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Unequal Inflation Impacts

Spring 2022 Institute Research Conference

April 5, 2022 | 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. CT
Virtual video event

Unequal Inflation Impacts

This conversation will explore the ways inflation puts different pressures on workers and families depending on where they live, what they earn, and how they spend. In four short presentations, panelists will outline key facts from research into disparities in how Americans experience inflation. Conversation will follow that offers guidance to policymakers at all levels on how to respond. Audience questions are welcomed.


  • Lael Brainard, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, will provide keynote remarks
  • Jordan Conwell, University of Texas, on financial decision-making across income levels and the effects on children
  • David Argente, Penn State University, on inequality in experienced inflation
  • Raven Molloy, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, on inflation in the cost of rental housing
  • Felipe Schwartzman, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, on inflation experiences of Black and White households
  • Greg Ip, Wall Street Journal, will moderate the panelist discussion

Event Agenda

9:00  – 9:05 a.m. CT

Opening remarks by Neel Kashkari, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis

9:05  – 9:30 a.m. CT

Keynote and Q&A with Lael Brainard, Board of Governors

9:30  – 10:20 a.m. CT

Panelist presentations

10:20  – 11:00 a.m. CT

Panelist discussion moderated by Greg Ip, Wall Street Journal

Presentation briefs

For the last 50 years, the highest earners in the United States have seen faster income growth than everyone else, leading to widening income inequality. To understand the implications of this growing gap, economists seek to understand if changes in the prices that households face vary—in other words, do different households face different rates of inflation? Such differences could stem from the types of goods and services that households consume, the geographic location where they buy them, or the types of stores where they shop. These presentation briefs analyze the inflation faced by households with different incomes and arising from these different sources.

Additional Resources

Speaker Bios

Lael Brainard Governor, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve

Lael Brainard took office as a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in June 2014. Prior to her appointment to the Board, she served as undersecretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury from 2010 to 2013 and counselor to the secretary of the Treasury in 2009. During this time, she was the U.S. representative to the G-20 Finance Deputies and G-7 Deputies and was a member of the Financial Stability Board. She received the Alexander Hamilton Award for her service. From 2001 to 2008, she was vice president and the founding director of the Global Economy and Development Program and held the Bernard L. Schwartz chair at the Brookings Institution, where she built a new research program to address global economic challenges. Read Lael's full bio›

David Argente Assistant Professor of Economics, Penn State University

David Argente joined the faculty of Penn State University in 2019. His research focuses on applied macroeconomics, macro development, and monetary economics. Recent papers look at how payment systems affect consumers, product innovation and firm dynamics, and the life cycle of consumer good products. Read David's full bio›

Jordan Conwell Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of Texas

Jordan Conwell is a faculty affiliate of the Population Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin. His research focuses on racial, social class, and gender inequality in education, families, and finances. Read Jordan's full bio›

Greg Ip Chief Economics Commentator, Wall Street Journal

Greg Ip is the chief economics commentator for the Wall Street Journal. He is the creator of Real Time Economics, the Wall Street Journal blog of Fed and economic news. He has worked as a journalist covering the economy, financial markets, and monetary and fiscal policy at a number of newspapers and is the recipient of several awards for economics writing. Read Greg's full bio›

Raven Molloy Assistant Director of Research and Statistics, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve

Raven Molloy joined the Board of Governors in 2005. Her current research focuses on internal migration within the United States and on housing prices and mortgage credit. She serves on the System Affiliates Board of the Opportunity & Inclusive Growth Institute. Read Raven's full bio›

Felipe Schwartzman Senior Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond

Felipe Schwartman joined the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond in 2010. His main research interest is in macroeconomic phenomena that take place at business cycle frequencies. Recent papers investigate the stimulative potential of redistributive policies and the role of sticky prices in propagating monetary shocks. Read Felipe's full bio›

Event Details

Virtual video event