Wagner Seminar Series
Thursdays, 12:30 – 2pm in Rudin (*unless otherwise noted)
Faculty Organizer: Brian Elbel, PhD
Open to the NYU Community.
Assistant Professor, Public Administration and International Affairs The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University
Systemic Risk in Networked Services: Implications for Governance
Abstract: Government increasingly relies on complex arrangements of contracted providers to implement public policy but does not consider the possibility of systemic risk‐ the risk the contract system will collapse. Most public management research on contract management focuses on dyadic interactions between funders and contractors while interorganizational network scholarship overlooks the potential for network failure. This study examines systemic risk in complex, networked services funded by government and produced by a mix of public, nonprofit, and for‐profit actors. I employ affiliation network methods to understand network level systemic risk and to develop an index ranking the importance of individual actors in maintaining system stability. The empirical context for this study is state funded juvenile justice services over a five year period. Findings indicate that though the state has a well‐designed contract management system, it does not consider systemic risk when awarding individual contracts. Over time, the system created by individual contracts concentrated service production into handful of providers, increasing risks of catastrophic network failure if one of the “big” producers fails due to limited absorptive capacity in the system. This raises questions about whether and how government funders should attend to systemic risk in contracted services and has implications for governments’ ability to meet statutory obligations to provide services. It also raises questions about conditions under which networks of providers can withstand shocks such as organizational failure. This study makes several contributions. First, it addresses an overlooked issue in governance‐ systemic risk of contracted services. Though the issue is understudied, potential for systemic failures are present in all cases of networked services. Second, it demonstrates the utility of using secondary affiliation network data to understand complex structures used to implement public policy.
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Title: The Effects of Gentrification on Original Neighborhood Residents: Evidence from Longitudinal Census Microdata
Authors: Quentin Brummet (U.S. Census Bureau) and Davin Reed (NYU Wagner)
Abstract: During the past two decades, college-educated and high-income households have increasingly located in urban neighborhoods. We use new longitudinal Census microdata to study the effects of this gentrification process on original neighborhood residents. We first develop a local labor markets model of gentrification, which yields two insights. First, gentrification's effect on original residents' observable well-being is approximated by its combined effects on their incomes, housing costs, commuting costs, and neighborhood amenities, regardless of whether they move or stay. Second, its effect on their unobservable well-being is proportional to its effect on out-migration. Uniquely, our data allow us to estimate these effects for tens of thousands of original residents of central city neighborhoods in all major metropolitan areas of the United States. We define gentrification as large increases in the number of college-educated individuals living in a neighborhood and employ various identification strategies to help address endogeneity from selection, omitted variables, and reverse causality. Our results suggest that gentrification may lead to small increases in original resident out-migration but that it has no effect on original resident employment, income, commuting distance, neighborhood quality, or rents paid and positive effects on original resident house values. Aggregating these estimates suggests that on average, gentrification benefits original resident homeowners and has little effect on the observed well-being of original resident renters. However, our results are consistent with well-being losses for original resident out-migrants if unobservable neighborhood preferences are strong.
Title: Effect of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program on Diagnosis of Diet-Related Diseases
Author: Andrew Breck (NYU Wagner)
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) administered near-cash benefits valued at almost $67 billion dollars to over 44 million Americans in 2016. Although SNAP is well studied, little is known about its effect on the prevalence of diet-related diseases, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure. I use restricted-use, longitudinal data from the National Center for Health Statistics to provide new evidence of the effects of SNAP on health. These data include multiple years of Medicaid claims linked with survey information for respondents to the nationally representative National Health Interview Survey. The analytic dataset includes household and individual level characteristics, including SNAP participation, self-reported health variables, and claims-level data for diagnoses, procedures, and Medicaid expenditures. I treat participation in SNAP as endogenous using several linear and non-linear instrumental variable estimation techniques, exploiting plausibly exogenous variation in state-level SNAP policies. I present results from each of the estimation techniques and discuss their relative strengths and weaknesses. Overall, results suggest participation in SNAP has no robust discernible effect on likelihood of diagnosis of hypertension, type 2 diabetes, or heart disease. Following from these findings, I consider a number of policy implications and weigh several opportunities to leverage SNAP to improve long-term health outcomes among income-eligible populations.
*Please note this talk will take place at Furman Hall, 245 Sullivan St., Room 326.
Jesse Shapiro, Brown University
Title: "How are SNAP Benefits Spent? Evidence from a Retail Panel"
We use a novel retail panel with more than six years of detailed transaction records to study the effect of participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) on household spending. We frame our approach using novel administrative data from the state of Rhode Island. The marginal propensity to consume SNAP-eligible food (MPCF) out of SNAP benefits is 0.5 to 0.6. The MPCF out of cash is much smaller. These patterns obtain even for households for whom SNAP benefits are economically equivalent to cash in the sense that benefits do not cover all food spending. We reject the hypothesis that households respect the fungibility of money in a semiparametric framework. A model with mental accounting can match the facts.
Aetna Professor of Public Policy and Corporate Management, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
Borrowing to Save? The Impact of Automatic Enrollment on Debt
Abstract: How much of the retirement savings induced by automatic enrollment is offset by increased borrowing outside the retirement savings plan? We study a natural experiment created when the U.S. Army began automatically enrolling its newly hired civilian employees into the Thrift Savings Plan at a default contribution rate of 3% of income. We find that four years after hire, automatic enrollment causes no statistically significant change in debt excluding auto loans and first mortgages (point estimate = 0.3% of income, 95% confidence interval = [-1.7%, 2.3%]). Automatic enrollment does increase auto loan and first mortgage balances, but these liabilities have muted effects on net worth because they are used to acquire an asset.
Title: “Medical Group Size and Ownership and the Quality and Cost of Care: Findings from the Third National Survey of Physician Organizations.”
Professor of Healthcare Policy and Research, Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell University http://vivo.med.cornell.edu/display/cwid-lac2021