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.
PHFA Takes Pro-Active Steps in Loan Servicing to Keep Borrowers in Their Homes
The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) was created 40 years ago by the state legislature to expand affordable housing options for the state?s residents. It does so through a number of programs that include funding the construction of multifamily rental units, providing affordable home mortgages, supporting housing counseling at no cost to prospective homeowners, and engaging in foreclosure prevention efforts. This article focuses on the PHFA?s servicing of its home purchase mortgages to Pennsylvania residents and the pro-active steps taken by the agency to help keep borrowers in their ...
Racial and Socioeconomic Test-Score Gaps in New England Metropolitan Areas: State School Aid and Poverty Segregation
Test-score data show that both low-income and racial-minority children score lower, on average, on states’ elementary-school accountability tests compared with higher-income children or white children. While different levels of scholastic achievement depend on a host of influences, such test-score gaps point toward unequal educational opportunity as a potentially important contributor. This report explores the relationship between racial and socioeconomic test-score gaps in New England metropolitan areas and two factors associated with unequal opportunity in education: state equalizing ...
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 ...
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.
BankWork$ Gives Underemployed Residents Access to Entry-Level Banking Positions
Low-income residents facing employment barriers are obtaining entry-level job opportunities in the banking industry through a program launched 10 years ago in Los Angeles. The program, BankWork$, is undergoing a planned national replication.
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 ...
The Rise and Fall of Philadelphia's Commercial Corridors
In her classic The Death and Life of Great American Cities, published in 1961, Jane Jacobs argued that the "basic requisite" for maintaining safe cities was "a substantial quantity of stores and other public spaces sprinkled along the sidewalks of a district.... Stores, bars and restaurants, as the chief examples, work in several different and complex ways to abet sidewalk safety." In this article, the case of Philadelphia is used to explore the extent to which such neighborhood commercial corridors live up to their promise of maintaining public order and city civility, what factors ...
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 ...
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.