Economic Mobility Project
Upcoming Events
Exploring Career Pathways

October 17, 2024

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago welcomes participants to the Fifth Annual Career Pathways in Economics and Related Fields Conference on October 17, 2024.

Past Events
Health Insurance Dynamics: Coverage, Gaps, and Financial Impacts

May 9, 2024

To explore the dynamics between health insurance and employment in the United States, the Chicago Fed hosted a virtual event from 11:00 am -12:00 pm CT on May 9, 2024. During the event, Chicago Fed economists presented research on the impact of insurance transitions on policyholders who become unemployed and the effect of expanded Medicaid access following an involuntary loss of private employer health insurance.

Racial Wealth Gains and Gaps: 9 Economic Facts about the Disparities

February 8, 2024

One of the strengths of the American university system is the availability of external financing to enable students of all income and asset levels to obtain a college education. The federally funded student loan system is a key element in the overall funding structure. Undergraduate students from households that demonstrate financial need are granted access to federally subsidized loans that generally offer lower interest rates, deferral of interest charges while in school, and some flexibility in repayment schedules.

Understanding Neighborhood Racial Change

November 16, 2023

The United States is segregated, and racial stratification is a defining feature of American cities. Various types of demographic sorting have created and reinforced patterns of racial segregation. This virtual event highlighted research showing that households choose neighborhoods based on selected criteria, such as race makeup.

Minority Owned Banks and Banking Access in Minority Communities

September 26, 2023

In the United States, access to capital and credit for individuals and business owners is uneven based on race. While digital banking is on the rise and bank customers can access their accounts and perform many banking transactions via the internet, the presence of brick-and-mortar bank branches is declining, particularly in Black and Latino communities. For those who lack financial resources, internet access, or transportation, local bank branches are vital.

College as an Investment: Costs, Payoffs, and Financing

July 11, 2023

A college education is an important factor in determining future earnings, but the climbing costs of higher education in America have made paying for college more challenging in recent decades. Rising student debt was already a concern prior to Covid-19, but the widespread economic hardship brought on by the pandemic, highlighted existing inequities in higher education accessibility and financing. As the cost of college has steadily increased over the past 30 years, so has the need for student loans and other forms of financial aid.

The Automation of Jobs

February 28, 2023

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the American labor force, accelerated automation, and exacerbated pre-existing economic inequities. On Tuesday, February 28, join the Economic Mobility Project at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago for a webcast examining how automation and job displacement impact racial and gender inequality. This event will highlight research that examines automation’s impact on wages, considers the broader implications of automation for global economics, and analyzes the potential interplay of automation with recent developments in artificial intelligence.

Retirement in America: Underfunded 401(k)s and Forgotten IRAs

October 18, 2022

Retiring in America isn’t easy. From underfunded 401(k)s to forgotten IRAs, retirement in America is fraught with challenges. These challenges are exacerbated by deficits in financial literacy that disproportionately impact groups that are at a higher risk for financial insecurity in retirement—including those with low incomes, minorities, and women.

Exploring the Racial Wealth Gap: The Contributions of Redlining and Blockbusting

July 12, 2022

Black people in the United States have, on average, lower earnings, higher unemployment rates, lower rates of homeownership, and less access to traditional banking services—all factors that contribute to economic disparities between their households and White households. Racially discriminatory housing practices, including redlining and blockbusting, contributed to unequal homeownership rates between Black and White Americans in the twentieth century, with the effects still being felt today. Considering the importance of homeownership in building wealth, we will illustrate how these practices have contributed to the racial wealth gap.

What Is Inclusive Full Employment?

April 7, 2022

In August 2020, the Federal Reserve released its new monetary policy framework: the strategies, tools, and communication practices it employs to achieve its congressionally mandated goals of maximum employment and price stability. The new framework is based on a 20-month review during which Fed officials traveled the country and met with a wide range of organizations to hear about how monetary policy affects people’s daily lives and livelihoods. This framework states that the full employment mandate is viewed as “broad and inclusive.” Given the uneven recovery from the economic recession caused by the pandemic, what does this mean in practice? How can the Federal Reserve help ensure an inclusive form of full employment while also addressing its price stability mandate?

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