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Racial Disparities in Today’s Economy

This event is hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. Learn about the Cleveland Fed’s Program on Economic Inclusion.

Persistent and sizeable racial disparities in economic outcomes for workers and households are a longstanding feature of the U.S. economy. Differences in unemployment rate outcomes by race might be directly relevant to the central mission of the Federal Reserve. But substantial disparities in other areas either upstream or downstream from the labor market are also of great concern to the Fed. These include racial disparities in elementary and secondary education performance, rates of college completion and homeownership, wealth accumulation, and experience with the criminal justice system. Much of the public conversation around these topics has become highly politicized and is sometimes not grounded in the findings of careful research. This conference will introduce scholarly studies from recognized experts in their respective areas of research. These studies will summarize the current state of economic knowledge about the racial disparities, introduce new insight that enhances our understanding of the role that racial discrimination continues to play, and present commentary on existing policies and proposed policies intended to address these disparities.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston Economic Research Conference Series fosters discussion and critical engagement among academics, central bankers, policymakers, and other experts on important economic policy topics.