Mark Schweitzer is senior vice president at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. He advises and informs the Cleveland Reserve Bank’s president and board of directors on regional economic developments and economic policy issues.
Suggested citation: "Is an Explicit Inflation Objective Consistent With a Dual Mandate?,” Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Annual Report 2010: Price Stability: Why We Seek It and How Best to Achieve It, 12.31.2010.
Economic conditions in the Toledo metro area continue to improve. The unemployment rate has fallen, and employment levels are holding relatively steady. The housing market is a particularly bright spot, with rising residential building permit numbers, growing home prices, and median home values that exceed their prerecession peak.
The Columbus metro area continues to be one of the region’s strongest performers, with a low unemployment rate that continues to fall even as the labor force expands, steady employment growth, appreciating home prices, and low consumer debt and credit card delinquency levels.
Moving to Opportunity (MTO) was a housing mobility program designed to investigate neighborhood effects, the influences of the social and physical environment on human development and well-being. Some of the results from MTO have been interpreted as evidence that neighborhood effects are not as strong as earlier evidence had indicated. This Commentary discusses new research suggesting that neighborhood effects are, on the contrary, as strong and policy relevant as suspected before the experiment. This Commentary also discusses why the interpretation of the MTO data is important: If neighborhood effects drive outcomes, then addressing racial inequality requires concerted efforts beyond ending racial discrimination.