Child Care, COVID-19, and our Economic Future
Child care is important for cultivating the future workforce, and it also ensures that working parents of today can participate in the economy, helping to achieve the Federal Reserve’s mandate for full employment. While child care in the U.S. is a piece of critical infrastructure, it is often invisible and undervalued. Straddling the lines between parenting, education, and small business, child care does not get the full attention and resources of any particular domain, and its contribution to the economy has been overlooked.Longstanding and widespread constraints in the child care sector ...
The Pandemic, Child Care and Women’s Labor Force Participation
The pandemic has changed how households work, spend and care for children. In this Economic Brief, we highlight economic research that examines the patterns seen in women's work experiences in particular. We look at both the pandemic and, more generally, how shocks to the economy affect women's work decisions. Throughout, we will try to connect what we observe to households' broader economic environments and will emphasize — in the case of the pandemic — the role of away-from-home child care.
The Economic Gains from Equity
How much is inequity costing us? Using a simple growth accounting framework we apply standard shift-share techniques to data from the Current Population Survey (1990-2019) to compute the aggregate economic costs of persistent educational and labor market disparities by gender and race. We find significant economic losses associated with these gaps. Building on this finding, we consider which disparities generate the largest costs, paying specific attention to differences in employment, hours worked, educational attainment, educational utilization, and occupational allocation. We also examine ...
Monitoring the Inflationary Effects of COVID-19
Inflation fell dramatically following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Dividing the underlying price data according to spending category reveals that a majority of the drop in core personal consumption expenditures inflation comes from a large decline in consumer demand. This demand effect far outweighs upward price pressure from COVID-related supply constraints. A new monthly data page from the San Francisco Fed tracks how sensitivity to the economic disruptions of COVID-19 affects different categories of inflation over time.
The Credit Line Channel
Aggregate bank lending to ﬁrms expands following adverse macroeconomic shocks, such as the outbreak of COVID-19 or a monetary policy tightening, at odds with canonical models. Using loan-level supervisory data, we show that these dynamics are driven by draws on credit lines by large ﬁrms. Banks that experience larger drawdowns restrict term lending more — an externality onto smaller ﬁrms. Using a structural model, we show that credit lines are necessary to reproduce the ﬂow of credit toward less constrained ﬁrms after adverse shocks. While credit lines increase total credit ...
Vaccine Reluctance Is Diminishing but Still High in a Few Industries
Americans are becoming more receptive to getting COVID-19 vaccines, but pockets of reluctance remain, including in industries in which personal contact is essential to doing business.
COVID-19 Impacts on Housing Stability in the Twelfth Federal Reserve District
In the face of layoffs and furloughs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many renters and homeowners across the country have struggled to make their mortgage or rent payments. Banks have provided flexibility to borrowers through loan deferrals and forbearance during the pandemic. The federal CARES Act provided stimulus payments to low- and moderate-income people and expanded unemployment insurance payments by states, allowing many to continue paying their bills during the early months of the pandemic. The CARES Act also included rental assistance to be disbursed by states, a moratorium on evictions ...
Impacts of COVID-19 on Nonprofits in the Western United States
Nonprofit organizations play an important role in the response to COVID-19, but the crisis is straining their ability to serve communities. This report summarizes data from a Federal Reserve survey to assess the impact of the pandemic on nonprofit respondents and the communities they serve in the Western United States.
Risk of Business Insolvency during Coronavirus Crisis
Many businesses had amassed high levels of debt, or leverage, before the COVID-19 pandemic. Out of precaution or necessity, firms increased their borrowing further after the onset. Although the shock to those firms’ value significantly increased their risk, measured by their distance-to-default, the default risk remains relatively small for most corporate debt. Nevertheless, the amount of outstanding liabilities among firms with elevated risk of insolvency is more than two times higher than at the peak of the global financial crisis.
Minority Banks during the COVID-19 Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately affected the health and financial well-being of communities of color. Over the past year, minority banks that specialize in providing financial services to underserved communities and minority borrowers have also performed significantly worse than other banks of similar size. Minority banks projected higher loan losses and had lower profits than nonminority banks. To the extent that underperforming minority banks may be more reluctant to expand lending—whether to avoid risk or minimize regulatory scrutiny—it could further exacerbate the unevenness ...