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Tag Archives: inequality

Medicare and Financial Health across the United States

Paul Goldsmith-Pinkham, Maxim Pinkovskiy, and Jacob Wallace Consumer financial strain varies enormously across the United States. One pernicious source of financial strain is debt in collections—debt that is more than 120 days past due and that has been sold to a collections agency. In Massachusetts, the average person has less than $100 in collections debt, while in Texas, the average person has more than $300. In this post, we discuss our recent staff report that exploits the...

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Do College Tuition Subsidies Boost Spending and Reduce Debt? Impacts by Income and Race

Rajashri Chakrabarti, William Nober, and Wilbert van der Klaauw In an October post, we showed the effect of college tuition subsidies in the form of merit-based financial aid on educational and student debt outcomes, documenting a large decline in student debt for those eligible for merit aid. Additionally, we reported striking differences in these outcomes by demographics, as proxied by neighborhood race and income. In this follow-up post, we examine whether and how this effect...

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Measuring Racial Disparities in Higher Education and Student Debt Outcomes

Rajashri Chakrabarti, William Nober, and Wilbert van der Klaauw Across the United States, the cost of all types of higher education has been rising faster than overall inflation for more than two decades. Despite rising costs, aggregate undergraduate enrollment rose steadily between 2000 and 2010 before leveling off and dipping slightly to its current level. Rising college costs have steadily increased dependence on student debt for college financing, with many students and parents...

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Introduction to Heterogeneity Series III: Credit Market Outcomes

Rajashri Chakrabarti Average economic outcomes serve as important indicators of the overall state of the economy. However, they mask a lot of underlying variability in how people experience the economy across geography, or by race, income, age, or other attributes. Following our series on heterogeneity broadly in October 2019 and in labor market outcomes in March 2020, we now turn our focus to further documenting heterogeneity in the credit market. While we have written about...

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Teleworking is Not Working for the Poor, the Young, and the Women

By Mariya Brussevich, Era Dabla-Norris, and Salma Khalid Español The COVID-19 pandemic is devastating labor markets across the world. Tens of millions of workers lost their jobs, millions more out of the labor force altogether, and many occupations face an uncertain future. Social distancing measures threaten jobs requiring physical presence at the workplace or face-to-face interactions. Those unable to work remotely, unless deemed essential, face a significantly higher risk of reductions in...

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Digital Financial Inclusion in the Times of COVID-19

By Ulric Eriksson von Allmen, Purva Khera, Sumiko Ogawa, and Ratna Sahay  中文, Español, Français, 日本語, Português, Русский  The COVID-19 pandemic could be a game changer for digital financial services. Low-income households and small firms can benefit greatly from advances in mobile money, fintech services, and online banking. Financial inclusion as a result of digital financial services can also boost economic growth. While the pandemic is set to increase use of these services, it has also...

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Reopening Asia: How the Right Policies Can Help Economic Recovery

by Chang Yong Rhee  中文, Español, Français, Русский  For the first time in living memory, Asia’s growth is expected to contract by 1.6 percent—a downgrade to the April projection of zero growth. While Asia’s economic growth in the first quarter of 2020 was better than projected in the April World Economic Outlook—partly owing to early stabilization of the virus in some—projections for 2020 have been revised down for most of the countries in the region due to weaker global conditions and more...

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Chart of the WeekLow Internet Access Driving Inequality

By Mercedes García-Escribano COVID-19 and the Great Lockdown triggered a mass migration from analog to digital and highlighted that access to the Internet is crucial for socioeconomic inclusion. High-speed Internet is key for working from home, for children’s education when they can’t attend school in person, for telemedicine, for benefiting from social support programs, and for enabling access to financial services for everyone, especially for those living in remote areas. The digital...

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Distribution of COVID-19 Incidence by Geography, Race, and Income

Rajashri Chakrabarti and William Nober In this post, we study whether (and how) the spread of COVID-19 across the United States has varied by geography, race, income, and population density. Have urban areas been more affected by COVID-19 than rural areas? Has population density mattered in the spread? Has the coronavirus's impact varied by race and income? Our analysis uncovers stark demographic and geographic differences in the effects of the pandemic thus far. We use...

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How Pandemics Leave the Poor Even Farther Behind

By Davide Furceri, Prakash Loungani, Jonathan D. Ostry عربي, 中文, Español, Français, 日本語, Português, Русский The COVID-19 crisis is now widely seen as the greatest economic calamity since the Great Depression. In January, the IMF expected global income to grow 3 percent; it is now forecast to fall 3 percent, much worse than during the Great Recession of 2008-09. Behind this dire statistic is an even grimmer possibility: if past pandemics are any guide, the toll on poorer and vulnerable...

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