Economic Development

Do Changes in Pension Incentives Affect Retirement? A Longitudinal Study of Subjective Retirement Expectations

Do Changes in Pension Incentives Affect Retirement? A Longitudinal Study of Subjective Retirement Expectations
Journal of Public Economics 88(7), July 2004

Sewin Chan & Ann Huff Stevens
07/01/2004

This paper investigates the responsiveness of individuals’ retirement decisions to forward-looking measures of pension accumulations. In contrast to previous research, we use within-person variation in retirement incentives and are able to control for unobserved heterogeneity in tastes for retirement by studying a panel of subjective retirement expectations. We confirm that individuals do respond as expected to pension incentives, even when we control for individual fixed effects. However, the magnitude of these responses differs when estimated from models based on within-person versus cross-sectional variation: the inclusion of fixed effects reduces the response by about half.

Children Facing Economic Hardship in the United States: Differentials and Changes in the 1990's

Children Facing Economic Hardship in the United States: Differentials and Changes in the 1990's
Demographic Review, June 2004, Vol 10, Article 11.

Lu, H.H., Palmer, J., Song, Y., Lennon, M.C. & Aber, J.L.
06/18/2004

This paper helps document significant improvements in the child low-income rate as well as the significant decrease in the proportion of children who relied on public assistance in the United States during the 1990s. Many disadvantaged groups of children were less likely to live in poor or low-income families in the late 1990s than such children a decade earlier. The improvement in the child low-income rates of these disadvantaged groups was accompanied by a substantial increase in parental employment. However, parental employment appears to do less to protect children from economic hardship than it did a decade earlier. This paper shows that working families� children in many disadvantaged social groups, especially groups in medium risk ranks�children in families with parents between ages 25 to 29, with parents who only had a high-school diploma, and in father-only families�suffered the largest increase in economic hardship. Our results indicate that the increased odds of falling below low income lines among children in working families facing multiple disadvantaged characteristics and the increased proportion of these children in various subgroups of working families in the 1990s can help explain the increased economic hardship among subgroups in the medium risk ranks listed above. Finally, the paper also notes that the official measure of poverty tends to underestimate low-income rates.

City Taxes, City Spending: Essays in Honor of Dick Netzer

City Taxes, City Spending: Essays in Honor of Dick Netzer
Northampton, Mass: Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd.,

Schwartz, A.E.
01/01/2004

In a festschrift to Netzer a public finance economist well known for his research on state and local taxation, urban public services, and nonprofit organizations eight chapters apply microeconomics to problems facing urban areas and use statistical analysis to gain insight into practical solutions. The essays look at alternative methods of financing urban government, such as a land value tax and the impact of sales and income taxes on property taxation; at government expenditures, including housing subsidies; and at subsidies to nonprofit arts groups as well as the role of the nonprofit sector in providing K-12 education. Of interest to the fields of public finance, urban economics, and public administration.

New York City

New York City
Encyclopedia of Homelessness. Berkshire Publishing,

Weitzman, B.C. & Fischer, S.N.
01/01/2004

At any given moment, about 3 million American women, men, and children are homeless. And another 5 million Americans spend over 50% of their incomes on housing, meaning that one missed paycheck, one health crisis, or one unpaid utility bill can push them out the door into homelessness. Homelessness is one of the major social problems and personal and family tragedies of the contemporary world. No community, city, or nation is immune and the lack of affordable housing and a decline in secure, well-paying jobs means that the problem will only get worse. The Encyclopedia of Homelessness is the first systematic effort to organize and summarize what we know about this complex topic that impacts not only the homeless but all of society. The Encyclopedia focuses on the current situation in the United States with a comparative sampling of homelessness around the world.

The Price of Female Headship: Gender, Inheritance, and Wealth Accumulation in the United States

The Price of Female Headship: Gender, Inheritance, and Wealth Accumulation in the United States
Journal of Income Distribution, Fall2004/Winter2005, Vol. 13 Issue 3/4, p41-56, 16p.

Conley, D. & Ryvicker, M.
01/01/2004

Female-headed households in the United States suffer from lower levels of asset ownership than their male-headed counterparts. This gap remains after controlling for the lower incomes of female heads. What, then, produces the gender discrepancy in net worth? Using longitudinal, intergenerational data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, we ask whether differential patterns of inheritance, savings rates, or investment yield this female-male asset gap. Results demonstrate that differential savings rates between female- and male-headed households account for the gender gap in net worth. We speculate on the financial constraints within female-headed households that account for the savings rate differential.

West Side Financing’s Complex $1.3 Billion Story

West Side Financing’s Complex $1.3 Billion Story
Independent Budget Office for New York City, August

Devine, T.
01/01/2004

The Bloomberg administration's Hudson Yards project proposes a major redevelopment of Manhattan’s far West Side. The plan includes a city investment of roughly $3 billion (in 2003 dollars) to upgrade the district and facilitate the construction of thousands of new apartments and millions of square feet of new office and other commercial space. Among the proposed improvements are the extension of the #7 subway line, the construction of a platform over the Eastern Rail Yards, and the creation of a new boulevard and new parkland.

Housing Production Subsidies and Neighborhood Revitalization: New York City’s Ten Year Capital Plan for Housing

Housing Production Subsidies and Neighborhood Revitalization: New York City’s Ten Year Capital Plan for Housing
Economic Policy Review, June 2003, pages 71-85.

Ellen, I.G., Schill, M.H., Schwartz, A.E. & Voicu, I.
06/01/2003

A perennial question in housing policy concerns the form that housing assistance should take. Although some argue that housing assistance should be thought of as a form of income support and advocate direct cash grants to needy households, others favor earmarked assistance—but they differ over whether subsidies should be given to the recipients as vouchers or to developers as production subsidies. The appropriate composition of housing assistance has recently taken on particular import. In 2000, Congress created the Millennial Housing Commission and gave it the task of evaluating the “effectiveness and efficiency” of methods to promote housing through the private sector. As part of its mandate, the commission is examining changes to existing programs as well as the creation of new production programs to increase affordable housing. This paper reexamines the debate over the appropriate form of housing assistance.

Local Government Finance and the Economics of Property Tax Exemption

Local Government Finance and the Economics of Property Tax Exemption
State Tax Notes, June 23, pp. 1053-1069.

Netzer, D.
06/01/2003

Looks at the role of the property tax exemption for charities in local government finance. If services produced by nonprofits are largely exported from a jurisdiction, then requiring full property taxes or payments in lieu of taxes is a way of exporting local tax burdens.

Intradistrict Equity of Public Education Resources and Performance

Intradistrict Equity of Public Education Resources and Performance
Economics of Education Review, Volume 22, Number 1, pages 60-78.

Stiefel, L. & Iatarola, P.
02/01/2003

This paper presents empirical evidence on input and output equity of expenditures, teacher resources, and performance across 840 elementary and middle schools in New York City. Historically, researchers have studied interdistrict distributions, but given the large numbers of pupils and schools within many urban districts, it is important to learn about intradistrict distributions as well. The empirical work is built on a framework of horizontal, vertical, and equal opportunity equity. The results show that the horizontal equity distributions are more disparate than what would be expected relative to results of other studies, vertical equity is lacking, especially in elementary schools, and equality of opportunity is at best neutral but more often absent. Middle schools exhibit more equity than elementary schools. The paper is one of the first to measure output equity, using levels and changes in test scores to do so.

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