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94 posts on "Inequality"
May 8, 2024

How Are They Now? A Checkup on Homeowners Who Experienced Foreclosure

 
The end of the Great Recession marked the beginning of the longest economic expansion in U.S. history. The Great Recession, with its dramatic housing bust, led to a wave of home foreclosures as overleveraged borrowers found themselves unable to meet their payment obligations. In early 2009, the New York Fed’s Research Group launched the Consumer Credit Panel (CCP), a foundational data set of the Center for Microeconomic Data, to monitor the financial health of Americans as the economy recovered. The CCP, which is based on anonymized credit report data from Equifax, gives us an opportunity to track individuals during the period leading to the foreclosure, observe when a flag is added to their credit report and then—years later—removed. Here, we examine the longer-term impact of a foreclosure on borrowers’ credit scores and borrowing experiences: do they return to borrowing, or shy away from credit use and homeownership after their earlier bad experience? 

February 7, 2024

Wealth Inequality by Age in the Post‑Pandemic Era

Editor’s note: Since this post was first published, percentages cited in the first paragraph have been corrected. (February 7, 1pm)

Decorative Illustration: 3 flowers one with person and bag with money symbol. Who's gaining more?

Following our post on racial and ethnic wealth gaps, here we turn to the distribution of wealth across age groups, focusing on how the picture has changed since the beginning of the pandemic. As of 2019, individuals under 40 years old held just 4.9 percent of total U.S. wealth despite comprising 37 percent of the adult population. Conversely, individuals over age 54 made up a similar share of the population and held 71.6 percent of total wealth. Since 2019, we find a slight narrowing of these wealth disparities across age groups, likely driven by expanded ownership of financial assets among younger Americans.

Posted at 10:01 am in Household Finance, Inequality | Permalink

Racial and Ethnic Wealth Inequality in the Post‑Pandemic Era

Editor’s note: The DFA data upon which this post was based show a decline in the aggregate real wealth of Black households after 2019, as reported here. The authors are currently reviewing the data to determine whether a similar pattern exists for the typical Black household. (March 1, 3:47 pm)

Decorative illustration: 3 people on a pedestal. Whose net worth increased?

Wealth is unevenly distributed across racial and ethnic groups in the United States. In this first post in a two-part series on wealth inequality, we use the Distributional Financial Accounts (DFA) to document these disparities between Black, Hispanic, and white households from the first quarter of 2019 to the third quarter of 2023 for wealth and a variety of asset and liability categories. We find that these disparities have been exacerbated since the pandemic, likely due to rapid growth in the financial assets more often held by white individuals.

January 10, 2024

An Overlooked Factor in Banks’ Lending to Minorities

Illustration: Economic Inequality - Credit Access: What affects lending disparities? gold background with ill of a bank building and four people of different races. arrows showing a circular motion between them.

In the second quarter of 2022, the homeownership rate for white households was 75 percent, compared to 45 percent for Black households and 48 percent for Hispanic households. One reason for these differences, virtually unchanged in the last few decades, is uneven access to credit. Studies have documented that minorities are more likely to be denied credit, pay higher rates, be charged higher fees, and face longer turnaround times compared to similar non-minority borrowers. In this post, which is based on a related Staff Report, we show that banks vary substantially in their lending to minorities, and we document an overlooked factor in this difference—the inequality aversion of banks’ stakeholders.

Posted at 7:00 am in Banks, Housing, Inequality | Permalink
January 8, 2024

Measuring Price Inflation and Growth in Economic Well‑Being with Income‑Dependent Preferences

Photo: Young minority family unloading groceries from car

How can we accurately measure changes in living standards over time in the presence of price inflation? In this post, I discuss a novel and simple methodology that uses the cross-sectional relationship between income and household-level inflation to construct accurate measures of changes in living standards that account for the dependence of consumption preferences on income. Applying this method to data from the U.S. suggests potentially substantial mismeasurements in our available proxies of average growth in consumer welfare in the U.S.

December 1, 2023

Recent Disparities in Earnings and Employment

Dectorative image of collage of polaroids of diverse group of people portraits.

The New York Fed recently released its latest set of Equitable Growth Indicators (EGIs). Updated quarterly, the EGIs continue to report demographic and geographic differences in inflation, earnings (real and nominal), employment, and consumer spending (real and nominal) at the national level. This release also launches a set of national wealth EGIs (which will be examined more closely on Liberty Street Economics early next year). Going forward, EGI releases will also include a set of regional EGIs, which will present disparities in inflation, earnings (real and nominal), employment, and consumer spending (real and nominal) in our region. Drawing on the just released EGIs, in this post, we present recent gender gaps in the labor market at the national and regional levels. We provide a picture of how gender wage and employment disparities have evolved since the pandemic, examining and contrasting gaps at the national and regional level. We find that the gaps between the employment rates and earnings of men and women have declined steadily following the pandemic, but have declined perceptibly more so in our region than in the nation.

November 17, 2023

Flood‑Prone Basement Housing in New York City and the Impact on Low‑ and Moderate‑Income Renters

Decorative image: Man in front of a house with belongings from flood damage.

Hurricane Ida, which struck New York in early September 2021, exposed the region’s vulnerability to extreme rainfall and inland flooding. The storm created massive damage to the housing stock, particularly low-lying units. This post measures the storm’s impact on basement housing stock and, following the focus on more-at-risk populations from the two previous entries in this series, analyzes the attendant impact on low-income and immigrant populations. We find that basements in select census tracts are at high risk of flooding, affecting an estimated 10 percent of low-income and immigrant New Yorkers.

Posted at 7:00 am in Climate Change, Inequality, New York | Permalink
November 16, 2023

Small Business Recovery after Natural Disasters in the Fed’s Second District

A previous Liberty Street Economics post found that minority-owned small businesses in the Federal Reserve’s Second District have been particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. Here we focus on the aftermath of disasters (such as hurricanes, floods, wildfires, droughts, and winter storms) and examine disparities in the ability of these firms to reopen their businesses and access disaster relief. Our results indicate that while white- and minority-owned firms remain closed for similar durations, the latter are more reliant on external funding from government and private sources to cope with disaster losses.

November 9, 2023

Transition Risks in the Fed’s Second District and the Nation

Photo: NY City skyline in background with solar panels in the foreground.

Climate change may pose two types of risk to the economy—from policies and consumer preferences as the energy system transitions to a lower dependence on carbon (in other words, transition risks) or from damages stemming from the direct impacts of climate change (physical risks). In this post, we follow up on our previous post that studied the exposure of the Federal Reserve’s Second District to physical risks by considering how transition risks affect different parts of the District and how they differentially affect the District relative to the nation. We find that, relative to other regions of the U.S., the economy of the Second District has considerably less exposure to fossil fuels. However, the cost of reducing even this relatively low economic dependence on carbon is still likely to be considerable.

October 16, 2023

Racial Discrimination in Child Protective Services

Illustration: dark purple background with illustration of two hands holding up two children of different races. Disparities: Is race a factor in foster care placement?

Childhood experiences have an enormous impact on children’s long-term societal contributions. Experiencing childhood maltreatment is associated with compromised physical and mental health, decreased educational attainment and future earnings, and increased criminal activity. Child protective services is the government’s way of endeavoring to protect children. Foster care consequently has large potential effects on a child’s future education, earnings, and criminal activity. In this post, we draw on a recent study to document disparities in the likelihood that children of different races will be placed into foster care.

Posted at 7:00 am in Human Capital, Inequality | Permalink
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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.

The editors are Michael Fleming, Andrew Haughwout, Thomas Klitgaard, and Asani Sarkar, all economists in the Bank’s Research Group.

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This ongoing Liberty Street Economics series analyzes disparities in economic and policy outcomes by race, gender, age, region, income, and other factors.

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