Economic Development

The Unbanked: Evidence from Indonesia

The Unbanked: Evidence from Indonesia
October   World Bank Economic Review 22(3): 517-537

Morduch, J. & Jonston Jr., D.
10/01/2008

To analyze the prospects for expanding financial access to the poor, bank professionals assessed 1,438 households in six provinces in Indonesia to judge their creditworthiness. About 40 percent of poor households were judged creditworthy according to the criteria of Indonesia's largest microfinance bank, but fewer than 10 percent had recently borrowed from a microbank or formal lender. Possessing collateral appeared as a minor determinant of creditworthiness, in keeping with microfinance innovations. Although these households were judged able to service loans reliably, most desired small loans. Calculations show that the bank, given its current fee structure and banking practices, would lose money when lending at the scales desired. So, while innovations have helped to extend financial access, it remains difficult to lend in small amounts and cover costs.

"What You Don't Know Can't Help You: Worker Knowledge and Retirement Decision-Making"

"What You Don't Know Can't Help You: Worker Knowledge and Retirement Decision-Making"
Review of Economics and Statistics, volume 90(2), May 2008

Chan, S. & Stevens, A.H.
05/01/2008

This paper provides an answer to an important empirical puzzle in the retirement literature: while most people know little about their own pension plans, retirement behavior is strongly affected by pension incentives. We combine administrative and self-reported pension data to measure the retirement response to actual and perceived financial incentives and document an important role for self-reported pension data in determining retirement behavior. Well-informed individuals are far more responsive to pension incentives than the average individual. Ill-informed individuals seem to respond systematically to their own misperceptions of pension incentives.

Equity and Accountability: The Impact of State Accountability Systems on School Finance

Equity and Accountability: The Impact of State Accountability Systems on School Finance
Journal of Public Budgeting & Finance, 28 (3): 1-22

Rubenstein, R. & Ballal, S., Stiefel, L., Schwartz, A.E.
01/01/2008

Using an 11-year panel data set containing information on revenues, expenditures, and demographics for every school district in the United States, we examine the effects of state-adopted school accountability systems on the adequacy and equity of school resources. We find little relationship between state implementation of accountability systems and changes in school finance equity, though we do find evidence that states in which courts overturned the school finance system during the decade exhibited significant equity improvements. Additionally, while implementation of accountability per se does not appear linked to changes in resource adequacy, states that implemented strong accountability systems did experience improvements.

Intergovernmental Aid and Mandates

Intergovernmental Aid and Mandates
Political Encyclopedia of U.S. States and Regions. Edited by Donald Haider-Markel. Congressional Quarterly Press. Washington, D.C.

Rose, S.
01/01/2008

General editor Haider-Markel (U. of Kansas) presents a two-volume encyclopedia intended to serve as a first-stop reference on state politics in the United States, which also includes some coverage of US overseas territories and Puerto Rico. The encyclopedia opens with four broad topical essays on the evolution and impact of state constitutions, the impact of direct democracy (voter initiatives and the like), cooperation between the states, and states as policy testing grounds. It then presents individual state profiles, about ten pages each, that are uniformly structured to allow comparison of state history, the political environment, elections and voting behavior, the legislative branch, the executive branch, the judicial branch, intergovernmental relations, state-tribal relations (where applicable), and long-term issues and policy trends. The state entries also include bibliographies; charts showing partisan distribution of presidential elections from 1988 to 2004; and data tables on political history, political environment, elections and voting behavior, the legislative branch, the executive branch, and the judicial branch. Also included are some 175 A-to-Z topical entries discussing general concepts related to governmental functions and procedures, government structures and bodies, political theory, and political behavior. Examples of specific topics would include gerrymandering, impeachment, public health, auditor, bicameralism, legislative leadership, common law, judicial review, and social welfare. Finally, statistical data on populations, economics, finance, the environment, government spending, voting, and campaign fundraising is presented for all 50 states, followed by a comprehensive index.

Micro-Credit

Micro-Credit
New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics Second Edition.  Palgrave Macmillan. 2008

Morduch, J. & Durlauf, S., Blume, L.
01/01/2008

Written by 1506 eminent contributors, this new edition of The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics retains many classic essays of enduring importance and contains 1,872 articles. Published in eight print volumes and for the first time in online format, this is the definitive scholarly reference work for a new generation of economists.

Neighborhood Selection and the Social Reproduction of Concentrated Racial Inequality

Neighborhood Selection and the Social Reproduction of Concentrated Racial Inequality
Demography, Feb 2008, Vol. 45 Issue 1, p1-29, 29p.

Sampson, R.J. & Sharkey, P.
01/01/2008

In this paper, we consider neighborhood selection as a social process central to the reproduction of racial inequality in neighborhood attainment. We formulate a multilevel model that decomposes multiple sources of stability and change in longitudinal trajectories of achieved neighborhood income among nearly 4,000 Chicago families followed for up to seven years wherever they moved in the United States. Even after we adjust for a comprehensive set of fixed and time-varying covariates, racial inequality in neighborhood attainment is replicated by movers and stayers alike. We also study the emergent consequences of mobility pathways for neighborhood-level structure. The temporal sorting by individuals of different racial and ethnic groups combines to yield a structural pattern of flows between neighborhoods that generates virtually nonoverlapping income distributions and little exchange between minority and white areas. Selection and racially shaped hierarchies are thus mutually constituted and account for an apparent equilibrium of neighborhood inequality.

Power Reduces the Press of the Situation: Implications for Creativity, Conformity, and Dissonance

Power Reduces the Press of the Situation: Implications for Creativity, Conformity, and Dissonance
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95, 1450-1466/

Galinsky, A.D., Magee, J.C., Gruenfeld, D.H., Whitson, J. & Liljenquist, K.
01/01/2008

Although power is often conceptualized as the capacity to influence others, the current research explores whether power psychologically protects people from influence. In contrast to classic social psychological research demonstrating the strength of the situation in directing attitudes, expressions, and intentions, five experiments (using experiential primes, semantic primes, and role manipulations of power) demonstrate that the powerful (a) generate creative ideas that are less influenced by salient examples, (b) express attitudes that conform less to the expressed opinions of others, (c) are more influenced by their own social value orientation relative to the reputation of a negotiating partner, and (d) perceive greater choice in making counterattitudinal statements. This last experiment illustrates that power is not always psychologically liberating; it can create internal conflict, arousing dissonance, and thereby lead to attitude change. Across the experiments, high-power participants were immune to the typical press of situations, with intrapsychic processes having greater sway than situational or interpersonal ones on their creative and attitudinal expressions.

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