Racial Disparities in Today’s Economy

LEARNING AREA: Racial Equity, Economic Development
Oct. 2021
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Additional Events

Oct 5, 10:00am

Oct 6, 10:00am


5 hours



Millions of people took to the streets in the spring and summer of 2020 to protest police violence against African Americans. The demonstrations led to a broader examination of the ways that race and racism continue to affect people of color in the United States. They brought attention to the persistent, sizeable racial disparities in economic outcomes for workers and households. These large, sustained differences—particularly in unemployment rates by race—are directly relevant to the central mission of the Federal Reserve. But we also continue to witness substantial disparities in other areas either upstream or downstream from the labor market that also are 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.

Registration fee

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