Narayana Kocherlakota - President
Published April 30, 2014 | April 2014 issue
This year’s Annual Report essay is about the evolution of inequality in the United States—specifically, inequality in terms of market income (income measured before taxes and transfers), expenditures, and disposable income (income measured after taxes and transfers are taken into account). The essay focuses on the behavior of inequality during the Great Recession and the subsequent slow economic recovery. As the essay notes, there is a vigorous public policy debate about inequality. The essay contributes to the debate by establishing solid facts and empirics.
There are a host of interesting findings within the essay. Let me emphasize three aspects of the analysis that I think are particularly important.
The Federal Reserve’s engagement in public policy debates is always grounded in our strict code, and general ethos, of political neutrality. But we can still play a useful role in even highly passionate debates by providing dispassionate analysis and empirics. I believe this year’s essay is an outstanding example along those lines.
2013 Annual Report Essay
Inequality, Recessions and Recoveries