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A newsletter featuring an essay on economic policy issues of regional or national interest.

Last Updated: 02/09/16

Chicago Fed Letter

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No. 355

Mortgage Refinancing during the Great Recession: The Role of Credit Scores

Gene AmrominBenjamin J. Keys and Michael J. Murto

This article examines whether deteriorating credit scores may have posed a barrier to mortgage refinancing during the Great Recession of 2008–09 and its immediate aftermath. The authors find that in general, as long as borrowers kept up with their mortgage payments, their credit scores did not fall significantly over this period. Hence, credit scores are not likely to explain why certain borrowers with sufficient home equity did not refinance their mortgages.

No. 354

Labor Issues Facing Agriculture and the Rural Midwest

David B. Oppedahl

For years the rural Midwest has faced concerns about its falling population, waning work force vitality and increasing health problems—all of which have contributed to slower economic growth relative to that of the region’s urban areas. The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and the W. E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research held a conference on November 16–17, 2015, to address labor-related issues confronting the Midwest’s rural economy and, in particular, its agricultural sector.