Recent Analysis and Research

Posted January 12, 2015
Rob Valletta

Economic Letter a Publication of Economic Research

The earnings gap between people with a college degree and those with no education beyond high school has been growing since the late 1970s. Since 2000, however, the gap has grown more for those who have earned a post-graduate degree as well. The divergence between workers with college degrees and those with graduate degrees may be one manifestation of rising labor market polarization, which benefits those earning the highest and the lowest wages relatively more than those in the middle of the wage distribution.

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Posted January 29, 2015

Working Papers a Publication of Economic Research

We use a simple asset pricing model to “reverse-engineer” shocks to housing demand and lending standards to replicate the U.S. boom-bust patterns from 1995 to 2012. We consider four different specifications of the model that vary how household expectations are formed and the mortgage contract maturity. Moving average forecast rules and long-term mortgage debt provide the best match. Our results support the view that the boom was a classic credit-fueled bubble involving over-optimistic projections about housing values, relaxed lending standards, and ineffective mortgage regulation.

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The New Geography of Jobs (EiP)

Posted April 30, 2014

The New Geography of Jobs

In the 1950s, the best indicator of a community's economic success was its level of physical capital. In today's world, the best indicator of a community's economic success is human capital. Professor Enrico Moretti discusses the factors shaping community development and the pivotal role of college-educated workers.

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