Cities

Social Programs and Household Size: Evidence from New York

Social Programs and Household Size: Evidence from New York
Population Research and Policy Review Vol. 26 No. 4.

Ellen, I.G. & O'Flaherty, B.
07/01/2007

What determines how many adults live in a house? How do people divide themselves up among households? Average household sizes vary substantially, both over time and in the cross-section. In this paper, we describe how a variety of government policies affect living arrangements, intentionally or not. Using data from a survey of households in New York City, we find that these incentives appear to have an impact. Specifically, households receiving these housing and income subsidies are smaller on average (measured by number of adults). The impacts appear to be considerably larger than those that would occur if the programs were lump-sum transfers. Small average household size can be extremely expensive in terms of physical and environmental resources, higher rents, and possibly homelessness. Thus, we encourage policymakers to pay greater heed to the provisions built into various social policies that favor smaller households.

The Effects of Acculturation on Asthma Burden in a Community Sample of Mexican American Schoolchildren

The Effects of Acculturation on Asthma Burden in a Community Sample of Mexican American Schoolchildren
American Journal of Public Health, Jul 2007, Vol. 97 Issue 7, p1290-1296, 7p.

Martin, M.A., Shalowitz, M.U., Mijanovich, T., Clark-Kauffman, E., Perez, E. & Berry, C.
07/01/2007

We sought to determine whether low acculturation among Mexican American caregivers protects their children against asthma. Methods. Data were obtained from an observational study of urban pediatric asthma. Dependent variables were children's diagnosed asthma and total (diagnosed plus possible) asthma. Regression models were controlled for caregivers' level of acculturation, education, marital status, depression, life stress, and social support and children's insurance. Results. Caregivers' level of acculturation was associated with children's diagnosed asthma (P=.025) and total asthma (P=.078) in bivariate analyses. In multivariate models, protective effects of caregivers' level of acculturation were mediated by the other covariates. Independent predictors of increased diagnosed asthma included caregivers' life stress (odds ratio [OR]= 1.12, P=.005) and children's insurance, both public (OR=4.71, P=.009) and private (OR = 2.87, P=.071). Only caregiver's life stress predicted increased total asthma (OR = 1.21, P=.001). Conclusions. The protective effect of caregivers' level of acculturation on diagnosed and total asthma for Mexican American children was mediated by social factors, especially caregivers' life stress. Among acculturation measures, foreign birth was more predictive of disease status than was language use or years in country. Increased acculturation among immigrant groups does not appear to lead to greater asthma risk.

The Impact of Supportive Housing on Surrounding Neighborhoods

The Impact of Supportive Housing on Surrounding Neighborhoods
2nd Annual Conference on Empirical Legal Studies Paper, July

Gedal, M. & Been, V., Ellen, I.G., Voicu, I.
07/01/2007

Communities across New York City and around the nation commonly oppose proposals to open supportive housing in their neighborhoods because of fear that the housing will decrease the quality of life in the neighborhood, and lead to reductions in property values. This study aims to give supportive housing providers and local government officials the  objective, credible information they need to guide policy decisions and to respond to opponents' fears and arguments. Using a difference-in-difference regression model to isolate the effect of supportive housing from more general macro and micro market trends and neighborhood variations, this paper examines the impact that almost 14,000 units of supportive housing created in New York City over the past twenty five years have had on their host neighborhoods over time.

In a preliminary analysis, we find little evidence that supportive housing facilities diminish the value of surrounding properties. We find evidence that prices of properties surrounding supportive housing facilities are lower than comparable properties in the same neighborhood prior to the opening of the facility, and that this gap tends to narrow following the opening of a facility. Specifically, the preliminary analysis suggests that modestly-sized supportive housing developments (which are typical in New York City) may have small, positive impacts on neighboring property values, though these positive impacts decline as project size increases. Very large facilities may have negative impacts on the surrounding neighborhood.

 

An Empirical Assessment of NYPD’s "Operation Impact": A Targeted Zone Crime Reduction Strategy

An Empirical Assessment of NYPD’s "Operation Impact": A Targeted Zone Crime Reduction Strategy
June

Smith, D.C. & Purtell, R.
06/01/2007

Clearly in a time of shrinking resources, Operation Impact has earned its place as an empirically-validated crime-reduction tool worthy of continued adaptation in New York, and emulation in other cities facing resurgent crime, if they have the capacity to replicate the kind of careful analysis on which the implementation of Operation Impact was launched and its implementation has been tracked and managed.

In the Heat of the Summer: Lessons from the Heat Waves in Paris

In the Heat of the Summer: Lessons from the Heat Waves in Paris
Journal of Urban Health, March

Cadot, E., Rodwin, V.G. & Spira, A.
03/12/2007

Climate change and human health are intertwined.  The heat waves in Chicago, in 1995, and in Paris, in 2003, followed by Hurricane Katrina_s destruction of New Orleans, raised awareness of the risks faced by vulnerable older people. Many cities have responded by announcing emergency preparedness plans; some of these plans have already been tested. Last summer, from July 27 to August 5, New York City suffered a mild heat wave with temperatures reaching 100-F. Paris, as well, was hit by another heat wave from July 17 to July 29, with maximum temperatures reaching 104-F, which was considerably milder than in 2003 when they often exceeded 110-F. In New York, there were 100 "excess deaths," an increase of 8% over past trends. In Paris, the number of excess deaths in 2006 (42), also an increase of 8%, was considerably lower than the 1,294 deaths registered in 2003-an increase of 190% compared to the preceding three-year average. Given existing surveillance capacity, it is impossible to know whether the reduction in excess deaths in Paris was due, partly, to its enhanced preparedness or whether it reflects no more than the effects of a far milder heat wave. Nevertheless, the milder heat wave of 2006 does provide an opportunity to examine the actual implementation of the heat wave preparedness plan. In light of ongoing efforts to develop such plans in cities worldwide and completed studies on the effects of the 2003 heat wave in Paris, what may be learned to promote urban health and improve understanding of the factors that put vulnerable older people at greatest risk?

The New York Transportation Journal

The New York Transportation Journal
Spring 2007, Vol. 10, No. 3.

de Cerreño, A.L.C., Publisher, Sterman, B.P., Editor, Nguyen-Novotny, M.L.H., Assistant Editor.
02/01/2007

In this issue of the Journal, Bruce Schaller, a former Rudin Center Visiting Scholar and Practitioner, shares some astute observations on Mayor Bloomberg's recent announcement on congestion pricing and what it means for New York City. Also included are articles on recent Public-Private partnerships ”The Indiana Toll Road and the Chicago Skyway” written by Joseph Seliga of Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw LLP in Chicago; and the Bay Area TransLink Smart Card, written by Nathan Gilbertson of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. In addition, Howard Mann of NYMTC provides a timely discussion of the challenges of growth and freight in the region in light of the Rudin Center's upcoming conference on freight, "Delivering the Goods: The Freight Needs of a Growing Population" on June 6, 2007.

Can Public Schools Close the Race Gap? Probing the Evidence in a Large Urban School District

Can Public Schools Close the Race Gap? Probing the Evidence in a Large Urban School District
Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 26(1): 7-30.

Stiefel, L., Schwartz, A.E., Gould & I.E.
01/01/2007

We examine the size and distribution of the gap in test scores across races within New York City public schools and the factors that explain these gaps. While gaps are partially explained by differences in student characteristics, such as poverty, differences in schools attended are also important. At the same time, substantial within-school gaps remain and are only partly explained by differences in academic preparation across students from different race groups. Controlling for differences in classrooms attended explains little of the remaining gap, suggesting little role for within-school inequities in resources. There is some evidence that school characteristics matter. Race gaps are negatively correlated with school size - implying small schools may be helpful. In addition, the trade-off between the size and experience of the teaching staff in urban schools may carry unintended consequences for within-school race gaps.

Disentangling the Racial Test Score Gap: Probing the Evidence in a Large Urban School District

Disentangling the Racial Test Score Gap: Probing the Evidence in a Large Urban School District
Journal of Policy Analysis & Management, Winter 2007, Vol. 26 Issue 1, p7-30, 24p.

Stiefel, L., Schwartz, A.E. & Ellen, I.G.
01/01/2007

We examine the size and distribution of the gap in test scores across races within New York City public schools and the factors that explain these gaps. While gaps are partially explained by differences in student characteristics, such as poverty, differences in schools attended are also important. At the same time, substantial within-school gaps remain and are only partly explained by differences in academic preparation across students from different race groups. Controlling for differences in classrooms attended explains little of the remaining gap, suggesting little role for within-school inequities in resources. There is some evidence that school characteristics matter. Race gaps are negatively correlated with school size-implying small schools may be helpful. In addition, the trade-off between the size and experience of the teaching staff in urban schools may carry unintended consequences for within-school race gaps.

Does Federally Subsidized Rental Housing Depress Neighborhood Property Values?

Does Federally Subsidized Rental Housing Depress Neighborhood Property Values?
Journal of Policy Analysis & Management, Spring 2007, Vol. 26 Issue 2, p257-280, 24p.

Ellen, I.G., Schwartz, A.E., Voicu, I. & Schill, M.H.
01/01/2007

Few communities welcome federally subsidized rental housing, with one of the most commonly voiced fears being reductions in property values. Yet there is little empirical evidence that subsidized housing depresses neighborhood property values. This paper estimates and compares the neighborhood impacts of a broad range of federally subsidized rental housing programs, using rich data for New York City and a difference-in-difference specification of a hedonic regression model. We find that federally subsidized developments have not typically led to reductions in property values and have, in fact, led to increases in some cases. Impacts are highly sensitive to scale, though patterns vary across programs.

From Districts to Schools: The Distribution of Resources across Schools in Big City School Districts

From Districts to Schools: The Distribution of Resources across Schools in Big City School Districts
Economics of Education Review, 26: 532-545.

Rubenstein, R. & Schwartz, A.E., Stiefel, L.
01/01/2007

This paper explores the determinants of resource allocation across schools in large districts and examines options for improving resource distribution patterns. Previous research on intra-district allocations consistently reveals resource disparities across schools within districts, particularly in the distribution of teachers. While overall expenditures are sometimes related to the characteristics of students in schools, the ratio of teachers per pupil is consistently larger in high-poverty, high-minority and low-performing schools. These teachers, though, generally have lower experience and education levels - and consequently, lower salaries - as compared to teachers in more advantaged schools. We explore these patterns in New York City,  Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio by estimating de facto expenditure equations relating resource measures to school and student characteristics. Consistent with previous research, we find schools that have higher percentages
of poor pupils receive more money and have more teachers per pupil, but the teachers tend to be less educated and less well paid, with a particularly consistent pattern in New York City schools. The paper concludes with policy options for changing intradistrict resource distributions in order to promote more efficient, more equitable or more effective use of resources. These options include allocating dollars rather than teacher positions to schools, providing teacher pay differentials in hard-to-staff schools and subjects, and adapting current district-based funding formulas to the school (and student) level.

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