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.
Whether budget deficits matter is an important political, economic, and policy issue, especially given large projected expenditures for entitlement programs. Economists seem to agree that deficits are not inherently inflationary. But their effects on interest rates and other economic variables are less certain.
There have been a number of high-profile cases of product recalls recently. Those incidents suggest that the marketplace generally works as economists would predict. Firms that produce defective goods usually take a hit to their reputation and their bottom line, though there are exceptions.
Vaccines are regarded as one of the greatest public health triumphs. But despite direct benefits, some parents choose not to vaccinate their children and can effectively free-ride off the immunization of others. Policymakers must weigh potential limitations on private freedoms with public health when considering how to achieve the socially optimal level of vaccination.
Philanthropy professionals have been investigating patterns of giving during the downturn to see what they can learn. They find that people cut back and reallocate gifts, but things could be worse.
Bringing everyone in the United States up to broadband speed gets iffy in remote places where low subscriber numbers might not justify the cost of deploying wire and fiber. That broadband gap ultimately might be closed -- or at least narrowed -- using wireless configurations, satellite, and even existing power lines.
An explosion at a West Virginia coal mine raises legitimate questions about the role of market discipline in workplace safety as well as the effectiveness of regulation.
|President's Message||Placing Limits on Fed 'Credit Policy'|
|Upfront||Regional News at a Glance|
|Federal Reserve||An Anchor of Gold||Related Links|
|Jargon Alert||Leading Indicators||Related Links|
|Research Spotlight||What Immigration Means for the Economy||Related Links|
|Policy Update||Currency Swaps with Foreign Central Banks||Related Links|
|Around the Fed||Righting What Went Wrong||Related Links|
|Interview||Justin Wolfers||Full Interview
|Economic History||Intranational Trade|
|District Digest||The Great Trade Collapse: Past, Present, and Future in Fifth District Export Activity|
|Opinion||Too Big to Fail and the Distortion of Compensation Incentives|