The Effect of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Medicaid Expansions on Financial Wellbeing
We examine the effect of the Medicaid expansions under the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) on consumer, financial outcomes using data from a major credit reporting agency for a large, national sample of adults. We employ the synthetic control method to compare individuals living in states that expanded Medicaid to those that did not. We find that the Medicaid expansions significantly reduced the number of unpaid bills and the amount of debt sent to third-party collection agencies among those residing in zip codes with the highest share of low-income, uninsured ...
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 ...
Nudging credit scores in the field: the effect of text reminders on creditworthiness in the United States
Given the fundamental role that credit scores play in day-to-day life in the United States, it is very important to understand what can be done to help individuals improve their credit scores. This question is important in general, and especially important for the low-to-moderate-income (LMI) individuals who likely have a greater need for access to liquidity than higher-income individuals. In this paper the authors report results from a field experiment conducted between early 2013 and early 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts, with LMI taxpayers who were offered credit advising services. Taxpayers ...
The Roadmap to Financial Resilience is About the Journey
Twelve months is more than a year particularly in Chicago. Twelve months is winter ? often with a relentlessly capital W, spring, summer, and fall. It's lazy summer days to school days to skyrocketing heating bills. It?s the seasonality of work intertwined with the seasonality of life, not just in terms of changes in temperature, but in terms of expenses that ebb and flow over the course of time. For all these reasons, discussions about capacity ? whether employment or financial ? must be in the context of an entire year, because we believe that timeline to be the best proxy for the practice ...
Determinants of Housing Values and Variations in Home Prices Across Neighborhoods in Cook County
From 2007 to 2009, the U.S. underwent one of the worst recessions in its history, a recession triggered by an unprecedented, international financial crisis that resulted from institutional portfolio concentration in securities backed by home mortgages, and the collapse of that securities market. The period saw a wave of defaults and foreclosures that spared almost no communities in metropolitan areas throughout the country (Bajaj and Story, 2008). Loan defaults and foreclosures, which had tended to be concentrated in lower-income and minority neighborhoods, spread to new and diverse ...
Tax-time Savings: An Antidote to Financial Insecurity
The value proposition of ?What It?s Worth? is the opportunity, working collaboratively between the public, nonprofit and private sectors, to address the growing economic insecurity and financial stability plaguing a growing number of Americans. The results of countless polls and surveys evidence the financial uncertainty facing the least advantaged in our economy. The aftermath of the Great Recession and the loss of assets for many, combined with reduced job security, downward pressure on wages, and higher out-of-pocket health expenses are some of the drivers behind this insecurity.
Financial Well-being: At the Convergence of People and Place – Reflections from a Chicago Conversation
This brief collection of writings is based on a convening, hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, to have a local conversation about financial well-being. This gathering was motivated by ?What It?s Worth,? a joint publication of the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) and the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, collecting insights from thought leaders across the country on the topic of financial capacity for families and communities.
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 ...
How Health Insurance Improves Financial Health
Low-income Americans who became eligible to enroll in Medicaid due to the Affordable Care Act saw their medical debt cut in half.
The When, What and Where of Consumer Debt: The View from Cook County
Consumer debt grew rapidly in the years leading up to the Great Recession, and contracted sharply in its immediate aftermath. This credit cycle played out unevenly among households with different financial means and in different parts of the country. While much attention has been paid to mortgages, other debt categories, such as automobile and student, play an important role in household finances. Consequently, we analyze trends in both mortgage and non-mortgage debt across income groups during the period surrounding the Great Recession.