Katherine M. O'Regan

Katherine M. O'Regan
Professor of Public Policy and Planning

Katherine O'Regan is Professor of Public Policy and Planning, and Director of the Public and Nonprofit Management and Analysis Program (PNP) at the Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, New York University.  She holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of California at Berkeley and spent ten years teaching at the Yale School of Management prior to joining the Wagner faculty in 2000. She teaches courses in microeconomics, poverty, program evaluation, and urban economics, and has received teaching awards from Berkeley, Yale, and NYU.

Her primary research interests are at the intersection of poverty and space --the conditions and fortunes of poor neighborhoods and those who live in them.  Her current research includes work on a variety of affordable housing topics, from whether the Low Income Tax Credit contributes to increased economic and racial segregation, to whether the presence of housing voucher households contributes to neighborhood crime rates.   Recent work also includes a large project (with Ingrid Gould Ellen) examining neighborhood transitions over the past few decades, including possible broad causes (changes in federal housing policy, and changes in crime, in particular), and outcomes (including possible displacement, and improvements in neighborhood conditions).  Among others, she serves on the board of The Reinvestment Fund, the advisory board for NYUs McSilver Instute for Poverty Policy and Research, and the editorial board for the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management.

Semester Course
Spring 2013 PADM-GP.2445.001 Poverty, Inequality, and Policy

This course examines the nature and extent of poverty primarily in the U.S. but with a comparative perspective (developed countries in Europe). It considers possible causes and consequences, and the antipoverty effects of existing and proposed policies.

In this course, we consider what is poverty – how do we measure it, what does it mean to be poor? Why is it so persistent, and so concentrated on particular groups? Is poverty passed on from one generation to the next? How do labor markets, family structure, and social organization come into play in shaping poverty? How successful have the array of anti poverty efforts been and which look most promising going forward?


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Fall 2012 CORE-GP.1018.001 Microeconomics for Public Management, Planning, and Policy Analysis

The primary purpose of the microeconomics core course is to enable you to use microeconomic thinking, concepts and tools in your professional public service work. Accomplishing this also requires refreshing and strengthening your quantitative skills.

The course begins with the basics of supply and demand and market operations, and uses this as the context for considering consumer and organizational decisions within a given market structure. The course builds to applying economic analysis to a variety of public issues such as the effects of taxation, the market structure of health care, the impacts of the minimum wage, the effects of international trade and various approaches to environmental externalities.

By the end of the course you should be able to articulate the economic context and analysis of a public problem, use economic concepts in managerial and policy decisions, and progress to second level courses confident of your understanding of microeconomics and its tools.


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Fall 2012 CORE-GP.1018.003 Microeconomics for Public Management, Planning, and Policy Analysis

The primary purpose of the microeconomics core course is to enable you to use microeconomic thinking, concepts and tools in your professional public service work. Accomplishing this also requires refreshing and strengthening your quantitative skills.

The course begins with the basics of supply and demand and market operations, and uses this as the context for considering consumer and organizational decisions within a given market structure. The course builds to applying economic analysis to a variety of public issues such as the effects of taxation, the market structure of health care, the impacts of the minimum wage, the effects of international trade and various approaches to environmental externalities.

By the end of the course you should be able to articulate the economic context and analysis of a public problem, use economic concepts in managerial and policy decisions, and progress to second level courses confident of your understanding of microeconomics and its tools.


Download Syllabus
Fall 2011 CORE-GP.1018.002 Microeconomics for Public Management, Planning, and Policy Analysis

The primary purpose of the microeconomics core course is to enable you to use microeconomic thinking, concepts and tools in your professional public service work. Accomplishing this also requires refreshing and strengthening your quantitative skills.

The course begins with the basics of supply and demand and market operations, and uses this as the context for considering consumer and organizational decisions within a given market structure. The course builds to applying economic analysis to a variety of public issues such as the effects of taxation, the market structure of health care, the impacts of the minimum wage, the effects of international trade and various approaches to environmental externalities.

By the end of the course you should be able to articulate the economic context and analysis of a public problem, use economic concepts in managerial and policy decisions, and progress to second level courses confident of your understanding of microeconomics and its tools.


Download Syllabus
Fall 2011 CORE-GP.1018.002 Microeconomics for Public Management, Planning, and Policy Analysis

The primary purpose of the microeconomics core course is to enable you to use microeconomic thinking, concepts and tools in your professional public service work. Accomplishing this also requires refreshing and strengthening your quantitative skills.

The course begins with the basics of supply and demand and market operations, and uses this as the context for considering consumer and organizational decisions within a given market structure. The course builds to applying economic analysis to a variety of public issues such as the effects of taxation, the market structure of health care, the impacts of the minimum wage, the effects of international trade and various approaches to environmental externalities.

By the end of the course you should be able to articulate the economic context and analysis of a public problem, use economic concepts in managerial and policy decisions, and progress to second level courses confident of your understanding of microeconomics and its tools.


Download Syllabus
Spring 2011 PADM-GP.2445.001 Poverty, Inequality, and Policy

This course examines the nature and extent of poverty primarily in the U.S. but with a comparative perspective (developed countries in Europe). It considers possible causes and consequences, and the antipoverty effects of existing and proposed policies.

In this course, we consider what is poverty – how do we measure it, what does it mean to be poor? Why is it so persistent, and so concentrated on particular groups? Is poverty passed on from one generation to the next? How do labor markets, family structure, and social organization come into play in shaping poverty? How successful have the array of anti poverty efforts been and which look most promising going forward?


Download Syllabus
Fall 2010 CORE-GP.1018.001 Microeconomics for Public Management, Planning, and Policy Analysis

The primary purpose of the microeconomics core course is to enable you to use microeconomic thinking, concepts and tools in your professional public service work. Accomplishing this also requires refreshing and strengthening your quantitative skills.

The course begins with the basics of supply and demand and market operations, and uses this as the context for considering consumer and organizational decisions within a given market structure. The course builds to applying economic analysis to a variety of public issues such as the effects of taxation, the market structure of health care, the impacts of the minimum wage, the effects of international trade and various approaches to environmental externalities.

By the end of the course you should be able to articulate the economic context and analysis of a public problem, use economic concepts in managerial and policy decisions, and progress to second level courses confident of your understanding of microeconomics and its tools.


Download Syllabus
Spring 2010 PADM-GP.2445.001 Poverty, Inequality, and Policy

This course examines the nature and extent of poverty primarily in the U.S. but with a comparative perspective (developed countries in Europe). It considers possible causes and consequences, and the antipoverty effects of existing and proposed policies.

In this course, we consider what is poverty – how do we measure it, what does it mean to be poor? Why is it so persistent, and so concentrated on particular groups? Is poverty passed on from one generation to the next? How do labor markets, family structure, and social organization come into play in shaping poverty? How successful have the array of anti poverty efforts been and which look most promising going forward?


Download Syllabus
Spring 2010 PADM-GP.2445.001 Poverty, Inequality, and Policy

This course examines the nature and extent of poverty primarily in the U.S. but with a comparative perspective (developed countries in Europe). It considers possible causes and consequences, and the antipoverty effects of existing and proposed policies.

In this course, we consider what is poverty – how do we measure it, what does it mean to be poor? Why is it so persistent, and so concentrated on particular groups? Is poverty passed on from one generation to the next? How do labor markets, family structure, and social organization come into play in shaping poverty? How successful have the array of anti poverty efforts been and which look most promising going forward?


Download Syllabus
Fall 2008 CORE-GP.1018.003 Microeconomics for Public Management, Planning, and Policy Analysis

The primary purpose of the microeconomics core course is to enable you to use microeconomic thinking, concepts and tools in your professional public service work. Accomplishing this also requires refreshing and strengthening your quantitative skills.

The course begins with the basics of supply and demand and market operations, and uses this as the context for considering consumer and organizational decisions within a given market structure. The course builds to applying economic analysis to a variety of public issues such as the effects of taxation, the market structure of health care, the impacts of the minimum wage, the effects of international trade and various approaches to environmental externalities.

By the end of the course you should be able to articulate the economic context and analysis of a public problem, use economic concepts in managerial and policy decisions, and progress to second level courses confident of your understanding of microeconomics and its tools.


Download Syllabus
Date Publication/Paper
2013

De la Roca, Jorge, Ingrid Gould Ellen and Katherine M. O'Regan. 2013. Race and neighborhoods in the 21st century: What does segregation mean today? Regional Science and Urban Economics (2013), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.regsciurbeco.2013.09.006
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Abstract

Noting the decline in segregation between blacks and whites over the past several decades, some recent work argues that racial segregation is no longer a concern in the 21st century. In response, this paper revisits some of the concerns that John Quigley raised about racial segregation and neighborhoods to assess their relevance today. We note that while segregation levels between blacks and whites have certainly declined, they remain quite high; Hispanic and Asian segregation have meanwhile remained unchanged. Further, our analysis shows that the neighborhood environments of minorities continue to be highly unequal to those enjoyed by whites. Blacks and Hispanics continue to live among more disadvantaged neighbors, to have access to lower performing schools, and to be exposed to more violent crime. Further, these differences are amplified in more segregated metropolitan areas.

Ellen, Ingrid, Katherine O’Regan and Keren Horn 2013. Why Do Higher Income Households Move Into Low Income Neighborhoods: Pioneering or Thrift? Urban Studies, September 2013; vol. 50, 12: pp. 2478-2495.
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Abstract

This paper offers several hypotheses about which US higher-income households choose to move into low-income neighbourhoods and why. It first explores whether the probability that a household moves into a relatively low-income neighbourhood (an RLIN move) varies with predicted household and metropolitan area characteristics. Secondly, it estimates a residential choice model to examine the housing and neighbourhood preferences of the households making such moves. Thirdly, it explores responses to survey questions about residential choices. Evidence is found that, in the US, households who place less value on neighbourhood services and those who face greater constraints on their choices are more likely to make an RLIN move. No evidence is found that households making RLIN moves are choosing neighbourhoods that are more accessible to employment. Rather, it is found that households making RLIN moves appear to place less weight on neighbourhood amenities than other households and more weight on housing costs.

Horn, Keren and Katherine O'Regan 2013. What Can We Learn About the Low Income Housing Tax Credit By Examining the Tenants? Housing Policy Debate.
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Abstract

Using tenant-level data from 18 states that represent almost 40% of all Low-Income Housing Tax Credit units, this article examines tenant incomes, rental assistance, and rent burdens to shed light on key questions about our largest federal supply-side affordable housing program. Specifically, what are the incomes of the tenants, and does this program reach those with extremely low incomes? What rent burdens are experienced, and is economic diversity within developments achieved? We find that approximately 45% of tenants have extremely low incomes, and the overwhelming majority of such tenants also receive some form of rental assistance. Rent burdens are lower than that for renters with similar incomes nationally but generally higher than that presumed for housing programs of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Rent burdens vary greatly by income level and are lowered by the sizable share of owners who charge below federal maximum rents. Finally, we find evidence of both economically diverse developments and those with concentrations of households with extremely low incomes.

2012

Ellen, Ingrid, Katherine O’Regan and Michael C. Lens 2012. American Murder Revisited: Do Housing Vouchers Cause Crime? Housing Policy Debate 22(4):1-22
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Abstract

Potential neighbors often express worries that Housing Choice Voucher holders heighten crime. Yet, no research systematically examines the link between the presence of voucher holders in a neighborhood and crime. Our article aims to do just this, using longitudinal, neighborhood-level crime, and voucher utilization data in 10 large US cities. We test whether the presence of additional voucher holders leads to elevated crime, controlling for neighborhood fixed effects, time-varying neighborhood characteristics, and trends in the broader sub-city area in which the neighborhood is located. In brief, crime tends to be higher in census tracts with more voucher households, but that positive relationship becomes insignificant after we control for unobserved differences across census tracts and falls further when we control for trends in the broader area. We find far more evidence for an alternative causal story; voucher use in a neighborhood tends to increase in tracts that have seen increases in crime, suggesting that voucher holders tend to move into neighborhoods where crime is elevated.

Ellen, I.G., O'Regan, K., Schwartz, A.E. & Stiefel, L. 2012. Racial Segregation in Multiethnic Schools: Adding Immigrants to the Analysis In William Tate, Ed., Research on Schools, Neighborhoods and Communities: Toward Civic Responsibility. Rowman and Littlefield Publishing. 2012, pp. 67-82.
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Abstract

Racial segregation in America's schools remains persistently and disturbingly high, despite decades of institutional and policy changes. This paper considers one recent change common to many urban school districts - immigration - and examines whether and how the presence of a large number of immigrant students affects racial segregation. Exploiting a student-level data set including all elementary and middle school students in New York City's public schools, sixteen percent of whom are immigrants, we conduct a series of descriptive and exploratory analysis of possible avenues of influence. While it is unclear ex ante, both theoretically and compositionally, whether the presence of immigrants should increase or decrease inter-racial interaction, our results point to a decrease. Racial stratification of foreign-born students is generally higher than that of their native-born counterparts, and this is not solely attributable to income or language-skill differences. And while this heightened segregation decreases with time in the school system, the foreign-born/native-born differential is never eliminated. Importantly, we do find that there are very large differences within the immigrant population. Thus, the effect of immigrants on patterns of racial interaction in any district will depend crucially not only on the race of the immigrants, but also on their particular country of origin.

Ellen, Ingrid, Katherine O’Regan and Keren Horn 2012. Pathways to Integration: Examining Changes in the Prevalence of Racially Integrated Neighborhoods Cityscape: A Journal of Policy Development and Research 14(3)33-53
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Abstract

Few researchers have studied integrated neighborhoods, yet these neighborhoods offer an important window into broader patterns of segregation.  We explore changes in racial integration in recent decades using decennial census tract data from 1990, 2000, and 2010.  We begin by examining changes in the prevalence of racially integrated neighborhoods and find significant growth in the presence of integrated neighborhoods during this time period, with the share of metropolitan neighborhoods that are integrated increasing from just under 20 percent to just over 30 percent.  We then shed light on the pathways through which these changes have occurred.  We find both a small increase in the number of neighborhoods becoming integrated for the first time during this period and a more sizable increase in the share of integrated neighborhoods that remained integrated.  Finally, we offer insights about which neighborhoods become integrated in the first place and which remain stably integrated over time.

2011

Ellen, Ingrid, Michael C. Lens, and Katherine O’Regan 2011. Neighborhood Crime Exposure Among Housing Choice Voucher Households
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Abstract

Ellen, Ingrid and Katherine O’Regan 2011. How Neighborhoods Change: Entry, Exit, and Enhancement Regional Science and Urban Economics, 41 (2), 2011: 89-97.
Abstract

 

This paper examines whether the economic gains experienced by low-income neighborhoods in the 1990s followed patterns of classic gentrification (as frequently assumed) -- that is, through the in migration of higher income white, households, and out migration (or displacement) of the original lower income, usually minority residents, spurring racial transition in the process. Using the internal Census version of the American Housing Survey, we find no evidence of heightened displacement, even among the most vulnerable, original residents. While the entrance of higher income homeowners was an important source of income gains, so too was the selective exit of lower income homeowners. Original residents also experienced differential gains in income and reported greater increases in their satisfaction with their neighborhood than found in other low-income neighborhoods. Finally, gaining neighborhoods were able to avoid the losses of white households that non-gaining low income tracts experienced, and were thereby more racially stable rather than less.

Ellen, Ingrid, Michael C. Lens, and Katherine O’Regan 2011. Do Vouchers Help Low-Income Households Live in Safer Neighborhoods? Evidence on the Housing Choice Voucher Program Cityscape: A Journal of Policy Development and Research 13(3) 135-159.
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Abstract

This article examines an important potential justification for the Housing Choice Voucher Program, namely, whether participants are able to access safer neighborhoods. Using neighborhood crime and subsidized housing data for 91 large cities, we examined whether voucher holders are able to reach communities with lower levels of crime. We found that, in 2000, voucher households occupied neighborhoods that were about as safe as those housing the average poor renter household and were significantly safer than those in which households assisted through place-based programs lived. Notably, Black voucher holders lived in significantly lower crime neighborhoods than poor households of the same race, but Hispanic and White voucher holders did not. In a separate analysis of seven cities, we found that voucher holders lived in considerably safer neighborhoods in 2008 than they did in 1998, largely because crime rates fell more in the neighborhoods where voucher holders live than in other neighborhoods.

Ellen, Ingrid and Katherine O'Regan 2011. Exploring Changes in Low-Income Neighborhoods in the 1990s In Harriet Newburger, Eugenia Birch and Susan Wachter, Eds., Neighborhood and Life Chances: How Place Matters in Modern America.  University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011, pp. 103-121.
Abstract

Ellen, Ingrid and Katherine O'Regan 2011. Gentrification: Perspectives of Economists and Planners In Nancy Brooks, Kieran Donaghy, and Gerrit Knaap, Eds., Handbook of Urban Economics and Planning.  Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming
Abstract

Horn, Keren and Katherine O’Regan 2011. The Low Income Housing Tax Credit and Racial Segregation Housing Policy Debate 21(3):443-473
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Abstract

This paper addresses a critical but almost unexamined aspect of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program — whether its use (and in particular, the siting of developments in high-poverty/high-minority neighborhoods), is associated with increased racial segregation in the metropolitan area. Using data from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Census, supplemented with data on the racial composition of LIHTC tenants in three states, we examine three potential channels through which the LIHTC could affect segregation: where LIHTC units are built relative to where other low income households live, who lives in these tax credit developments, and changes in neighborhood racial composition in neighborhoods that receive tax credit projects. The evidence on each of these channels suggests that LIHTC projects do not contribute to increased segregation, even those in high poverty neighborhoods. We find that increases in the use of tax credits are associated with declines in racial segregation at the metropolitan level.

2010

Ellen, I.G. & O'Regan, K. 2010. Welcome to the Neighborhood: What Can Regional Science Contribute to the Study of Neighborhoods? JOURNAL OF REGIONAL SCIENCE, VOL. 50, NO. 1, 2010, pp. 363-379
Abstract

We argue in this paper that neighborhoods are highly relevant for the types of issues at the heart of regional science. First, residential and economic activity takes place in particular locations, and particular neighborhoods. Many attributes of those neighborhood environments matter for this activity, from the physical amenities, to the quality of the public and private services received. Second, those neighborhoods vary in their placement in the larger region and this broader arrangement of neighborhoods is particularly important for location choices, commuting behavior and travel patterns. Third, sorting across these neighborhoods by race and income may well matter for educational and labor market outcomes, important components of a region's overall economic activity. For each of these areas we suggest a series of unanswered questions that would benefit from more attention. Focused on neighborhood characteristics themselves, there are important gaps in our understanding of how neighborhoods change - the causes and the consequences. In terms of the overall pattern of neighborhoods and resulting commuting patterns, this connects directly to current concerns about environmental sustainability and there is much need for research relevant to policy makers. And in terms of segregation and sorting across neighborhoods, work is needed on better spatial measures. In addition, housing market causes and consequences for local economic activity are under researched. We expand on each of these, finishing with some suggestions on how newly available data, with improved spatial identifiers, may enable regional scientists to answer some of these research questions.

O'Regan, K. & Ellen, I.G. 2010. Welcome to the Neighborhood: What can Regional Science Contribute to the Study of Neighborhoods? Journal of Regional Science
Abstract

We argue in this paper that neighborhoods are highly relevant for the types of issues at the heart of regional science. First, residential and economic activity takes place in particular locations, and particular neighborhoods. Many attributes of those neighborhood environments matter for this activity, from the physical amenities, to the quality of the public and private services received. Second, those neighborhoods vary in their placement in the larger region and this broader arrangement of neighborhoods is particularly important for location choices, commuting behavior and travel patterns. Third, sorting across these neighborhoods by race and income may well matter for educational and labor market outcomes, important components of a region's overall economic activity. For each of these areas we suggest a series of unanswered questions that would benefit from more attention. Focused on neighborhood characteristics themselves, there are important gaps in our understanding of how neighborhoods change - the causes and the consequences. In terms of the overall pattern of neighborhoods and resulting commuting patterns, this connects directly to current concerns about environmental sustainability and there is much need for research relevant to policy makers. And in terms of segregation and sorting across neighborhoods, work is needed on better spatial measures. In addition, housing market causes and consequences for local economic activity are under researched. We expand on each of these, finishing with some suggestions on how newly available data, with improved spatial identifiers, may enable regional scientists to answer some of these research questions.

Ellen, I.G. & O'Regan, K. 2010. Crime and Urban Flight Revisited: The Effect of the 1990s Drop in Crime on Cities Journal of Urban Economics, 68 (3):247-259.
Abstract

The ‘flight from blight' and related literatures on urban population changes and crime have primarily considered times of high or increasing crime rates. Perhaps the most cited recent work in this area, Cullen and Levitt (1999), does not extend through 1990s, a decade during which crime rates declined almost continuously, to levels that were lower than experienced in decades. This paper examines whether such declines contributed to city population growth and retention (abated flight). Through a series of population growth models that attempt to identify causality through several strategies (including instrumental variables) we find at best weak evidence that overall city growth is affected by changes in crime. We find no evidence that growth is differentially sensitive to reductions in crime, as compared to increases. Focusing more narrowly on within MSA migration, residential decisions that are more likely to be sensitive to local conditions, we do find evidence supporting abatement of ‘flight' - that is, lower levels of crime in central cities in the 1990s are associated with lower levels of migration to the suburbs. This greater ability to retain residents already in the city does not appear to be accompanied by a greater ability to attract new households from the suburbs, or from outside of the metropolitan area.

2009

Ingrid Ellen, Katherine O'Regan, Ioan Voicu 2009. 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.
Abstract

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.

2008

O'Regan, K. & Ellen, I.G., Conger, D. 2008. Immigration and Urban Schools: The Dynamics of Demographic Change in the Nation's Largest School District Education and Urban Society 41(3):  295-316.
Abstract

The authors use a rich data set on New York City public elementary schools to explore how changes in immigrant representation have played out at the school level, providing a set of stylistic facts about the magnitude and nature of demographic changes in urban schools. They find that while the city experienced an overall increase in its immigrant representation over the 5 years studied, its elementary schools did not. Although the average school experienced little change during this period, a significant minority of schools saw sizable shifts. The change does not mirror the White flight and 'tipping' associated with desegregation but rather suggests a tendency to stabilize, with declines in immigrant enrollments concentrated in schools with larger immigrant populations at the outset. The authors also find that changes in the immigrant shares influence the composition of the school's students, and that overall school demographic changes do not mirror grade-level changes within schools.

Ellen, I.G., O'Regan, K. & Conger, D. 2008. Dynamics of School Demographic Change: Immigrant Students and New York City Education and Urban Society.
Abstract

O'Regan, K. & Ellen, I.G. 2008. Reversal of Fortunes: Low Income Neighborhoods in the 1990s Urban Studies, 45: 845-869.
Abstract

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.

2005

O'Regan, K. 2005. Does the Structure and Composition of the Board Matter? The Case of Nonprofit Organizations Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Vol. 21, No.1, Spring
Abstract

This article discusses some of the key differences in board behavior between nonprofit organizations and for-profit firms using a relatively new dataset from New York City nonprofits. We provide evidence on the broader role that nonprofit boards play for their organizations and then give some suggestive results on the relationship between board structure and composition, and individual board member performance. The results provide some evidence that the executive directors of nonprofits may use their power to push boards toward fundraising in place of monitoring activity. Using a fixed-effects framework, we also find no systematic relationship between board personal demographics and performance, although both tenure on a board and multiple board service do seem to matter.
2002

O'Regan, K. & Oster, S.M. 2002. Does Government Funding Alter Nonprofit Governance? Evidence from New York City Contractors Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 21(3):359-379.
Abstract

This paper explores the relationship between nonprofit board governance practices and government contracting. Monitoring by a board is one way a governmental agency can help to insure quality performance by its contractors. Agencies could thus use both their selection process and their post-contracting power to influence board practice. Using a new, rich data set on the nonprofit contractors of New York City, we test a series of hypotheses on the effects of government funding on board practices. We find that significant differences exist in board practices as a function of government funding levels, differences that mark a shift of focus or energy away from some activities, towards others. Trustees of nonprofits which receive high government funding are significantly less likely to engage in the traditional board functions, such as fund raising, while more likely to engage in financial monitoring and advocacy.

Ellen, I.G., O'Regan, K., Schwartz, A.E. & Stiefel, L. 2002. Immigrant Children and Urban Schools: Evidence from New York City on Segregation and its Consequences for Schooling Brookings-Wharton Papers on Urban Affairs,
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Abstract

Immigrant children represent a large and growing proportion of school children in the United States, especially in urban areas. An estimated 10.4 percent of the U.S. population is now foreign-born (the highest percentage since 1930); and in central cities, the proportion has risen to 16 percent (Lollock 2001; Schmidley and Gibson 1997). Yet we know surprisingly little about the experience or isolation levels of foreign-born students. While there is considerable research on the degree to which racial minorities are isolated in U.S. schools and on the disturbing consequences of this segregation, there is no parallel research concerning immigrants.
The goal of this paper is to begin to examine this issue, looking at evidence from New York City. In particular, we address two main questions. First, how segregated are immigrant students in New York's schools and how does that segregation vary across groups with differing language skills and from different regions of the world? Second, to the extent we do see segregation, how different are the schools attended by immigrant children (either overall or from particular regions) in terms of student characteristics, teachers, and funding levels?
New York City is an especially apt place to study immigrant students because the city's public schools educate so many immigrants, from such a broad range of countries (over 200), speaking a great diversity of languages (over 120). In addition, we have been able to assemble an extraordinarily detailed data set, which allows us to exploit the richness that New York City's student body provides.
The paper is organized as follows. In the first section we review the literature on school segregation and explore the ways in which segregation might affect immigrant students. In section two we describe our data and provide a brief statistical portrait of immigrant students in New York City. In section three, we lay out the methods and hypotheses to be explored in this paper, while in section four we present our analysis of segregation of immigrant students. Section five concludes.

2001

O'Regan, K. 2001. Outsourcing by Nonprofit Organizations Task force report, Avner B'Ner chair, National Center on Nonprofit Enterprise,
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Abstract

This chapter examines the issue of when nonprofits should choose to employ their own staff or house their own operations, versus contracting out tasks and activities to other suppliers. Various examples are offered of nonprofits decisions that may be outsourced or retained in-house. The concepts of specialization, comparative advantage and transactions costs are used to explain the logic of outsourcing, how it applies to various circumstances encountered by nonprofit organizations, and the desirability of this strategy in each case.
2000

O'Regan, K. & Quigley, J.M. 2000. Federal Housing Policy and the Rise of Nonprofit Providers Journal for Housing Research, 11(2):297-317.
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Abstract

During the past decade, federal housing policy has shifted to recognize a key role for nonprofit housing providers in providing affordable housing. Two federal programs, Low-Income Housing Tax Credit and HOME, are now the primary federal housing production programs, and the legislation governing both programs provides explicit support for nonprofit providers of new housing. This article focuses on these two programs to document the change in emphasis, looking at the extent to which resources flow to nonprofit providers. We explicate the rationale for this shift and speculate on future federal policy toward nonprofits.

We find that both programs channeled sizable shares of their funding to nonprofits throughout the 1990s, in patterns consistent with program design. It is also possible that the scale and form of funding itself has affected the nonprofit sector. Changes in the funding of nonprofits have not been uniform spatially, and the nonprofit sector's share of such funding appears to have leveled off. As currently structured, these programs do little to simplify the complicated financial dealings and multiple sources of funding common among nonprofit housing providers. Shifts in policy priorities and emerging financial stresses may necessitate changes in federal policy toward the nonprofit sector.

 

O'Regan, K. & Oster, S.M. 2000. Nonprofit and For Profit Partnerships: Rationale and Challenges of Cross-Sector Contracting Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 29(1):120-140.
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Abstract

Increasingly, nonprofit, for-profits, and public organizations have been cooperating in producing and distributing a wide range of goods and services. In many cases, the partnerships have arisen from the recognition that different activities are best suited to different governance structures. Yet, working through a cross-sectoral partnership can bring with it complicated managerial issues. This article explores partnering in two important sectors: higher education and welfare reform. In both areas, cooperation across the sectors is widespread and follows lines of comparative advantage. At the same time, there is ample evidence in our cases of classic transactions costs in implementing cross-sectoral partnerships. The article explores ways in which organizations deal with problems of opportunism and imperfect information in contracting across the sectors.

1999

O'Regan, K. & Quigley, J.M. 1999. Accessibility and Economic Opportunity in Essays in Transportation Economics and Policy: A Handbook in Honor of John R. Meyer, Brookings Institution Press.
Abstract

1998

O'Regan, K. & Quigley, J.M. 1998. Where Youth Live: Effects of Urban Space on Employment Urban Studies, Jun98, Vol. 35 Issue 7, p1187-1205, 19p, 8 charts, 3 graphs, 1 map
Abstract

This paper synthesises a series of empirical analyses investigating the role of urban space in affecting minority employment outcomes. It broadens the focus beyond transport and the 'friction of space' and expands the data available for spatial research. The empirical analyses share a common framework linking 'access' to youth labour market performance. The first set of results is based on aggregate data relating access to employment outcomes for black youth at the metropolitan level. Access is broadly defined to include traditional measures of geographical distance, as well as measures of social isolation or social access. Metropolitan areas in which the black poor are more spatially isolated are also found to have higher black youth unemployment rates. The second body of evidence relies on the same type of metropolitan measures, combined with individual data on youth living with at least one parent. When individual and family characteristics are controlled for, and white and Hispanic youth are also considered, metropolitan measures of social access exert distinguishable effects upon youth employment-youth living in urban areas in which they have less residential contact with whites or the non-poor are less likely to be employed. The final piece of analysis links the individual records of such youth to tract-level measures of access, both social (neighbourhood composition variables) and geographical (job-access measures). This is accomplished through the creation of a unique data set at the Bureau of the Census. Again, after controlling for individual and family characteristics, the residential conditions of youth affect their employment. Ceteris paribus, youth living in census tracts with fewer employed adults, with fewer whites, and which are further from jobs are less likely to be employed. Results suggest that the overall effects of space on employment outcomes are substantial, explaining 10-40 per cent of the observed racial differences in employment in...

1996

O'Regan, K. & Quigley, J.M. 1996. Spatial effects upon employment of outcomes: The case of New Jersey teenagers New England Economic Review, May/Jun 1996, p41, 18p, 16 charts
Abstract

Provides tests of the relative importance of spatial factors on employment outcomes of teenagers in the United States. Relations between youth employment probabilities to individuals and family characteristics; Sources of statistical problems in the interpretation of findings about youth employment; Concerns on the youth's choice of neighborhood.

O'Regan, K. & Quigley, J.M. 1996. Teenage Employment and the Spatial Isolation of Minority and Poverty Households Journal of Human Resources, Summer 1996, Vol. 31 Issue 3, p692-702, 11p, 3 charts
Abstract

This paper tests the importance of the spatial isolation of minority and poverty households for youth employment in large metropolitan areas. We estimate a model relating youth employment probabilities to individual and family characteristics, race, and metropolitan location. We then investigate the determinants of the systematic differences in employment probabilities by race and metropolitan area. A substantial fraction of differences in youth employment can be attributed to the isolation of minorities and poor households. Minority youth residing in more segregated cities or cities in which minorities have less contact with nonpoor households have lower employment probabilities than otherwise comparable youth. Simulations suggest that these spatial effects explain a substantial fraction of the existing differences in youth employment rates by race.

1993

O'Regan, K. & Quigley, J.M. 1993. Family Networks and Youth Access to Jobs Journal of Urban Economics, Sep 1993, Vol. 34 Issue 2, p230, 19p, 8 charts
Abstract

Examines the importance of job access via networks for the employment of urban youth in the U.S. Usefulness of social contacts in job referral; Proxies for labor market contacts; Determinants of youth labor market outcomes.

O'Regan, K. 1993. The effect of social networks and concentrated poverty on black and hispanic youth unemployment Annals of Regional Science, Dec 1993, Vol. 27 Issue 4, p327, 16p
Abstract

This paper examines empirically the effect of spatially concentrated poverty on minority youth employment and the role of "access" in youth labor markets. A model, in which information about jobs travels through social networks, links labor market outcomes and residential concentration of poverty. The empirical work uses U.S. Census employment data for the largest MSAs, in 1970 and 1980. The key findings are that, although concentration appears to have had no effect on black youth unemployment in 1970, the results for 1980 support "concentration effects" on unemployment for both black and hispanic youth. These effects are sizeable on average, and quite large in some cities.

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