The Disproportionate Effects of COVID-19 on Households with Children
A growing body of evidence points to large negative economic and health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on low-income, Black, and Hispanic Americans (see this LSE post and reports by Pew Research and Harvard). Beyond the consequences of school cancellations and lost social interactions, there exists considerable concern about the long-lasting effects of economic hardship on children. In this post, we assess the extent of the underlying economic and financial strain faced by households with children living at home, using newly collected data from the monthly Survey of Consumer Expectations ...
The Geography of Subprime Credit
Improving the financial lives of the people living in neighborhoods with large concentrations of lowcredit-scored households1 requires an understanding of the socioeconomic and financial challenges of those places. In this study, we identify such neighborhoods and analyze their socioeconomic and financial attributes, focusing on Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, and Wisconsin (the five states served by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago). We find geographic patterns in the locations of subprime-scored households, in particular that these households are more highly concentrated in urban ...
Panel Remarks: The Fed and Main Street during the Coronavirus Pandemic
Panel Remarks at The Fed and Main Street during the Coronavirus Pandemic, WebEx event, April 23, 2020.
Rising to the Challenge: Central Banking, Financial Markets, and the Pandemic
Remarks at the 16th Meeting of the Financial Research Advisory Committee for the Treasury’s Office of Financial Research (delivered via videoconference).
(Unmet) Credit Demand of American Households
One of the direct effects of the 2008 financial crisis on U.S. households was a sharp tightening of credit. Households that had previously been able to borrow relatively freely through credit cards, home equity loans, or personal loans suddenly found those lines closed off—just when they needed them the most. In recent months, aggregate statistics such as the Federal Reserve’s Consumer Credit series and the Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey have shown a gradual improvement in consumer credit. The former series is an indicator of interaction of credit supply and demand, while the latter ...
How Does Family Structure during Childhood Affect College Preparedness and Completion?
From 1996 through 2015, the share of twenty-eight-year-olds in the United States who attended college grew 8 percentage points while the share who completed college also grew 8 percentage points. But college attainment trends varied significantly by family structure. In particular, completion grew much faster for children from "high-resource" households (two parents with at least one holding a four-year degree) compared with children from "low-resource" households (one parent and no degree). New research suggests that this attainment gap expanded because high-resource households increased ...
A Different Kind of Recession
Remarks at the Institute of International Finance: Central Banking in the Age of COVID-19 Summit (delivered via videoconference).
How Couples Approach Portfolio Allocation
The classical theory of household portfolio allocation finds that the share of household wealth invested in risky assets is independent of the level of household wealth. However, this prediction is at odds with empirical observations. This Economic Brief presents findings that reconcile the two. A model in which a household's portfolio allocation reflects the preferences of both spouses, adjusted for the bargaining power of each spouse, predicts that the wealthier a household becomes, the greater the share of its wealth will be invested in risky assets.
Kitchen Conversations: How Households Make Economic Choices
Economists have studied decision-making for centuries, but how do households, as opposed to individuals, make decisions? The future of personal finance may rest on the answers.
How Much Did the CARES Act Help Households Stay Afloat?
Widespread job losses starting in mid-March last year forced many households to rely more heavily on nonemployment income and liquid assets on hand to continue buying what they needed. Federal assistance through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act helped boost household resilience—the ability to sustain consumption despite the loss of employment income. Data suggest that the aid increased household resilience by 15 weeks, chiefly through enhanced unemployment insurance benefits. Among racial groups, this benefited Black and Hispanic households the most, raising median ...