Fed Call for Papers on Economic Inequality

The Community Affairs Officers of the Federal Reserve System invite paper submissions for the ninth biennial Federal Reserve System Community Development Research Conference on April 2-3,
2015 in
Washington, D.C.

The Federal Reserve System Community Development Research Conference is a unique event that aims to bridge the gap between research, policy and practice on key issues facing the country. High-quality and emerging research is presented in a dialogue with policymakers and community practitioners who can utilize the lessons gleaned from research.

The 2015 conference seeks to inform a robust public conversation about economic mobility. Profound economic forces, most recently those associated with the Great Recession, have challenged the financial stability and optimism of families, the prosperity of communities, and the sustained growth of the U.S. economy. These challenges have led to widespread public debate over whether and how the prospect of economic mobility (moving up the economic ladder) has changed in the U.S. Conference organizers hope to use the broad theme of economic mobility to advance our understanding about how people and communities get ahead, where impediments exist, how factors such as inequality play a role, and what has changed over time.

To add to this dialogue, the Federal Reserve invites original, high-quality research from a range of disciplines that can inform and affect how policy is formed and how community practice is carried out. Submissions for plenary, concurrent and poster sessions are invited in three broad categories: families, communities and the economy. Submissions may also span more than one category. Researchers are invited to consider the following questions or similar themes:

Families How do families, households and individuals experience economic mobility?

  • Relative economic mobility: How do individuals move up or down the economic ladder relative to their peers, their parents or themselves over time (within or across generations)? How do Americans change "ranks" or move up another "rung" of the economic ladder?
  • Absolute economic mobility: How do the economic conditions (income, earnings, wealth) of individuals compare with their parents during the same point in their life or career? How does their income change over time? What accounts for any differences?
  • Models and predictors of economic mobility: What roles do various financial factors–income, employment, family background, savings, assets, homeownership, debt, net worth, access to credit and so on–play in predicting economic mobility?
  • International comparisons of economic mobility: How does the U.S. compare to other countries?

Communities What is the relationship between communities and economic mobility?

  • Geographical or regional differences: How do locational differences affect economic mobility outcomes? Do local policies matter for promoting economic mobility?
  • Community characteristics: What neighborhood conditions affect economic mobility? Do neighborhoods built around common bonds (such as racial or ethnic ties) affect economic mobility? And why?
  • Predictors of community or neighborhood health and prosperity: Why do certain physical places succeed or fail in generating jobs, small-business growth, wealth-building financial services, rising home values, better schools, lower crime, etc.?
  • Residential mobility: Is physically moving within a community, or to another community, associated with family economic mobility?

Economy How does economic mobility, or the lack of it, impact the broader economy? How do macroeconomic forces affect individual- or community-level economic mobility options and outcomes?

  • Economic mobility, growth and inequality: What are the relationships and linkages between measures of economic mobility, economic growth, and income and wealth inequality? At what point does inequality matter for economic opportunity?
  • Economic performance: Do enhanced opportunities for economic mobility improve overall economic performance?

For more information on the conference or paper guidelines, click here.

Please submit your paper/abstract here.

  • Abstracts of 500 words along with optional attachments are due Sept. 8, 2014. Additional consideration will be given to submissions that include attachments of papers nearer completion.
  • Selected papers will be included in a special publication following the conference.
  • Research that has already been published or presented in another forum may be considered, but may not be eligible for inclusion in the publication.
  • Accepted authors must submit complete, full drafts by March 2, 2015.

Please direct any questions to economicmobility@stls.frb.org or 314-444-8761.

HT: Kathleen Engel