Thinking About Children in Time.
The Dynamics of Child Poverty in Industrialised Countries. Edited by Bradbury, D. and S. Jenkins, J. Micklewright. Cambridge University Press.
Aber, J.L. & Ellwood, D.T.
A child poverty rate of ten percent could mean that every tenth child is always poor, or that all children are in poverty for one month in every ten. Knowing where reality lies between these extremes is vital to understanding the problem facing many countries of poverty among the young. This unique study goes beyond the standard analysis of child poverty based on poverty rates at one point in time and documents how much movement into and out of poverty by children there actually is, covering a range of industrialised countries - the USA, UK, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Hungary and Russia. Five main topics are addressed: conceptual and measurement issues associated with a dynamic view of child poverty; cross-national comparisons of child poverty rates and trends; cross-national comparisons of children's movements into and out of poverty; country-specific studies of child poverty dynamics; and the policy implications of taking a dynamic perspective.
Intergovernmental Aid and Mandates
Political Encyclopedia of U.S. States and Regions. Edited by Donald Haider-Markel. Congressional Quarterly Press. Washington, D.C.
General editor Haider-Markel (U. of Kansas) presents a two-volume encyclopedia intended to serve as a first-stop reference on state politics in the United States, which also includes some coverage of US overseas territories and Puerto Rico. The encyclopedia opens with four broad topical essays on the evolution and impact of state constitutions, the impact of direct democracy (voter initiatives and the like), cooperation between the states, and states as policy testing grounds. It then presents individual state profiles, about ten pages each, that are uniformly structured to allow comparison of state history, the political environment, elections and voting behavior, the legislative branch, the executive branch, the judicial branch, intergovernmental relations, state-tribal relations (where applicable), and long-term issues and policy trends. The state entries also include bibliographies; charts showing partisan distribution of presidential elections from 1988 to 2004; and data tables on political history, political environment, elections and voting behavior, the legislative branch, the executive branch, and the judicial branch. Also included are some 175 A-to-Z topical entries discussing general concepts related to governmental functions and procedures, government structures and bodies, political theory, and political behavior. Examples of specific topics would include gerrymandering, impeachment, public health, auditor, bicameralism, legislative leadership, common law, judicial review, and social welfare. Finally, statistical data on populations, economics, finance, the environment, government spending, voting, and campaign fundraising is presented for all 50 states, followed by a comprehensive index.
New York City
Encyclopedia of Homelessness. Berkshire Publishing,
Weitzman, B.C. & Fischer, S.N.
At any given moment, about 3 million American women, men, and children are homeless. And another 5 million Americans spend over 50% of their incomes on housing, meaning that one missed paycheck, one health crisis, or one unpaid utility bill can push them out the door into homelessness. Homelessness is one of the major social problems and personal and family tragedies of the contemporary world. No community, city, or nation is immune and the lack of affordable housing and a decline in secure, well-paying jobs means that the problem will only get worse. The Encyclopedia of Homelessness is the first systematic effort to organize and summarize what we know about this complex topic that impacts not only the homeless but all of society. The Encyclopedia focuses on the current situation in the United States with a comparative sampling of homelessness around the world.
Welfare Program Performance
American Review of Public Administration, March, Vol. 37 Issue 1, p65-90, 26p.
Ratcliffe, C. & Nightingale, D.S. & Sharkey, P.
Public agencies are increasingly expected to track their performance according to established criteria--to be held accountable for the expenditure of public funds and show that funds are being used to achieve intended outcomes. This analysis of South Carolina's Family Independence welfare program examines counties' performance on five employment-related outcomes: employment rate, employment entry rate, employment retention rate. earnings gain rate, and earned income closure rate. Counties' performance is statistically analyzed, adjusting for variation in external factors (e.g., labor market conditions and caseload characteristics) that influence program performance but that are outside the control of county program staff. This analysis shows that external factors influence employment-related performance, suggesting that states may want to vary counties' goals based on external factors, rather than expecting all counties to meet the same performance level. This analysis provides an example of how agencies can apply statistical analysis to measure, track, and analyze program performance.
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.
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.
Economic Crises: Evidence and Insights from East Asia
Brookings Papers on Economic Activity Issue 2, p1-114, 114p.
Furman, J. & Stiglitz, J.E.
Presents information on the financial crisis in East Asia. Causes of the crisis; Contrasting perspectives on East Asia's miracle and crisis; Economic impact of the financial and capital account liberalization of the 1980s to East Asia.
Two Wrongs Do Not Make a Right
National Tax Journal, Sep 2006, Vol. 59 Issue 3, p491-508, 18p.
This paper analyzes proposals to remedy tax-induced distortions in health care by using new tax incentives and retaining all of the existing distortionary tax incentives. In the process of remedying some distortions, this approach magnifies others--most notably increasing the total tax preference for health care. The paper considers two examples--the Bush administration's FY 2007 budget proposal and a plan by Cogan, Hubbard and Kessler (2005)--and shows that both could result in higher health spending and reduced welfare. Finally, the paper discusses the circumstances in which tax incentives could be warranted to remedy market failures in health insurance.
Look for a Good Deal on Social Security
Challenge (05775132), Jan/Feb 2007, Vol. 50 Issue 1, p16-20, 5p.
Is there an opening to seek a compromise on social security with the Republicans? This former Clinton administration economist thinks there may well be. It will not be to everyone's liking, he says, but it may be the best we can hope for.
The President's Proposed Standard Deduction for Health Insurance: Evaluation and Recommendations
National Tax Journal, Sep 2007, Vol. 60 Issue 3, p433-454, 22p.
Burman, L.E., Furman, J., Leiserson, G. & Williams Jr, R.C.
The President's proposal to replace the current exclusion of employer-paid health insurance premiums with a standard deduction for qualifying health insurance would level the playing field for employment-based coverage and private plans but would risk the loss of insurance for many workers, threaten existing risk- sharing pools, and unfairly favor the wealthy. This paper evaluates the President's plan, suggests changes that would improve it, and assesses alternatives that would address the plan's shortcomings and improve its likelihood of expanding coverage to many families who now lack insurance.
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.
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.
No Easy Answers
Brookings Review, Summer 2000, Vol. 18 Issue 3, p44, 4p.
Ellen, I.G. & Schwartz, A.E.
Discusses the strategies applied to foster economic growth among cities in the United States. Measurement of the impact of economic development programs; Effectiveness of infrastructure investments to boost economic growth; Impact of tax cuts on economy; Development of sports stadiums and arenas.
Does Federally Subsidized Rental Housing Depress Neighborhood Property Values?
Journal of Policy Analysis & Management, Spring 2007, Vol. 26 Issue 2, p257-280, 24p.
Ellen, I.G., Schwartz, A.E., Voicu, I. & Schill, M.H.
Few communities welcome federally subsidized rental housing, with one of the most commonly voiced fears being reductions in property values. Yet there is little empirical evidence that subsidized housing depresses neighborhood property values. This paper estimates and compares the neighborhood impacts of a broad range of federally subsidized rental housing programs, using rich data for New York City and a difference-in-difference specification of a hedonic regression model. We find that federally subsidized developments have not typically led to reductions in property values and have, in fact, led to increases in some cases. Impacts are highly sensitive to scale, though patterns vary across programs.
The Price of Female Headship: Gender, Inheritance, and Wealth Accumulation in the United States
Journal of Income Distribution, Fall2004/Winter2005, Vol. 13 Issue 3/4, p41-56, 16p.
Conley, D. & Ryvicker, M.
Female-headed households in the United States suffer from lower levels of asset ownership than their male-headed counterparts. This gap remains after controlling for the lower incomes of female heads. What, then, produces the gender discrepancy in net worth? Using longitudinal, intergenerational data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, we ask whether differential patterns of inheritance, savings rates, or investment yield this female-male asset gap. Results demonstrate that differential savings rates between female- and male-headed households account for the gender gap in net worth. We speculate on the financial constraints within female-headed households that account for the savings rate differential.
Evaluating the Success of Need-Based State Aid in the Presence of Property Tax Limitations
Public Finance Quarterly, Oct 92, Vol. 20 Issue 4, p483, 16p.
Reschovsky, A. & Schwartz, A.E.
Discusses the use of grants-in-aid to reduce fiscal disparities by local governments in the United States. Method used in Massachusetts to account for differences among communities in fiscal costs and resources; Indepth look at expenditure determination in tax limitations; Estimation of local government expenditures.
Individual production, community characteristics and the provision of local public services
Journal of Public Economics, Feb 93, Vol. 50 Issue 2, p277, 13p.
Suggests a method of indexing local public services using community characteristics to allow the isolation of movements in prices and quantities from expenditure data. Differences in individual production functions for commodities where both private goods and community characteristics are inputs of production; Impact of government activities on community characteristics and production.
Social Science Research and School Finance Policy
American Behavioral Scientist, Nov/Dec 1979, Vol. 23 Issue 2, p207, 30p.
Berne, R. & Stiefel, L.
Investigates the impact of social science research on school finance policy in the U.S. Formulation of social science research to public policy; Perspectives in evaluating the policy impact of social science research; Strengths of the perspectives.
Taxing Over Tax Limits: Evidence from the Past and Policy Lessons for the Future
Public Administration Review, Jul/Aug 1981, Vol. 41 Issue 4, p445-453, 9p
Hickam, D., Berne, R. & Stiefel, L.
It is generally thought that across-the-board tax limits, white encouraging fiscal restraint, create hardships for jurisdictions with above average and uncontrollable needs. Because of the recent imposition of most limits, the conclusion is difficult to confirm empirically. This article provides a test of the conclusion based on a study of New York State city school districts where limits long in effect were suspended between 1970 and 1978 because of unusual local behavior and legislative action. Because some, but not all, districts took advantage of legislatively granted authority to tax beyond their limit, art empirical investigation can be used to explain this behavior. The results of the analysis, which show that low ability to pay, low inter-governmental grants, and high needs account for much of the behavior of districts that exceed limits, are helpful in designing flexible tax limits.
Cutback Budgeting: The Long-Term Consequences
Journal of Policy Analysis & Management, Fall 93, Vol. 12 Issue 4, p664-684, 21p
Berne, R. & Stiefel, L.
Analyzes whether short-term cutbacks made during a fiscal crisis become permanent once fiscal conditions improve. Economic and fiscal history of New York City from the 1970s through the 1980s; Framework for studying the long-term effects of budgetary cutbacks; Methodology for studying the long-term effects of 1976 and 1977 budgetary cutbacks; Effects on dollars, services, teacher characteristics and capital constructions.
From districts to schools: The distribution of resources across schools in big city school districts
Economics of Education Review Oct 2007, Vol. 26 Issue 5, p532-545, 14p
Rubenstein, R. & Schwartz, A.E., Stiefel, L., Bel Hadj Amor, H.
While the distribution of resources across school districts is well studied, relatively little attention has been paid to how resources are allocated to individual schools inside those districts. This paper explores the determinants of resource allocation across schools in large districts based on factors that reflect differential school costs or factors that may, in practice, be related to the distribution of resources. Using detailed data on school resources and student and school characteristics in New York City, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio, we find that schools with higher percentages of poor pupils often receive more money and have more teachers per pupil, but the teachers tend to be less educated and less well paid, with a particularly consistent pattern in New York City schools. We conclude with implications for policy and further research.
The Internet Backbone and the American Metropolis
Information Society, Jan-March, Vol. 16 Issue 1, p35-47, 13p.
Moss, M. L. & Townsend, A.
Despite the rapid growth of advanced telecommunications services, there is a lack of knowledge about the geographic diffusion of these new technologies. The Internet presents an important challenge to communications researchers, as it threatens to redefine the production and delivery of vital services including finance, retailing, and education. This article seeks to address the gap in the current literature by analyzing the development of Internet backbone networks in the United States between 1997 and 1999. We focus upon the intermetropolitan links that have provided transcontinental data transport services since the demise of the federally subsidized networks deployed in the 1970s and 1980s. We find that a select group of seven highly interconnected metropolitan areas consistently dominated the geography of national data networks, despite massive investment in this infrastructure over the study period. Furthermore, while prosperous and internationally oriented American cities lead the nation in adopting and deploying Internet technologies, interior regions and economically distressed cities have failed to keep up. As information-based industries and services account for an increasing share of economic activity, this evidence suggests that the Internet may aggravate the economic disparities among regions, rather than level them. Although the capacity of the backbone system has slowly diffused throughout the metropolitan system, the geographic structure of interconnecting links has changed little. Finally, the continued persistence of the metropolis as the center for telecommunications networks illustrates the need for a more sophisticated understanding of the interaction between societies and technological innovations.