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Photo of Karen M. Pence

Karen M. Pence

Assistant Director

Program Direction Section

Research and Statistics

  • Ph.D., Economics, University of Wisconsin, 2001
  • M.S., Economics, University of Wisconsin, 1998
  • B.A., Economics, Swarthmore College, 1992
    • Assistant Director

      Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

    • 2011 - present
    • Chief

      Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

    • 2009 - 2011
    • Senior Economist

      Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

    • 2007 - 2009
    • Economist

      Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

    • 2001 - 2007
  • Pence, Karen M. (2012). "Is a Household Debt Overhang Holding Back Consumption? Comment," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity,pp. 351-358.
  • Pence, Karen M. (2011). "Comment on 'the Financially Fragile Households: Evidence and Implications'," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Spring, pp. 141-150.
  • Campbell, Sean, Daniel Covitz, William Nelson, and Karen Pence (2011). "Securitization Markets and Central Banking: An Evaluation of the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility," Journal of Monetary Economics, vol. 58, no. 5, pp. 518-531.
  • Mayer, Christopher, Karen Pence, and Shane M. Sherlund (2009). "The Rise in Mortgage Defaults," Journal of Economic Perspectives, vol. 23, no. 1, pp. 27-50.
  • Mayer, Chris, and Karen Pence (2009). "Subprime Mortgages: What, Where, and to Whom?" in Glaeser, Edward L., John M. Quigley eds., Housing Markets and the Economy: Risk, Regulation, and Policy. Cambridge, MA: Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.
  • Pence, Karen M. (2009). "Comments on 'the Age of Reason: Financial Decisions Over the Life Cycle and Implications for Regulation'," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Spring, pp. 108-111.
  • Bucks, Brian, and Karen Pence (2008). "Do Borrowers Know their Mortgage Terms?" Journal of Urban Economics, vol. 64, no. 2, pp. 218-233.
  • Wolfe, Barbara, Robert Haveman, Karen Pence, and Jonathan A. Schwabish (2007). "Do Youth Nonmarital Childbearing Choices Reflect Income and Relationship Expectations?" Journal of Population Economics, vol. 20, no. 1, pp. 73-100.
  • Gale, William G., and Karen M. Pence (2006). "Are Successive Generations Getting Wealthier, and if so, Why? Evidence from the 1990s," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity,no. 1, pp. 155-213.
  • Pence, Karen M. (2006). "Foreclosing on Opportunity: State Laws and Mortgage Credit," Review of Economics and Statistics, vol. 88, no. 1, pp. 177-182.
  • Pence, Karen M. (2006). "The Role of Wealth Transformations: An Application to Estimating the Effect of Tax Incentives on Saving," B.E. Journals in Economic Analysis and Policy: Contributions to Economic Analysis and Policy, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 1-24.
  • Dynan, Karen, Kathleen Johnson, and Karen Pence (2003). "Recent Changes to a Measure of U.S. Household Debt Service," Federal Reserve Bulletin, vol. 89, no. 10, pp. 417-426.
  • Pence, Karen M. (2002). "Nature Or Nurture: Why do 401(k) Participants Save Differently than Other Workers?" National Tax Journal, vol. 55, no. 3, pp. 597-616.
  • Haveman, Robert, Barbara Wolfe, and Karen Pence (2001). "Intergenerational Effects of Nonmarital and Early Childbearing," in Wu, Lawrence,L., Barbara Wolfe eds., Out of Wedlock: Causes and Consequences of Nonmarital Fertility. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, pp. 287-316.
  • Sabelhaus, John, and Karen Pence (1999). "Household Saving in the '90s: Evidence from Cross-Section Wealth Surveys," Review of Income and Wealth, vol. 45, no. 4, pp. 435-453.


  • 2010

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

    Special Achievement Award

  • 2008

    Weimer School of Advanced Studies in Real Estate

    Post-Doctoral Award

  • 2002

    National Tax Association

    Dissertation Award Honorable Mention

Professional Affiliation

  • Board of Directors, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, 2008-2010
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Last update: October 6, 2014