Economics

Public Attitudes Toward Low-Income Children and Families: How Employment Barriers and Welfare/Work Status Affect Public Support for Government Assistance

Public Attitudes Toward Low-Income Children and Families: How Employment Barriers and Welfare/Work Status Affect Public Support for Government Assistance
Communications Research Brief, National Center for Children in Poverty, Columbia University,

Lennon, M.C., Applebaum, L.D. & Aber, J.L.
01/01/2003

This report examines how the public responds to specific characteristics of women who face economic struggles. Our subject’s characteristics are randomly varied to include her barriers to employment (such as physical disability, mental illness, living in an area with high unemployment, and trouble with reliable child care) and whether she works or receives welfare.

Public Attitudes Toward Low-Income Children and Families: How the Belief in a Just World Influences American’s Attitudes Toward Solutions to Poverty

Public Attitudes Toward Low-Income Children and Families: How the Belief in a Just World Influences American’s Attitudes Toward Solutions to Poverty
Communications Research Brief, National Center for Children in Poverty, Columbia University.

Appelbaum, L.D., Lennon M.C. & Aber, J.L.
01/01/2003

This report examines the psychological concept of “Belief in a Just World” and how it influences public opinion about low-income mothers and their efforts to become economically self-sufficient. Understanding these attitudes helps organizations like NCCP generate support for policies that assist low-income families.

Taxing the Poor: Income Averaging Reconsidered

Taxing the Poor: Income Averaging Reconsidered
40 Harvard Journal on Legislation 395.

Batchelder, L.
01/01/2003

This Article presents an original empirical analysis demonstrating the disproportionate burden taxation of annual income places upon low-income families. The author proposes two simple income averaging devices to redress this effect: averaging the Earned Income Tax Credit over a two-year period and carrying back the standard deduction and personal and dependent exemptions.

The Property Tax, Land Use and Land Use Regulation

The Property Tax, Land Use and Land Use Regulation
Edward Elgar Publishing,

Netzer, D., ed.
01/01/2003

This comprehensive volume of essays by respected scholars in economics and public finance explores the connections among the property tax, land use and regulation. The authors examine the idea that the property tax is used as a partial substitute for land use regulation and other policies designed to affect how land is utilized. Like many economists, the contributors see some type of property taxation as a more efficient means of helping to shape land use. Some of the essays analyze a conventional property tax, while others consider radically different systems of property taxation.

Following an introduction by the book's editor Dick Netzer, the first paper sets the stage by modeling taxes on land and buildings in the context of a dynamic model of real estate markets. The remaining papers examine how various tax mechanisms and non-tax alternatives to regulating and determining land use, such as zoning and private neighborhood associations, complement or substitute for one another. Urban planners and economists interested in local public finance will welcome this wide-ranging review and analysis.

Dick Netzer, a leading public finance economist specializing in state and local issues and urban government, is professor emeritus of economics and public administration at the Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, New York University. He organized a conference sponsored by the Lincoln Institute in Scottsdale, Arizona, in January 2002 and edited the papers presented at that conference for this volume.

 

Welfare Reform in Philadelphia: Implementation, Effects, and Experiences of Poor Families and Neighborhoods

Welfare Reform in Philadelphia: Implementation, Effects, and Experiences of Poor Families and Neighborhoods
MDRC,

Michalopoulos, C., Edin, K., Fink, B., Iandriscina, M., Polit, D., Polyne, J..& Verma, N.
01/01/2003

The 1996 welfare reform law called for profound changes in welfare policy, including a five-year time limit on federally funded cash assistance (known as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF), stricter work requirements, and greater flexibility for states in designing and managing programs. The law's supporters hoped that it would spark innovation and reduce welfare use; critics feared that it would lead to cuts in benefits and to widespread suffering. Whether the reform succeeds or fails depends largely on what happens in big cities, where poverty and welfare receipt are most concentrated. This report - one of a series from MDRC's Project on Devolution and Urban Change - examines the specific ways in which reform unfolded in Philadelphia. The study uses field research, state records, surveys and ethnographic interviews of welfare recipients, and indicators of social and economic trends to assess TANF's implementation and effects. Because of the strong economy and ample funding for services in the late 1990s, the study captures welfare reform in the best of times but focuses on the poorest families and neighborhoods.

Which 'Broken Windows' Matter? School, Neighborhood, and Family Characteristics Associated with Youth's Feelings of Unsafety

Which 'Broken Windows' Matter? School, Neighborhood, and Family Characteristics Associated with Youth's Feelings of Unsafety
Journal of Urban Health, Volume 80, Number 3, pages 400-415.

Mijanovich, T. & Weitzman, B.C.
01/01/2003

Young people’s fears of victimization and feelings of unsafety constitute a serious and pervasive public health problem and appear to be associated with different factors than actual victimization. Our analysis of a population-based telephone survey of youths aged 10–18 years in five economically distressed cities and their suburbs reveals that a substantial minority of youths feel unsafe on any given day, and that an even greater number feel unsafe in school. While some traditional predictors of victimization (such as low socioeconomic status) were associated with feeling unsafe, perceived school disorder was the major factor associated with such feelings. Disorderliness may thus be the school’s version of “broken windows,” which serve to signal to students a lack of consistent adult concern and oversight that can leave them feeling unsafe. We suggest that fixing the broken windows of school disorderliness may have a significant, positive impact on adolescents’ feelings of safety.

Pollution Prevention and Management Strategies for Mercury in the NY/NJ Harbor and its Watershed

Pollution Prevention and Management Strategies for Mercury in the NY/NJ Harbor and its Watershed
New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS), July

de Cerreño, A.L.C.
07/01/2002

Issued in June, 2002, the report discusses major sources of mercury and methylmercury to the Harbor. It identifies pathways of mercury into the harbor, discusses environmentally sound and economically feasible strategies to avoid this pollution, and identifies the key players in implementing these strategies.

Promises Kept: Enforcement and the Role of Rotating Savings and Credit Associations in an Economy

Promises Kept: Enforcement and the Role of Rotating Savings and Credit Associations in an Economy
Journal of International Development, Volume 14, May, pp. 393-411.

Chiteji, N.
05/23/2002

Rotating savings and credit associations (roscas) are a popular form of informal finance in developing countries. This paper examines the rosca's ability to enforce its terms of membership and the implications that this has for their existence in an economy. A connection between enforcement costs and the desirability of rosca formation is illustrated using a framework that focuses on the nature of the financial contract that the rosca offers, allowing inferences to be drawn about the likely viability of roscas throughout the development process and the implications this has for debates about financial dualism. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Editorial: Introduction to the Special Issue on Race and Ethnicity

Editorial: Introduction to the Special Issue on Race and Ethnicity
Sociological Forum. 2002, Vol. 17(4): pp. 549-551.

Conley, D.
01/01/2002

The tension between ascribed and achieved status pervades much of sociology, sometimes as a latent theme and sometimes manifest. The articles in this issue of Sociological Forum revisit this tension through the lens of race and ethnicity. They examine contexts varying widely from adolescents in the United States to upper-caste Muslims in India. The specific issues they address are also diverse: the relationship between race, democracy, and equal opportunity; deviant behavior among teenagers of different ethnic groups; intermarriage among whites and minorities in contemporary U.S. society; the strategic commonalities between the Deaf, gay and white supremacist movements; and finally, the tension between modernization, economic development, and finally, the tension between modernization, economic development, and caste/racial identity. Yet, the articles also share a broader common theme; each concerns the paradoxes that emerge when ascribed racial or ethnic identity collides with powerful forces that represent the conditions of achieved position.

Equity Inequity

Equity Inequity
Annual Editions: American Government New York: McGraw Hill / Dushkin & 2003 and originally appearing in The Nation. 3/26/01; 272(12), pp. 20-22.

Conley, D.
01/01/2002

The article reports on racial inequality. The author says the while African-Americans do earn less than whites, asset gaps remain large even when black and white families at the same income levels are compared. For instance, at the lower end of the economic spectrum (incomes less than $ 15,000 per year), the median African-American family has a net worth of zero, while the equivalent white family's net worth is $10,000. Likewise, among the often-heralded new black middle class, the typical white family earning $40,000 per year enjoys a nest egg of around $80,000; its African-American counterpart has less than half that amount.

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