NEW YORK – On Tuesday, January 12, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's Liberty Street Economics blog will release a consecutive four-part series exploring the reasons behind income and racial disparities as they relate to low-income and majority-minority areas that were considerably more affected by COVID-19. Each post will examine (i) whether certain factors – including comorbidities, uninsurance, hospital resources, home and transit crowding, social distancing, pollution, demographic, and essential employment factors – affect overall COVID intensity, (ii) whether the income and racial gaps can be further explained when additional factors are included, and (iii) whether and to what extent the factors under consideration independently affect income and racial gaps in COVID intensity.
The latest collection of blog posts builds on the Liberty Street Economics research series on heterogeneity which seeks to understand how outcomes vary based on race, age, geography and income, and the implications for economic well-being. Previous installments, published in October 2019, March 2020, July 2020, and August 2020, examined inequality in employment, earnings growth, student debt, college cost subsidies, health and housing, accessing credit markets, and inequality in the credit markets as it pertains to COVID-19 incidence and CARES Act debt relief.
The latest series, which addresses "Understanding the Racial and Income Gap in COVID-19," will feature posts covering the role of the following factors in explaining the racial and income gap of COVID-19:
- Health insurance, comorbidities and medical facilities.
- The use of public transportation and increased home crowding.
- Social distancing at the beginning of the pandemic, pollution, and demographics.
- And finally, employment in essential services.
By the end of this series, we hope to provide a clearer picture of the sources responsible for the high correlation between race, income, and COVID-19 intensity.