Economics

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.

After the Bell—Family Background and Educational Success

After the Bell—Family Background and Educational Success
(Edited, with an Introduction; co-edited by Karen Albright). From conference organized in conjunction with the Jerome Levy Economics Institute of Bard College. June 4-5, London & New York: Routledge,

Conley, D.
01/01/2004

This book looks at the social and economic factors of schooling and will prove an intriguing read for sociologist, social economists and policy-makers.

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.

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, July

Chan, S. & Stevens, A.H.
01/01/2004

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.

Expenditure Assignment Under Indonesia's Decentralization: A Review of Progress and Issues for the Future

Expenditure Assignment Under Indonesia's Decentralization: A Review of Progress and Issues for the Future
in J. Alm and J. Martinez, Reforming Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations and the Rebuilding of Indonesia. Cheltenham, UK and Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar,

Smoke, P.
01/01/2004

Indonesia is currently facing some severe challenges, both in political affairs and in economic management. One of these challenges is the recently enacted decentralization program, now well underway, which promises to have some wide-ranging consequences. This edited volume presents original papers, written by a select group of widely recognized and distinguished scholars, that take a hard, objective look at the many effects of decentralization on economic and political issues in Indonesia. There are many questions about this program: how will it be implemented, is there capacity at the local level to implement its reforms, is there sufficient local political accountability to make it work, and how will the decentralization affect the broader program of economic growth and stabilization? Topics covered include: the historical and political dimensions of decentralization, its macroeconomic effects, its effects on poverty alleviation, the assignment of expenditure and revenue functions across levels of government, the design of transfers, the role of natural resource taxation and the effects of local government borrowing. An authoritative, comprehensive collection, Reforming Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations and the Rebuilding of Indonesia will be of interest to economists and policy makers as well as students of public finance, development, and Asian economics.

How Does Job Loss Affect the Timing of Retirement?

How Does Job Loss Affect the Timing of Retirement?
Contributions to Economic Analysis & Policy 2004: Vol. 3: No. 1, Article 5.

Chan, S. & Stevens, A.H.
01/01/2004

This paper estimates the extent to which reduced employment following job loss among older workers can be explained as a response to altered pension incentives and earnings opportunities. Using data from the Health and Retirement Study, we first examine how workers’ earnings, assets, pensions and the resulting financial incentive to retire are affected by job loss. We find important effects of job loss on the main financial components of workers’ incentive to retire. We then examine retirement behavior after job loss, controlling for these changed retirement incentives, along with any additional effects of displacement not captured by retirement incentives. We find that the observed increased rates of retirement among displaced workers go far beyond these purely financial considerations. Very little of the reduced employment among older job losers can be explained by changes in wages and pension-related retirement incentives. Other barriers to reemployment may be more important explanations for the low employment rates of recently displaced older workers.

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.

Reconsidering Risk: Biosocial Interactions and their Implications for Health Policy: The Case of Low Birth Weight.

Reconsidering Risk: Biosocial Interactions and their Implications for Health Policy: The Case of Low Birth Weight.
Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law,

Strully, K. & Conley, D.
01/01/2004

According to recent research, interactions between infant health and environment can play crucial roles in clustering health and economic disadvantage among certain families. Researchers have provided a clear example of such intergenerational biosocial cycles when they document that interactions between parental low birth weight status and prenatal environment are associated with the risk of a low birth weight, and that interactions between a child's birth weight status and early childhood environment are associated with adult socioeconomic outcomes. In this article, we consider how existing policies may be revised to more effectively address such interactions between social and biological risk categories. We are particularly concerned in this discussion with revising risk categories so they can encompass biological risk, social risk, and developmental frameworks. A framework of biosocial risk is quite flexible and may be applied to a variety of issues and programs; however, in this article we focus on the single case of low birth weight to illustrate our argument. In considering specific applications, we further explore how attention to biosocial interactions may reshape Medicaid, special education, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

Social and Environmental Dimensions of Cutting-Edge Infrastructures

Social and Environmental Dimensions of Cutting-Edge Infrastructures
in Moving People, Goods and Information in the 21st Century, edited by R. Hanley. UK: Routledge, pages 181-202.

Zimmerman, R.
01/01/2004

Globalization and technological innovation have changed the way people, goods, and information move through and about cities. To remain, or become, economically and environmentally sustainable, cities and their regions must adapt to these changes by creating cutting-edge infrastructures that integrate advanced technologies, communications, and multiple modes of transportation.

The book defines cutting-edge infrastructures, details their importance to cities and their regions, and addresses the obstacles - technical, jurisdictional, financial, and social - to creating those infrastructures. Additionally, it explores issues behind the creation of new infrastructures: their integrated, technical components, the decision making involved in their creation, and the equity and environmental questions they raise.

 

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