San Francisco Fed Honors Graduate Students from American University, UC Irvine in ‘Unlocking Our Potential’ Program

SAN FRANCISCO – The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco has named Aina Krupinski Puig and Hina Usman as its first “Unlocking Our Potential” graduate student essayists. The student essays explored impacts to the U.S. economy from gender and racial inequities.

Born in Barcelona and currently living in Washington, D.C., Puig is a macroeconomics PhD student specializing in inequality topics at American University. Her essay focused on the impact of monetary policy through interest rates on spending patterns among different types of U.S. households.

Usman, who is originally from Lahore, Pakistan, is a fifth-year PhD candidate in applied microeconomics at University of California, Irvine. Her essay examined whether economic insecurity fuels racially motivated crimes in the United States.

“These essays help shed new light on the impact of gender and racial inequities, which have a real economic cost for every American,” said SF Fed Research Director Sylvain Leduc. “We applaud these students’ contributions to this important area of scholarship.”

The essay program’s goal of exploring fresh perspectives on these topics is part of the SF Fed’s commitment to better understand the economy’s potential in support of the Fed’s maximum employment mandate, Leduc noted.

More information about Puig and Usman’s research can be found on the SF Fed Blog. The authors will each be awarded a $1,000 prize.

The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco (SF Fed) serves the public by promoting a healthy, sustainable economy, and supporting the nation’s financial and payment systems. With offices in Los Angeles, Seattle, Salt Lake City, Portland and Phoenix, the Bank serves the Twelfth Federal Reserve District, which includes one-fifth of the nation’s population and represents the world’s fourth-largest economy. As part of the nation’s central bank, the SF Fed informs monetary policy, regulates banks, administers certain consumer protection laws and acts as a financial partner to the U.S. government.