Federal Reserve Economic Projections: What Are They Good For?

Federal Reserve Economic Projections: What Are They Good For? Brookings Institution. Ben S. Bernanke. November 28, 2016

Four times each year, just prior to a Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, the nineteen FOMC participants (seven Board governors when there are no vacancies, 12 Reserve Bank presidents) submit projections for four key economic variables—real output growth, the unemployment rate, overall inflation, and core inflation (excluding prices of food and energy)—and for short-term interest rates.[1] Projections cover the current year and up to three additional years (so, for example, the projections made in September 2016 are for full year 2016 as well as for 2017, 2018, and 2019). Projections are also made for the “long run” values of the variables—the values to which the variables would be expected to converge over time if, hypothetically, there were no new shocks to the economy. Importantly, projections are conditioned on each participant’s individual view of what would be “appropriate” monetary policy, defined as the policy that the individual believes would be most likely to help achieve the Fed’s inflation and employment objectives. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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Paternity and parental leave policies across the European Union

Paternity and parental leave policies across the European Union. RAND Corporation. Janna van Belle. October 20, 2016.

Despite the positive effect of paternity- and parental leave uptake by fathers on a number of economic, social and demographic outcomes, the current uptake of leave by fathers across Europe is low. Research has shown that there is a large number of interlocking factors that affect uptake of leave by fathers, including the height of compensation, the availability of affordable childcare, the flexibility of leave arrangements, gender norms and cultural expectations. The author describes the different policies available across Europe that address the uptake of paternity leave and parental leave, discusses the link between uptake of leave by fathers and the various outcomes associated with uptake, and gives an overview of the existing barriers to uptake. She finds that although low or absent compensation levels during the leave are a key factor why fathers will or cannot take their leave entitlement, an increase in uptake will most likely result from an interlocking set of family policies that help dual earner families to combine work and family life in a sustainable manner. These include policies that directly encourage fathers to take up leave, such as well-compensated individual leave entitlements, policies aimed at creating a sustainable solution to the challenges of combining work and family life, such as leave arrangements that are flexible and adaptive to individual needs, but also policies aimed at changing workplace culture. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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US Economy – Muscular or Obese?

US Economy – Muscular or Obese? YaleGlobal. David Dapice. August 16, 2012.

The U.S., with great potential for economic growth, still could rescue the dragging global economy, the country’s energy development, agricultural output, steady labor force, and education programs all offer promise. But the U.S. has immediate challenges, argues Dapice, including rising inequality and high youth unemployment rates. Young workers often bring innovations to workplaces, and without them, quality and skills of the labor force could suffer. Inequality, lopsided government spending and heavy borrowing, and delayed infrastructure maintenance pit rich against poor and young against old. Politicians fail to enact regulations or reforms, spurred by a few wealthy industries and political donors willing to invest millions to pursue their narrow interests, says the author. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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