Inequality

Being Black, Living in the Red: Race, Wealth and Social Policy in America

Being Black, Living in the Red: Race, Wealth and Social Policy in America
Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.

Conley, D.
01/01/1999

What is more important--race or class--in determining the socioeconomic success of the blacks and whites born since the civil rights triumphs of the 1960s? When compared to whites, African Americans complete less formal schooling, work fewer hours at a lower rate of pay and are more likely to give birth to a child out of wedlock and to rely on welfare. Are these differences attributable to race per se, or are they the result of differences in socioeconomic background between the two groups?Being Black, Living in the Red demonstrates that many differences between blacks and whites stem not from race but from economic inequalities that have accumulated over the course of American history. Property ownership--as measured by net worth--reflects this legacy of economic oppression. The racial discrepancy in wealth holdings leads to advantages for whites in the form of better schools, more desirable residences, higher wages, and more opportunities to save, invest, and thereby further their economic advantages.Dalton Conley shows how factoring parental wealth into a reconceptualization of class can lead to a different future for race policy in the United States. As it currently stands, affirmative action programs primarily address racial diversity in schooling and work--areas that Conley contends generate paradoxical results with respect to racial equity. Instead he suggests an affirmative action policy that fosters minority property accumulation, thereby encouraging long-term wealth equity, or one that--while continuing to address schooling and work--is based on social class as defined by family wealth levels rather than on race.

Preventable Hospitalizations and Socioeconomic Status

Preventable Hospitalizations and Socioeconomic Status
Health Affairs. 1998;17:177-189.

Blustein, J., Hanson, K. & Shea, S.
01/01/1998

"Preventable" hospitalizations have been proposed as indicators of poor health plan performance. In this study of elderly Medicare beneficiaries, however, we found that preventable hospitalizations are also more common among elders of lower socioeconomic status (SES). The relationship persisted even when an up-to-date severity-of-illness adjustment system was used. To the extent that indicators of health plan "performance" reflect enrollees' characteristics, plans will be rewarded for marketing their services to wealthier, healthier, and better-educated patients. Further work is needed to clarify issues of accountability for preventable hospitalizations and other putative indices of health plan performance.

Sibling Rivalry and the Gender Gap: Evidence from Child Health Outcomes in Ghana

Sibling Rivalry and the Gender Gap: Evidence from Child Health Outcomes in Ghana
Journal of Populations Economics 11 (4), December 1998, 471 - 493.

Morduch, J. Garg, A.
01/01/1998

When capital and labor markets are imperfect, choice sets narrow, and parents must choose how to ration available funds and time between their children. One consequence is that children become rivals for household resources. In economies with pro-male bias, such rivalries can yield gains to having relatively more sisters than brothers. Using a rich household survey from Ghana, we find that on average if children had all sisters (and no brothers) they would do roughly 25-40% better on measured health indicators than if they had all brothers (and no sisters). The effects are as large as typical quantity-quality trade-offs, and they do not differ significantly by gender.

Marketing Racism: The Imperialism of Rationality, Critical Race Theory, and Some Interdisciplinary Lessons for Neoclassical Economics

Marketing Racism: The Imperialism of Rationality, Critical Race Theory, and Some Interdisciplinary Lessons for Neoclassical Economics
Virginia Journal of Social Policy and The Law, v. 5, n. 1 (1997)

Anthony M. Bertelli
01/01/1997

The Validity of Hospital Administrative Data in Monitoring Variations in Breast Cancer Surgery

The Validity of Hospital Administrative Data in Monitoring Variations in Breast Cancer Surgery
American J Public Health. 1996;86:243-245.

Kahn, L.H., Blustein, J., Arons, R.R., Yee, R.Y. & Shea, S.
01/01/1996

To assess the validity of using hospital administrative data to measure variations in surgery for early-stage breast cancer, ICD-9-CM coded information was compared with corresponding tumor registry data for 1293 breast cancer patients undergoing lumpectomy or mastectomy at a tertiary referral center from January 1989 to October 1993. Relative to "gold standard" tumor registry data, the administrative data proved 83.4% sensitive and 80.4% specific in identifying women with localized disease who would be potential candidates for lumpectomy. The proportion of women with localized disease undergoing lumpectomy in groups defined by race and insurance status was nearly identical, whichever data were used. Administrative data, which is often readily and publicly available, may be useful in studying variations in breast cancer treatment in key demographic groups.

Access to Hospitals with High-Technology Cardiac Services: How is Race Important?

Access to Hospitals with High-Technology Cardiac Services: How is Race Important?
American J Public Health. 1995;85:345-351.

Blustein, J. & Weitzman, B.C.
01/01/1995

OBJECTIVES. Relatively few hospitals in the United States offer high-technology cardiac services (cardiac catheterization, bypass surgery, or angioplasty). This study examined the association between race and admission to a hospital offering those services. METHODS. Records of 11,410 patients admitted with acute myocardial infarction to hospitals in New York State in 1986 were analyzed. RESULTS. Approximately one third of both White and Black patients presented to hospitals offering high-technology cardiac services. However, in a multivariate model adjusting for home-to-hospital distance, the White-to-Black odds ratio for likelihood of presentation to such a hospital was 1.68 (95% confidence interval = 1.42, 1.98). This discrepancy between the observed and "distance-adjusted" probabilities reflected three phenomena: (1) patients presented to nearby hospitals; (2) Blacks were more likely to live near high-technology hospitals; and (3) there were racial differences in travel patterns. For example, when the nearest hospitals did not include a high-technology hospital, Whites were more likely than Blacks to travel beyond those nearest hospitals to a high-technology hospital. CONCLUSIONS. Whites and Blacks present equally to hospitals offering high-technology cardiac services at the time of acute myocardial infarction. However, there are important underlying racial differences in geographic proximity and tendencies to travel to those hospitals.

The Dynamics of Economic Disadvantage and Children's Life Chances

The Dynamics of Economic Disadvantage and Children's Life Chances
American Sociological Review, Oct 2006, Vol. 71 Issue 5, p847-866, 20p.

Wagmiller Jr., R.L., Kuang, L., Aber, J.L., Lennon, M.C. & Alberti, P.M.
12/31/1969

Recent research suggests that child well-being and subsequent status attainment are influenced not only by the duration of exposure to economic disadvantage during childhood, but also by the timing and sequencing of exposure. Unfortunately, traditional measures of children's economic deprivation typically fail to differentiate between exposures to disadvantage at different stages in childhood and largely ignore how economic circumstances change over time. In this article, the authors propose a new method for assessing economic disadvantage during childhood that simultaneously captures children's overall levels of exposure to economic disadvantage as well as the timing and sequencing of their exposure. This new method uses finite mixture modeling to classify children into a limited number of classes with similar histories of exposure to economic disadvantage. With this new methodology, it is possible both to assess how family characteristics affect patterns of exposure to disadvantage and to directly test alternative theories about the effect that different patterns of exposure have on achievement. The authors find that extended exposure to economic deprivation during childhood is least favorable to early adulthood achievement, but that-at least for human capital formation-the timing and sequencing of poverty also are important.

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