Student Team at NYU Wagner Vying for Hult Prize
A regionally diverse team of Wagner students — David Margolis (West Bloomfield, MI), Jacqueline Burton (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.), Laura Manley (Westfield, MA), and Ellen Nadeau (Clearwater, FL) — has been selected to advance to the prestigious Hult Prize regional finals on March 1st and 2nd.
The Hult Prize, in its fourth year, is the world’s largest student competition and crowdsourcing platform for social good. Recently, it was recognized by former President Bill Clinton and TIME magazine as one of the top five new ideas for changing the world. In partnership with the Clinton Global Initiative, the Hult’s crowd-sourcing platform identifies and launches social ventures aimed at some of the most pressing global challenges. Student teams compete for the chance to secure $1 million in start-up funding to launch a sustainable social venture.
The 2013 Hult Prize focuses on global food security, and how to get safe, sufficient, affordable, and easily accessible food to the more than 200 million people who live in urban slums. This focus was personally selected by President Clinton, and it has inspired the Wagner team.
The Wagner students are developing an initiative called Rootstock -- a digital service-learning platform that unites students from various disciplines and countries to collaborate on global food security issues, and implement their learning directly in the field. The pilot curriculum is about urban agriculture.
The regional competitions take place in Boston, San Francisco, London, Dubai, and Shanghai. The Wagner team will compete in San Francisco.
If selected, the students will attend a summer business incubator for their project. A final round of competition will be hosted by the Clinton Global Initiative at its annual meeting in September, where the winning team will be selected and awarded the grand prize by President Clinton.
Go Fitch, Go
Financial Times Economists' Forum
101 Careers in Healthcare Management
Springer Publishing Company
Friedman, Leonard and Anthony R. Kovner (eds.)
Careers in health administration continue to grow despite an overall downturn in the economy. This is a field that offers tremendous job opportunities across the spectrum of healthcare delivery and payment organizations. 101 Careers in Healthcare Management is the only comprehensive guide to careers in health administration, ranging from entry-level management positions to the most senior executive opportunities. The guide clearly explains the responsibilities and duties of each of these careers and how they differ from other management jobs. It describes the integral role of healthcare administrators in creating and sustaining the systems that allow healthcare clinicians to do their best work.
The book covers educational requirements, opportunities, traditional and nontraditional career pathways, and helps students assess whether they are temperamentally and intellectually suited to a career in healthcare management. Based on the most current data from the U.S. Department of Labor and professional societies in healthcare management, the guide describes careers in 14 different healthcare and related settings. These include long-term care, physician practices, commercial insurance, consulting firms, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, information technology, and biotechnology. Additionally, the book offers numerous interviews with health administrators, from those in entry-level positions to CEOs, to more vividly portray potential careers.
Race/Ethnicity-Specific Associations of Urinary Phthalates with Childhood Body Mass in a Nationally Representative Sample
Environmental Health Perspectives. 121:501-506.
Trasande, Leonardo, Teresa M Attina, S Sathyanarayana, Adam J Spanier, Jan Blustein.
Background: Phthalates have antiandrogenic effects and may disrupt lipid and carbohydrate metabolism. Racial/ethnic subpopulations have been documented to have varying urinary phthalate concentrations and prevalences of childhood obesity.
Objective: We examined associations between urinary phthalate metabolites and body mass outcomes in a nationally representative sample of U.S. children and adolescents.
Methods: We performed stratified and whole-sample cross-sectional analyses of 2,884 children 6–19 years of age who participated in the 2003–2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Multivariable linear and logistic analyses of body mass index z-score, overweight, and obesity were performed against molar concentrations of low-molecular-weight (LMW), high-molecular-weight (HMW), and di-2-ethylhexylphthalate (DEHP) metabolites, controlling for sex, television watching, caregiver education, caloric intake, poverty–income ratio, race/ethnicity, serum cotinine, and age group. We used sensitivity analysis to examine robustness of results to removing sample weighting, normalizing phthalate concentrations for molecular weight, and examining different dietary intake covariates.
Results: In stratified, multivariable models, each log unit (roughly 3-fold) increase in LMW metabolites was associated with 21% and 22% increases in odds (95% CI: 1.05–1.39 and 1.07–1.39, respectively) of overweight and obesity, and a 0.090-SD unit increase in BMI z-score (95% CI: 0.003–0.18), among non-Hispanic blacks. Significant associations were not identified in any other racial/ethnic subgroup or in the study sample as a whole after controlling for potential confounders, associations were not significant for HMW or DEHP metabolites, and results did not change substantially with sensitivity analysis.
Conclusions: We identified a race/ethnicity–specific association of phthalates with childhood obesity in a nationally representative sample. Further study is needed to corroborate the association and evaluate genetic/epigenomic predisposition and/or increased phthalate exposure as possible explanations for differences among racial/ethnic subgroups.
Banking The World
The MIT Press
(eds.) Cull, Robert, Asli Demirgüç-Kunt and Jonathan Morduch
About 2.5 billion adults, just over half the world’s adult population, lack bank accounts. If we are to realize the goal of extending banking and other financial services to this vast “unbanked” population, we need to consider not only such product innovations as microfinance and mobile banking but also issues of data accuracy, impact assessment, risk mitigation, technology adaptation, financial literacy, and local context. In Banking the World, experts take up these topics, reporting on new research that will guide both policy makers and scholars in a broader push to extend financial markets.
The contributors consider such topics as the complexity of surveying people about their use of financial services; evidence of the impact of financial services on income; the occasional negative effects of financial services on poor households, including disincentives to work and overindebtedness; and tools for improving access such as nontraditional credit scores, financial incentives for banking, and identification technologies that can dramatically reduce loan default rates.
Synthesising Views on West's Poor Growth
Financial Times Economists' Forum, 12-12-2012
A speculative bubble in the housing market comes with Dutch disease-like symptoms.
Urban Mobility in the 21st Century
The Furman Center for Transportationan and
Moss, Mitchell L. and Hugh O'Neil
Between 2010 and 2050, the number of people living in the world’s urban areas is expected to grow by 80 percent – from 3.5 billion to 6.3 billion. This growth will pose great challenges for urban mobility – for the networks of transportation facilities and services that maintain the flow of people and commerce into, out of and within the world’s cities.
Addressing the challenge of urban mobility is essential – for maintaining cities’ historic role as the world’s principal sources of innovation and economic growth, for improving the quality of life in urban areas and for mitigating the impact of climate change. It will require creative applications of new technologies, changes in the way transportation services are organized and delivered, and innovations in urban planning and design.
This report examines several aspects of the challenge of urban mobility in the twenty-first century – the growth of the world’s urban population, and changes in the characteristics of that population; emerging patterns of urban mobility; and changes in technology design and connectivity.
Do Federally Assisted Households Have Access to High Performing Public Schools?
Poverty & Race Research Action Council
Ellen, Ingrid Gould and Horn, Keren Mertens.
A family’s housing unit provides more than simply shelter. It also provides a set of neighborhood amenities and a package of local public services, including, most critically, a local school. Yet housing and education policymakers rarely coordinate their efforts, and there has been little examination of the schools that voucher holders or other assisted households actually reach. In this project we describe the elementary schools nearest to households receiving four different forms of housing assistance in the country as a whole, in each of the 50 states, and in the 100 largest metropolitan areas.We compare the characteristics of these schools to those accessible to other comparable households. We pay particular attention to whether voucher holders are able to reach neighborhoods with higher performing schools than other low-income households in the same geographic area.
In brief, we find that assisted households as a whole are more likely to live near low-performing schools than other households. Surprisingly, Housing Choice Voucher holders do not generally live near higher performing schools than households receiving other forms of housing assistance, even though the voucher program was created, in part, to help low-income households reach a broader range of neighborhoods and schools. While voucher holders typically live near schools that are higher performing than those nearest to public housing tenants, they also typically live near schools that are slightly lower performing than those nearest to households living in Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) and Projectbased Section 8 developments and lower performing than those nearest to other poor households.
Approximating the DGP of China's Quarterly GDP
Applied Economics Volume 45, Issue 24, 2013
We demonstrate that the Data Generating Process (DGP) of China's cumulated quarterly Gross Domestic Product (GDP, current prices), as it is reported by the National Bureau of Statistics of China (NBSC), can be (very closely) approximated by a simple rule. This rule says that the annual growth in any quarter is equal to the annual growth in its previous quarter plus an error term that is only nonzero in the first quarter of each year and with small variance. We show that this rule fits the data well for the period 1992Q1–2005Q4 for total GDP. It also gives accurate forecasts for 2006Q1–2009Q4.
Why Do Chinese Households Save So Much?
VoxEU, August 28, 2012.
Using a dataset that covers 5 decades (1960–2009), we show that the main determinants of China's household savings rate are disposable income (measured by its reciprocal) and the old-age dependency rate. The income growth rate and young age dependency rate have a limited role. Our findings support the Keynesian saving hypothesis instead of Modigliani’s life cycle hypothesis, although precautionary saving motives are also important. We don’t find evidence that China's one-child policy or low interest rate drives the household savings rate. Both the sex ratio and the interest rate prove not significant. We show that the household saving curve is neither u-shaped nor hump-shaped, but positively sloped.
PhD-propositions in English and Mandarin Chinese
Transport, the Environment and Security: Making the Connection
Edward Elgar Publishing, Ltd.
Effective means of transport are critical under both normal and extreme conditions, but modern transport systems are subject to many diverse demands. This path-breaking book uniquely draws together the typically conflicting arenas of transport, the environment and security, and provides collective solutions to their respective issues and challenges.
From a primarily urban perspective, the author illustrates that the fields of transportation, environment (with an emphasis on climate change) and security (for both natural hazards and terrorism) and their interconnections remain robust areas for policy and planning. Synthesizing existing data, new analyses, and a rich set of case studies, the book uses transportation networks as a framework to explore transportation in conjunction with environment, security, and interdependencies with other infrastructure sectors. The US rail transit system, ecological corridors, cyber security, planning mechanisms and the effectiveness of technologies are among the topics explored in detail. Case studies of severe and potential impacts of natural hazards, accidents, and security breaches on transportation are presented. These cases support the analyses of the forces on transportation, land use and patterns of population change that connect, disconnect and reconnect people from their environment and security.
The book will prove a fascinating and insightful read for academics, students, and practitioners across a wide range of fields including: transport, environmental economics, environmental management, urban planning, public policy, and terrorism and security.
Changing Fortunes - How China's Boom Caused the Financial Crisis
Ph.D. thesis, August 28, 2012.
CHANGING FORTUNES - HOW CHINA’S BOOM CAUSED THE FINANCIAL CRISIS
Since the financial crisis in 2008 and the ensuing economic recession that rocked the world economy, plenty of blame has been going around. The chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, specifically singled out subprime mortgages and the Wall Street bankers that sold those mortgages. In bureaucratic jargon it is often dubbed a regulatory oversight failure. This study, however, shows that the Federal Reserve’s loose monetary policy at the start of the new millennium triggered the U.S. refinancing boom in 2003 and 2004, spurring personal consumption expenditures through home equity extraction. The U.S. spending binge boosted economic growth and savings in China and oil-exporting nations. The build-up of savings in China, which are heavily skewed towards fixed income assets, depressed interest rates worldwide from 2004 on. The decline in long-term interest rates accounts for the U.S. housing boom. Despite popular belief, the proliferation of exotic mortgage products can hardly be faulted for the U.S. housing boom and eventual bust.
The Fed Should Buy Stocks instead of Bonds
Financial Times Economists' Blog, August 6, 2012
The Federal Reserve may just as well be putting the cart before the horse with a third round of quantitative easing. In that case Bernanke would be wise, if he were to employ the printing presses following the FOMC’s September meeting, to buy stocks instead.
From Endeavor to Achievement and Back Again: Government's Greatest Hits in Peril
In To Promote the General Welfare: The Case for Big Government. Steven Conn, Ed., Oxford Univeristy Press
Paul C. Light
"These 10 articles from leading scholars address federal government activism in such areas as health, education, transportation, and the arts. In some areas, federal involvement has been direct; for example, while school public systems are governed locally, Washington provides about 10% of k–12 funding. Similarly, antipoverty programs, such as the New Deal’s Social Security Act and Aid for Dependent Children, have played a major role in reducing the poverty rate from around 40% in 1900 to 11.2% in 1974. At other times, Washington has exerted influence more subtly, through regulations and research. Examples include the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act, which mandated the separation of investment and commercial banking and the WWII-era research that yielded compounds to prevent and cure malaria, syphilis, and tuberculosis. Further, as public policy scholar Paul C. Light points out in a fascinating concluding piece, more than two-thirds of leading governmental initiatives have been supported by both Democratic and Republican administrations. However, Light adds, the massive tax cut in 2001 “continue[s] to constrain federal investment in problem solving.” The scholars brought together by Ohio State historian Conn (History’s Shadow) persuasively demonstrate how the growth of “big government” throughout the 20th century has benefited ordinary Americans so comprehensively and unobtrusively that they have often taken it for granted."
Why Do Nonprofits Retain Unrestricted Net Assets? Evidence from Panel Data, and Policy Implications?
China's Reliable Rise
Project Syndicate, July 25, 2012.
if China’s official growth estimates are untrustworthy, why do world stock markets continue to respond to them?
Evaluating the Global Crisis
Public Administration Review, Volume 72, Issue 6, Pages 779 - 949, November/December 2012
Does News on Real Chinese GDP Growth Impact Stock Markets?
Journal for Applied Financial Economics, 2011, 21, 61–66.
Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in China follows a random walk. Also, it has often been suggested that China ‘cooks its books’, that is to say that governmental officials in China manipulate economic statistics, such as GDP growth rate to present the outside world a rosy picture (Foreign Policy, 3 September 2009). If such unreliability is known to stock traders, news on GDP should not impact stock market fluctuations or their volatility. We test this hypothesis for 12 series with daily stock market returns for the years 2006 to and including 2009.
Affirmative Action for Europe
In Le Monde on December 2, 2005.
The violence in France, fueled by staggering unemployment and ruthless policing, reflects the utter failure of the French model of social integration. But violence elsewhere in Europe, such as the London bombings of July and the brutal murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh on the streets of Amsterdam in November 2004, had already made Europe’s failure to integrate its minorities painfully clear.