Paul W. Bauer |

Senior Research Economist


Paul W. Bauer, Senior Research Economist

Paul Bauer is a former senior research economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.

  • Fed Publications
  • Other Publications
Title Date Publication Author(s) Type

 

June 2009 ; Geoffrey R Gerdes; Economic Commentary
Abstract: Check 21 legislation has enabled the check clearing system to transform from paper to electronics, and much more rapidly than some had predicted. As a result of competition with other payment methods, check use has been declining since the mid-1990s, but because of the rapid adoption of electronic payment methods, checks are evolving and are unlikely to disappear anytime soon. Checks are still a convenient way to initiate some payments, and electronic processing has only made them more competitive with all types of electronic payments.

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October 1, 2007 Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Commentary ; Daniel A Littman; Economic Commentary
Abstract: The information age has led to many new forms of payment, including credit cards, debit cards, and online banking. In many ways, these new mechanisms seem preferable to cash. While the disappearance of cash is a very long way off, it seems people are starting to use it less.

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September 15, 2007 Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Commentary ; Yoonsoo Lee; Economic Commentary
Abstract: As companies and consumers adapt to a changing marketplace, jobs are eliminated and new ones are created. Rates at which this happens vary across states and reflect the flexibility of the labor market. More flexible markets are associated with faster growth.

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August 15, 2006 Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Commentary ; Mark E Schweitzer; Economic Commentary
Abstract: Even as per capita income has increased across the United States, differences among states' incomes remain. What are the sources of these remaining differences? This Commentary identifies and analyzes the key factors-patents, educational attainment, and industry structure-that influence income-growth rates and thus per capita incomes. It also explores where the Fourth District falls in relation to other states and the country as a whole

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May, 2006 Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Working Paper no. 0606 ; Mark E Schweitzer; Scott Shane; Working Papers
Abstract: Real average U.S. per capita personal income growth over the last 65 years exceeded a remarkable 400 percent. Also notable over this period is that the stark income differences across states have narrowed considerably: In 1939 the highest income state's per capita personal income was 4.5 times the lowest, but by 1976 this ratio had fallen to less than 2 times. Since 1976, the standard deviation of per capita incomes at the state level has actually risen, as some higher-income states have seen their income levels rise relative to the median of the states. A better understanding of the sources of these relative growth performances should help to characterize more effective economic development strategies, if income growth differences are predictable. In this paper, we look for statistically and economically significant growth factors by estimating an augmented growth model using a panel of the 48 contiguous states from 1939 to 2004. Specifically, we control for factors that previous researchers have argued were important: tax burdens, public infrastructure, size of private financial markets, rates of business failure, industry structure, climate, and knowledge stocks. Our results, which are robust to a wide variety of perturbations to the model, are easily summarized: A state's knowledge stocks (as measured by its stock of patents and its high school and college attainment rates) are the main factors explaining a state's relative per capita personal income.

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April 2006 Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Policy Discussion Paper, no. 16 ; Yoonsoo Lee; Policy Discussion Papers
Abstract: In gauging the health of state economies, arguably the two most important series to track are employment and output. While employment by state is available about three weeks after the end of a month, data on output, as measured by Gross State Product (GSP), are only available annually and with a significant lag. This Policy Discussion Paper details how more current estimates of GSP can be generated using U.S. Gross Domestic Product and personal income along with individual states' personal income. A straightforward share approach yields reasonable GSP estimates, but a more sophisticated econometric approach, at a cost of imposing more structure, yields even better ones. Both techniques are also applied to estimate nonfarm-business GSP in order to calculate a measure of labor productivity at the state level that follows as closely as possible the method used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to calculate the national measure of labor productivity. We then briefly examine how labor productivity varies across states.

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June 2005 Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Commentary ; Yoonsoo Lee; Economic Commentary
Abstract: Labor productivity growth, a measure of output per unit of work, is closely tied to gains in wages and living standards, and it provides a direct measure of a country’s competitive position over time. The same holds true for states. Since the last business cycle peak in 2000, states boosted their average labor productivity growth to 2.3 percent. In Ohio, this growth came as a result of modest output growth accompanied by sharp employment losses. Although this has been a painful transition for the Fourth District, solid productivity gains have made the remaining firms and workers more competitive and may prepare the way for future growth.

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September 1, 2004 Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Commentary ; Economic Commentary
Abstract: The death of paper checks has been predicted since the 1960s, but only recently has their use begun to decline. The end may be near, though, as two forces accelerate the trend away from checks: the growing acceptance of electronic payment instruments and the passage of legislation designed to reduce our reliance on paper checks.

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September 15, 2002 Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Commentary ; Economic Commentary
Abstract: Identity theft—appropriating someone else’s identity for illicit gain—is the fastest-growing financial crime. It can cause considerable financial losses, and cleaning up a trashed credit history can be time consuming and frustrating. This Commentary examines the identity theft phenomenon—how it works, how lawmakers, regulators, and financial institutions are combating it, and what consumers can do to protect themselves.

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March 15, 2002 Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Commentary ; Economic Commentary
Abstract: By requiring financial institutions to put adequate controls in place to secure consumers’ confidential data and by clearly spelling out what rights consumers and financial institutions have, the 1999 Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act is a positive step toward ensuring consumer financial privacy. If there are no market imperfections, then competition may be relied on to efficiently sort out the competing interests of consumers and financial institutions. Alternatively, if there are market imperfections in the form of externalities, the Coase theorem suggests that the act, by clearly assigning property rights to the information, should facilitate an economically efficient outcome.

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January, 2002 Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Working Paper no. 0213 ; Robert M Adams; Robin C Sickles; Working Papers
Abstract: In the past decade, the U.S. economy has witnessed a tremendous surge in the usage of electronic payment processing services and an increased importance of the firms that provide these services. The payments industry has also undergone changes in cost structure with the introduction of new technology. Unfortunately, data on the private provision of payment processing services are not available. However, the Federal Reserve provides similar services and collects data on its own provision of payments processing, offering an opportunity to gain insights into the cost structure of payments processing. In this paper, we estimate the scope and scale economies and the technical change in the Federal Reserve's provision of payments processing from 1990-2000. We find considerable scale economies and evidence of some scope economies for the provision of automated clearinghouse, fedwire, and book-entry services no matter whether we specify a separable quadratic or a translog cost function. In addition, we find that disembodied technical change also attributed to the overall reduction in costs through the 1990s.

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2001 Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Review, 2001 Quarter 4, Vol. 37, No. 4, pp 2-25 ; James Bohn; Diana Hancock; Economic Review
Abstract: Meeting the currency demands of depository institutions, businesses, and consumers costs the Federal Reserve more than half a billion dollars each year, yet, very little research has been devoted to understanding what factors affect such costs. The authors estimate a cost function in order to obtain estimates of scale and cost efficiency for this service. They find that as in other paper-based technologies, such as checks, scale economies are achieved at a relatively low level of output, implying that currency services are not a natural monopoly. They also provide estimates of facility-specific marginal costs and returns to scale measures that could be used to improve resource allocations. Lastly, they find that the average processing facility operates at more 80 percent of the efficiency of the "best practice" facility, comparable to cost efficiency estimates that have been reported elsewhere for private-sector financial institutions.

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September 1, 2001 Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Commentary ; Jeffrey L Jensen; Mark E Schweitzer; Economic Commentary
Abstract: This Economic Commentary confirms that productivity growth has been unusually robust over the last few years and explores reasonable assumptions about the likely future pattern of productivity growth. These assumptions can generate substantially different productivity growth paths. Government forecasts, which guide the major tax and benefit programs, have been increased in recent years yet remain cautious.

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September 15, 2000 Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Commentary ; Rhoda Ullmann; Economic Commentary
Abstract: Money laundering has gone on since the first crime was committed for profit, but it has been explicitly illegal only since 1986. Interest in this topic soars whenever a major “laundromat” is uncovered. This Economic Commentary describes the money laundering process, summarizes the evolving statutes, and describes the Federal Reserve’s role in assisting in their enforcement

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September 2000 Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Review, vol. 36, no. 3, pp. 13-27 ; Apostolos Burnetas; Viswanath CVSA; Gregory Reynolds; Economic Review
Abstract: Could the Federal Reserve lower its overall currency processing costs by reallocating its high-speed currency sorting volume? Given estimates of currency shipping costs and scale economies for high-speed sorting, the authors' model minimizes costs by optimal distribution of sorting volumes across possible processing sites, while maintaining levels of service to depository institutions. Their key findings are that most of the potential savings can be achieved without closing any existing processing sites and that locating a new site in Phoenix would help lower System processing costs.

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October 15, 1999 Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Commentary ; Economic Commentary
Abstract: Increased productivity could be the key to preserving robust, noninflationary GDP growth. But what is the best measure of productivity? This Economic Commentary explores the relationship between labor productivity and multifactor productivity, a measure that accounts for factors other than technological improvement. It concludes that MFP provides a better measure of productivity due solely to technical change.

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October 1, 1998 Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Commentary ; Economic Commentary
Abstract: Despite the increasing usage of credit and debit cards and the emergence of various electronic payment instruments, currency remains king - at least for small-dollar-value transactions. Maintaining the quality of Federal Reserve notes in circulation represents the single largest expenditure by Reserve Banks. This Economic Commentary examines the Federal Reserve's current role in the provision of currency and explores the challenges and opportunities in developing forward-looking currency policies.

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January, 1998 Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Working Paper no. 9810 ; Apostolos Burnetas; Viswanath CVSA; Gregory Reynolds; Working Papers
Abstract: Given estimates of shipping costs and scale economies for high-speed currency sorting, the authors investigate whether the Federal Reserve might lower its costs by reallocating the volume of sorting among its processing sites.

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October 1997 Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Finance and Economics Discussion Series, no. 1997-50. ; Allen N Berger; Gary D Ferrier; David B Humphrey; Working Papers
Abstract: We propose a set of consistency conditions that frontier efficiency measures should meet to be most useful for regulatory analysis or other purposes. The efficiency estimates should be consistent in their efficiency levels, rankings, and identification of best and worst firms; consistent over time and with competitive conditions in the market; and consistent with standard nonfrontier measures of performance. We provide evidence on these conditions by evaluating and comparing efficiency estimates on U.S. bank efficiency from variants of all four of the major approaches--DEA, SFA, TFA, and DFA--and find mixed results.

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October 1997 Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Working Paper no. 97-06 ; Joanna Stavins; Working Papers
Abstract: Because the automated clearinghouse (ACH) has been found to have lower social costs than paper checks, the Federal Reserve has been promoting more widespread use of ACH by lowering ACH processing fees. In this paper we have obtained the first numerical estimates of ACH demand elasticities, a measure of the responsiveness of ACH demand to price changes. In order to determine how robust the estimates are, various methods were employed to estimate the demand elasticities. Our results show that the volume of ACH items processed by the Federal Reserve does respond to changes in per-item fees. We find that demand for ACH credit is elastic, while demand for ACH debit is inelastic. The difference most likely arises from high customer resistance to automatic payment deduction and from low market penetration of that service among companies. Demand for origination was found to be somewhat more elastic than demand for receipt. We then examined how volume growth initiated by a price cut affected unit costs. Given the relatively large scale economies found for ACH, volume growth leads to lower unit costs. However, to outweigh revenue lost as a result of a price decline, ACH volume would have to increase by an amount greater than our estimates indicate is likely. Consequently, a decline in per-item ACH fees would likely lead to lower net revenues.

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January, 1997 Financial Services Research Group, Working Paper no. 0297 ; Allen N Berger; Gary D Ferrier; David B Humphrey; Working Papers
Abstract: We propose a set of consistency conditions that frontier efficiency measures should meet to be most useful for regulatory analysis or other purposes. The efficiency estimates should be consistent in their efficiency levels, rankings, and identification of best and worst firms, consistent over time and with competitive conditions in the market, and consistent with standard nonfrontier measures of performance. We provide evidence on these conditions by evaluating and comparing efficiency estimates on U.S. bank efficiency from variants of all four of the major approaches -- DEA, SFA, TFA, and DFA -- and find mixed results.

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January, 1997 Financial Services Research Group Working Paper no. 0197 ; Joanna Stavins; Working Papers
Abstract: A presentation of the first numerical estimates of ACH demand elasticities, a measure of the responsiveness of ACH demand to price changes. In order to determine how robust the estimates are, various methods are employed to estimate the demand elasticities. The results show that the volume of ACH items processed by the Federal Reserve does respond to changes in per item fees and that demand for ACH credit is elastic, while demand for ACH debit is inelastic.

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January, 1996 Financial Services Research Group Working Paper no. 0196 ; Gary D Ferrier; Working Papers
Abstract: This paper uses a stochastic cost frontier to examine the scale economies, cost efficiencies, and technological change of three payment instruments--check, automated clearinghouse (ACH) transfers, and Fedwire processing--provided by the Federal Reserve over the period 1990-94. We find the evidence of substantial scale economies and cost inefficiencies in the ACH and Fedwire services. Check processing also exhibits substantial cost inefficiency, but constant returns to scale. Technological progress is found to be sizable for ACH and Fedwire; check processing is found to have experienced technological "regress," probably because of a decrease in processing volume over the sample period.

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October 1, 1995 Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Commentary ; Economic Commentary

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Scale economies and technological change in Federal Reserve ACH payment processing

 

September 15, 1995 Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Review, vol. 31, no. 3, pp. 14-29 ; Diana Hancock; Economic Review

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1994 Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Review, Q III, 1994 - p. 27-40. ; Brian A Cromwell; Economic Review
Abstract: An exploration of the effectiveness of testing procedures in uncovering discrimination by mortgage lenders, reflecting perceived shortcomings in the scope of data provided by the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, which indicates that the rejection rate for black mortgage applicants is much higher than for whites. The authors find that for plausible levels of bias, the sample size is critical, but that low levels of bias can be difficult to detect even with large sample sizes.

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July 1, 1994 Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Commentary ; Economic Commentary
Abstract: A description of the U.S. payments system, outlining its evolution and examining some of the areas where improvements are needed.

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September 1, 1993 Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Commentary ; Ian Gale; Economic Commentary
Abstract: A critical look at the report of the National Commission to Ensure a Strong Competitive Airline Industry, including an examination of the current state of the industry and prospects for the future.

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September 1993 Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Review, vol. 23, no. 3, pp. 24-38 ; Economic Review
Abstract: An examination of the cost of providing check-processing services at 47 Federal Reserve offices between 1983:1Q and 1990:IVQ, demonstrating how the Fed's unit cost measures can be decomposed into separate effects related to differences in cost efficiency, output mix, input prices, and environmental variables.

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January, 1992 Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Working Paper no. 9218 ; Neil Bania; Thomas J Zlatoper; Working Papers
Abstract: Although the airline industry has been studied extensively since passage of the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978, relatively little effort has gone into examining how hub location affects the level of service and degree of competition found at airports in the system. To help close this gap, we investigate the geographic distribution of airline hub operations, the level of service, and the extent of competition at 112 major U.S. airports, extending previous work by Bauer (1987) and Butler and Huston (1989). Our key innovation is that we derive our measures of service and competition from indicator matrices that describe each airline's route system.

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January, 1992 Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Working Paper no. 9216 ; Neil Bania; Thomas J Zlatoper; Working Papers
Abstract: In this paper, we analyze the service provided by the 13 largest U.S. passenger airlines to the 100 most populous U.S. metropolitan areas in 1989. We classify the route systems by their nature and geographical extent using a variety of measures based on route-level data. We then identify individual airline hub locations and derive and calculate several measures of the extent of competition both on individual routes and at the airports in our sample. The results show the wide diversity of route networks that existed in the airline industry in 1989--a phenomenon that may help to explain the failure of several major carriers since then.

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January 1, 1992 Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Commentary ; Economic Commentary

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January, 1991 Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Working Paper no. 9117 ; Allen N Berger; David B Humphrey; Working Papers
Abstract: A comparison of alternative methods for estimating inefficiency and productivity growth in banking, showing that inefficiencies are sufficiently large to dominate scale economies and that measured technological progress has been small, or even negative, as a result of institutional events that occurred during 1977-88.

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January 15, 1991 Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Commentary ; Susan M Byrne; Economic Commentary

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January, 1991 Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Working Paper no. 9114 ; Brian A Cromwell; Working Papers
Abstract: A study of the effects of bank structure and profitability on the births of new firms, arguing that local credit markets potentially affect firm location decisions.

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April 1990 Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Review, vol. 26, no. 3 ; Economic Review
Abstract: This study presents new evidence on the relationship between capacity utilization and inflation in order to provide a proper framework for understanding the complexities involved. Because empirical results suggest that capacity utilization and changes in inflation are jointly endogenous, much of the previous work in this area may suffer from simultaneity bias. Using a two-equation struclural model, the author finds support for a "steady-state" rate of capacity utilization of about 81.5 percent. While that figure is in line with previous estimates, this model does not suffer from simultaneity bias and appears to be stable over time.

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October 1989 Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Review, vol. 25, no. 4 ; Brian A Cromwell; Economic Review
Abstract: An examination of the effects of price and availability of credit from commercial lending organizations on the start-up rates of new businesses within specific markets, finding that profitable and competitive banking markets are associated with higher rates of firm births.

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Airline Deregulation: Boon or Bust

 

May 1, 1989 Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Commentary ; Economic Commentary

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May 1, 1989 Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Commentary ; Economic Commentary
Abstract: An examination of the benefits and problems that have resulted from deregulation of the airline industry, with recommendations for public policy changes to preserve the benefits and to mitigate the problems.

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January 1989 Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Review, vol. 25, no. 1 ; Thomas J Zlatoper; Economic Review
Abstract: Using a model developed to examine the determinants of air fares, the authors discuss the relationship between airline industry competitiveness and fare increases.

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July 1, 1988 Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Commentary ; Mary E Deily; Economic Commentary
Abstract: A look at the U.S. Census Bureau and the Federal Reserve Board indexes of capacity utilization, with an explanation of the indexes’ construction, advantages, and shortcomings; conclusion of June 15 issue.

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A User's Guide to Capacity-Utilization Measures

 

July 1, 1988 Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Commentary ; Mary E Deily; Economic Commentary

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June 15, 1988 Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Commentary ; Mary E Deily; Economic Commentary
Abstract: An examination of the usefulness of two measures of capacity utilization in predicting price pressures and future investment: one measure attempts to represent the maximum physical output a plant can produce, and one is based on changes in production costs as output increases; article concludes with July 1 issue.

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Measuring the Unseen: A Primer on Capacity Utilization

 

June 15, 1988 Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Commentary ; Mary E Deily; Economic Commentary

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January, 1988 Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Working Paper 8813 ; Working Papers
Abstract: A decomposition of observed total factor productivity (TFP) growth that examines changes in returns to scale, cost efficiency, and technology and that develops several decompositions using production and cost frontiers

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January, 1988 Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Working Paper no. 8804 ; Working Papers
Abstract: An overview of the airline industry's early adaptations to deregulation using a best-practice cost function approach; measures cost efficiency and changes in total factor productivity growth for airlines in the 1970s and early 1980s and discusses how these findings relate to individual airline performance.

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October 1987 Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Review, vol. 23, no. 4 ; Economic Review
Abstract: A study of the determinants that influence where airlines establish hubs in the hub-and-spoke networks that developed in the industry, with identification of the quantitative effects of these determinants.

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September 15, 1987 Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Commentary ; Economic Commentary
Abstract: An examination of the true state of competition and concentration in the airline industry by taking into account the function and effects of the hub-and-spoke networks that have developed in the market.

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January, 1987 Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Working Paper no. 8704 ; Working Papers
Abstract: The presentation of a new econometric technique for estimating a system of cost and input share equations that allow for inefficiency.

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October 1986 Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Review, vol. 22, no. 4 ; Economic Review
Abstract: A summary of the theory behind airline deregulation, and a look at the future evolution of the airline industry as it adapts to its new environment.

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Title Date Publication Author(s) Type

 

May 2012 Journal of Regional Science, vol. 52, no. 2, pp. 240?255 ; Mark E Schweitzer; Scott Shane; Journal Article
Abstract: State per capita income differences narrowed considerably between 1939 and 1976. However, this convergence has been incomplete. We examined the sources of relative per capita income growth using an augmented growth model and a panel of the 48 contiguous states from 1939 to 2004. We explored the effect of tax burdens, public infrastructure, size of private financial markets, rates of business failure, industry structure, climate, educational attainment, and technology production. Our results show that a state's technology and its college attainment rates are the main factors that allow some state's per capita income to remain above those of other states.

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Scale Economies, Scope Economies, and Technical Change in Federal Reserve Payment Processing

 

October 2004 Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking, October 2004, v. 36, iss. 5, pp. 943-58 ; Robert M Adams; Robin C Sickles; Journal Article

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The Effect of Pricing on Demand and Revenue in Federal Reserve ACH Payment Processing

 

October 1, 1999 Journal of Financial Services Research, vol. 16, no. 1, October 1999, pp. 27-45 ; Joanna Stavins; Journal Article

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U.S. Air Passenger Service: A Taxonomy of Route Networks, Hub Locations, and Competition

 

March 1, 1998 Transportation Research: Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, vol. 34, no. 1, March 1998, pp. 53-74 ; Neil Bania; Thomas J Zlatoper; Journal Article

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Consistency Conditions for Regulatory Analysis of Financial Institutions: A Comparison of Frontier Efficiency Methods

 

March 1, 1998 Journal of Economics and Business, vol. 50, no. 2, March 1998, pp. 85-114 ; Allen N Berger; Gary D Ferrier; David B Humphrey; Journal Article

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Scale Economies, Cost Efficiencies, and Technological Change in Federal Reserve Payments Processing

 

November 1, 1996 Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking, vol. 28, no. 4, part 2, November. 1996, pp. 1004-39 ; Gary D Ferrier; Journal Article

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The Efficiency of the Federal Reserve in Providing Check Processing Services

 

April 1, 1993 Journal of Banking and Finance, vol. 17, no. 2-3, April 1993, pp. 287-311 ; Diana Hancock; Journal Article

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Efficiency and Productivity Growth in U.S. Banking

 

1993 In: The Measurement of Productive Efficiency: Techniques and Applications, 1993, pp. 386-413, New York; Oxford; Toronto and Melbourne: Oxford University Press. ; Allen N Berger; David B Humphrey; Article in Book

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Recent Developments in the Econometric Estimation of Frontiers

 

October 1, 1990 Journal of Econometrics, vol. 46, no. 1-2, Oct.-Nov. 1990, pp. 39-56 ; Journal Article

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Decomposing TFP Growth in the Presence of Cost Inefficiency, Nonconstant Returns to Scale, and Technological Progress

 

1990 Journal of Productivity Analysis, vol. 1, pp. 287 ; Journal Article

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Exports and Regional Economic Restructuring

 

1990 Regional Science Perspectives, vol. 20, no. 1, 1990, pp. 39-53 ; Randall W Eberts; Journal Article

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