Economics

Network Systems Revisited: The Confounding Nature of Universal Systems

Network Systems Revisited: The Confounding Nature of Universal Systems
In O. Coutard, R. Hanley, and R. Zimmerman, eds. Sustaining Urban Networks: The Social Diffusion of Large Technical Systems. London, UK: Routledge, pp. 1-12. ISBN 0415324580 (HB); ISBN 0415324599 (PB).

Coutard, O., Hanley, R.E. & Zimmerman, R.
01/01/2005

Taking sustainability in its triple economic, environmental and social dimensions, the contributors take stock of previous research on large technical systems and discuss their sustainability from three main perspectives: uses, cities, rules/institutions.

Primary care, race and mortality in the United States

Primary care, race and mortality in the United States
Social Science & Medicine Volume 61 Number 1, pages 65-75.

Shi, L., Macinko, J., Starfield, B., Politzer, R. & J. Xu.
01/01/2005

This study used US state-level data from 1985 to 1995 to examine the relationship of primary care resources and income inequality with all-cause mortality within the entire population, and in black and white populations. The study is a pooled ecological design with repeated measures using 11 years of state-level data (n=549). Analyses controlled for socioeconomic and demographic characteristics. Contemporaneous and time-lagged covariates were modeled, and all analyses were stratified by race/ethnicity. In all models, primary care was associated with lower mortality. An increase of one primary care doctor per 10,000 population was associated with a reduction of 14.4 deaths per 100,000. The magnitude of primary care coefficients was higher for black mortality than for white mortality. Income inequality was not associated with mortality after controlling for state-level sociodemographic covariates. The study provides evidence that primary care resources are associated with population health and could aid in reducing socioeconomic disparities in health.

At Capacity: The Need for More Rail Access to the Manhattan CBD

At Capacity: The Need for More Rail Access to the Manhattan CBD
Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management, NYU Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, November

Scanlon, R. & Seeley, E.
11/01/2004

This report examines the relationship between proposed transit system capacity improvements in the downstate metropolitan area, the updated post 9-11 job projections for the Manhattan Central Business District, and regional economic growth. It further explores a number of key issues Ed Seeley first covered in a highly publicized report on these topics for the New York City Department of Transportation in 1997. The findings of this report are relevant to the current discussions concerning the next MTA Five Year program. Ensuring that the MTA maintains a state of good repair and normal replacement is the highest priority of most, if not all transportation policy experts for the next 5 year capital program. Nonetheless, as historians and planners have frequently asserted, New York's growth and prosperity has consistently been tied to additions and improvements to its transportation network and this report suggests this is likely to be the case in the foreseeable future.

Can New York Get an “A” in School Finance Reform?

Can New York Get an “A” in School Finance Reform?
Citizens Budget Commission, November

Brecher, C.
11/01/2004

The State of New York faces a major challenge stemming from a 2003 ruling by the Court of Appeals, the State's highest court. It found that the more than one million children in New York City's public schools were not provided with the sound basic education guaranteed to them by the State Constitution. In the subsequent months, the plaintiffs and the State's political leaders have not agreed on a suitable remedy for students in New York City, and by extension to hundreds of thousands of additional students in other school districts around the state who also have been denied their constitutional right. One important issue to be resolved is: How much additional funding is needed?

The Citizens Budget Commission (CBC) has prepared this report to address two questions fundamental to designing a remedy:

- Where should the money come from?
- What changes other than more money are essential to improving educational
outcomes?

 

Sustaining Nonprofit Performance: The Case for Capacity Building and the Evidence to Support It

Sustaining Nonprofit Performance: The Case for Capacity Building and the Evidence to Support It
Brookings Institution,

Light, P.C.
08/01/2004

"The nonprofit sector survives because it has a self-exploiting work force: wind it up and it will do more with less until it just runs out. But at some point, the spring must break."

America’s nonprofit organizations face a difficult present and an uncertain future. Money is tight. Workloads are heavy, employee turnover is high, and charitable donations have not fully rebounded from the recent economic downturn. Media and political scrutiny remains high, and public confidence in nonprofits has yet to recover from its sharp decline in the wake of well-publicized scandals.

In a recent survey, only 14 percent of respondents believed that nonprofits did a very good job of spending money wisely; nearly half said that nonprofit leaders were paid too much, compared to 8 percent who said they earned too little. Yet the nonprofit sector has never played a more important role in American life. As a generation of nonprofit executives and board members approaches retirement, it becomes increasingly important to ensure that their organizations are prepared to continue their missions—that they are built to last in a supremely challenging environment.

Paul Light, renowned expert on public service and nonprofit management, strongly argues for capacity-building measures as a way to sustain and improve the efforts of the nonprofit sector. With innovative data and insightful analysis, he demonstrates how nonprofits that invest in technology, training, and strategic planning can successfully advance their goals and restore public faith in their mission and capabilities. He explains the ways in which restoration of that faith is critical to the survival of nonprofits—another important reason for improving and then sustaining performance. Organizations that invest adequately in their infrastructure and long-term planning are the ones that will survive and continue to serve. The New York Times, Monday September 13, 2004

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.

Confronting the Tradeoffs in Medicaid Cost Containment

Confronting the Tradeoffs in Medicaid Cost Containment
Citizens Budget Commission, February

Brecher, C. & Spiezio, S.
02/01/2004

A common pressure on the State and City budgets is the rapid growth in spending for Medicaid. For this reason, the Committee asked the CBC staff to explore ways to control Medicaid expenditures. In a series of meetings that reviewed analyses prepared by the staff, the Committee identified the important tradeoffs inherent in trying to curb Medicaid expenditures. This report reflects the Committee’s thinking on how to address these difficult tradeoffs in ways that best reflect the values most important to the future fiscal and economic health of New York City and New York State, including a deep concern for the ability of poorer New Yorkers to have access to needed medial care.

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.

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