The JPMorgan Chase Institute is focused on conducting original research, developing expert insights, framing critical economic problems, and convening policymakers, business leaders, and other decision makers to consider the most pressing economic issues.

The research agenda of the Institute extends across the portfolio of JPMorgan Chase’s lines of business and global reach. The Institute focuses its analyses on consumer finance and financial health, businesses large and small, financial markets, and other critical economic topics. Our timely data, combined with expert insights, are unique resources the JPMorgan Chase Institute will use to provide a comprehensive perspective on the complex inner workings of the economy to help policymakers, businesses, and nonprofit leaders make smarter decisions to advance global prosperity.

All Reports

Facing Uncertainty

Small Business Cash Flow Patterns in 25 U.S. Cities

August 2019

Researchers, small business service providers, policymakers, and small business owners alike observe that cash flow management challenges are pervasive in the sector, but empirical assessment of cash flow challenges and their effects on small firm performance have been elusive. This report builds on prior research by the JPMorgan Chase Institute and uses high-frequency administrative data to classify small business cash flow patterns. We analyze the effects of regular and irregular cash flow patterns on the survival and growth of small firms in and across cities.

See the Findings in the report “Facing Uncertainty” 

Student Loan Payments

Evidence from 4 Million Families

July 2019

With this report, the JPMorgan Chase Institute aims to describe how student loan payments fit into the context of families’ larger financial lives. We offer the debate insight into a new, high-frequency cash flow perspective on student loan payments and how they relate to a family’s income, liquid assets, spending, and other debt payments and seek to answer five key questions:

  1. What share of take-home income are families spending on student loan payments?
  2. How does the financial burden of student loan payments differ across demographic groups?
  3. How consistently do families repay student loans, and how volatile are repayment amounts?
  4. In what ways do student loan payments differ from other types of loan payments, notably auto loan and mortgage payments?
  5. How do student loan payments fluctuate with income, liquid assets, and expenditures?

See the Findings in the report “Student Loan Payments” 

Trading Equity for Liquidity

Bank Data on the Relationship Between Liquidity and Mortgage Default

June 2019

For many families, homeownership is a vital part of the American dream. Often, their mortgage will be their greatest debt and their mortgage payment will be their largest recurring monthly expense. This report aims to answer important questions about the role of liquidity, equity, income levels, and payment burden as determinants of mortgage default using a unique data set of JPMorgan Chase customers with a Chase mortgage and Chase deposit accounts. Our analysis suggests that liquidity may have been a more important predictor of mortgage default than equity, income level, or payment burden. Trading equity for liquidity at origination by making a slightly smaller down payment and holding the residual cash in an “emergency mortgage reserve” account may lead to lower default rates. A policy or pilot program could test the impact of this trade-off and, if impactful and cost-effective, the program could serve as an alternative to underwriting standards based on meeting a total debt-to-income (DTI) threshold at origination.

See the Findings in the report “Trading Equity for Liquidity” 

The Small Business Sector in Urban America

Growth and Vitality in 25 Cities

May 2019

This study, which follows up on JPMorgan Chase Institute 2018 report on small business growth, vitality, and cash flows, focuses on differences in small business financial performance across 25 US cities. Leveraging high-frequency, de-identified financial data from a sample of 290,000 small operating businesses, this report aims to inform differences in financial outcomes in the small business sector across some of the largest cities in the US, providing a lens into the composition and contributions of different types of firms to the aggregate revenue growth exit rates of the small business sector.

See the Findings in the report The Small Business Sector in Urban America 

The Online Platform Economy in 27 Metro Areas

The experience of drivers and lessors

April 2019

A significant and growing fraction of families generate income through the Online Platform Economy. Prior JPMorgan Chase Institute research tracking supply-side participation and revenues in the Online Platform Economy observed strong secular trends in two sectors: transportation and leasing. Participation on transportation platforms increased by more than a factor of 20, while average monthly revenues declined by half. Participation on leasing platforms tripled, while average monthly revenue doubled. In this follow-up research, we use geographic and temporal variation to explore these dynamics in more detail.

See the Findings in the report “The Online Platform Economy in 27 Metro Areas: The experience of drivers and lessors” 

Tax Time

How Families Manage Tax Refunds and Payments

March 2019

In previous JPMorgan Chase Institute research, we reported that out-of-pocket spending on healthcare services jumps by 60 percent in the week a tax refund is received and remains elevated for 75 days. This report builds on that research, investigating more comprehensively how families manage the positive cash flow from tax refunds and negative cash flow from tax payments. We analyze daily financial flows and balances for one million families who receive tax refunds or make tax payments, and find that tax reconciliation has a significant and long-lasting impact on spending and saving patterns of some, but not all of them.

See the Findings in the report “Tax Time: How Families Manage Tax Refunds and Payments” 

Gender, Age, and Small Business Financial Outcomes

February 2019

Leveraging high-frequency transaction data from a sample of 1.3 million small operating businesses, this new research from the JPMorgan Chase Institute focuses on small business financial performance, with specific emphasis on differences in outcomes by owner age and gender. Our unique data illustrates the wide diversity among small business owners, providing insights into small business financial health and performance, including survival, cash liquidity, revenues, and revenue growth.

See the Findings in the report “Gender, Age, and Small Business Financial Outcomes” 

Shopping, Near and Far

Local Commerce in the Digital Age

December 2018

Over the past decade, rapid urbanization, combined with the advent of online commerce, has made it more difficult to understand dynamics of the modern American economy, especially at the local level. The sustained shift in many product markets from traditional brick-and-mortar stores toward online merchants and the impact of that shift on consumers and merchants requires high-frequency economic measurement and analysis.

For this study, we expanded the JPMorgan Chase Institute’s lens on local commerce, leveraging 4 billion credit and debit card transactions from nearly 7.7 million customers to provide an unprecedented view of the online economy in the US. This study anchors on the location of the consumer and allows us to better understand online commerce and how it has grown, who has driven that growth, and how it has impacted brick-and-mortar merchants.

See the Findings in the report “Shopping, Near and Far” 

On the Rise

Out-of-Pocket Healthcare Spending in 2017

October 2018

Leveraging financial transaction data, we provide a unique cash flow view of families’ healthcare out-of-pocket spending (HOSP) and burden. In 2017, we released the first estimates of out-of-pocket healthcare spending levels and burden at the state of country level from 2013 to 2016. In this report, we describe the enhancements to, and key findings from, the updated JPMCI HOSP data asset that includes the first available estimates of 2017 healthcare out-of-pocket spending trends, as well as a first-ever look at year-over-year trends at the state and county level for different demographic groups.

See the Findings in the report “On the Rise: Out-of-Pocket Healthcare Spending in 2017” 

The Online Platform Economy in 2018

Drivers, Workers, Sellers, and Lessors

September 2018

Technological innovation is transforming economic exchange. Just a decade ago, the Online Platform Economy comprised a handful of marketplaces connecting independent sellers to buyers of physical goods. Today, platforms connect drivers to passengers, property owners to renters, and artisans to customers, among many other transactions. Relying on platforms to access almost any kind of good or service from some independent supplier has become a routine part of daily life for many consumers. Have these innovations created viable new options for making a living?

In this report, we extend the JPMorgan Chase Institute Online Platform Economy dataset series through March 2018, as well as expand the sample to 39 million unique account holders and 128 platforms. We track 38 million payments directed through these platforms to 2.3 million Chase account holders. Our analysis allows us to document the growth of platform earnings and participation, ultimately offering new insights about supply-side participation in the Online Platform Economy.

See the Findings in the report “The Online Platform Economy in 2018” 

Growth, Vitality, and Cash Flows

High-Frequency Evidence from 1 Million Small Businesses

July 2018

The small business sector makes important contributions to overall US economic growth, but the individual small businesses that comprise the sector are heterogeneous and face fundamentally different liquidity and cash flow management challenges as they attempt to survive and grow. This report by the JPMorgan Chase Institute introduces a newly augmented small business data asset to empirically address these questions. We built a sample of 1.3 million de-identified small businesses with Chase Business Banking accounts active between October 2012 and February 2018. The over 3.1 billion transactions we analyze from these businesses provide a novel view of daily revenues, expenses, and financing cash flows for individual small business. Our analyses shed light on the ways in which different segments of the sector contribute to the US economy, and how small businesses manage cash flows as they grow.

See the Findings in the report “Growth, Vitality, and Cash Flows” 

FX Markets Move on Surprise News

Institutional Investor Trading Behavior around Brexit, the US Election, and the Swiss Franc Floor

June 2018

This JPMorgan Chase Institute report is our first study based on a new, proprietary data asset composed of institutional investor transactions. We explore trading around three recent events that led to the largest one-day moves in the relevant currencies in the last 20 years: the Brexit referendum, the 2016 presidential election, and the decision by the Swiss National Bank (SNB) to remove the Swiss Franc floor. The granularity of our transaction data allows us to provide an inside look at the trading behavior of various types of institutional investors during these three major market events and spotlight which investor sectors transferred risk during the price discovery process and which sectors waited until exchange rates had stabilized to transfer risk.

View Our Research “about how FX Markets Move on Surprise News” 

Deferred Care

How Tax Refunds Enable Healthcare Spending

January 2018

Consumers’ out-of-pocket spending on healthcare is higher when they have more cash on hand, which suggests that cash flow dynamics may be an important driver of when consumers’ have access to care. In this report, we focus on a special cash flow event—the arrival of a tax refund—to address important and heretofore unanswered questions around the relationship between cash flow and healthcare.

See the Findings “Deferred Care: How Tax Refunds Enable Healthcare Spending” 

Mortgage Modifications after the Great Recession

New Evidence and Implications for Policy

December 2017

The aftermath of the Great Recession was a particularly difficult period for many homeowners. Unemployment increased and house prices declined, leaving many homeowners struggling to make their monthly mortgage payments and unable to sell their homes. In this report, the JPMorgan Chase Institute used data on mortgage modifications to measure the impact of reductions in monthly mortgage payments and mortgage principal on default and consumption. We found that payment reduction was effective in reducing default while principal reduction had no impact on default or consumption, and default was correlated with a considerable loss in income. Our analysis suggests that mortgage modification programs that are designed to target substantial payment reduction will be most effective at reducing mortgage default rates. Modification programs designed to reach affordability targets based on debt-to-income measures without regard to payment reduction or target a
specific LTV ratio while leaving borrowers underwater may be less effective at reducing defaults.

See the Findings “Mortgage Modifications after the Great Recession: New Evidence and Implications for Policy” 

Paying a Premium

Dynamics of the Small Business Owner Health Insurance Market

November 2017

Nonemployer small business owners who pay for their own health insurance epitomize two poorly understood features of the US economy: the small business sector and the individual health market. The economic experiences of these small business owners can inform both the well-being of the small business sector and the health of a substantial share of the individual health insurance market. We constructed a sample of over 30,000 firms who hold business banking deposit accounts with Chase to produce a monthly view of health insurance premium payments and other operating expenses from January 2014 to April 2017.

See the Findings “Paying a Premium: Dynamics of the Small Business Owner Health Insurance Market” 

Paying Out-of-Pocket

The Healthcare Spending of 2 Million US Families

September 2017

The future of family-paid healthcare costs rests with healthcare policy choices currently being debated and out-of-pocket costs are a key piece of that picture. The JPMorgan Chase Institute set out to better understand out-of-pocket healthcare spending among US households. Building off a sample of 2.3 million de-identified core Chase customers aged 18 to 64 between 2013 and 2016, we created the JPMorgan Chase Institute Healthcare Out-of-pocket Spending Panel (JPMCI HOSP). We explored the levels, concentration, and growth of out-of-pocket healthcare spending and the implications of these spending trends for overall household financial health. The JPMCI HOSP provides a first-ever look into out-of-pocket healthcare spending for households on a month-to-month basis, at the state, metro, and county level, and as recent as 2016. In this report, we describe the creation of, and initial insights gleaned from, this new data asset.

See the Findings “Paying Out-of-Pocket: The Healthcare Spending of 2 Million US Families”      View Data Visualization 

The Gender Gap in Financial Outcomes

The Impact of Medical Payments

May 2017

Extraordinary medical payments have negative impacts on financial outcomes, and this is especially true for women. This brief underscores the importance of efforts to address the gender gap in financial outcomes and reduce debt burdens for women. In addition, should out-of-pocket healthcare costs increase due to changing tax credits or the elimination of essential benefits, women may have to shoulder more of the economic burden of receiving care.

See the Findings “The Gender Gap in Financial Outcomes: The Impact of Medical Payments” 

The Consumer Spending Response to Mortgage Resets

Microdata on Monetary Policy

April 2017

The Great Recession brought to the forefront many unanswered questions about how monetary policy plays out at a microeconomic level, notably the question of how changes in the federal funds target rate impact personal consumption for individual households. In this report, the JPMorgan Chase Institute examines the credit card spending of a sample of US homeowners with an adjustable-rate mortgage to help answer this question. We find that homeowners responded by increasing their spending both in advance of the anticipated drop in their mortgage payment and in the post-reset period, despite a considerable drop in housing wealth. Our analysis further highlights how housing policy that influences the share of fixed-rate mortgages versus variable-rate mortgages can impact the overall effectiveness of monetary policy.

See the Findings “The Consumer Spending Response to Mortgage Resets: Microdata on Monetary Policy” 

Going the Distance

Big Data on Resident Access to Everyday Goods

March 2017

In recent years, local decision makers have become increasingly concerned with questions of resident access to amenities. In this brief, the JPMorgan Chase Institute focused on access to retail for residents in Detroit and New York. We found that residents make most of their purchases outside of their local neighborhood, and that the distance between where residents live and shop is greatest for low income residents in both cities.

Download the Report “Going the Distance: Big Data on Resident Access to Everyday Goods” 

Coping with Costs

Big Data on Expense Volatility and Medical Payments

February 2017

Americans across the income spectrum experience tremendous income and expense volatility, and this volatility has been on the rise. In this report, we examine the sources of expense volatility and the changes in financial behavior that coincide with extraordinary medical payments. Integrated, high-frequency data of income, spending, assets, and liabilities shed new light on expense volatility and how behavior changes with this volatility, which is critical to improving policies and solutions to strengthen the financial resilience of American families.

See the Findings “Coping with Costs: Big Data on Expense Volatility and Medical Payments” 

The Ups and Downs of Small Business Employment

Big Data on Small Business Payroll Growth and Volatility

January 2017

Small businesses provide work for nearly half of all employees in the US, but relatively little is known about the underlying dynamics of employment growth and volatility at the individual small business level. In this report, we find that, although most small business owners experience low payroll growth each year, the month-to-month volatility of payroll expenses around that growth can be quite high, making it more difficult for small business owners to manage their cash flows.

See the Findings “The Ups and Downs of Small Business Employment” 

The Online Platform Economy

Has Growth Peaked?

November 2016

The Online Platform Economy has been contributing to the changing nature of work. But growth in participation on labor and capital platforms has peaked. This report, which draws on one of the largest samples of platform participants to date, explores the dynamics of participation and earnings on platforms in order to better understand how growth has slowed.

Download the Report “The Online Platform Economy” 

Shedding Light on Daylight Saving Time

November 2016

Daylight Saving Time has been advanced as a policy that both saves energy and increases consumer spending. In this brief, the JPMorgan Chase Institute has explored whether or not the latter claim is supported by evidence. We found that daily card spending per capita in Los Angeles experienced a relative increase of 0.9 percent in the 30 days following the start of DST, and experienced a relative decline of 3.5 percent in the 30 days following end of DST.

Download the Report “Shedding Light on Daylight Saving Time” 

Cash is King: Flows, Balances, and Buffer Days

Evidence from 600,000 Small Businesses

September 2016

Small businesses are critical to the growth of the U.S. economy, employing nearly half of the U.S. workforce and accounting for 45 percent of U.S. GDP. For these small businesses—many of whom lack access to credit—cash reserves are a critical tool for meeting liquidity needs. However, we find that most small businesses in the U.S. lack a sufficient cash reserve cushion to face a significant economic disruption or downturn.

See the Findings “The Consumer Response to a Year of Low Gas Prices” 

Recovering from Job Loss

The Role of Unemployment Insurance

September 2016

Unemployment is one of the most common economic shocks that families experience. However, in 2015, just 27 percent of people looking for work received unemployment insurance – a record low recipiency rate. This report assesses the effectiveness of unemployment insurance at preserving economic well-being in the face of an income shortfall from unemployment.

Download the Report “Recovering from Job Loss: The Role of Unemployment Insurance” 

The Consumer Response to a Year of Low Gas Prices

Evidence From 1 Million People

July 2016

In 2015, gas prices in the United States were 25 percent lower than they had been in 2014. The US Energy Information Administration projected that this drop in prices would put roughly $700 back into the pockets of US households. Understanding in detail how big this boost really was, who experienced it, and how people responded has important implications for the economy and policymakers.

See the Findings “The Consumer Response to a Year of Low Gas Prices” 

Paychecks, Paydays, and the Online Platform Economy

Big Data on Income Volatility

February 2016

Americans experience tremendous income volatility, and that volatility is on the rise. This report from the JPMorgan Chase Institute digs deeper into the demographics and sources of income volatility and provides an unprecedented look at the impact of the Online Platform Economy.

See the Findings “Paychecks, Paydays, and the Online Platform Economy” 

Profiles of Local Consumer Commerce

Insights from 12 Billion Transactions in 15 US Metro Areas

December 2015

New research from the JPMorgan Chase Institute shows that the year-to-year growth of consumers' everyday spending on most goods and services in 15 major US metropolitan areas has slowed dramatically, from 5 percent in the second quarter of 2014 to 0.5 percent in the comparable period in 2015.

See the Findings “Profiles of Local Commerce in the United States” 

How Falling Gas Prices Fuel the Consumer

Evidence From 25 Million People

October 2015

The US government projects that American households will save on average $700 this year on gasoline, as the price of a gallon of gas has fallen by nearly $1.50 from its peak of $3.70 in April 2014 and is projected to remain low through 2015. But who feels the biggest increase in spending power? How much of that extra money do consumers spend, and what do they spend it on?

See the Findings “How Falling Gas Prices Fuel the Consumer” 

Weathering Volatility

Big Data on the Financial Ups and Downs of US Individuals

May 2015

In this inaugural report, researchers from the JPMorgan Chase Institute analyzed proprietary data from JPMorgan Chase & Co. to determine how income and consumption fluctuate on a monthly and a yearly basis.

See the Findings “Weathering Volatility:Big Data on the Financial Ups and Downs of US Individuals” 

Small Business Data Resources

Research-quality data on small businesses, including those from government, non-profit, and private sector sources, can be dispersed and difficult hard to find, particularly data from government, non-profit and private sector sources. We have collected information on data sources as an aid to other empirical researchers interested in better informing the small business sector.

View the List