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View our academic research, reports, and blog posts that tackle issues of economic and racial inclusion.

Notes from the Field
Listening, Collaborating, and Learning: How the Cleveland Fed’s Community Advisory Council Helps Foster Inclusive Economies
With the help of its Community Advisory Council, the Community Development Department collaborates with business and community leaders to promote economic resilience and mobility of low- and moderate-income communities and underserved individuals.
Notes from the Field
Workers are Essential for Rebuilding after Historic Flooding in Eastern Kentucky
Recovering from an emergency event is accomplished in phases—and with many hands. Seeing the many pressing needs of the area, one eastern Kentucky nonprofit realized that more staffing was part of the solution and took action.
Notes from the Field
Increasing Broadband Access and Affordability: How the Affordable Connectivity Program Can Bridge the Digital Divide
To achieve digitally inclusive communities, one must consider both access to and affordability of broadband. This program can help with both.
Notes from the Field
Worker Voices Project: Perspectives from Ohio
This summer, the Cleveland Fed held its first listening session to hear perspectives from workers—particularly low-wage workers and workers of color. The biggest takeaway? Job quality—not just a paycheck—is more important than ever.
Community Development Reports
Has Bank Consolidation Changed People’s Access to a Full-Service Bank Branch?
As consolidation within the banking industry during the 2000s accelerated in the 2010s, the number of banking institutions and the branches they operate fluctuated. How did these changes affect banking customers?
Notes from the Field
Feeding Families During a Pandemic: Trends from a Northeast Ohio Food Bank
Food insecurity has been a familiar issue for many lower-income households. But pandemic-related school and business closures put additional families in a new territory of needing to supplement their food budgets.
Community Issues and Insights
Inflation Adds Burden and Tight Job Market Presents Challenges
05.19.2022 | Spring 2022
In March 2022, we surveyed more than 500 service providers who directly serve LMI individuals and communities across our District. The results of this survey provide insights into how organizations and the households they serve are faring as they continue to navigate effects from the COVID-19 pandemic and the growing impact of inflation.
Cleveland Fed District Data Brief
Age-adjusted COVID-19 Mortality Rates by Demographic Groups
We know that the COVID-19 deaths were disproportionate across age groups. And some research has suggested the virus affects individuals differently, inviting comparisons across other demographic groups. Our researchers argue that failing to adjust for age among such comparisons may lead to incorrect conclusions.
Community Development Reports
Has Bank Consolidation Changed People’s Access to a Full-Service Bank Branch?
As consolidation within the banking industry during the 2000s accelerated in the 2010s, the number of banking institutions and the branches they operate fluctuated. How did these changes affect banking customers?
Community Issues and Insights
Community Issues and Insights 2021
06.24.2021 | Summer 2021
Two actions are key for ensuring organizations continue to serve their communities in the post-pandemic era: collaborating and changing operations.
Notes from the Field
Feedback Appreciated: What Community Members Told Us about Modernizing the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA)
Discussions to share info and seek public comment on proposed changes to modernize the CRA revealed two things key for ensuring access to capital for all people and communities.
Notes from the Field
CRA, Racism & the Federal Reserve: A Midwest Perspective
The Community Reinvestment Act is up for its first significant revision in 25 years. It’s important we optimize this tool to address systemic disinvestment in lower-income and minority communities.
Notes from the Field
The CRA Is Important for Underserved Communities, and Your Input Can Help Modernize It
The Fed is seeking to modernize the Community Reinvestment Act in a way that significantly expands financial inclusion, and you can have a say in how it’s done.
Working Paper
Landlords and Access to Opportunity
11.21.2019 | WP 19-02R2
Landlords in high-opportunity neighborhoods screen out tenants using vouchers. In our correspondence experiment, signaling voucher status cuts landlord responses in half. This voucher penalty increases with posted rent and varies little with signals of tenant quality and race. We repeat the experiment after a policy change and test how landlords respond to raising voucher payment limits by $450 per month in high-rent neighborhoods. Most landlords do not change their screening behavior; those who do respond are few and operate at small scale. Our results suggest a successful, systematic policy of moving to opportunity would require more direct engagement with landlords.
Working Paper
Opioids and the Labor Market
11.15.2019 | WP 18-07R2
The second revision of this working paper studies the relationship between local opioid prescription rates and labor market outcomes for prime-age men and women between 2006 and 2016. We estimate three panel models to control for evolving local economic conditions: a difference-in-differences specification, a specification with specific controls for economic conditions, and a model that focuses on a comparison group of place with similar performance in 2000. These modelling approaches find a range of statistically significant and economically substantial results for both prime-age men and women.
Community Development Reports
A Long Ride to Work: Job Access and the Potential Impact of Ride-Hailing in the Pittsburgh Area
Whether measured by proximity or commute time, data show that for the average transit rider, jobs are increasingly out of reach. Cleveland Fed researchers explored one solution for improving job access. Here’s your ticket to ride.
Community Development Reports
The Opioid Epidemic and Its Effects: A Perspective on What We Know from the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland
Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death for Americans under 50. In the Fourth District states of Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, opioid overdose deaths are occurring at rates that exceed the 2016 national average of 13.2 deaths per 100,000 people.
Notes from the Field
Trouble finding workers? The answer may be transit.
In the latest entry in their Notes from the Field blog, the Community Development Department discusses job access—in this case, how people get to work. The problem is a persistent one for low-income workers across the country and was highlighted during a recent trip to Dayton, Ohio.
Community Development Reports
Broadband and High-speed Internet Access in the Fourth District
This report documents the availability of high-speed internet access in the Fourth Federal Reserve District. While our analysis clearly shows there is limited broadband access in rural parts of the Fourth District, it shows that urban low- and moderate-income (LMI) areas also have limited access.
Community Development Reports
Lead Poisoning and the Children of Cuyahoga County
Lead poisoning has been a public health concern for decades. And water with high lead levels is only part of the problem.