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.
The United States has gained a little more than 1 million jobs since the end of the most recent downturn — far from the number needed to put 14 million people back to work. Given the factors holding back job growth, traditional policy tools might not be able to offer a solution.
The financial crisis revealed a widespread need for better financial education. What have we learned since then about how to improve financial literacy?
With only seven residents, Thurmond, W.Va., is the smallest incorporated town in the Fifth District. Once bustling and prosperous, Thurmond has become practically a ghost town. Is the fate of places like Thurmond a tragedy or a "monument to American dynamism"?
Resources without ownership — commons — are easily exploited, even wiped out. Individual fishermen have little incentive to conserve as long as others are busy catching. Evidence from a Virginia program suggests that if fishermen can buy and sell shares of the fishing quota, the fish and the fishermen may be better off.
"Server farms" run by Apple, Google, and Facebook won't replace manufacturing jobs lost in western North Carolina. But these massive data centers may bring other benefits.
State revenue forecasts have become progressively less reliable following each of the past three recessions. As capital gains become more unpredictable, tax revenue experts advise states to build larger rainy-day funds.
Gas prices have fluctuated over the past few years. What drives prices at the pump? Two-thirds of the price is determined by the price crude oil brings on the world market.
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