In addition to the Bank’s robust package of health, financial, and lifestyle benefits, economists enjoy:
The work of an economist at the New York Fed is similar in some important ways to that of an economist in academia, especially regarding research. In both cases, the goal is to do research that breaks new ground in our understanding of some aspect of the economy. As in academia, the work can be theoretical or empirical, or a combination of the two; can involve traditional econometric analysis, simulation, or survey results; and can rely on data that is widely used in the profession or be based on new sources of information not traditionally accessed by economists.
What distinguishes research by our economists is that it tends to be grounded in the real-world questions related to the Fed’s policy missions. Although the Bank doesn’t direct research, economists often find important, natural synergies between their independent academic-style research and their policy work. They are able to bring the insights and techniques they’ve developed through their research to work on the Fed’s policy missions.
At the same time, working on these policy issues suggests new topics for research, areas where the current state of inquiry or knowledge could be enhanced, and where the frontier of work could be pushed forward.
It is the ability to make direct contributions to policy that affects our economy and financial system that really differentiates being an economist at the Fed from being an economist in academia.
New York Fed economists have exceptional opportunities to join with others in the coordinated study of specialized economic data.
Center for Microeconomic Data. The New York Fed’s Center for Microeconomic Data is an important hub for research on the expectations and behavior of individual economic agents. Two large data collection projects anchor the Center: the New York Fed Consumer Credit Panel/Equifax and the Survey of Consumer Expectations. While central banks are often thought to specialize in macroeconomic analysis, the data and research emerging from the Center contribute importantly to the Fed’s policy decisions. The Center’s regular releases are followed closely by government policymakers and the media, and have helped shape public debate on issues such as the nation’s growing student debt burden. The Center’s work has also served as a catalyst for new research by academic economists, who often partner with our economists on studies of this rich body of data.
International Banking Research Network. The International Banking Research Network (IBRN) is a community of central bank researchers who study global banks and their activities. Established in 2012 by a New York Fed economist and researchers from Austria, Germany, and the United Kingdom, the IBRN seeks to improve policy discussion by using bank-level regulatory data in the joint analysis of key questions. Researchers in the network have access to the “micro” data underlying the Bank for International Settlements’ (BIS) international banking statistics, a resource that allows them to design experiments and achieve results not possible with studies that draw lessons exclusively from the experience of a single country.
New York Census Research Data Center. The Research Group, on behalf of the New York Fed, helped establish a U.S. Census Bureau Research Data Center in New York City. The Bank is a founding member of the consortium that supports the facility, together with leading universities and research organizations in New York State. At the Data Center, researchers can securely access selected confidential economic and demographic microdata gathered by the U.S. Census Bureau.