New data shows few black economists at the Fed

legislators Other reservoirs of thought for years have pushed the Fed to increase diversity within its ranks, arguing that having a group of economists and researchers at the central bank who more closely reflect the public – the people the Fed ultimately serves – would lead to a wider range of views on the political table and more comprehensive economic discussions.

The Fed sets the nation’s monetary policy by raising or lowering the cost of borrowing money in order to slow or speed up the economy. Its actions help determine the strength of the labor market at any given time, help control inflation, and can affect financial stability.

“The risk with underrepresentation, from a substantial point of view, is that you are underrepresenting the perspectives that are important to decision making,” said Skanda Amarnath, executive director of Employ America, which pushes the Fed to focus more on the market. of work.

This could mean that a range of ideas and experiences “are not fully understood or captured to the same extent,” he said.

The Fed is about to see greater racial diversity at its highest levels: Lisa D Cook Other Philip N. Jeffersonwho are both black, were confirmed as Fed governors just this week. Susan M Collins she will become the first black woman to head a regional Fed bank when she becomes president of the Boston Fed this summer, and Raphael Bostic, the first black man to head a regional bank, is currently president of the Atlanta Fed.

The Fed’s management team has also become more gender-diverse in recent years. Assuming Biden’s candidates are all confirmed, three of the seven central bank governors will be women. Once the new presidents take office in Boston and Dallas this summer, five of its 12 regional bank leaders will be women.

Fed officials in recent years have spoken publicly about aiming for a wider range of views within their workplaces.