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16 posts from November 2015

November 05, 2015

Trends in Debt Concentration in the United States By Income



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Household debt in the United States expanded before the Great Recession, contracted afterward, and has been recovering since 2013. But how has the distribution of debt across different income groups evolved over time? Who has been driving the recovery of household debt over the past two years?  To date, there has been little work on how borrowing patterns for high- and low-income individuals have changed over time, although one notable exception is Amromin and McGranahan. Here, using the New York Fed Consumer Credit Panel (CCP), a quarterly panel data set based on Equifax credit reports, we shed further light on these questions.


Continue reading "Trends in Debt Concentration in the United States By Income" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Household Finance, Inflation, Student Loans | Permalink | Comments (1)

November 04, 2015

Differences in Rent Inflation by Cost of Housing



Update (12.9.15): We revised the chart package linked to in the second paragraph of this post to correct a spreadsheet error. A new note also clarifies our methodology. Please see the addendum below.

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We know that different people experience different inflation rates because the bundle of goods and services that they consume is different from that of the "typical" household. This phenomenon is discussed in this publication from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and this article from the New York Fed. But did you know that there are substantial differences in inflation experience depending on the level of one's housing costs? In this post, which is based upon our updated staff report on “The Measurement of Rent Inflation,” we present evidence that price changes for rent, which comprises a large share of consumer spending, can vary considerably across households. In particular, we show that rent inflation is consistently higher for lower-cost housing units than it is for higher-cost units. Note that since owners' equivalent rent inflation is estimated from observed changes in rent of rental units, this finding applies to homeowners as well. While we cannot be certain about why this is the case, it appears to be at least partly related to how additional units are supplied to the housing market: in higher-price segments additional units primarily come from new construction, while most of the increase in lower-price segments comes from units that previously were occupied by higher-income households.

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Posted by Blog Author at 2:30 PM in Housing, Inflation, Macroecon | Permalink | Comments (2)

November 03, 2015

Some Options for Addressing Puerto Rico’s Fiscal Problems



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Puerto Rico’s economic and fiscal challenges have been an important focus of work done here at the New York Fed, resulting in two reports (2012 and 2014), several blog posts and one paper in our Current Issues series in just the last few years. As the Commonwealth’s problems have deepened, the Obama administration and Congress have begun discussing potential approaches to addressing them. In this post, we update our previous estimates of Puerto Rico’s outstanding debt and discuss the effect that various forms of bankruptcy protection might have on the Commonwealth.

Continue reading "Some Options for Addressing Puerto Rico’s Fiscal Problems" »

Posted by Blog Author at 12:00 PM in Fiscal Policy, Puerto Rico, Regional Analysis | Permalink | Comments (2)

Exploring Differences in Unemployment Risk



Exploring Differences in Unemployment Risk

The risk of becoming unemployed varies substantially across different groups within the labor market. Although the “headline” unemployment rate draws the most attention from the news media and policymakers, there is rich heterogeneity underlying this overall measure. We delve into the data to describe how unemployment and job loss risk vary with demographics (gender, age, and race), skill (educational attainment), and job characteristics (occupation and earnings).

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Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Labor Economics, Macroecon | Permalink | Comments (0)

November 02, 2015

Understanding Earnings Dispersion



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How much someone earns is an important determinant of many significant decisions over the course of a lifetime. Therefore, understanding how and why earnings are dispersed across individuals is central to understanding dispersion in a wide range of areas such as durable and non-durable consumption expenditures, debt, hours worked, and even health. Drawing on a recent New York Fed staff report "What Do Data on Millions of U.S. Workers Reveal about Life-Cycle Earnings Risks?", this blog post investigates the nature of earnings inequality over a lifetime.  It finds that earnings are subject to significant downside risk and that such risk contributes substantially to overall earnings dispersion.

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Posted by Blog Author at 7:02 AM in Labor Economics, Macroecon, Unemployment | Permalink | Comments (0)

Beyond the Macroeconomy



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The Federal Reserve’s statutory mission from Congress is to achieve maximum employment and price stability for the country as a whole. In line with this dual mandate, economists at the New York Fed monitor conditions in the “aggregate” economy on a day-to-day basis. But in addition, they have been doing a substantial amount of work to understand the differences in economic experiences across individuals, households, and regions. This blog series will examine our economists’ findings on how labor, housing, and health outcomes vary for different groups. A brief summary of the posts in the series follows:

Continue reading "Beyond the Macroeconomy" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Labor Economics, Macroecon, Unemployment | Permalink | Comments (0)

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Liberty Street Economics features insight and analysis from New York Fed economists working at the intersection of research and policy. Launched in 2011, the blog takes its name from the Bank’s headquarters at 33 Liberty Street in Manhattan’s Financial District.

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