Understanding the Racial and Income Gap in COVID-19: Social Distancing, Pollution, and Demographics
This is the third post in a series looking to explain the gap in COVID-19 intensity by race and by income. In the first two posts, we have investigated whether comorbidities, uninsurance, hospital resources, and home and transit crowding help explain the income and minority gaps. Here, we continue our investigation by looking at three additional potential channels: the fraction of elderly people, pollution, and social distancing at the beginning of the pandemic in the county. We aim to understand whether these three factors affect overall COVID-19 intensity, whether the income and racial gaps ...
The Relationship Between Race, Type of Work, and Covid-19 Infection Rates
This paper explores the relationship between Covid-19 infection rates, race, and type of work. We focus on three U.S. cities—Chicago, New York, and Philadelphia—allowing us to exploit zip code-level variation in infection rates and testing rates over time, while controlling for a variety of neighborhood demographic characteristics. We find that neighborhoods with higher Black and Hispanic population shares, and neighborhoods with higher shares of workers in high-social contact jobs within essential businesses, had disproportionately higher Covid-19 infection rates, even after applying our ...
Disaggregated Data as a Tool of Inclusion
Rhonda Vonshay Sharpe, founder and president of the Women’s Institute for Science, Equity and Race, says disaggregating data leads to better policy and saves lives.
Taking a Closer Look at Marital Status and the Earnings Gap
Research suggests that married men’s higher income account for a significant portion of the U.S. gender earnings gap. Does this also hold when race is considered?
Race and the Threat of Job Loss from Automation
Kristen Broady, fellow at Brookings Metro, discusses the vulnerability of Black and Hispanic workers to automation.
Measuring Racial Disparities in Higher Education and Student Debt Outcomes
Across the United States, the cost of all types of higher education has been rising faster than overall inflation for more than two decades. Despite rising costs, aggregate undergraduate enrollment rose steadily between 2000 and 2010 before leveling off and dipping slightly to its current level. Rising college costs have steadily increased dependence on student debt for college financing, with many students and parents turning to federal and private loans to pay for higher education. An earlier post in this series reported that borrowers in majority Black areas have higher student loan ...
COVID-19 and Small Businesses: Uneven Patterns by Race and Income
The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in one of the sharpest recessions and recoveries in U.S. history. As the virus spread over the country in a matter of weeks in March 2020, most states rapidly locked down nonessential economic activity, which plummeted as a result. As the first wave of COVID-19 subsided and people gradually learned to “live with the virus,” states reversed most of the initial lockdowns and economic activity rebounded. In our ongoing Economic Inequality series, we have explored many aspects of how the economic turmoil associated with COVID-19 differentially affected ...
Understanding the Racial and Income Gap in COVID-19: Public Transportation and Home Crowding
This is the second post in a series that aims to understand the gap in COVID-19 intensity by race and income. In our first post, we looked at how comorbidities, uninsurance rates, and health resources may help to explain the race and income gap observed in COVID-19 intensity. We found that a quarter of the income gap and more than a third of the racial gap in case rates are explained by health status and system factors. In this post, we look at two factors related to indoor density—namely public transportation use and home crowding. Here, we will aim to understand whether these two factors ...
Negative equity in the Sixth Federal Reserve District
Using Zillow's zip code level Negative Equity Report for the second quarter of 2014 and 2015, I map, describe, and analyze the characteristics of neighborhoods that have persistent negative equity in the Sixth Federal Reserve District, comprised of Alabama, Florida, and Georgia, and parts of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Persistent negative equity, when a house is worth less than outstanding mortgage debt, is high in the Sixth District and concentrated in urban areas. In a series of regressions, I evaluate the correlation of income, commute times, unemployment, housing stock quality, ...
Mortgage Prepayment, Race, and Monetary Policy
This paper documents large differences in mortgage prepayment behavior across racial and ethnic groups in the United States, which have significant implications for monetary policy, inequality, and pricing. Using a novel data set that combines administrative data on mortgage performance with information on race and ethnicity, we show that Black and Hispanic white borrowers have significantly lower prepayment rates compared with Non-Hispanic white borrowers, holding income, credit score, and equity constant. This gap is on the order of 50 percent and largely reflects different sensitivities ...