Economics

Rethinking Inequality Decomposition, with Evidence from Rural China

Rethinking Inequality Decomposition, with Evidence from Rural China
Economic Journal 112 (476), January 2002, 93-106.

Morduch, J. & Sicular, T.
01/01/2002

We examine inequality decompositions by income source and describe a general, regression-based approach for decomposing inequality. The approach provides an efficient and flexible way to quantify the roles of variables like education and age in a multivariate context. We illustrate the method using survey data from China. The empirical results demonstrate how sharply different conclusions can emerge for different decomposition rules. We explain how these differences reflect the treatment of equally-distributed sources of income, and we discuss implications for how results from inequality decomposition are interpreted. Copyright Royal Economic Society 2002

Working Together: Meeting the Challenges of Workforce Diversity

Working Together: Meeting the Challenges of Workforce Diversity
In Steve Hayes and Richard Kearney (ed.). Public Personnel Administration: Problems and Prospects. 4th edition. Prentice Hall: Englewood Cliffs. 2002, pp. 238-255.

Ospina, S. & O'Sullivan, J.
01/01/2002

This collection of original manuscripts-representing a cross-section of the timeliest scholarship in public personnel administration-explores the theme of "problems and prospects" in public personnel administration. The contributions are organized into four broad sections: The Setting, The Techniques, The Issues, and Reform and the Future. Section One focuses primarily on the social, political, economic, and legal trends that have served as catalysts in the transformation of public personnel administration. Section Two is composed of selections that summarize developments in the practice of HRM, with special emphasis on emerging personnel techniques and the ways that traditional approaches to the staffing function are being revised. Section Three discusses and suggests responses to some of the most troublesome or pervasive issues in modern personnel management. The final section assesses the probable trends in the field's future, and analyzes the efficacy of recent reform efforts. For human resource personnel looking to broaden their perspective in the field.

Low-Income and Low-Skilled Workers' Involvement in Nonstandard Employment

Low-Income and Low-Skilled Workers' Involvement in Nonstandard Employment
Washington, D.C.: The Urban Institute

Lane, J., K. Mikelson, P. Sharkey, and D. Wissoker
10/01/2001

The role of alternative work arrangements—temporary help, independent contractors, on-call workers, and contract company workers—has caught the attention of both policymakers and academic researchers alike. Current research indicates that 1 in 10 workers are employed in one of these four alternative work arrangements and employment in the temporary help services industry grew five times as fast as overall non-farm employment between 1972 and 1997. This growth is likely to have important implications for low-income workers, particularly since the establishment of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant, authorized by the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of 1996, which dramatically transformed the nation's welfare system. This welfare reform, in conjunction with a strong economy, has resulted in an increasing number of low-income individuals entering the labor force. Thus, alternative work arrangements, especially for those with limited work histories, might be expected to be a natural pathway to work for such workers. However, little is known about the prevalence of alternative work arrangements as a gateway into the labor force or the resulting labor market outcomes for low-income workers and those at risk of welfare dependency. The goal of this project was to examine the role of alternative work arrangements in today's labor market, paying particular attention to the effect of such arrangements on low-income workers in alternative arrangements and those at risk of being on public assistance.

Implementing Work Requirements in Wisconsin

Implementing Work Requirements in Wisconsin
Journal of Public Policy, vol. 21, no. 3 (2002). Cambridge University Press

Mead, L.
06/01/2001

When Western counties seek to reform welfare so that recipients have to work in return for aid, this poses implementation as well as policy problems. This study of work requirements in Wisconsin illustrates the challenges. It also confirms success of a top-down model of implementation. Wisconsin’s welfare work programs had little impact on dependency through the mid 1980s because work was not a priority and work programs were underdeveloped. From 1985–6, however, the state increased funding and built up the employment bureaucracy. It required that more recipients participate in work programs, enter jobs rather than education, and avoid welfare if possible. It attuned the bureaucracy to its goals through funding incentives. These measures along with strong economic conditions then drove the welfare rolls down, with largely good effects. Wisconsin’s achievement rested on its good-government traditions. Not all regimes have the same capacity.

Validation of the Revised CRISYS, a Contemporary Measure of Life Stressors

Validation of the Revised CRISYS, a Contemporary Measure of Life Stressors
Psychological Reports, 88, 713-724. June

Berry, C., Schalowitz, M.U., Quinn, K.A. & Wolf, R.
06/01/2001

The objectives of this study were to establish the validity of the Crisis in Family Systems-Revised, a recently developed measure of contemporary life stressors, using the same validation technique as in the original validation and to provide further evidence of construct validity by assessing its relationship to socioeconomic status and residential location. We conducted 124 in-person interviews with parents in three outpatient pediatric asthma clinics affiliated with an academic medical center. The design was cross-sectional and correlational. Total count of life stressors accounted for 19% of the variance in scores on the Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression. Respondents using Medicaid and living in the city experienced more objective stressors, but the proportions of stressors rated as negative or positive (Valence), and ongoing (Chronicity) were fairly constant across subsamples, as was the Difficulty rating. Psychologists and health and mental health services researchers are in need of constructs relevant to contemporary society and its issues and tools to measure these constructs. Life stressors appears to be such a construct and the Crisis in Family Systems-Revised a measure with considerable utility.

Spatial Lock-in: Do Falling House Prices Constrain Residential Mobility

Spatial Lock-in: Do Falling House Prices Constrain Residential Mobility
Journal of Urban Economics, 49(3), May 2001.

Sewin Chan
05/01/2001

Falling house prices have caused numerous homeowners to suffer capital losses. Those with little home equity may be prevented from moving because of imperfections in housing finance markets: the proceeds from the sale of their home may be insufficient to repay their mortgage and provide a down payment on a new home. A data set of mortgages is used to examine the magnitude of these constraints. Estimates show that average mobility would have been 24% higher after 3 years had house prices not declined, and after 4 years, it would have been 33% higher. Among those with high initial loan-to-value ratios, the differences are even greater.

Job Loss and Employment Behavior of Older Workers

Job Loss and Employment Behavior of Older Workers
Journal of Labor Economics, 19(2), April 2001

Sewin Chan & Ann Huff Stevens
04/01/2001

This article uses data from the Health and Retirement Study to examine the employment patterns of workers aged 50 and above who have experienced an involuntary job loss. Hazard models for returning to work and for exiting post-displacement employment are estimated and used to examine work patterns for 10 years following a job loss. Our findings show that a job loss results in large and lasting effects on future employment probabilities. Four years after job losses at age 55, the employment rate of displaced workers remains 20 percentage points below the employment rate of similar nondisplaced workers.

First Annual Status of Women of Color Report: Women of Color in New York City: - The Challenges of the New Global Economy

First Annual Status of Women of Color Report: Women of Color in New York City: - The Challenges of the New Global Economy
Roundtable of Institutions of People of Color

Women of Color Policy Network
03/01/2001

The first Status of Women of Color Report originated out of the need to provide data and research focusing on women of color. By drawing attention to the trends seen in income, unemployment, welfare, and incarceration for women of color in New York city , this report summarizes their achievements and lack of it during the 1990's.

Women of Color in New York City: The Challenges of the New Global Economy

Women of Color in New York City: The Challenges of the New Global Economy
First Annual  Status of Women of Color Report.

Stafford, W.W.
03/01/2001

The first Status of Women of Color Report originated out of the need to provide data and research focusing on women of color. By drawing attention to the trends seen in income, unemployment, welfare, and incarceration for women of color in New York city , this report summarizes their achievements and lack of it during the 1990's.

A Room of One’s Own or A Room with a View? Housing and Educational Stratification

A Room of One’s Own or A Room with a View? Housing and Educational Stratification
Sociological Forum. 2001, Vol. 16(2), pp. 263-280.

Conley, D.
01/01/2001

This study attempts to understand the role that housing plays in the system of social stratification. First, it generates a model of how housing outcomes are stratified along dimensions of socioeconomic status and race. Second, it asks what role housing conditions play in the system of educational stratification of offspring. Using two-generational data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, this paper demonstrates that home ownership is predicted by family income and race and that this indicator has a significant effect in predicting the educational attainment of offspring. Household crowding is also related to income and race and also affects the educational attainment of offspring. Meanwhile, housing quality—as measured by the physical condition of the unit—is not related to income or race and has no effect on educational attainment. Of particular note is that when socioeconomic status and housing conditions are held constant, African-Americans demonstrate more than a half-grade advantage over their non-black counterparts in years of completed schooling. In conclusion, the paper argues that housing matters not only for the immediate well-being of families, but also for the life-chances of the subsequent generation, and should be a standard variable in the conception of class background.

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