Race, Class, Gender & Diversity
Reversal of Fortunes: Low Income Neighborhoods in the 1990s
Urban Studies, 45: 845-869.
O'Regan, K. & Ellen, I.G.
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.
Race/Ethnicity and Patient Confidence to Self-manage Cardiovascular Disease
Medical Care. 2008; 46(9):924-9
Blustein, J., Valentine, M., Mead, H. & Regenstein, M.
Background: Minority populations bear a disproportionate burden of chronic disease, due to higher disease prevalence and greater morbidity and mortality. Recent research has shown that several factors, including confidence to self-manage care, are associated with better health behaviors and outcomes among those with chronic disease.
Objective: To examine the association between minority status and confidence to self-manage cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Study Sample: Survey respondents admitted to 10 hospitals participating in the Expecting Success program, with a diagnosis of CVD, during January-September 2006 (n = 1107).
Results: Minority race/ethnicity was substantially associated with lower confidence to self-manage CVD, with 36.5% of Hispanic patients, 30.7% of Black patients, and 16.0% of white patients reporting low confidence (P < 0.001). However, in multivariate analysis controlling for socioeconomic status and clinical severity, minority status was not predictive of low confidence.
Conclusions: Although there is an association between race/ethnicity and confidence to self-manage care, that relationship is explained by the association of race/ethnicity with socioeconomic status and clinical severity.
Measuring Equity and Adequacy in School Finance
Handbook of Research in Education Finance and Policy. Edited by Ladd, Helen F. and Ted Fiske. Laurence Erlbaum Associates, New York,
Downes, T. & Stiefel, L.
The Handbook traces the evolution of the field from its initial focus on school inputs (per pupil expenditures) and the revenue sources (property taxes, state aid programs, etc) used to finance these inputs to a focus on educational outcomes (student achievement) and the larger policies used to achieve them. It shows how the current decision-making context in school finance inevitably interacts with those of governance, accountability, equity, privatization, and other areas of education policy. Because a full understanding of the important contemporary issues requires inputs from a variety of perspectives, the Handbook draws on contributors from a variety of disciplines.
Can Public Schools Close the Race Gap? Probing the Evidence in a Large Urban School District
Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 26(1): 7-30.
Stiefel, L., Schwartz, A.E., Gould & I.E.
We examine the size and distribution of the gap in test scores across races within New York City public schools and the factors that explain these gaps. While gaps are partially explained by differences in student characteristics, such as poverty, differences in schools attended are also important. At the same time, substantial within-school gaps remain and are only partly explained by differences in academic preparation across students from different race groups. Controlling for differences in classrooms attended explains little of the remaining gap, suggesting little role for within-school inequities in resources. There is some evidence that school characteristics matter. Race gaps are negatively correlated with school size - implying small schools may be helpful. In addition, the trade-off between the size and experience of the teaching staff in urban schools may carry unintended consequences for within-school race gaps.
From Districts to Schools: The Distribution of Resources across Schools in Big City School Districts
Economics of Education Review, 26: 532-545.
Rubenstein, R. & Schwartz, A.E., Stiefel, L.
This paper explores the determinants of resource allocation across schools in large districts and examines options for improving resource distribution patterns. Previous research on intra-district allocations consistently reveals resource disparities across schools within districts, particularly in the distribution of teachers. While overall expenditures are sometimes related to the characteristics of students in schools, the ratio of teachers per pupil is consistently larger in high-poverty, high-minority and low-performing schools. These teachers, though, generally have lower experience and education levels - and consequently, lower salaries - as compared to teachers in more advantaged schools. We explore these patterns in New York City, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio by estimating de facto expenditure equations relating resource measures to school and student characteristics. Consistent with previous research, we find schools that have higher percentages
of poor pupils 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. The paper concludes with policy options for changing intradistrict resource distributions in order to promote more efficient, more equitable or more effective use of resources. These options include allocating dollars rather than teacher positions to schools, providing teacher pay differentials in hard-to-staff schools and subjects, and adapting current district-based funding formulas to the school (and student) level.
Facing the Challenge of Evaluating a Complex, Multi-Site Initiative
The Evaluation Exchange, a quarterly publication of the Harvard Family Research Project, Fall, V IX: 3.
Weitzman, B.C. & Silver, D.S.
To overcome some of the limitations of experimental and quasi-experimental designs, evaluators have employed a
"theory of change" (TOC) approach to evaluate comprehensive community initiatives (CCIs). This approach helps identify underlying assumptions, focuses on processes and systems within communities, clarifies desired outcomes, and embraces the complexity of comprehensive interventions. Yet some researchers question the adequacy of TOC to address rival hypotheses to explain findings.
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.
The Intergenerational Transmission of Context
American Journal of Sociology, Jan 2008, Vol. 113 Issue 4, p931-969, 39p.
This article draws on the extensive literature on economic and social mobility in America to examine intergenerational contextual mobility, defined as the degree to which inequalities in neighborhood environments persist across generations. PSID data are analyzed to reveal remarkable continuity in neighborhood economic status from one generation to the next. The primary consequence of persistent neighborhood stratification is that the racial inequality in America's neighborhoods that existed a generation ago has been transmitted, for the most part unchanged, to the current generation. More than 70% of black children who grow up in the poorest quarter of American neighborhoods remain in the poorest quarter of neighborhoods as adults, compared to 40% of whites. The results suggest that racial inequality in neighborhood economic status is substantially underestimated with short-term measures of neighborhood income or poverty and, second, that the steps taken to end racial discrimination in the housing and lending markets have not enabled black Americans to advance out of America's poorest neighborhoods.
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.
A Prospective Study of Syphilis and HIV Infection among Injection Drug Users Receiving Methadone in the Bronx, NY
American Journal of Public Health, Aug 96 Part 1 of 2, Vol. 86 Issue 8, p1112-1115, 4p.
Gourevich, M., Hartel, D., Schoenbaum, E.E., Selwyn, P.A., Davenny, K., Friedland, G.H. & Klein, R.S.
The purpose of this study was to assess the relationship between syphilis and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in injection drug users. Methods. A 6-year prospective study of 790 injection drug users receiving methadone maintenance treatment in the Bronx, NY, was conducted. Results. Sixteen percent (4/25) of HIV-seroconverting patients, 4.8% (16/335) of prevalent HIV-seropositive patients, and 3.5% (15/430) of persistently HIV-seronegative patients were diagnosed with syphilis. Incidence rates for early syphilis (cases per 1000 person-years) were 15.9 for HIV-seroconverting patients, 8.9 for prevalent HIV-seropositive patients, and 2.9 for persistently HIV-seronegative patients. Early syphilis incidence was higher among women than men (8.4 vs 3.2 cases per 1000 person-years). Independent risks for early syphilis included multiple sex partners, HIV seroconversion, paid sex, and young age. All HIV seroconverters with syphilis were female. Conclusions. Diagnosis of syphilis in drug-using women reflects high-risk sexual activity and is associated with acquiring HIV infection. Interventions to reduce the risk of sexually acquired infections are urgently needed among female drug users.
The World Bank and Social Capital: Lessons from Ten Rural Development Projects in the Philippines and Mexico
Policy Sciences, Vol. 33 Issue 3/4, p399-419, 21p.
Fox, J. & Gershman, J.
Compares rural development projects funded by the World Bank in the Philippines and Mexico. Impact of the World Bank on social capital; Indicators of institutional preconditions for informed public participation; Ethnic and gender dimensions of social capital.
Brookings Review, Winter 1997, Vol. 15 Issue 1, p18, 4p.
Focuses on the author's idea of applying lessons learned from the experience of stable integrated neighborhoods to strengthen cities. Theories that explain why some mixed neighborhoods remain integrated; Testing the theory; Policy implications; How the real story about America's neighborhoods is less pessimistic and more dynamic than they tended to believe.
Disentangling the Racial Test Score Gap: Probing the Evidence in a Large Urban School District
Journal of Policy Analysis & Management, Winter 2007, Vol. 26 Issue 1, p7-30, 24p.
Stiefel, L., Schwartz, A.E. & Ellen, I.G.
We examine the size and distribution of the gap in test scores across races within New York City public schools and the factors that explain these gaps. While gaps are partially explained by differences in student characteristics, such as poverty, differences in schools attended are also important. At the same time, substantial within-school gaps remain and are only partly explained by differences in academic preparation across students from different race groups. Controlling for differences in classrooms attended explains little of the remaining gap, suggesting little role for within-school inequities in resources. There is some evidence that school characteristics matter. Race gaps are negatively correlated with school size-implying small schools may be helpful. In addition, the trade-off between the size and experience of the teaching staff in urban schools may carry unintended consequences for within-school race gaps. © 2006 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.
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.
Reliability and Validity of the Spanish Versions of the Crisis in Family Systems - Revised
Psychological Reports, Feb 2006, Vol. 98 Issue 1, p123-132, 10p.
Berry, C., Quinn, K.A., Portillo, N. & Shalowitz, M.
Increasing the representation of Spanish-speaking study participants requires development and dissemination of reliable and valid translated scales. In the current study the construct validity was assessed of the Spanish version of the Crisis in Family Systems-Revised, a measure of contemporary life stressors, with a convenience sample of 377 parents interviewed in a study of childhood asthma, although over half of the respondents did not have children with asthma. Most respondents were foreign-born women between 20 to 60 years old (M = 35, SD = 7). 52% had not completed high school or its equivalent, and 55% reported a household income of $15,000 or less. For a subsample of 25 respondents test-retest reliability was .86 over 2 wk. Reporting more life stressors was associated with greater depressive symptomatology, poorer physical and mental health function, and lower household income. These relationships support the construct validity of the test in Spanish. This study provided strong evidence that this version is a valid and reliable measure of life stressors for a Spanish-speaking population living in the United States.
What Do Business Improvement Districts Do for Property Owners?
Proceedings of the Annual Conference on Taxation, p431-437, 7p
Schwartz, A.E., Ellen, I.G. & Meltzer, R.
The article discusses the implication of business improvement districts (BIDS) to property owners in the U.S. The scheme first arrived in the country in mid-1970s when urban centers were losing both residents and businesses to suburbs. Such scheme is beneficial to companies because it delivers fair basic services such as security, maintenance, marketing and capital improvements.
Sociodemographic and Behavioral Characteristics of HIV Antibody-Positive Blood Donors
American Journal of Public Health, Aug 1988, Vol. 78 Issue 8, p953-957, 5p.
Cleary, P.D., Singer, E., Rogers, T., Avorn, J., Van Devanter, N., Soumerai, S., Perry, S. & Pindyck, J.
This paper describes the sociodemographic and behavioral characteristics of 173 blood donors who were confirmed by Western blot tests to have antibodies to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the etiologic agent for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Seropositive donors were predominately young, unmarried, and male, and major risk factors could be identified for almost all donors. However, more than 20 per ¢ of the study participants were women, and many participants were not aware that they were at risk of infection. The heterogeneity of the study population, the lack of awareness among many subjects of risk factors and self-exclusion procedures, and the high level of distress among many subjects after notification, emphasize the need for intensive, well-designed education and support programs.
Behavior Changes After Notification of HIV Infection
American Journal of Public Health, Dec 1991, Vol. 81 Issue 12, p1586-1586, 5p.
Cleary, P.D., Van Devanter, N., Rogers, T.F., Singer, E., Shipton-Levy, R., Steilen, M., Stuart, A., Avorn, J. & Pindyck, J.
To learn more about how people who did not volunteer for testing react to information about HIV infection, we assessed short-term behavior changes in HIV-positive blood donors. Methods. Blood donors who were notified at the New York Blood Center that they were HTV positive were asked to participate in a study. A nurse elicited a medical history, performed a limited medical examination, and asked participants to complete a questionnaire that included questions about drug use, sexual behavior, and psychological characteristics. Participants were asked to return in 2 weeks to complete another questionnaire. Results. Many fewer men and women reported engaging in unsafe sexual behaviors in the 2 weeks preceding the follow-up visit than had reported such behaviors prior to notification. These changes were greater than those other investigators have reported, but about 40% of the participants still reported unsafe sexual activity at the follow-up interview. Conclusions. To make nonvolunteer screening programs for HIV infection more effective in reducing the spread of HTV infection, we need to learn more about how to help people change their high-risk behaviors.
Depressive Symptoms in Blood Donors Notified of HIV Infection
American Journal of Public Health April, Vol. 83 Issue 4, p534-539, 6p.
Cleary, P.D., Van Devanter, N., Rogers, T.F., Singer, E., Shipton-Levy, R., Steilen, M., Stuart, A., Avorn, J. & Pindyck, J.
Understanding more about the psychological state of persons notified of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection is critical for designing notification and counseling programs that will have the most positive effect. Methods. The subjects were blood donors who had been notified of HIV infection by the New York Blood Center. A nurse elicited a medical history, performed a limited medical examination, and asked the subjects to complete a questionnaire that included questions about drug use, sexual behavior, and psychological characteristics. The subjects completed another questionnaire approximately 2 weeks later. Results. The average depressive symptom scores for both men and women were substantially higher than scores typically found in representative population samples. More than a quarter of the men and more than a third of the women reported seeking psychological or psychiatric services in the first few weeks following notification. Conclusions. Anticipating and meeting individuals' psychological needs may be necessary if HIV screening programs are to address effectively the needs of persons infected with HIV.
Family Networks and Youth Access to Jobs
Journal of Urban Economics, Sep 1993, Vol. 34 Issue 2, p230, 19p, 8 charts
O'Regan, K. & Quigley, J.M.
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.