Economics

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 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."

The Welfare State and Infant Mortality

The Welfare State and Infant Mortality
American Journal of Sociology. November, Vol. 106.

Conley, D. & Springer, K.
01/01/2001

This article seeks to understand the effects of welfare-state spending on infant mortality rates. Infant mortality was chosen for its importance as a social indicator and its putative sensitivity to state action over a short time span. Country fixed-effects models are used to determine that public health spending does have a significant impact in lowering infant mortality rates, net of other factors, such as economic development, and that this effect is cumulative over a five-year time span. A net effect of health spending is also found, even when controlling for the level of spending in the year after which the outcome is measured (to account for spurious effects or reverse causation). State spending affects infant mortality both through social mechanisms and through medical ones. This article also shows that the impact of state spending may vary by the institutional structure of the welfare state. Finally, this study tests for structural breaks in the relationship between health spending and infant mortality and finds none over this time period.

Thinking About Children in Time.

Thinking About Children in Time.
The Dynamics of Child Poverty in Industrialised Countries. Edited by Bradbury, D. and S. Jenkins, J. Micklewright. Cambridge University Press.

Aber, J.L. & Ellwood, D.T.
01/01/2001

A child poverty rate of ten percent could mean that every tenth child is always poor, or that all children are in poverty for one month in every ten. Knowing where reality lies between these extremes is vital to understanding the problem facing many countries of poverty among the young. This unique study goes beyond the standard analysis of child poverty based on poverty rates at one point in time and documents how much movement into and out of poverty by children there actually is, covering a range of industrialised countries - the USA, UK, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Hungary and Russia. Five main topics are addressed: conceptual and measurement issues associated with a dynamic view of child poverty; cross-national comparisons of child poverty rates and trends; cross-national comparisons of children's movements into and out of poverty; country-specific studies of child poverty dynamics; and the policy implications of taking a dynamic perspective.

Urban Health: Is the City Infected?

Urban Health: Is the City Infected?
Medicine and Humanity. London: King's Fund,

Rodwin, V.G.
01/01/2001

The city is, at once, a center for disease and poor health and also a place for hope, cures and good health. From the earliest times, the city has attracted the poor and been the target of the plague, as well as war. Likewise, the health care industry has always been part of the economic base of cities - from Lourdes, in France, to Rochester, Minnesota, to megacities around the world. With its highly disproportionate share of health resources, e.g., hospitals, physicians, nurses and social services, the big city is a center of excellence in medicine. Yet, as Richard Horton, editor of The Lancet once noted, "For all of its rational efficiency and benevolent intent, the city is likely to be the death of us." Are cities socially infected breeding grounds for disease? Or do they represent critical spatial entities for promotion of population health? I propose to begin with a global view of urban health and disease and the challenge this poses for public health today. Next, I examine some evidence for the hypothesis that population health in cities is relatively poor. Finally, I suggest that the more pertinent question is not whether the city is unhealthy or healthy but rather the extent to which we can alleviate the problems posed by inequalities of income and wealth - in the city as well as outside of it.

Wealth and Poverty in America: A Reader

Wealth and Poverty in America: A Reader
(Edited, with an Introduction) Oxford: Blackwell,

Conley, D.
01/01/2001

What does it mean to be poor in America at the dawn of the 21 st century? For that matter, what does it mean to be rich? And how are the two related to each other? These apparently simple questions present enormous theoretical and empirical challenges to any student or social scientist. Wealth and Poverty in America is a collection of over 20 important essays on the complex relationship between the rich and poor in the United States. The authors include classical and contemporary thinkers on a wide variety of topics such as economic systems, the lifestyles of the rich and poor, and public policy. An editorial introduction and suggestions for further reading make this a useful and valuable source of information and analysis on the realities of the American rich and American poor.

Why Assets? Toward a New Framework on Social Stratification

Why Assets? Toward a New Framework on Social Stratification
Ford Foundation Volume, The Mechanisms and Benefits of Spreading Asset Ownership among the Poor. Russell Sage Foundation,

Conley, D.
01/01/2001

Over the past three decades, average household wealth in the United States has declined among all but the richest families, with a near 80 percent drop among the nation's poorest families. Although the national debate about inequality has focused on income, it is wealth - the private assets amassed and passed on within families -- that provides the extra economic cushion needed to move beyond mere day-to-day survival. Assets for the Poor is a full-scale investigation into the importance of family wealth and the need for policies to encourage asset-building among the poor.

Caseload Change: An Exploratory Study

Caseload Change: An Exploratory Study
Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, vol. 19, no. 3 (Summer 2000)

Mead, L.
07/01/2000

The national caseload of Aid to Families with Dependent Children (since 1996, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) rose 34 percent between 1989 and 1994,then fell 50 percent through June 1999 (data from U.S. Administration for Children and Families). These are the sharpest changes in the history of the program. They sparked a heightened interest in caseload dynamics. The simple model I report here reveals more about the policy causes of change than prior studies.

Sibling Rivalry in Africa

Sibling Rivalry in Africa
American Economic Review (AEA, Papers and Proceedings) 90 (2), May 2000, 405 - 409.

Morduch, J.
05/01/2000

This article uses data on young teenagers to investigate how sibling composition affects schooling outcomes in South Africa and Tanzania. The results, while not estimated very precisely, establish additional evidence of positive associations between school completion and the number of sisters a child has (controlling for the total number of siblings), but the evidence from South Africa shows that they are not general findings. The estimates are conditional on the given family structure, and of course, family structure may not be fully exogenous to schooling choices.

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