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Living Standards in St. Louis and the Eighth Federal Reserve District: Let’s Get Real



Recently, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) has developed the Regional Price Parities (RPPs), spatial price indexes that allow for comparison of cost of living differences across various geographic areas. By construction, RPPs compare the average price level for a region with the national average. Accordingly, unlike traditional, temporal price indexes, RPPs can be used to adjust nominal incomes for cost of living differences, thereby allowing for more accurate comparison of living standards across geographic areas. When adjusting incomes in this manner, the authors find that, despite slow economic growth recently, living standards are relatively high in the St. Louis metropolitan statistical area (MSA). For example, the St. Louis MSA ranks in the top 6 percent of MSAs based on real per capita personal income and in the top 16 percent based on real median household income.

Suggested Citation

  • Cletus C. Coughlin & Charles S. Gascon & Kevin L. Kliesen, 2017. "Living Standards in St. Louis and the Eighth Federal Reserve District: Let’s Get Real," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, vol. 99(4), pages 377-394.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlrv:00091
    DOI: 10.20955/r.2017.377-394

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kelly D. Edmiston, 2016. "Residential Rent Affordability across U.S. Metropolitan Areas," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q IV, pages 5-27.
    2. Edgar O. Olsen & Dirk W. Early & Paul E. Carrillo, 2010. "A Panel of Price Indices for Housing, Other Goods, and All Goods for All Areas in the United States 1982-2008," Virginia Economics Online Papers 377, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
    3. Jessie Handbury & David E. Weinstein, 2015. "Goods Prices and Availability in Cities," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 82(1), pages 258-296.
    4. Martin Feldstein, 2017. "Underestimating the Real Growth of GDP, Personal Income, and Productivity," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 31(2), pages 145-164, Spring.
    5. Edward L. Glaeser & Joshua D. Gottlieb, 2009. "The Wealth of Cities: Agglomeration Economies and Spatial Equilibrium in the United States," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(4), pages 983-1028, December.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Why does cost of living vary so much? : Housing, housing, housing
      by ? in FRED blog on 2018-07-02 13:00:42

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