Income Inequality Matters, but Mobility Is Just as Important
Concerns about rising income inequality are based on comparing income distributions over time. It is important to remember that such distributions are snapshots of a single year, and that the same households do not necessarily appear year after year in the same quintile of the distribution. Paying attention to mobility, as well as inequality, gives us a richer picture of the income possibilities for households over time. We document changes in a measure of income mobility over the past 40 years, a period in which income inequality has increased. We find a modest level of movement through the ...
Gender Composition of the Boards of Directors of the Regional Federal Reserve Banks
Women have traditionally been underrepresented among governors of the Federal Reserve Board and among presidents of the regional Federal Reserve Banks. This lack of diversity may limit the representation of the interests of women, leave out valuable talent, and affect group dynamics and decision-making. These concerns are also relevant for the members of the Boards of Directors of the twelve regional banks of the Federal Reserve System. This article presents and analyzes hand-collected data on female representation on these twelve boards. Since 1977, when the first five women began serving as ...
Universal CSAs in Illinois: Addressing the Racial Wealth Gap
In Angela Glover Blackwell?s essay in What It?s Worth, she talks about her childhood and how she was fortunate to have access to community assets that provide ?ladders for success.? While these assets created a pathway to financial security that included college for many in her community, she acknowledges that similar ?communities of opportunity? are not the reality for many families of color. In Illinois, there are significant disparities in opportunity between majority white communities and communities of color. According to the 2016 Illinois Poverty Report, poverty rates are two to three ...
Neighborhood Dynamics and the Distribution of Opportunity
Wilson (1987) argued that policies ending racial discrimination would not equalize opportunity without addressing residential sorting and neighborhood externalities. This paper studies related counterfactual policies using an overlapping-generations dynamic general equilibrium model of residential sorting and intergenerational human capital accumulation. In the model, households choose where to live and how much to invest toward the production of their child?s human capital. The return on parents? investment is determined in part by the child?s ability and in part by an externality determined ...
The Racial Wealth Gap and Access to Opportunity Neighborhoods
Some Black households live in neighborhoods with lower incomes, as well as higher unemployment rates and lower educational attainment, than their own incomes might suggest, and this may impede their economic mobility. We investigate reasons for the neighborhood sorting patterns we observe and find that differences in financial factors such as income, wealth, or housing costs between Black and white households do not explain racial distributions across neighborhoods. Our findings suggest other factors are at work, including discrimination in the housing market, ongoing racial hostility, or ...
Why Worry about Financial Exclusion?
Should policymakers aim to expand access to bank accounts? When financial exclusion is due to frictions that prevent banking from operating efficiently, intervention may be justified. Applying simple economic principles, we highlight possible frictions that may give rise to inefficient exclusion in the United States, and we assess their importance using insights from data and the academic and policy literature.
Why I Want You to Study Economics: Increasing Diversity, Inclusion, and Opportunity in Economics; 04-04-18; Central State University College of Business, Wilberforce, OH
Part of the Leaders, Executives, Entrepreneurs, and Directors (LEED) Program. At the Federal Reserve, we are proud of the fact that while the first two attempts at central banks in the U.S. lasted only 20 years each, the Fed is in its 105th year. But Central State is even older. Founded in 1887, the university recently celebrated its 131st birthday. Central State?s designation as a historically black college and its focus on providing a high-quality academic experience to all students are things to be proud of. They make this university a very good place for me to speak about the benefits of ...
Are America's Inner Cities Competitive? Evidence from the 2000s
In the years since Michael Porter?s paper about the potential competitiveness of inner cities there has been growing evidence of a residential resurgence in urban neighborhoods. Yet, there is less evidence on the competitiveness of inner cities for employment. We document the trends in net employment growth and find that inner cities gained over 1.8 million jobs between 2002 and 2011 at a rate comparable to suburban areas. We also find a significant number of inner cities are competitive over this period?increasing their share of metropolitan employment in 120 out of 281 MSAs. We also ...
How the Pandemic Has Reshaped Economic Inclusion in the United States
The pandemic brought unusually large and novel changes to the US labor market. Some sectors lost half or nearly half of their employment; others moved their workforces to home settings. Some workers lost their jobs, some left their jobs temporarily, and some left the workforce altogether. These changes have affected different demographic groups differently. We investigate how the pandemic affected workers of different ages, racial or ethnic backgrounds, and gender and the degree to which these effects have persisted after a year of recovery.
Community Leaders and the Preservation of Cultural Traits
We explain persistent differences in cultural traits of immigrant groups with the presence of community leaders. Leaders influence the cultural traits of their community, which have an impact on the group?s earnings. They determine whether a community will be more assimilated and wealthier or less assimilated and poorer. With a leader, cultural integration remains incomplete. The leader chooses more distinctive cultural traits in high-productivity environments and if the community is more connected. Lump-sum transfers to immigrants can hinder cultural integration. These findings are in line ...