon: One of the most interesting debates in environmental economics pits supporters of a carbon tax against those who prefer a cap-and-trade policy. Yet, as the economists ponder, a coalition of Northeastern states has embarked on a unique experiment to create a market for carbon permits. 
  • Immigrant Entrepreneurs: A quarter of venture-capital backed firms in the United States were founded by immigrants. Many of these are high-tech and engineering companies. The modern U.S. economy seems to be driven in large part by businesses started by newcomers.

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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