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Keywords:racial inequality 

Racial Differences in Mortgage Refinancing, Distress, and Housing Wealth Accumulation during COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated racial disparities in U.S. mortgage markets. Black, Hispanic, and Asian borrowers were significantly more likely than white borrowers to miss payments due to financial distress, and significantly less likely to refinance to take advantage of the large decline in interest rates spurred by the Federal Reserve’s large-scale mortgage-backed security (MBS) purchase program. The wide-scale forbearance program, introduced by the 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, provided approximately equal payment relief to all distressed borrowers, ...
Current Policy Perspectives

Lessons Learned from Mortgage Borrower Policies and Outcomes during the COVID-19 Pandemic

This article reviews the aid offered to the roughly 50 million homeowners with mortgages included in a forbearance program, and the Federal Reserve’s actions that pushed down mortgage rates, allowing many mortgage holders to reduce their monthly payments by refinancing. We deem these policies to be quite effective in relieving financial distress and allowing homeowners to stay in their homes, especially in contrast with the policies pursued during the Great Recession. We emphasize that these policies in part worked because of rising housing prices and home equity, before and during the ...
Current Policy Perspectives

Working Paper
Early Life Environment and Racial Inequality in Education and Earnings in the United States

Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2014-28

Discussion Paper
Racial Differences in Mortgage Refinancing, Distress, and Housing Wealth Accumulation during COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic was characterized by both high refinancing volumes and high rates of mortgage nonpayment. Refinancing activity differed significantly across racial and ethnic groups, and we show that the benefits from the lower interest rate environment were not shared equally. Compared to white borrowers, Black and Hispanic mortgage borrowers experienced higher rates of nonpayment, which reflected both a greater transition into nonpayment status for Black and Hispanic borrowers and a lower likelihood of resuming payments. However, strong house price appreciation in recent years, ...
Policy Hub , Paper 2021-06

Journal Article
Examining U.S. Economic Racial Inequality by State

The Center for Household Financial Stability documents racial economic inequality across the United States.

Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Housing Distress during the Pandemic

The lack of cash on hand before the pandemic appears to play a role in a renter’s or homeowner’s likelihood of experiencing distress.
On the Economy

Journal Article
Q&A: Black Executives on Equitable Funding

What is your definition of true equity? Three Black executives share their personal insights and tips on counteracting funding inequality.
Bridges , Volume 2020 (4)

Monetary Policy and Racial Inequality

This paper aims at an improved understanding of the relationship between monetary policy and racial inequality. We investigate the distributional effects of monetary policy in a unified framework, linking monetary policy shocks both to earnings and wealth differentials between black and white households. Specifically, we show that, although a more accommodative monetary policy increases employment of black households more than white households, the overall effects are small. At the same time, an accommodative monetary policy shock exacerbates the wealth difference between black and white ...
Staff Reports , Paper 959

Asset Values Surged during the K-Shaped Recovery

Average wealth rebounded sharply for Black, white and Hispanic families in the aftermath of the COVID-19 recession. But the gains in asset values varied greatly among these families.
On the Economy

Working Paper
Racial Inequality in Unemployment Insurance Receipt and Take-Up

This paper studies differences in receipt and take-up of unemployment insurance (UI) benefits among White and Black individuals. We combine state-level UI regulations with data containing detailed information on individuals’ work history and UI receipt. Black individuals who separate from a job are 24% less likely to receive UI than White individuals. The UI receipt gap stems primarily from lower take-up of UI benefits among likely eligible individuals, as opposed to differences in benefit eligibility. Statistical decompositions indicate that about one-half of the take-up gap is explained ...
Working Papers , Paper 22-09


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