Inequality

The Knowledge Bank

The Knowledge Bank
in William Easterly, editor, Reimagining Foreign Aid. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Morduch, J.
07/01/2008

The urgency of reducing poverty in the developing world has been the subject of a public campaign by such unlikely policy experts as George Clooney, Alicia Keyes, Elton John, Angelina Jolie, and Bono. And yet accompanying the call for more foreign aid is an almost universal discontent with the effectiveness of the existing aid system. In Reinventing Foreign Aid, development expert William Easterly has gathered top scholars in the field to discuss how to improve foreign aid. These authors, Easterly points out, are not claiming that their ideas will (to invoke a current slogan) Make Poverty History. Rather, they take on specific problems and propose some hard-headed solutions.

Race/Ethnicity and Patient Confidence to Self-manage Cardiovascular Disease

Race/Ethnicity and Patient Confidence to Self-manage Cardiovascular Disease
Medical Care. 2008; 46(9):924-9

Blustein, J., Valentine, M., Mead, H. & Regenstein, M.
04/01/2008

Background: Minority populations bear a disproportionate burden of chronic disease, due to higher disease prevalence and greater morbidity and mortality. Recent research has shown that several factors, including confidence to self-manage care, are associated with better health behaviors and outcomes among those with chronic disease.

Objective: To examine the association between minority status and confidence to self-manage cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Study Sample: Survey respondents admitted to 10 hospitals participating in the Expecting Success program, with a diagnosis of CVD, during January-September 2006 (n = 1107).

Results: Minority race/ethnicity was substantially associated with lower confidence to self-manage CVD, with 36.5% of Hispanic patients, 30.7% of Black patients, and 16.0% of white patients reporting low confidence (P < 0.001). However, in multivariate analysis controlling for socioeconomic status and clinical severity, minority status was not predictive of low confidence.

Conclusions: Although there is an association between race/ethnicity and confidence to self-manage care, that relationship is explained by the association of race/ethnicity with socioeconomic status and clinical severity.

Neighborhood Selection and the Social Reproduction of Concentrated Racial Inequality

Neighborhood Selection and the Social Reproduction of Concentrated Racial Inequality
Demography, Feb 2008, Vol. 45 Issue 1, p1-29, 29p.

Sampson, R.J. & Sharkey, P.
01/01/2008

In this paper, we consider neighborhood selection as a social process central to the reproduction of racial inequality in neighborhood attainment. We formulate a multilevel model that decomposes multiple sources of stability and change in longitudinal trajectories of achieved neighborhood income among nearly 4,000 Chicago families followed for up to seven years wherever they moved in the United States. Even after we adjust for a comprehensive set of fixed and time-varying covariates, racial inequality in neighborhood attainment is replicated by movers and stayers alike. We also study the emergent consequences of mobility pathways for neighborhood-level structure. The temporal sorting by individuals of different racial and ethnic groups combines to yield a structural pattern of flows between neighborhoods that generates virtually nonoverlapping income distributions and little exchange between minority and white areas. Selection and racially shaped hierarchies are thus mutually constituted and account for an apparent equilibrium of neighborhood inequality.

Reversal of Fortunes: Low Income Neighborhoods in the 1990s

Reversal of Fortunes: Low Income Neighborhoods in the 1990s
Urban Studies, 45: 845-869.

O'Regan, K. & Ellen, I.G.
01/01/2008

This paper offers new empirical evidence about the prospects of lower-income, US urban neighbourhoods during the 1990s. Using the Neighborhood Change Database, which offers a balanced panel of census tracts with consistent boundaries from 1970 to 2000 for all metropolitan areas in the US, evidence is found of a significant shift in the fortunes of lower-income, urban neighbourhoods during the 1990s. There was a notable increase in the 1990s in the proportion of lower-income and poor neighbourhoods experiencing a gain in economic status. Secondly, in terms of geographical patterns, it is found that this upgrading occurred throughout the country, not just in selected regions or cities. Finally, it is found that the determinants of changes in lower-income, urban neighbourhoods shifted during the 1990s. In contrast to earlier decades, both the share of Blacks and the poverty rate were positively related to subsequent economic gain in these neighbourhoods during the 1990s.

The Intergenerational Transmission of Context

The Intergenerational Transmission of Context
American Journal of Sociology, Jan 2008, Vol. 113 Issue 4, p931-969, 39p.

Sharkey, P.
01/01/2008

This article draws on the extensive literature on economic and social mobility in America to examine intergenerational contextual mobility, defined as the degree to which inequalities in neighborhood environments persist across generations. PSID data are analyzed to reveal remarkable continuity in neighborhood economic status from one generation to the next. The primary consequence of persistent neighborhood stratification is that the racial inequality in America's neighborhoods that existed a generation ago has been transmitted, for the most part unchanged, to the current generation. More than 70% of black children who grow up in the poorest quarter of American neighborhoods remain in the poorest quarter of neighborhoods as adults, compared to 40% of whites. The results suggest that racial inequality in neighborhood economic status is substantially underestimated with short-term measures of neighborhood income or poverty and, second, that the steps taken to end racial discrimination in the housing and lending markets have not enabled black Americans to advance out of America's poorest neighborhoods.

The Effects of Acculturation on Asthma Burden in a Community Sample of Mexican American Schoolchildren

The Effects of Acculturation on Asthma Burden in a Community Sample of Mexican American Schoolchildren
American Journal of Public Health, Jul 2007, Vol. 97 Issue 7, p1290-1296, 7p.

Martin, M.A., Shalowitz, M.U., Mijanovich, T., Clark-Kauffman, E., Perez, E. & Berry, C.
07/01/2007

We sought to determine whether low acculturation among Mexican American caregivers protects their children against asthma. Methods. Data were obtained from an observational study of urban pediatric asthma. Dependent variables were children's diagnosed asthma and total (diagnosed plus possible) asthma. Regression models were controlled for caregivers' level of acculturation, education, marital status, depression, life stress, and social support and children's insurance. Results. Caregivers' level of acculturation was associated with children's diagnosed asthma (P=.025) and total asthma (P=.078) in bivariate analyses. In multivariate models, protective effects of caregivers' level of acculturation were mediated by the other covariates. Independent predictors of increased diagnosed asthma included caregivers' life stress (odds ratio [OR]= 1.12, P=.005) and children's insurance, both public (OR=4.71, P=.009) and private (OR = 2.87, P=.071). Only caregiver's life stress predicted increased total asthma (OR = 1.21, P=.001). Conclusions. The protective effect of caregivers' level of acculturation on diagnosed and total asthma for Mexican American children was mediated by social factors, especially caregivers' life stress. Among acculturation measures, foreign birth was more predictive of disease status than was language use or years in country. Increased acculturation among immigrant groups does not appear to lead to greater asthma risk.

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