San Francisco Fed Launches Essay Contest Exploring the Economic Impacts of Gender and Racial Inequities

July 1, 2021

Contest winners earn a $1,000 prize and an invitation to become an Economic Research scholar at the SF Fed.

SAN FRANCISCO – The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco is announcing a new essay contest for doctoral students in economics to explore the underlying causes and economic consequences of gender and racial inequities. The new contest is part of the Bank’s commitment to better understand the U.S. economy’s potential to support the maximum employment mandate.

“Systemic inequities limit the full potential of women and people of color,” said Sylvain Leduc, executive vice president of Economic Research at the San Francisco Fed. “The more we learn about these inequities and the real economic costs for every American, the sooner we can create a more equitable economy and experience the material economic gains from improved equity.”

The SF Fed’s own research shows that gender and racial economic equity will be critical to producing faster growth and maintaining global competitiveness. Disparities in educational attainment, occupational opportunity, and employment and wages reduced GDP by more than $70 trillion over the past 30 years – a staggering loss that limits the U.S.’s economic future and competitiveness in the global economy.

Two essays will be selected to be published as an SF Fed Economic Letter, subject to the usual review process, and the winning authors will each be awarded a $1,000 prize. In addition, the winners will be invited to spend six weeks during the summer of 2022 at the SF Fed as Economic Research scholars, where they will present their work, receive mentoring, earn a financial stipend, and have the opportunity to build relationships with Bank employees.

Interested students should submit their essay, reference letter, and a resume by December 15, 2021. View additional contest details. Winning essays will be announced on January 31, 2022.


Tom Flannigan
Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
(415) 974-2553


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.