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The World Cities Project: Rationale, Organization, and Design for Comparison of Megacity Health Systems

The World Cities Project: Rationale, Organization, and Design for Comparison of Megacity Health Systems
Journal of Urban Health: Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine, vol. 79, no. 4, December

Rodwin, V.G. & Gusmano, M.K.
12/01/2002

This article provides an overview of the World Cities Project (WCP), our rationale for it, our framework for comparative analysis, and an overview of current studies in progress. The WCP uses New York, London, Paris, and Tokyo as a laboratory in which to study urban health, particularly the evolution and current organization of public health infrastructure, as well as the health status and quality of life in these cities. Comparing world cities in wealthier nations is important because of (1) global trends in urbanization, emerging health risks, and population aging; (2) the dominant influence of these cities on “megacities” of developing nations; and (3) the existence of data and scholarship about these world cities, which provides a foundation for comparing their health systems and health. We argue that, in contrast to nation-states, world cities provide opportunities for more refined comparisons and cross-national learning. To provide a framework for WCP, we define an urban core for each city and examine the similarities and differences among them. Our current studies shed light on inequalities in health care use and health status, the importance of neighborhoods in protecting population health, and quality of life in diverse urban communities.

Telecommuting and the Demand for Urban Living: A Preliminary Look at White-Collar Workers

Telecommuting and the Demand for Urban Living: A Preliminary Look at White-Collar Workers
Urban Studies 39(4),

Ellen, I.G. & Hempstead, K.
01/01/2002

With recent advances in communications technology, telecommuting appears to be an increasingly viable option for many workers. For urban researchers, the key question is whether this growing ability to telecommute is altering residential location decisions and leading households to live in smaller, lower-density and more remote locations. Using the Work Schedules supplement from the 1997 Current Population Study, this paper explores this question. Specifically, it examines the prevalence of telecommuting, explores the relationship between telecommuting and the residential choices of white-collar workers and, finally, speculates about future impacts on residential patterns and urban form.

Welfare Reform in Cleveland: Implementation, Effects, and Experiences of Poor Families and Neighborhoods

Welfare Reform in Cleveland: Implementation, Effects, and Experiences of Poor Families and Neighborhoods
MDRC,

Brock, T., Coulton, C., London, A., Polit, D. Richburg-Hayes, L., Scott, E. & Verma, N.
01/01/2002

The 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) ushered in profound changes in welfare policy, including a five-year time limit on federally funded cash assistance (known as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF), stricter work requirements, and greater flexibility for states in designing and managing programs. The law’s supporters hoped that it would spark innovation and reduce welfare use; critics feared that it would lead to cuts in benefits and widespread suffering. Whether PRWORA’s reforms succeed or fail depends largely on what happens in big cities, where poverty and welfare receipt are most concentrated. This report — one of a series from MDRC’s Project on Devolution and Urban Change — examines how welfare reform unfolded in Ohio’s largest city and county: Cleveland, in Cuyahoga County. Ohio’s TANF program features one of the country’s shortest time limits (36 months) and has a strong emphasis on moving welfare recipients into employment. This study uses field research, surveys and interviews of current and former welfare recipients, state and county welfare and employment records, and indicators of social and economic trends to assess TANF’s implementation and effects. Because of the strong economy and ample funding for services in the late 1990s, it captures welfare reform in the best of times, while also focusing on the poorest families and neighborhoods.

Low-Income and Low-Skilled Workers' Involvement in Nonstandard Employment

Low-Income and Low-Skilled Workers' Involvement in Nonstandard Employment
Washington, D.C.: The Urban Institute

Lane, J., K. Mikelson, P. Sharkey, and D. Wissoker
10/01/2001

The role of alternative work arrangements—temporary help, independent contractors, on-call workers, and contract company workers—has caught the attention of both policymakers and academic researchers alike. Current research indicates that 1 in 10 workers are employed in one of these four alternative work arrangements and employment in the temporary help services industry grew five times as fast as overall non-farm employment between 1972 and 1997. This growth is likely to have important implications for low-income workers, particularly since the establishment of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant, authorized by the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of 1996, which dramatically transformed the nation's welfare system. This welfare reform, in conjunction with a strong economy, has resulted in an increasing number of low-income individuals entering the labor force. Thus, alternative work arrangements, especially for those with limited work histories, might be expected to be a natural pathway to work for such workers. However, little is known about the prevalence of alternative work arrangements as a gateway into the labor force or the resulting labor market outcomes for low-income workers and those at risk of welfare dependency. The goal of this project was to examine the role of alternative work arrangements in today's labor market, paying particular attention to the effect of such arrangements on low-income workers in alternative arrangements and those at risk of being on public assistance.

A Randomized Trial of Nurse Specialist Home Care for Women with High Risk Pregnancies: Outcomes and Costs

A Randomized Trial of Nurse Specialist Home Care for Women with High Risk Pregnancies: Outcomes and Costs
American Journal of Managed Care, Volume 7, Number 8, August

Brooten, D., Youngblut, J., Brown L., Finkler, S. et. al.
08/01/2001

OBJECTIVE: To examine prenatal, maternal, and infant outcomes and costs through 1 year after delivery using a model of prenatal care for women at high risk of delivering low-birthweight infants in which half of the prenatal care was provided in women’s homes by nurse specialists with master’s degrees. STUDY DESIGN: Randomized clinical trial. PATIENTS AND METHODS: A sample of 173 women (and 194 infants) with high-risk pregnancies (gestational or pregestational diabetes mellitus, chronic hypertension, preterm labor, or high risk of preterm labor) were randomly assigned to the intervention group (85 women and 94 infants) or the control group (88 women and 100 infants). Control women received usual prenatal care. Intervention women received half of their prenatal care in their homes, with teaching, counseling, telephone outreach, daily telephone availability, and a postpartum home visit by nurse specialists with physician backup. RESULTS:For the full sample, mean maternal age was 27 years; 85.5% of women were single mothers, 36.4% had less than a high school education, 93.6% were African American, and 93.6% had public health insurance, with no differences between groups on these variables. The intervention group had lower fetal/infant mortality vs the control group (2 vs 9), 11 fewer preterm infants, more twin pregnancies carried to term (77.7% vs 33.3%), fewer prenatal hospitalizations (41 vs 49), fewer infant rehospitalizations (18 vs 24), and a savings of more than 750 total hospital days and $2,880,000. CONCLUSION: This model of care provides a reasoned solution to improving pregnancy and infant outcomes while reducing healthcare costs.

Job Loss and Employment Behavior of Older Workers

Job Loss and Employment Behavior of Older Workers
Journal of Labor Economics, April

Chan, S. & Stevens, A.H.
04/01/2001

This article uses data from the Health and Retirement Study to examine the employment patterns of workers aged 50 and above who have experienced an involuntary job loss. Hazard models for returning to work and for exiting post-displacement employment are estimated and used to examine work patterns for 10 years following a job loss. Our findings show that a job loss results in large and lasting effects on future employment probabilities. Four years after job losses at age 55, the employment rate of displaced workers remains 20 percentage points below the employment rate of similar nondisplaced workers.

Women of Color in New York City: The Challenges of the New Global Economy

Women of Color in New York City: The Challenges of the New Global Economy
First Annual  Status of Women of Color Report.

Stafford, W.W.
03/01/2001

The first Status of Women of Color Report originated out of the need to provide data and research focusing on women of color. By drawing attention to the trends seen in income, unemployment, welfare, and incarceration for women of color in New York city , this report summarizes their achievements and lack of it during the 1990's.

Decomposing the Black-White Wealth Gap: The Role of Parental Resources, Inheritance, and Investment Dynamics

Decomposing the Black-White Wealth Gap: The Role of Parental Resources, Inheritance, and Investment Dynamics
Sociological Inquiry. 2001, Vol. 71, pp. 39-66.

Conley, D.
01/01/2001

Much research has shown that even after controlling for income, African Americans suffer from drastically lower net worths than their white counterparts; these differences in net worth have important implications for the overall well-being of blacks and whites. If not directly from labor market disadvantages-i.e., income differentials-then from what does this racial gap in wealth arise? The current study assesses two complementary accounts of this race difference in asset holdings. The first, the historical legacy thesis, suggests that net wealth differences in the current generation are largely a result of discrimination in past generations; that is, they can be traced to the "head start" that whites have enjoyed in accumulating assets and passing them on. The second theory, the contemporary dynamics thesis, holds that current dynamics of institutional racism in the housing and credit markets are more responsible for the gap. The current study tests the relative impact of multi-generational forces and contemporary property and credit dynamics by using two-generational data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. It finds that parental wealth and income levels and inheritance all have a significant impact on the wealth levels of the current generation net of respondent socioeconomic characteristics; however, parental wealth and inheritance fail to explain the black-white gap. Further, this study shows that even predicting net worth from that same family's net worth five years prior (also controlling for savings during the interim), there remains a significantly negative effect of African American race. However, breaking out initial net worth into asset types shows that it may be different investment types and returns that explain the difference in asset accumulation over a five-year period.

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