By Ana Hernández Kent, Senior Researcher, and Lowell R. Ricketts, Data Scientist, Institute for Economic Equity

If you Google “wealth inequality in America,” you may find our blog post What Wealth Inequality in America Looks Like: Key Facts & Figures. In it, we showed the state of wealth and income inequality in the U.S. using 2016 data — at the time, the most recently available — from the Federal Reserve Board’s Survey of Consumer Finances.

So, how has wealth inequality in the U.S. changed over time? What does the wealth distribution in America look like now? Well, groups that historically…

By Alexander Monge-Naranjo, Research Officer and Economist

Economists often distinguish between idiosyncratic shocks — those that affect a small number of individuals — and aggregate shocks — those that affect a large market or segment of the population. The former can be individually catastrophic, but do not impact the economy overall. The latter, by definition, have direct macroeconomic implications.

In this light, one can hardly find a better example of an aggregate shock than the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. …

By Amalia Estenssoro


  • Monetary authorities are researching central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), which could make payment and settlement systems more efficient.
  • Once issued, CBDCs will be a third type of central bank liability, along with cash and reserves.
  • China is an example of a country where the central bank has taken the lead in testing a CBDC that could be available as early as next year.
Getty Images/KeremYucel

In the digital age, monetary authorities are researching CBDC as a new form of money that can greatly increase the efficiency of future payment and settlement systems in domestic and international financial markets.


By Crystal Flynn

At the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, the federal government moved quickly to enact four major pieces of legislation to help offset potential economic, health and societal impacts of the global pandemic. As of Oct. 1, 2020, roughly $2.59 trillion in new budgetary resources had been made available for federal agencies.

An analysis from the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Data Lab in collaboration with the St. Louis Fed explores how supplemental funding for COVID-19 makes its way from Congress to the American public and the economy. (At the time of publication, this data analysis reflected fiscal…

By Alexander Monge-Naranjo, Qiuhan Sun


  • Innovations have played significant roles in expanding global trade throughout history.
  • A simple trade innovation — the shipping container — may have triggered an escalation in international trade over the past 50 years.
  • Technological innovations may give the U.S. a significant advantage in global trade of services, potentially helping the country close its trade deficit.
Photo by Ian Taylor on Unsplash

Technological and organizational innovations have historically driven the global expansion of production and trade across countries. In this article, we visit how the global expansion of trade in the past 50 or so years has driven the behavior of the…

Part of our Timely Topics: Economic Equity miniseries.

“High-income people, they save more, and then the return of their wealth is also higher because of high correlation with the biggest stock market participation rate,” says YiLi Chien, economist and research officer at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

In this podcast, he talks about the that role stock market participation plays in wealth inequality.

YiLi Chien, economist and research officer


RC Balaban: Welcome to Timely Topics, a podcast series from the St. Louis Fed. I’m your host, RC Balaban, and today we’re continuing our miniseries on equity and equality. We’ll focus on some research discussing the role that investing, specifically investing in…

By Ryan Heinz, External Engagement Staff

Events and protests this past summer turned up the volume on national conversations about fair treatment of Black Americans, including in the workplace and the economy.

Sydney Diavua, director of engagement in Community Development

But Sydney Diavua and her colleagues already had been making sure those conversations were heard — in the Federal Reserve System and in the districts Reserve banks serve.

Diavua’s work on community development, civic participation and neighborhood revitalization has taken her all over the East Coast and overseas.

She brought that wealth of experience to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis’ District when she returned to her…

Part of our Timely Topics: Economic Equity miniseries.

“The quiet conversations have gotten louder,” Douglas Scarboro, regional executive of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Memphis Branch, says of willingness to address the topic of race. Pradeep Rajendran, senior manager, hosts a casual discussion with four St. Louis Fed executives: Scarboro; Francois Henriquez, general counsel; Nikki Lanier, regional executive of the Louisville Branch; and James Price, group vice president. They talk about challenges they have faced and what organizations can do to promote diversity, equity and inclusion.

Clockwise from top left: Nikki Lanier, Francois Henriquez, Douglas Scarboro and James Price


Pradeep Rajendran: Welcome to Timely Topics from the St. Louis Fed. I’m your host, Pradeep Rajendran from the Public…

In this Women in Economics interview, Marie Mora and Lea-Rachel Kosnik discuss why having diverse perspectives at the policymaking table is essential.

University of Missouri-St. Louis Economics Professor Lea-Rachel Kosnik (left) and then-UMSL Associate Provost for Academic Affairs Marie Mora (right) were interviewed by St. Louis Fed Assistant Vice President and Economic Education Officer Mary Suiter (center).

Marie Mora, provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and Lea-Rachel Kosnik, economics professor at UMSL, have something in common — both were drawn to the field of economics because of its policymaking aspect.

In a Women in Economics Podcast Series episode (originally released in March 2020) the two women spoke about their experiences in the field of economics and their roles at the university. Mora has focused on diversity…

By Meredith Covington and Ana H. Kent

Getty Images/Drazen Zigic

During most of the coronavirus pandemic and COVID-19 recession, women have faced higher unemployment rates than men, as the pandemic affected sectors with high shares of female workers, particularly in service professions.* Moreover, the closures of schools and day care centers and the implementation of remote learning have increased child care needs, which disparately affect working mothers. A September McKinsey study (PDF) shows that roughly a third of working mothers were considering taking a leave of absence, dropping out of the work force entirely, cutting their hours, moving to part-time or switching to…

St. Louis Fed

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis — Central to America’s Economy

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