Specialty Research


In keeping with its mission to promote a stable and inclusive economy and its mandate to understand and serve its own region, the Chicago Fed runs special projects and conducts ongoing research into topics including automotive manufacturing, insurance, financial markets, replacement of lead water-service pipes, and agriculture.

Specialty Research Teams

Insurance Initiative

The Chicago Fed Insurance Initiative provides expert analysis of policy issues related to the insurance industry for the Federal Reserve System. Established in 2011. The Initiative is motivated by the importance of the insurance industry in the overall economy as well as by the key role the industry plays for households and financial markets. To help conduct its analysis, the Initiative examines insurance regulatory filings and speaks regularly with insurance firm representatives.

Financial Markets Group

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago's Financial Markets Group is focused on advancing financial policy and robust market practices to promote the stability of the U.S. financial system. The group applies market practitioner, legal, technological, and other expertise to study challenges and risks in financial markets and infrastructures. It has particular expertise in the derivatives markets and clearinghouses in which Chicago is a global leader.


Economic Mobility

The Chicago Fed Economic Mobility Project provides evidence-based research on the factors and policies that affect economic mobility to those who can enact meaningful change.

Lead Service Line Replacement

Reducing exposure to lead improves health and well-being — especially for infants and children. But in the Upper Midwest, the widespread presence of lead service lines (LSLs) poses elevated risks of exposure to millions of people through the water supply. Replacing LSLs is the only way to eliminate this potential source of lead exposure. Although new federal and state policies and programs are strengthening momentum to replace LSLs, many economic and financial barriers continue to pose challenges, particularly in low-income communities.

Spotlight on Childcare

In our discussions across the Midwest, both employers and workers describe the challenges created by a lack of affordable, reliable, and accessible childcare. Workers with small children must find quality affordable childcare that aligns with their work schedule. While for employers, limited local options for childcare make it more challenging to attract and retain workers. In response, staff at the Chicago Fed are leveraging our community engagement, policy analysis, and analytical capabilities to better understand the dimensions of this challenge across the range of industries and communities in the Seventh Federal Reserve District.

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