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DL Thorton Economics

Resources for Students/Teachers

Here are some short essays that can be used for high school economics courses either as background material to prepare for class, or for class reading assignment and discussion. They are listed by topic.

The Financial Crisis and Unconventional Monetary Policy:

  1. “The Efficacy of the FOMC’s Zero Interest Rate Policy.
  2.  “The Downside of Quantitative Easing.”
  3. “Can the FOMC Increase the Funds Rate Without Reducing Reserves?”
  4. “Housing and the "R" Word.”
  5. “Quantitative Easing and Money Growth: Potential for Higher Inflation?”
  6. “The Effect of the Fed’s Purchases of Long-Term Treasuries on the Yield Curve.”
  7. “What Caused Long-Term Rates to Rise?”
  8. “Why is Output Growth So Slow?”
  9. “Why Is Employment Growth So Low?”
  10. “Is the FOMC’s Policy Inflating Asset Prices?”
  11. “Has QE Been Effective?”
  12. “Is the FOMC’s Unemployment Rate Threshold a Good Idea?"
  13. “A Perspective on Possible Fed Exit Strategies.”
  14. “Verbal Guidance and the Efficacy of Forward Guidance.”
  15. “Would QE2 Have a Significant Effect on Economic Growth, Employment, or Inflation?”
  16. “Would Quantitative Easing Sooner Have Tempered the Financial Crisis and Economic Recession?”
  17. “Negating the Inflation Potential of the Fed's Lending Programs.”
  18. "Monetary Policy at the Zero Bound"

The Fed’s Dual Mandate:

  1. “The Case for ‘Inflation First’ Monetary Policy.”
  2. “What Does the Change in the FOMC’s Statement of Objectives Mean?”
  3. “The Dual Mandate: Has the Fed Changed Its Objective? A longer essay for more advanced students on Teacher background.

Monetary Policy:

  1. “The Efficacy of Monetary Policy: A Tale from Two Decades.”
  2. “Measure for Measure: Headline versus Core Inflation.”
  3. “The Federal Funds and Long-Term Rates.”
  4. “The Fed’s Inflation Objective.”
  5. “Greenspan’s Unconventional View of the Long-Run Inflation/Output Trade-off.”
  6. “The Monetary Policy Transmission Mechanism?”
  7. “The FOMC’s “Considerable Period.”
  8. “Making Monetary Policy More Transparent.”
  9. “Alternative Policy Weapons?”
  10. “Predictability and Effectiveness of Monetary Policy.”
  11. “How Effective Is Monetary Policy?”


  1. “Are Virtual “Currencies” Likely to Succeed?”
  2. “What the Libor-OIS Spread Says,”
  3. “Monetizing the Debt.”
  4. “Monetizing the Debt.” A longer essay for more advanced students on Teacher background.
  5. “A Primer on the Mortgage Market and Mortgage Finance.” A longer essay for more advanced students on Teacher background.
  6. “Walter Bagehot, the Discount Window, and TAF.”
  7. “Is Nominal GDP Targeting a Rule Policymakers Could Accept?”
  8. “Social Security, Saving, and Wealth Accumulation.”
  9. “Public Officials and Job Creation.”
  10. “Withering Dissents.”

The Federal Debt and Deficits:

  1. “The Federal Debt: Too Little Revenue or Too Much Spending?”
  2. “The Federal Debt: What’s the Source of the Increase in Spending?”
  3. “Tax Rates and Revenue Since the 1970s.”
  4. “How Good Are the Government’s Deficit and Debt Projections and Should We Care?” A longer essay for more advanced students on Teacher background.

Fiscal Policy:

  1. “Personal Saving and Economic Growth,”
  2. “Does the Economy Need More Spending Now?”

Link to all of Dr. Thornton’s Federal Reserve Publications: