Bank Size and Household Financial Sentiment: Surprising Evidence from the University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers
We analyze comparative advantages/disadvantages of small and large banks in improving household sentiment regarding financial conditions. We match sentiment data from the University Of Michigan Surveys Of Consumers with local banking market data from 2000 to 2014. Surprisingly, the evidence suggests that large rather than small banks have significant comparative advantages in boosting household sentiment. Findings are robust to instrumental variables and other econometric methods. Additional analyses are consistent with both scale economies and the superior safety of large banks as channels ...
Inflation at the Household Level
We use scanner data to estimate inflation rates at the household level. Households' inflation rates have an annual interquartile range of 6.2 to 9.0 percentage points. Most of the heterogeneity comes not from variation in broadly defined consumption bundles but from variation in prices paid for the same types of goods. Lower-income households experience higher inflation, but most cross-sectional variation is uncorrelated with observables. Households' deviations from aggregate inflation exhibit only slightly negative serial correlation. Almost all variability in a household's inflation rate ...
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.
A Different Kind of Recession
Remarks at the Institute of International Finance: Central Banking in the Age of COVID-19 Summit (delivered via videoconference).
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 ...
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).
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 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.
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 ...
Just Released: Who's Borrowing Now? The Young and the Riskless!
According to today’s release of the New York Fed’s 2013:Q4 Household Debt and Credit Report, aggregate consumer debt increased by $241 billion in the fourth quarter, the largest quarter-to-quarter increase since 2007. More importantly, between 2012:Q4 and 2013:Q4, total household debt rose $180 billion, marking the first four-quarter increase in outstanding debt since 2008. As net household borrowing resumes, it is interesting to see who is driving these balance changes, and to compare some of today’s patterns with those of the boom period.