Income and Poverty in Communities of Color
Women of Color Policy Network
The U.S. Census Bureau’s recent statistics on income highlight the need for increased social supports for working families, the allocation of additional funds to create quality jobs with good wages, and the development of bold and targeted policies to help individuals and groups disproportionately impacted by the recession recover.
Race, Gender and the Recession: Job Creation and Employment
C. Nicole Mason, Ph.D
This report focuses on the effect of the recession and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) on economically marginalized communities. The Network highlights four key areas of impact for women of color and their families: job creation and employment, housing and social services, education, and tax cuts to individuals.
Child labor: The role of income variablity and access to credit in a cross section of countries
Economic Development and Cultural Change, Col. 53, Number 4 (July 2005), pg. 913-932.
Dehejia, R.H. & Gatti, R.
Even though access to credit is central to child labor theoretically, little work has been done to assess its importance empirically. Dehejia and Gatti examine the link between access to credit and child labor at a cross-country level. The authors measure child labor as a country aggregate, and proxy credit constraints by the level of financial market development.
These two variables display a strong negative (unconditional) relationship. The authors show that even after they control for a wide range of variables-including GDP per capita, urbanization, initial child labor, schooling, fertility, legal institutions, inequality, and openness-this relationship remains strong and statistically significant. Moreover, they find that, in the absence of developed financial markets, households resort to child labor to cope with income variability.
This evidence suggests that policies aimed at increasing households'access to credit could be effective in reducing child labor.
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
Ellen, Ingrid and Katherine O'Regan
Microfinance and Social Investment
Financial Access Initiative, 2011
Conning, J. & Morduch, J.
This paper puts a corporate finance lens on microfinance. Microfinance aims to democratize global financial markets through new contracts, organizations, and technology. We explain the roles that government agencies and socially-minded investors play in supporting the entry and expansion of private intermediaries in the sector, and we disentangle debates about competing social and commercial firm goals. We frame the analysis with theory that explains why microfinance institutions serving lower-income communities charge high interest rates, face high costs, monitor customers relatively intensively, and have limited ability to lever assets. The analysis blurs traditional dividing lines between non-profits and for-profits and places focus on the relationship between target market, ownership rights and access to external capital.
Transportation to Clinic: Findings from a Pilot Clinic-Based Survey of Low-Income Suburbanites
Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health 2010. DOI: 10.1007/s10903-010-9410-0
Silver D, J Blustein, BC Weitzman.
Health care policymakers have cited transportation barriers as key obstacles to providing health care to low-income suburbanites, particularly because suburbs have become home to a growing number of recent immigrants who are less likely to own cars than their neighbors. In a suburb of New York City, we conducted a pilot survey of low income, largely immigrant clients in four public clinics, to find out how much transportation difficulties limit their access to primary care. Clients were receptive to the opportunity to participate in the survey (response rate = 94%). Nearly one-quarter reported having transportation problems that had caused them to miss or reschedule a clinic appointment in the past. Difficulties included limited and unreliable local bus service, and a tenuous connection to a car. Our pilot work suggests that this population is willing to participate in a survey on this topic. Further, since even among those attending clinic there was significant evidence of past transportation problems, it suggests that a population based survey would yield information about substantial transportation barriers to health care.
Massachusetts Links Pay for Performance to the Reduction of Racial and Ethnic Disparities
Health Affairs. 30(6):1165-1175.
Blustein, Jan, Joel Weissman, Andrew M Ryan, Tim Doran and Romana Hasnain-Wynia.
The Institute of Medicaid has identified equity as a key dimension of quality. Recently, Massachusetts’ Medicaid program (MassHealth) took the unusual step of linking pay-for-performance (P4P) to the reduction of racial/ethnic disparities for hospital care. We report on early experience with the program, describing the challenges of implementing an ambitious program in a short time frame, with limited resources. Our findings raise questions about whether P4P as currently constituted is a suitable tool for addressing disparities in hospital care.
Impact of employment-based health insurance on home attendants.
Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 4, 374-385.
Weitzman, B.C. and Berry, C.A.
The Rise and Fall of a Micro-Learning Region: Mexican Immigrants and Construction in Center-South Philadelphia
2010. Environment and Planning A, Volume 42, Number 7
Iskander, Natasha, Nichola Lowe, and Christine Riordan
This paper documents the rise and fall of a micro-learning region in Philadelphia. The central actors in this region are undocumented Mexican immigrants who until recently were able to draw on the intensity of their workplace interactions and their heterodox knowledge to produce new and innovative building techniques in the city's residential construction. The new knowledge they developed was primarily tacit. More significantly, the learning practices through which immigrant workers developed skill and innovated new techniques were also heavily tacit. Because these practices were never made formal and were never made explicit, they remained invisible and difficult to defend. With the housing market collapse and subsequent decline in housing renovation in south-center region of Philadelphia, this tacit knowledge and the practices that gave it shape and significance, are no longer easily accessible. We draw on this case to demonstrate the importance of access to the political and economic resources to turn learning practices into visible structured institutions that protect knowledge and skill. Whether or not the practices that support knowledge development are themselves made explicit can determine whether the knowledge they produce becomes an innovation that is recognized and adopted or whether it remains confined to a set of ephemeral practices that exist only so long as they are being enacted.
Hidden Talent: Tacit Skill Formation and Labor Market Incorporation of Latino Immigrants in the United States
Journal of Planning Education and Research
Iskander, Natasha and Nichola Lowe
This paper examines informal training and skill development pathways of Latino immigrant construction workers in two different urban labor markets: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. We find that institutional differences across local labor markets not only shape how immigrants develop skills in specific places, but also determine the localized obstacles they face in demonstrating and harnessing these skills for employment. To explain the role of local institutions in shaping differences in skill development experience and opportunities, we draw on the concept of tacit skill, a term that is rarely incorporated into studies of the labor market participation of less educated immigrants. We argue that innovative pathways that Latino immigrant workers have created to develop tacit skill can strengthen advocacy planning efforts aimed at improving employment opportunities and working conditions for marginalized workers, immigrant and non-immigrant alike.
Professed impressions: What people say about others affects onlookers' perceptions of speakers' power and warmth
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46, 152-158
Ames, Daniel R., Emily C. Bianchi, Joe C. Magee.
During a conversation, it is common for a speaker to describe a third-party that the listener does not know. These professed impressions not only shape the listener's view of the third-party but also affect judgments of the speaker herself. We propose a previously unstudied consequence of professed impressions: judgments of the speaker's power. In two studies, we find that listeners ascribe more power to speakers who profess impressions focusing on a third-party's conscientiousness, compared to those focusing on agreeableness. We also replicate previous research showing that speakers saying positive things about third parties are seen as more agreeable than speakers saying negative things. In the second study, we demonstrate that conscientiousness-power effects are mediated by inferences about speakers' task concerns and positivity-agreeableness effects are mediated by inferences about speakers' other-enhancing concerns. Finally, we show that judgments of speaker status parallel judgments of agreeableness rather than of power, suggesting that perceivers use different processes to make inferences about status and power. These findings have implications for the literatures on person perception, power, and status.
A critical Review of Race and Ethnicity in the Leadership Literature: Surfacing Context, Power and the Collective Dimensions of Leadership.
The Leadership Quarterly, 20
Ospina, S. and E. G. Foldy
Leadership studies focusing on race–ethnicity provide particularly rich contexts to illuminate the human condition as it pertains to leadership. Yet insights about the leadership experience of people of color from context-rich research within education, communications and black studies remain marginal in the field. Our framework integrates these, categorizing reviewed studies according to the effects of race–ethnicity on perceptions of leadership, the effects of race–ethnicity on leadership enactments, and actors' approach to the social reality of race–ethnicity. The review reveals a gradual convergence of theories of leadership and theories of race–ethnicity as their relational dimensions are increasingly emphasized. A shift in the conceptualization of race–ethnicity in relation to leadership is reported, from a constraint to a personal resource to a simultaneous consideration of its constraining and liberating capacity. Concurrent shifts in the treatment of context, power, agency versus structure and causality are also explored, as are fertile areas for future research.
Building Bridges from Margins: The Work of Leadership in Social Change Organizations
The Leadership Quarterly
Ospina, S. and E. G. Foldy
Attention to the relational dimensions of leadership represents a new frontier of leadership research and is an expression of the growing scholarly interest in the conditions that foster collective action within and across boundaries. This article explores the antecedents of collaboration from the perspective of social change organizations engaged in processes of collaborative governance. Using a constructionist lens, the study illuminates the question how do social change leaders secure the connectedness needed for collaborative work to advance their organization's mission? The article draws on data from a national, multi-year, multi-modal qualitative study of social change organizations and their leaders. These organizations represent disenfranchised communities which aspire to influence policy makers and other social actors to change the conditions that affect their members' lives. Narrative analysis of transcripts from in-depth interviews in 38 organizations yielded five leadership practices that foster strong relational bonds either within organizations or across boundaries with others. The article describes how these practices nurture interdependence either by forging new connections, strengthening existing ones, or capitalizing on strong ones.
How to House the Homeless
Russell Sage Foundation Press
Ellen, I.G. & O'Flaherty, B. (eds.).
How to House the Homeless, editors Ingrid Gould Ellen and Brendan O’Flaherty propose that the answers entail rethinking how housing markets operate and developing more efficient interventions in existing service programs. The book critically reassesses where we are now, analyzes the most promising policies and programs going forward, and offers a new agenda for future research. How to House the Homeless makes clear the inextricable link between homelessness and housing policy. Contributor Jill Khadduri reviews the current residential services system and housing subsidy programs. For the chronically homeless, she argues, a combination of assisted housing approaches can reach the greatest number of people and, specifically, an expanded Housing Choice Voucher system structured by location, income, and housing type can more efficiently reach people at-risk of becoming homeless and reduce time spent homeless. Robert Rosenheck examines the options available to homeless people with mental health problems and reviews the cost-effectiveness of five service models: system integration, supported housing, clinical case management, benefits outreach, and supported employment. He finds that only programs that subsidize housing make a noticeable dent in homelessness, and that no one program shows significant benefits in multiple domains of life. Contributor Sam Tsemberis assesses the development and cost-effectiveness of the Housing First program, which serves mentally ill homeless people in more than four hundred cities. He asserts that the program’s high housing retention rate and general effectiveness make it a viable candidate for replication across the country. Steven Raphael makes the case for a strong link between homelessness and local housing market regulations—which affect housing affordability—and shows that the problem is more prevalent in markets with stricter zoning laws. Finally, Brendan O’Flaherty bridges the theoretical gap between the worlds of public health and housing research, evaluating the pros and cons of subsidized housing programs and the economics at work in the rental housing market and home ownership. Ultimately, he suggests, the most viable strategies will serve as safety nets—“social insurance”—to reach people who are homeless now and to prevent homelessness in the future. It is crucial that the links between effective policy and the whole cycle of homelessness—life conditions, service systems, and housing markets—be made clear now. With a keen eye on the big picture of housing policy, How to House the Homeless shows what works and what doesn’t in reducing the numbers of homeless and reaching those most at risk.
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.
Ingrid Ellen, Katherine O'Regan, Ioan Voicu
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.
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
Ellen, I.G. & O'Regan, K.
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.
Do Public Schools Disadvantage Students Living in Public Housing?
Urban Affairs Review, 46 (1):68-89.
Ellen, I.G., Schwartz, A.E., McCabe, B. & Chellman, C.
In the United States, public housing developments are predominantly located in neighborhoods with low median incomes, high rates of poverty and disproportionately high concentrations of minorities. While research consistently shows that public housing developments are located in economically and socially disadvantaged neighborhoods, we know little about the characteristics of the schools serving students in these neighborhoods.
In this paper, the authors examine the characteristics of elementary and middle schools attended by students living in public housing developments in New York City. Using the proportion of public housing students attending each elementary and middle school as their weight, they calculate the weighted average of school characteristics to describe the typical school attended by students living in public housing. They then compare these characteristics to those of the typical school attended by other students throughout the city in an effort to assess whether public schools systematically disadvantage students in public housing in New York City.
Their results are decidedly mixed. On one hand, they find no large differences between the resources of the schools attended by students living in public housing and the schools attended by their peers living elsewhere in the city; on the other hand, they find significant differences in student characteristics and outcomes. The typical school attended by public housing students has higher poverty rates and lower average performance on standardized exams than the schools attended by others. These school differences, however, fail to fully explain the performance disparities: they find that students living in public housing score lower, on average, on standardized tests than their schoolmates living elsewhere -- even though they attend the same school. These results point to a need for more nuanced analyses of policies and practices in schools, as well as the outside-of-school factors that shape educational success, to identify and address the needs of students in public housing.
Age of Entry and the High School Performance of Immigrant Youth
Journal of Urban Economics 67: 303-314
Stiefel, Leanna, Amy Ellen Schwartz, and Dylan Conger
In 2005, immigrants exceeded 12% of the US population, with the highest concentrations in large metropolitan areas. While considerable research has focused on how immigrants affect local wages and housing prices, less research has asked how immigrants fare in US urban public schools. Previous studies find that foreign-born students outperform native-born students in their elementary and middle school years, but urban policymakers and practitioners continue to raise concerns about educational outcomes of immigrants arriving in their high school years.
The authors use data on a large cohort of New York City (NYC) public high school students to examine how the performance of students who immigrate during high school (teen immigrants) differs from that of students who immigrate during middle school (tween immigrants) or elementary school (child immigrants), relative to otherwise similar native-born students. Contrary to prior studies, their difference-in-difference estimates suggest that, ceteris paribus, teen immigrants do well compared to native-born migrants, and that the foreign-born advantage is relatively large among the teen (im)migrants. That said, their findings provide cause for concern about the performance of limited English proficient students, blacks and Hispanics and, importantly, teen migrants. In particular, switching school districts in the high school years - that is, student mobility across school districts - may be more detrimental than immigration per se. Results are robust to alternative specifications and cohorts, including a cohort of Miami students.
Strangers in a Strange Land: Recent Entrants to the U.S. Confront the Culture of Medical Consumerism
Schlesinger, M., Calderas, O. & Elbel, B.
Experience Goods and Expectational Traps: Bounded Rationality and Consumer Behavior in Markets for Medical Care
Schlesinger, M., Stuckler, D. & Elbel, B.