Housing & Community Development

Politics, Growth, and Inequality in Rural China: Does it Pay to Join the Party?

Politics, Growth, and Inequality in Rural China: Does it Pay to Join the Party?
Journal of Public Economics 77 (3), September 2000, 331 - 346.

Morduch, J. & Sicular, T.
01/01/2000

Presents survey data of the household incomes of local officials in northern China and their relation to market liberalization, increases in consumer demand and the provision of local public goods. Description of the rank-and-file bureaucrats; Political status in rural China; Survey data and economic setting; Effects of political variables on income levels; Analyses; Economic reform.

The Role of the Real City in Cyberspace: Understanding Regional Variations in Internet Accessibility and Utilization

The Role of the Real City in Cyberspace: Understanding Regional Variations in Internet Accessibility and Utilization
Originally Published in Information, Place, and Cyberspace: Issues in Accessibility. D.G. Janelle and D.C. Hodge (eds.). 2000 by Springer-Verlag.

Moss, M. & Townsend, A.
01/01/2000

Since 1993, when the first graphical web browser, Mosaic, was released into the public domain, the Internet has evolved from an obscure academic and military research network into an international agglomeration of public and private, local and global telecommunications systems. Much of the academic and popular literature has emphasized the distance-shrinking implications and placelessness inherent in these rapidly developing networks. However, the relationship between the physical and political geography of cities and regions and the virtual (or logical) geography of the Internet lacks a strong body of empirical evidence upon which to base such speculation.

This chapter presents the results of a series of studies conducted from June 1996 to August 1998. Our research suggests there is a metropolitan dominance of Internet development by a handful of cities and regions. We identity and describe an emerging structure of "virtual" hubs and pathways which are linking a set of major cities in the United States, suggesting that there is a complex emerging inter-urban communications network that goes far beyond Castells' (1989) informational mode of development.

Are Stocks Overtaking Real Estate in Household Portfolios?

Are Stocks Overtaking Real Estate in Household Portfolios?
Current Issues in Economics and Finance 5(5), April 1999, pages 1-6.

Sewin Chan, Henry Schneider & Joseph Tracy
04/01/1999

The rapid growth of the stock market since 1990 has encouraged the view that corporate equity holdings are becoming the primary asset for a broad spectrum of American households. A closer look at the evidence, however, reveals that real estate continues to eclipse stocks as a share of most households’ portfolios.

Crowded House

Crowded House
Boston Review 24, February/March, Forum: Sharing the Wealth.

Sewin Chan, Henry Schneider & Joseph Tracy
02/01/1999

The extraordinary growth in the stock market over the past several years has significantly increased wealth in the US household sector. The Flow of Funds Accounts data indicate that in the second quarter of 1998 corporate equity holdings in the household sector amounted to $9.4 billion dollars or 28 percent of total household assets. This represents an astounding increase of $5.3 billion over the past five years. For only the second time since the mid-1940s have equity holdings surpassed all other classes of assets in the household sector (although real estate comes close at 27 percent).

Household Asset Portfolios and the Reform of the Housing Finance Market

Household Asset Portfolios and the Reform of the Housing Finance Market
TIAA-CREF Research Dialogues 59, Feb, pages 1-12.

Andrew Caplin, Sewin Chan, Charles Freeman & Joseph Tracy
02/01/1999

When individuals or families make retirement planning decisions, including asset allocation choices, it is important for them to consider how all of the assets they own fit together to form an overall portfolio of house-hold wealth. Surprisingly often, one of the most important household assets is left out of retirement planning discussions completely: the family home.

This issue of Research Dialogue examines in detail the central role that residential housing plays in household asset portfolios in the United States. Currently, families don't have much choice regarding the amount of wealth they must "allocate" to their home: either they own their residence or they do not. This stark choice generally leaves homeowners overexposed to significant financial risks that most would prefer not to take. The authors of this article describe financial innovations that, if developed and adopted, would provide families far greater choice regarding how much to invest in a home. The authors show that this greater flexibility could lead to as much as 20% greater wealth at retirement through better diversification of the wealth that homeowners currently must hold in the form of housing.

 

Improving Infrastructure Finance Through Grant-Loan Linkages

Improving Infrastructure Finance Through Grant-Loan Linkages
International Journal of Public Administration, Volume 22, No. 23.

Smoke, P.
01/01/1999

In recent years, developing countries under fiscal pressure have increasing recognized significant weaknesses in their intergovernmental mechanisms for financing local infrastructure. Many countries are in the process of rationalizing poorly coordinated and subjectively allocated grant systems as well as loans. Such efforts, however, are typically undertaken independently of each other, often providing conflicting incentives for local fiscal behavior. I argue that the reform of grant and loan mechanisms should be explicitly linked to improve the overall effectiveness of the infrastructure finance system. The potential complications involved in designing grant-loan linkages, however, are considerable. I illustrate some key issues by examining the water sector in Indonesia, concluding with suggestions for how to think about creating such linkages in other sectors and countries.

Lives on the Line: American Families and the Struggle to Make Ends Meet

Lives on the Line: American Families and the Struggle to Make Ends Meet
Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

Shirk, M., Bennett, N. & Aber, J.L.
01/01/1999

Almost half of the nation's children live in officially defined poverty or near-poverty. Putting a human face on this and other statistics, the authors present a disturbing and provocative composite portrait of 10 families struggling to make ends meetAfour white, two Hispanic, three black and one Hawaiian/Samoan. Bennett and Aber, both directors of Columbia University's National Center for Children in Poverty, and freelance journalist Shirk (a veteran St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter), identify three factorsAteen parenthood, low educational achievement and temporary or low-wage workAthat they call "the 'Bermuda Triangle' of family poverty." Add the associated risks of domestic violence, poor child care and damage to early brain development from malnutrition, preventable birth complications, environmental toxins, etc., and readers will begin to see why poverty cuts across urban, suburban and rural areas. A few of the parents profiled here battle drug addiction; one gambles; several suffer from disabling depression; one single mother bravely raises a severely disabled five-year-old son afflicted with spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy and a 234-pound, 12-year-old daughter. In almost all the profiled families, one or both parents work, contradicting the widespread stereotype of the poor as lazy or irresponsible. In a succinct closing chapter, the authors call for a combination of public- and private-sector measures to help prevent or reduce child poverty. The issues they raise should fuel election-year debate.

The Risk and Protective Function of Perceived Family and Peer Microsystems Among Urban Adolescents in Poverty

The Risk and Protective Function of Perceived Family and Peer Microsystems Among Urban Adolescents in Poverty
American Journal of Community Psychology, 27, 211-237.

Seidman, E., Chesir-Terna, D., Friedman, J.L., Yoshikawa, H., Allen, L.A., Roberts, A. & Aber, J.L.
01/01/1999

Utilized a pattern-based approach to discover the different constellations of perceived social transactions separately for family and peer systems and explored the risk and protective functions of these microsystem profiles for both depression and antisocial behavior among a sample of ethnically and racially diverse urban adolescents living in poverty. Measures of perceived social support, involvement and hassles with family and peers, as well as perceived social acceptance and peers' values were entered into two sets of iterative cluster analyses to identify distinct profiles of family and peer transactions. From each of the perceived family and peer transactional analyses, six replicated profiles emerged. Several of the profiles were consistent with expectations from prior literature such as Enmeshing families and Rejecting peer networks, while others were novel and intriguing such as Entangling peers. Family profiles were consistent in their risk and protective associations for both depression and antisocial behavior, while the peer profiles varied in their effects for each developmental outcome. For example, the Rejecting peer profile placed adolescents at increased risk for depression but protected them from antisocial behavior. Implications for future research and preventive intervention are discussed.

Preventing HIV Infection: The effects of community linkages, time, and money on recruiting and retaining women in intervention groups

Preventing HIV Infection: The effects of community linkages, time, and money on recruiting and retaining women in intervention groups
Journal of Women’s Health 1998; 7: 587-596.

Greenberg, J., J. Lifshay, Van Devanter, N., Gonzales, V. & Celentano, D.
06/01/1998

Few studies have addressed recruitment and retention of participants in preventive interventions directed at human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and these generally have not focused on women. In this study, part of the Women in Group Support (WINGS) project, we examine the experience of three sites in recruiting 444 high-risk women for a small group intervention to reduce risky sexual behavior. The intervention included six structured sessions, followed by a continuing series of client-focused, drop-in sessions. Incentives for participants included child care, food, and transportation tokens. Attendees at each structured session also received a cash incentive of $10-$20. Forty-six percent of the women were recruited from community sources, 35% from clinics, and 19% from drug programs. Across all recruitment sources, almost a third of the women reported having had a sexually transmitted disease (STD) in the past year, 88%-94% reported a risky male partner (who, they believed, had sex with other partners or with sex workers, was an injecting drug user, or was HIV positive), and 10%-36% reported trading sex for money or drugs. During 18 months of recruitment, each site averaged 34 screening interviews monthly to secure 8 eligible women a month who completed baseline interviews and reported for randomization. The average number of paid sessions attended by participants was five of six (83%). Average attendance at unpaid sessions was 1 of 12 (8%). Key facilitators to recruitment and retention included linkages with community agencies and monetary incentives. Our findings suggest that researchers and community service providers need to explore alternative strategies to paying women for attending group sessions (e.g., incorporating group interventions into existing program requirements) and balance these against the costs and recruitment effectiveness.

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