Lowell R. Ricketts is the lead analyst for the St. Louis Fed's Center for Household Financial Stability. His research has covered topics including the racial wealth divide, growth in consumer debt, and the uneven financial returns on college educations. Read more about Lowell’s research.
The COVID-19 pandemic prompts the Center for Household Financial Stability team to weigh the causes of certain families being more at-risk to economic shock than others.
Families without enough "safe" assets and too much debt are at risk—who else should policymakers and others target for economic assistance?
Prior to the pandemic, 44% of all Americans said their retirement savings weren’t on track. The SECURE Act is poised to shore up retirement security, but what else could be considered?
Financial health, homeownership and flood insurance status before a hurricane altered the financial hardship of flooding on families.
The typical white household has more wealth than the typical black or Hispanic household. That much is clear. But the gap’s size depends on how you measure net worth.
The financial boost first-generation graduates get from college degrees isn’t enough to overcome the head start having college graduate parents provides.
This infographic series shows who’s getting left behind, and by how much.
Dig into population, income and wealth characteristics for groups defined not only by race/ethnicity, but also by education.
As fewer young adults wed, those who are married have a larger concentration of housing wealth, while those who aren’t face more debt.
The answer to this question may be “No”; read about a research symposium and subsequent paper that explored the links between race and ethnicity, and education and wealth.
Household wealth reached a new high in 2016. Recessions followed two previous record highs. Might it happen again?
In the fourth quarter of 2016, auto debt grew more slowly but subprime delinquencies on car loans rose.
The upward trend in per capita consumer debt slowed in the third quarter of 2016.
Family wealth generally increases with education. But new research shows that race and ethnicity can greatly affect the relative payoff. There’s a gap—sometimes wide—between the wealth of Hispanics and African-Americans and the wealth of whites and Asians at every education level, from those with only a high school diploma to those with an advanced degree.
Auto and student loans remained the fastest growing consumer debt categories in the second quarter, a Center for Household Financial Stability report states.
Even without bad choices or bad luck, younger, less educated or nonwhite families are more likely to be delinquent on loans.
For a long time after the recession, consumers shed debt. But it’s growing again – up 2.1 percent from the first quarter last year.
Following the two latest recessions, the growth in high-paying jobs was stronger, on a percentage basis, than was the growth in low-paying jobs. The opposite happened after the previous two recessions.
Although U.S. income inequality is high, income inequality in America is not as dire as that between developed and developing nations.
Quantitative easing has led to the largest expansion of the Fed’s balance sheet since WW II. While this, naturally, leads to concern about inflation, the Fed has the tools to unwind the balance sheet once the economy builds steam.
Not only are nations wrestling with growing debt levels, but so are state and local governments, including those in the seven states that make up the Eighth Federal Reserve District. Two of those seven states—Kentucky and Illinois—each have combined state and local obligations that, as a percentage of gross state product, are higher than California's.
Conventional wisdom says that employment at small firms declines more than employment at large firms during recessions. However, that doesn’t seem to have been the case during the Great Recession of 2007-09.