Housing & Community Development

Siting, Spillovers, and Segregation: A Re-examination of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program

Siting, Spillovers, and Segregation: A Re-examination of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program
In Edward Glaeser and John Quigley, Eds. Housinmg Markets and the Economy: Risk, Regulation, Policy; Essays in Honor of Karl Case. Cambridge, Mass: Lincoln Institute for Land Policy, pp. 233-267.

Ingrid Ellen, Katherine O'Regan, Ioan Voicu
01/01/2009

The timing of this volume could not be more opportune. It is based on a 2007 conference to honor the work of Karl "Chip" Case, who is renowned for his scientific contributions to the economics of housing and public policy. The chapters analyze risk in the housing market, the regulation of housing markets by government, and other issues in U.S. housing policy. Chapters investigate derivative markets; the role that home equity insurance can play in reducing risk; the role that the regulation of government-sponsored enterprises has played in extending credit to home purchasers in low-income neighborhoods; and the growth in the market for subprime mortgages. The impact of local zoning regulations on housing prices and new construction is also considered. This is a must read during a time of restructuring our nation’s system of housing finance.

The Stafford Act and Priorities for Reform

The Stafford Act and Priorities for Reform
Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. Berkeley Electronic Press, Vol. 6, issue 1: Article 13 

Moss, M., Schellhamer, C. & David A Berman.
01/01/2009

During the past fifty years, federal disaster policy in the United States has been shaped by an ongoing conflict between proponents who favor federal intervention following a disaster and those who believe disaster response should be the responsibility of state and local governments and charity. This article explores the existing federal disaster policy landscape within the United States with a focus on the Stafford Act, the cultural and political forces that produced it, and how the current system is ill equipped to aid in the response and recovery from major catastrophes. The Stafford Act defines how federal disasters are declared, determines the types of assistance to be provided by the federal government, and establishes cost sharing arrangements among federal, state, and local governments. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) carries out the provisions of the Stafford Act and distributes much of the assistance provided by the Act. With the establishment of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the threat of domestic terrorism, and large-scale natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina, the limits of the Stafford Act and FEMA have been shown. We look at several areas where the shortcomings of the Stafford Act have emerged and propose directions for reform.

The Neighborhood Effects of Concentrated Foreclosures

The Neighborhood Effects of Concentrated Foreclosures
Journal of Housing Economics, 17(4): 306-319

Ellen, I.G., Schuetz, J. & Been, V.
04/01/2008

As the national mortgage crisis has worsened, an increasing number of communities are facing declining housing prices and high rates of foreclosure. Central to the call for government intervention in this crisis is the claim that foreclosures not only hurt those who are losing their homes to foreclosure, but also harm neighbors by reducing the value of nearby properties and in turn, reducing local governments’ tax bases. The extent to which foreclosures do in fact drive down neighboring property values has become a crucial question for policy-makers. In this paper, we use a unique dataset on property sales and foreclosure filings in New York City from 2000 to 2005 to identify the effects of foreclosure starts on housing prices in the surrounding neighborhood. Regression results suggest that above some threshold, proximity to properties in foreclosure is associated with lower sales prices. The magnitude of the price discount increases with the number of properties in foreclosure, but not in a linear relationship.

Who Is Accountable for Racial Equity in Health Care?

Who Is Accountable for Racial Equity in Health Care?
Journal of the American Medical Association. Vol. 299 No.7, February 20: 814-816.

Blustein, J.
02/20/2008

Racial disparities are a ubiquitous feature of the US medical landscape, with health care delivery substantially segregated by race/ethnicity. Recent evidence from hospitals,1-3 nursing homes,4-5 and physicians' offices6 suggests that those caring for minority patients do not perform as well as those who care for nonminority patients, on average. This evidence is troubling but hardly surprising because the limited resources of those who care for the poor have helped to create and sustain racial disparities. As the United States enters an era of accountability in health care, it is time to consider these familiar circumstances from a new perspective.

Long-Term Associations of Homelessness with Children's Well-Being

Long-Term Associations of Homelessness with Children's Well-Being
American Behavioral Scientist, Feb 2008, Vol. 51 Issue 6, p789-809, 21p

Shinn, M., Schteingart, J.S., Williams, N.P., Carlin-Mathis, J., Bialo-Karagis, N.,Becker-Klein, R. & Weitzman, B.C.
02/01/2008

To analyze long-term consequences of homelessness, the authors compared 388 formerly homeless children 55 months after shelter entry with 382 housed peers, birth to 17, using mother- and child-reported health, mental health, community involvement, cognitive performance, and educational records. Both groups scored below cognitive and achievement norms. Small group differences favored housed 4- to 6-year-olds on cognition and 4- to 10-year-olds on mental health only. Child care and recent stressful events, which were high, were as or more important than prior homelessness. Only children living with mothers were included, potentially biasing results. Policy implications are discussed.

Evaluating Environmental and Economic Benefits of Yellow-Dust Storm Related Policies in Northern China

Evaluating Environmental and Economic Benefits of Yellow-Dust Storm Related Policies in Northern China
International Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology, Vol. 15, pp. 457-470

Guo, Z. & Ning, A., Ploenske, K.R.
01/01/2008

Yellow-dust storms (YDSs) have attracted increasing attention worldwide in the past decade. They can extensively disrupt socioeconomic activities and pose hazards to ecosystems, as well as human health.  In recent years, China has invested multi-billions of dollars to mitigate the impact of YDSs.  However, the effectiveness of such YDS-control programs has rarely been evaluated. This research develops a causal model to quantify the environmental benefits of YDS-control programs in China, and further employs regional economic models to evaluate the ensuing economic impacts. The economic benefits generated from the YDS-control programs have remained stable across the years, primarily because of the multiplier effect of the investments, while the environmental benefits tend to decline over time.  Our results suggest that YDS-control programs should consider stimulating local economic activities in addition to environmental goals in order to be cost-effective and sustainable in the long term.

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.

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