Boston Fed to host two economic conferences this fall Boston Fed to host two economic conferences this fall

First event to focus on understanding racial disparities, second on high business and household leverage First event to focus on understanding racial disparities, second on high business and household leverage

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August 4, 2021

The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston is hosting two economic research conferences this fall. The first will focus on understanding persistent racial disparities in economic outcomes, and the second will examine the implications of high leverage among businesses and households.

The first conference, “Racial Disparities in Today’s Economy,” is scheduled for Oct. 4–6.

The second conference, “The Implications of High Leverage for Financial Instability Risk, Real Economic Activity, and Appropriate Policy Responses,” is scheduled for Nov. 8–10.

Since 1969, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s economic conference has fostered discussion and critical engagement among central bankers, policymakers, academics, and other experts on important economic policy topics. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Boston Fed did not host an economic conference in 2020.

Details about the conferences follow:

Racial Disparities in Today's Economy

This Oct. 4–6 conference will explore 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. In addition, the conference will feature presentations on other areas 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.

The event will be held virtually; a link will be shared with all registrants. Preregistration for each day of the conference is required to attend.

Click here for conference agenda, speakers, and registration.

The Implications of High Leverage for Financial Instability Risk, Real Economic Activity, and Appropriate Policy Responses

The economy entered the COVID-19 crisis with an unprecedentedly high level of business leverage. With interest rates expected to remain extremely low for several years to come, the indebtedness of businesses, households, and government is likely to increase further. These developments raise concerns among policymakers about the possible effects of a high, and potentially increasing, debt burden on financial stability and the real economy. This Nov. 8–10 conference explores the various factors driving the rise in debt, as well as the potential impact on the financial system and the real economy as both cause and amplifier of adverse shocks. The conference also examines the implications of high leverage for policy responses to adverse shocks, as well as policy designs going forward that can curb the excessive buildup of debt.

The event will be held virtually; a link will be shared with all registrants. Preregistration for each day of the conference is required to attend.

Click here for conference agenda, speakers, and registration.