Lael Brainard: Strengthening diversity and inclusion in economics

Speech by Ms Lael Brainard, Member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, at the "Exploring Careers in Economics," Federal Reserve Board (via webcast), Washington DC, 17 November 2020.

The views expressed in this speech are those of the speaker and not the view of the BIS.

Central bank speech  | 
18 November 2020

It is a pleasure to be here today to talk about the future of economics with the next generation of economists who will shape it. I hope you will take away from what you hear today that a rigorous grounding in economic analysis can help you succeed in whatever field you choose. I will share a few thoughts on what economics can do for you and what you can do for the field of economics.

Let me start with what economics can do for you. Just as there are a variety of reasons that people decide to pursue economics, so too there are many career fields where a degree in economics can be a powerful enabler. I have to admit I had some reservations that led me not to major in economics as an undergraduate. That changed during my first job out of college, when I recognized that economics can provide powerful tools to analyze and design programs to improve opportunities and financial security for workers and their families.

Economics can give you a powerful framework to explore the questions that matter most to you. Let me give a few examples of some important questions and the economic practitioners who made a big impact in addressing them.