Economics

Are Stocks Overtaking Real Estate in Household Portfolios?

Are Stocks Overtaking Real Estate in Household Portfolios?
Current Issues in Economics and Finance 5(5), April 1999, pages 1-6.

Sewin Chan, Henry Schneider & Joseph Tracy
04/01/1999

The rapid growth of the stock market since 1990 has encouraged the view that corporate equity holdings are becoming the primary asset for a broad spectrum of American households. A closer look at the evidence, however, reveals that real estate continues to eclipse stocks as a share of most households’ portfolios.

Crowded House

Crowded House
Boston Review 24, February/March, Forum: Sharing the Wealth.

Sewin Chan, Henry Schneider & Joseph Tracy
02/01/1999

The extraordinary growth in the stock market over the past several years has significantly increased wealth in the US household sector. The Flow of Funds Accounts data indicate that in the second quarter of 1998 corporate equity holdings in the household sector amounted to $9.4 billion dollars or 28 percent of total household assets. This represents an astounding increase of $5.3 billion over the past five years. For only the second time since the mid-1940s have equity holdings surpassed all other classes of assets in the household sector (although real estate comes close at 27 percent).

Household Asset Portfolios and the Reform of the Housing Finance Market

Household Asset Portfolios and the Reform of the Housing Finance Market
TIAA-CREF Research Dialogues 59, Feb, pages 1-12.

Andrew Caplin, Sewin Chan, Charles Freeman & Joseph Tracy
02/01/1999

When individuals or families make retirement planning decisions, including asset allocation choices, it is important for them to consider how all of the assets they own fit together to form an overall portfolio of house-hold wealth. Surprisingly often, one of the most important household assets is left out of retirement planning discussions completely: the family home.

This issue of Research Dialogue examines in detail the central role that residential housing plays in household asset portfolios in the United States. Currently, families don't have much choice regarding the amount of wealth they must "allocate" to their home: either they own their residence or they do not. This stark choice generally leaves homeowners overexposed to significant financial risks that most would prefer not to take. The authors of this article describe financial innovations that, if developed and adopted, would provide families far greater choice regarding how much to invest in a home. The authors show that this greater flexibility could lead to as much as 20% greater wealth at retirement through better diversification of the wealth that homeowners currently must hold in the form of housing.

 

Being Black, Living in the Red: Race, Wealth and Social Policy in America

Being Black, Living in the Red: Race, Wealth and Social Policy in America
Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.

Conley, D.
01/01/1999

What is more important--race or class--in determining the socioeconomic success of the blacks and whites born since the civil rights triumphs of the 1960s? When compared to whites, African Americans complete less formal schooling, work fewer hours at a lower rate of pay and are more likely to give birth to a child out of wedlock and to rely on welfare. Are these differences attributable to race per se, or are they the result of differences in socioeconomic background between the two groups?Being Black, Living in the Red demonstrates that many differences between blacks and whites stem not from race but from economic inequalities that have accumulated over the course of American history. Property ownership--as measured by net worth--reflects this legacy of economic oppression. The racial discrepancy in wealth holdings leads to advantages for whites in the form of better schools, more desirable residences, higher wages, and more opportunities to save, invest, and thereby further their economic advantages.Dalton Conley shows how factoring parental wealth into a reconceptualization of class can lead to a different future for race policy in the United States. As it currently stands, affirmative action programs primarily address racial diversity in schooling and work--areas that Conley contends generate paradoxical results with respect to racial equity. Instead he suggests an affirmative action policy that fosters minority property accumulation, thereby encouraging long-term wealth equity, or one that--while continuing to address schooling and work--is based on social class as defined by family wealth levels rather than on race.

Between the Market and State: Can Informal Insurance Patch the Safety Net?

Between the Market and State: Can Informal Insurance Patch the Safety Net?
World Bank Research Observer, 14 (2), August 1999, 187 - 207.

Morduch, J.
01/01/1999

Examines use of informal insurance arrangements in households of low-income countries. Relationship between household consumption and income; Ways in dealing economic hardships; Systems of reciprocal transfers; Role of public policy in reducing economic vulnerability; Overview on microcredit, insurance and employment guarantee schemes.

Essentials of Cost Accounting for Health Care Organizations

Essentials of Cost Accounting for Health Care Organizations
2nd Edition, Aspen Publishers, Inc., Gaithersburg, MD, 469 pages. Currently published by Jones & Bartlett.

Finkler, S.A. & Ward, D.M.
01/01/1999

Essentials of Cost Accounting for Health Care Organizations, Second Edition is a comprehensive text that applies the tool and techniques of cost accounting to the health services field. It is an essential tools for all professionals who need to deal with the challenges of managing health facilities in a difficult economic environment.

The Role of Subsidies in Microfinance: Evidence from The Grameen Bank

The Role of Subsidies in Microfinance: Evidence from The Grameen Bank
Journal of Development Economics, 60, October 1999, 229-248.

Morduch, J.
01/01/1999

Focuses on the role of subsidies in microfinance as evidenced by the Grameen Bank of Bangladesh. Difficulties in maintaining high repayment rates; Role of the bank in alleviating poverty; Recognition of the myriad benefits that have been attributed to program participation.

Using Adjusted Performance Measures for Evaluating Resource Use

Using Adjusted Performance Measures for Evaluating Resource Use
Public Budgeting and Finance, Volume 19, No. 3, Fall .

Stiefel, L., Schwartz, A.E. & Rubenstein, R.
01/01/1999

Public service organizations are looking for ways to improve the evaluation of performance and resource allocation. One of the approaches is to use adjusted performance measures, which attempt to Capture factors that affect the organizational performance but are outside of the organization's control. This article illustrates the construction and use of adjusted performance measures to assess the performance of public schools, and reports findings from a study of school-based budgeting in Chicago that relates adjusted performance measures and patterns of budget allocations.

Does Microfinance Really Help the Poor?: New Evidence from Flagship Programs in Bangladesh

Does Microfinance Really Help the Poor?: New Evidence from Flagship Programs in Bangladesh
Presented at Stanford, UC-Berkeley, University of Washington, RAND, University of Toronto, Princeton, and Yale. Research Program in Development Studies, Woodrow School of Public and International Affairs. June 1998.

Jonathan Morduch
06/27/1998

The microfinance movement has built on innovations in financial intermediation that reduce the costs and risks of lending to poor households. Replications of the movement’s flagship, the Grameen Bank of Bangladesh, have now spread around the world. While programs aim to bring social and economic benefits to clients, few attempts have been made to quantify benefits rigorously. This paper draws on a new cross-sectional survey of nearly 1800 households, some of which are served by the Grameen Bank and two similar programs, and some of which have no access to programs. Households that are eligible to borrow and have access to the programs do not have notably higher consumption levels than control households, and, for the most part, their children are no more likely to be in school. Men also tend to work harder, and women less. More favorably, relative to controls, households eligible for programs have substantially (and significantly) lower variation in consumption and labor supply across seasons. The most important potential impacts are thus associated with the reduction of vulnerability, not of poverty per se. The consumption-smoothing appears to be driven largely by income-smoothing, not by borrowing and lending.

The evaluation holds lessons for studies of other programs in low-income countries. While it is common to use fixed effects estimators to control for unobservable variables correlated with the placement of programs, using fixed effects estimators can exacerbate biases when, as here, programs target their programs to specific populations within larger communities.

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