Econ Focus

Econ Focus (formerly Region Focus) is the economics magazine of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. It covers economic issues affecting the Fifth Federal Reserve District and the nation and is published on a quarterly basis by the Bank's Research Department.

Region Focus



Summer 2009

Measuring Quality of Life

Cover Story

Measuring Quality of Life: How should we assess improvements to our standard of living?

Economists and policymakers often use average income as a way to gauge a country's "standard of living." But income alone doesn't capture overall quality of life. Should policymakers use other measures — including health, education, and even aggregate happiness — when making economic policy?
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Postal Peril: The checks aren’t in the mail

Recession and a changing mail market have altered mail streams — especially first-class mail, over which the United States Postal Service has a monopoly. Despite cost-cutting, the USPS will face hard choices if it is to stay financially viable in the long run.
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Health Care Aisle: Retail medicine pushes competition, price transparency

Medical innovation has allowed some routine health care to be performed in clinics located in retail stores. These outlets have created new competition that may affect the traditional ways health care is delivered.
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A Matter of Antitrust: The debate over the role of government as referee of market competition

Antitrust laws were originally created to protect consumers against monopolies. Yet today many believe some market arrangements that might appear anticompetitive instead enhance the welfare of consumers.
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Rip Currents: How the recession affected seasonal employment in one beach town

A decline in consumer spending cut the demand for seasonal workers in the tourism hotspot of Myrtle Beach, S.C., illustrating how overall business conditions affect seasonal employment.
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Department Article Additional Resources
President's Message Decentralization and the Fed Related Links
Upfront Economic News Across the Region
Federal Reserve Role of the Beige Book Related Links
Jargon Alert Inferior Goods Related Links
Research Spotlight You Get What You Pay For Related Links
Policy Update Lenders Remain Slow to Modify Problem Loans Related Links
Around the Fed Safety First Related Links
Interview Timur Kuran Related Links
Economic History The Rescue of Long-Term Capital Management Related Links
District Digest Living Standards in the Fifth District
Opinion A Case Against “Do Something” Policymaking
Contact Us


Aaron Steelman
Publications Director
(804) 697-2658