Economics

Local Property Taxation in Theory and Practice: Some Reflections

Local Property Taxation in Theory and Practice: Some Reflections
in Wallace E. Oates, editor, Property Taxation and Local Government Finance, Cambridge, MA: Lincoln Institute of Land Policy,

Netzer, D.
01/01/2001

The property tax is considered a most unpopular tax, among both scholars and taxpayers. Yet, recent research and analysis has proposed at least a partial rehabilitation of this tax and its role in the arena of local public finance. Based on a conference sponsored by the Lincoln Institute in January 2000, this book presents a systematic and comprehensive review of the economics of local property taxation and examines its policy implications. The ten papers and paired commentaries are written in a nontechnical form to make the findings available to a broad audience of policy makers and other noneconomists.

Measuring School Efficiency: Lessons from Economics, Implications for Practice

Measuring School Efficiency: Lessons from Economics, Implications for Practice
in Improving Educational Productivity: Lessons from Economics, David Monk, Herbert Wahlberg, and Margaret Wang, ed., pp. 115-137.

Schwartz, A.E. & Stiefel, L.
01/01/2001

Estimating efficiency and productivity in education involves confronting and addressing a host of difficulties in measuring inputs and outputs, capturing environmental influences, compensating for data scarcity, and determining causality. Nevertheless, recent improvements in data quality and availability and accompanying advances in statistical methods offer the promise of improved measures of school efficiency and the prospect of identifying the determinants of efficiency across schools and school districts and over time. This chapter discusses approaches to measuring K-12 efficiency and the relative merits of each, explaining the complexities of applying these techniques in the real world, and concludes with lessons learned for practitioners.

Microenterprise Development for Better Health Outcomes

Microenterprise Development for Better Health Outcomes
Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing.

Rodriguez-Garcia, R., Macinko, J. & Waters, W.
01/01/2001

Showing that economic development and public health, often thought of as distinct, are both interdependent and dependent on social and political conditions, this book provides a new appreciation of the close relationship between microenterprise development and health in developing countries. Many of the world's poor earn a living from microenterprises, often outside the formal economy, and international practitioners have recently turned their attention to this underground economy, providing support through group poverty lending and village banking models, but overlooking the potential benefits of linking income generation with public health. This book argues for a conceptual and practical relationship between microenterprise development and household health, nutrition, and sanitation. To support their framework, the authors look at specific actions for harnessing the power of microeconomic development to improve health and human development. They support their argument further with case studies of innovative programs carried out in Latin America, Asia, and Africa. The book challenges the reader to cross disciplinary and professional boundaries to not only understand the interrelationships between health and income generation but to use available tools to enhance those interrelationships.

Outsourcing by Nonprofit Organizations

Outsourcing by Nonprofit Organizations
Task force report, Avner B'Ner chair, National Center on Nonprofit Enterprise,

O'Regan, K.
01/01/2001

This chapter examines the issue of when nonprofits should choose to employ their own staff or house their own operations, versus contracting out tasks and activities to other suppliers. Various examples are offered of nonprofits decisions that may be outsourced or retained in-house. The concepts of specialization, comparative advantage and transactions costs are used to explain the logic of outsourcing, how it applies to various circumstances encountered by nonprofit organizations, and the desirability of this strategy in each case.

Principles to Guide Housing Policy in the New Millenium

Principles to Guide Housing Policy in the New Millenium
in Cityscapes: A Journal of Policy Development and Research. 5(2): 5-19.

Schill, M. & Wachter, S.
01/01/2001

The 1990s were a tumultuous time for Federal housing policy. The decade began with deep divisions in the housing community over how to deliver housing assistance. Federal budget cuts in the mid-1990s, for the first time in recent history, essentially froze the number of households that received housing assistance. At roughly the same time, the continuing existence of HUD was itself in doubt, as the New York Times Magazine in 1995 published its lead article proclaiming "The Year That Housing Died."

As the new millennium begins, things have changed dramatically. Not only is Congress no longer seriously questioning whether to disband HUD, but in response to a record-setting economic expansion and internal reforms within the agency, Congress has substantially increased HUD 's budget. In marked contrast to the beginning of the last decade, remarkable consensus exists among housing policymakers and analysts over the future direction of housing policy. In this article, we explore this emerging consensus and set forth our views regarding the principles that should guide housing policy over the next decade.

Quality Adjusted Net Price Indices for Four Year Colleges

Quality Adjusted Net Price Indices for Four Year Colleges
Bureau of Labor Statistics Working Paper number WP-337.

Scafidi, B. & Schwartz, A.E.
01/01/2001

Since the earlier 1980's the "sticker price" of a college education in the United States has, according to estimates from the Consumer Price Index (CPI), risen significantly faster than the overall rate of inflation. For the CPI, the government collects data on the "sticker price" of college (tuition and fees) without adjusting for scholarships given or other discounts. Further, no adjustments are made for changes in the quality or characteristics of the services provided, such as attributes of the faculty, the course offerings, or the facilities. Thus, the estimated price indices reflect changes in quality and characteristics of college as well as changes in prices. In this paper, we develop and explore the construction of a quality-adjusted price index for US colleges, based on the estimation of a hedonic model of the price of college. Our analysis indicates that estimating price indexes using hedonic methods is both feasible and useful.

Risk and Insurance in Transition: Perspectives from Zouping County, China

Risk and Insurance in Transition: Perspectives from Zouping County, China
Chapter 8 in Community and Market in Economic Development, Oxford University Press, edited by Professors Masahiko Aoki and Yujiro Hayami.

Morduch, J. & Sicular, T.
01/01/2001

This book explores the role of community in facilitating the transition to market relationships in economic development, and in controlling and sustaining local public goods such as irrigation, forests, grazing land, and fishing grounds. Previously it was customary to classify economic systems in terms of varying combinations of state and market control of resource allocation. In contrast, this book recognizes community as the third major element of economic systems. This new approach also departs from the conventional view that markets and community norms should be treated as mutually exclusive means of organizing economic activity, instead clarifying the situations in which they may become complementary. Further discussion focuses on the conditions under which management of local commons can, and should, be delegated to local communities rather than subjected to the control of central government.

Tax and the City

Tax and the City
in Re-thinking the Urban Agenda, John Mollenkopf and Ken Emerson, eds., Century Foundation, pp. 63-74.

Schwartz, A.E.
01/01/2001

The culmination of a year-long lecture series cosponsored by The Century Foundation and the City University of New York Graduate Center's Center for Urban Research, 'Rethinking the Urban Agenda' takes up the challenge provided by a changing of the guard in New York City government-the election of a new mayor and city council-to outline a new conceptual and political road map for New York City's future and, in many important respects, for the future of urban America.

The Effects of Job Loss on Older Workers

The Effects of Job Loss on Older Workers
Peter P. Budetti, Richard V. Burkhauser, Janice M. Gregory and H. Allan Hunt (editors), Ensuring Health and Income Security for an Aging Workforce, Kalamazoo: W. E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research,

Sewin Chan & Ann Huff Stevens
01/01/2001

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.

The utility of social capital in studies on health determinants

The utility of social capital in studies on health determinants
Milbank Quarterly Volume 79, Number 3, pages 387-428.

Macinko, J. & Starfield, B.
01/01/2001

Social capital has become a popular subject in the literature on determinants of health. The concept of social capital has been used in the sociological, political science, and economic development literatures, as well as in the health inequalities literature. Analysis of its use in the health inequalities literature suggests that each theoretical tradition has conceptualized social capital differently. Health researchers have employed a wide range of social capital measures, borrowing from several theoretical traditions. Given the wide variation in these measures and an apparent lack of consistent theoretical or empirical justification for their use, conclusions about the likely role of "social capital" on population health may be overstated or even misleading. Elements of a research agenda are proposed to further elucidate the potential role of factors currently subsumed under the rubric of "social capital."

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